Rene Angelil has died after a very long battle with cancer. Celine Dion’s husband passed away on Thursday morning, the news just recently being confirmed. According to People Magazine, Angelil died at his home in Las Vegas, believed to have been surrounded by his loved ones.
“Rene Angelil, 73, passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer. The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment,” a rep said in a statement to People.
First diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998, Angelil was able to fight the disease twice before it came back with a vengeance a third time. He was able to keep himself going for quite some time, but his body just couldn’t fight any more.
Rene Angelil has had multiple treatments including several surgeries and chemotherapy. One of his most recent surgeries left him with a feeding tube. He has been unable to eat and drink normally for several months. Celine had previously talked about having to feed Rene his three meals a day. It was undoubtedly very hard for her, but she cared for her husband as best she could.
According to TMZ, Angelil’s passing was a bit of a shock as he had reportedly been doing better in recent weeks. While his cancer was considered terminal, his spirits were high. Back in August, Celine opened up about her husband’s struggle and admitted that his doctors were unsure how much time he had left.
“We have asked [doctors] many times, how long does he have, three weeks, three months? René wants to know. But they say they don’t know.”
Rene Angelil had had Celine Dion by his side since his diagnosis. The singer took a lengthy hiatus from her show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in order to spend time with her ailing husband, cherishing the good moments as they came. Celine remained as positive as she could for Rene and for her three boys.
“I’ll say, ‘You’re scared? I understand. Talk to me about it’ … And René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.’ Okay, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms. You can have your shaking knees at the end, but when someone you love falls and needs help, it’s not time to cry. Afterwards, sure. But not yet,” Celine said.
Christmas, of course, was very bittersweet for the family. While they are thankful to have had one last holiday as a family, it was clear that it would be their last, according to Daily Mail.
“This is very likely the last Christmas they’ll celebrate with Rene. Celine is trying to make the most of whatever time they have left with Rene,” a friend said back in November.
Rene Angelil is survived by his wife, Celine; the couple’s three children, René-Charles, 14, Nelson, 5, Eddy, 5; and his three adult children, Anne-Marie, Patrick, and Jean-Pierre, from a previous relationship.
Celine Dion has upcoming shows in Las Vegas at the end of February. It is unknown if she plans on canceling those shows. Rene Angelil was very supportive of her career and wanted her to continue performing, even when he was ill. For this reason, it is possible that Celine will continue her show. One thing is for certain, however, it is going to be a very emotional performance — and perhaps the ones that follow will be as well.
“Mr. Angelil, 73, died of throat cancer at his home in Henderson while under the care of a physician,” the Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner said in a statement to People.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]