It has been a terribly tragic week for international pop superstar Celine Dion. First, her husband and manager Rene Angelil lost his years-long battle with throat cancer, and now her brother Daniel is reportedly days or even hours away from dying of throat, brain, and tongue cancer.
CBC News stated that Kim Jakwerth confirmed the sad news about Dion’s brother yesterday. Francine Chaloult, Celine Dion’s publicist, said that Rene Angelil’s funeral will be held at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal on Friday, January 21 – the same church where the couple were wed over two decades ago.
Singer Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees tweeted his condolences to Celine Dion shortly after news of her husband’s passing broke.
Dearest @celinedion, I am devastated by your loss, I know this sadness well. My family and I send all our love to you in your hour of grief.— Barry Gibb (@GibbBarry) January 15, 2016
According to Telegraph, Claudette Dion, one of the 14 Dion siblings, said that her brother Daniel, 59, was very close to death and that the family, which included 89-year-old matriarch Therese, were gathered at Daniel’s bedside.
“We are with Daniel, day and night,” she said.
— People Magazine (@people) January 15, 2016
Celine Dion’s Las Vegas performances for Saturday and Sunday were cancelled amid news of the death of her husband, and news about her older brother will likely only stun the famous chanteuse further. Caesar’s Palace also expressed their grief at the news of Angelil’s passing.
“We are heartbroken to hear this news, not only because René was a great friend and mentor and an extraordinary partner with us in these shows at Caesars Palace for the last 13 years, but even more because he and Celine were so devoted to each other; their relationship has been a model for us all,” a spokesperson for AEG said in a statement.
While it is widely expected that Celine Dion will return to her Las Vegas performances February 23, the news of her brother Daniel’s decline may have an impact on her return to the stage at Caesar’s Palace. A source told People that Celine Dion is still at her Las Vegas home with her three children, 14-year-old Rene-Charles and 5-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy, as she continues to plan her husband’s funeral. News of just how poorly her brother Daniel is doing will no doubt only add further heartache when she is already grieving the loss of her husband.
The Dion siblings have always enjoyed a tight relationship and according to Biography, had at one point formed a singing group called the Dion Family. The group would tour Canada while Celine Dion was only an infant, but it proved the foundation for a close-knit relationship with her siblings for the rest of her life.
While it is not yet known whether Celine Dion is making her way to the hospital where her brother Daniel continues his fight against cancer, Dion made her views about the choices she has had as far as it came to dealing with a loved one’s cancer diagnosis.
“When you see someone who is fighting so hard, it has a big impact on you,” she said. “You have two choices. You look at your husband who’s very sick and you can’t help, and it kills you. Or you look at your husband that’s sick and you say, ‘I got you. I got it. I’m here. It’s going to be just fine.'”
Reports seem to indicate that Daniel Dion may last as long as Tuesday, but as is often the case when someone continues to fight for their lives against the odds, no one seems to know for sure. Reuters reports that Daniel Dion is on “the verge of death,” but Celine Dion has yet to make a statement about her brother’s illness beyond confirming that he does have cancer.
[Feature Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment]