Celine Dion returned to the stage for the first time since her husband, Rene Angelil, passed from his long battle with cancer.
As expected, it was an emotional return for Dion, who had suspended performances at her regular residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace following Rene’s passing. Dion had the option of cancelling her own residency, much like she did when Rene’s diagnosis changed, but she decided to take a few days off in the wake of her husband’s death.
Angelil managed Dion’s entire career, and even when his illness returned, Angelil waited before he stepped down from being her manager. A little more than a year later, Dion announced that Angelil’s health was deteriorating and that he only had months left to live. Rene lived for four more months before he died on January 14, 2015.
Prior to Dion’s return to the stage, Caesars Palace posted a tribute outside of the venue to Rene following his passing.
— Journal de Montréal (@JdeMontreal) January 15, 2016
Dion’s grand return was a bittersweet occasion. Audiences from around the world were invited to stream Celine’s return, which was an exclusive decision. The show opened with a montage of family photos and videos featuring Rene, and with that, Dion took to the stage to perform her song “With One More Look At You/Watch Closely Now” to pay tribute.
After the song, Dion addressed the crowd and had a few sentiments to say about her late husband and their dynamic. As many know, Angelil managed Dion’s career until he fell ill in 2014.
RT LasVegasSun “Celine Dion to pay tribute to late husband Rene Angelil tonight at Caesars Palace
— LasVegasSEO (@SEOExpertVegas) February 3, 2016
“Through my life, I only had eyes for my husband, who sat out here night after night. People thought that I was looking at him actually, but I didn’t need to because every time I closed my eyes I felt Rene on stage with me.
“Whether he was seated in his seat right there, in the balcony, backstage or at home with the kids, he’s always been onstage with me and nothing will ever change that.”
She continued to talk about how she has doubts, now that she can no longer lean on him for advice.
“Rene always surrounded me with the very best people possible. I trusted him so much that I never really had the chance to worry about anything. Now I guess, it is only a natural impulse to constantly question myself. ‘Would you let the kids play with these toys? Is this song too fast? Is this song too slow? Don’t talk too much?’
“It is pretty amazing that since he’s physically no longer with me, he is even more present.”
“Rene was my very best critic,” Celine said. “He never told me what I wanted to hear, he told me what I needed to hear. ”
Celine praised her husband for his respectful nature as a husband and advisor.
“Rene is the only man that I have known all my life. He always made me feel that we were on our first date. Never talking bluntly, and always impressing himself in a soft and gentle way.”
As the Inquisitr reported, Rene even had a hand in planning his own funeral, so his wife, Celine, wouldn’t have to. Dion was pictured outside of the funeral grieving with her oldest son, René-Charles Angelil.
The government had a significant hand in helping with the funeral. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said publicly that Rene had marked France’s cultural landscape and that they wanted to honor him.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]