Celine Dion is opening up about her emotional night at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards that saw her break down in tears after receiving the prestigious Billboard Icon award.
Dion was surprised at the Billboard Music Awards show on May 22 by son Rene-Charles Angelil, who presented the singer with the big award, which Celine admitted in a backstage interview with Entertainment Tonight is what caused her to break down in tears.
“I thought I was going to make it through the whole night without tears and show strength, and love won,” Celine said shortly after making her emotional Billboard acceptance speech. “I just collapsed. I’m very thankful for the award and proud of my family so much.”
Dion performed a cover of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On” at the big music award show, which marked Dion’s first televised performance following the death of her husband, Rene Angelil, in January, who she paid tribute to with her stunning and emotional performance.
“To try to perform that song without collapsing was big enough and then I turned around and I saw my son,” Celine told Entertainment Tonight, admitting that the Queen track was her husband’s favorite song.
“As a mother, I really, through this whole process of our new life, wanted to be strong… even though I did not want to cry, he understands it’s okay because it is therapeutic and you can’t take so much pressure,” Dion told the site of Rene-Charles backstage at the Billboard Music Awards.
“You can take so much strength and weight on your shoulders, but sometimes you can’t control everything,” Dion added.
Celine Dion emotionally thanked her family and fans while accepting Billboard’s Icon Award, as well as her late husband, to whom she was married for 22 years. Dion touchingly referred to Rene, who was also her manager, as “my beloved husband” in her speech, before telling viewers that she knows Angelil “will continue to watch over me from up above.”
Celine also revealed in the backstage Billboard Music Awards interview that despite her difficult year, she plans to continue making music and sharing her emotional story with the world.
“I’m not the first woman and I’m not the last one who will lose her husband. It’s hard, but my family is helping me through it,” Celine said.
“I hope I think people know that I don’t do music, I don’t do my passion and sing to win an award. It’s never been the number one goal. It’s to share moments with fans and the celebration of music itself,” Dion admitted.
Celine Dion issued an emotional statement following Rene’s passing after Angelil lost his battle with throat cancer earlier this year, thanking her fans in a heartfelt message posted on her official website in January.
“My family and I are deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support from so many people who have touched our lives during these past few days,” Celine told fans following Angelil’s death.
“We have felt your love for Rene, and your prayers and compassion have helped us during this most difficult time… more than you’ll ever know. I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Celine Dion continued in the statement, marking the first time she publicly spoke out about her husband’s passing.
Celine then signed off her heartfelt message with the name of her and Rene’s three children, including Rene-Charles, as well as the names of Angelil’s children from a previous relationship, as Dion told fans, “We will never forget all of the kindness that you have bestowed upon us.”
What did you think of Celine Dion’s emotional tribute to her late husband at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards?
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]