In January 2016, Rene Angelil (age 73), the husband of Celine Dion, lost his long battle with throat cancer. Tonight, Dion delivers her first televised performance since her husband’s death at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. In addition, Dion is collecting the Icon Award for her achievements in music.
Though Dion has become one of the most famous singers in the world, her husband was a huge success as well. As a manager and music producer, Angelil managed his wife’s career from the very beginning. When Celine Dion was just 12 years old, she and her mother sent producer Angelil a demo and the rest is history. Dion told People:
Rene and I met through the passion of show business. Through the therapeutic music that made us be together … I never wrote my songs. I didn’t even know how to read music or play an instrument. I had a great manager who surrounded me with the best people.
When Angelil first started his career, he was in a pop group called “Les Baronets” in Montreal, Canada. He later became a manager and producer. In 1981, he actually mortgaged his house in order to finance Dion’s first album.
Twice Angelil was awarded the Félix Award for Manager of the Year, among several other honors. He managed Celine Dion’s entire career until 2014 when he had to step down as her manager due to his ailing health.
Just two days after Angelil’s death, Celine Dion’s brother also passed away of cancer. Dion told ABC:
My brother, who passed away of pretty much the same cancer as (Angelil), died on Rene’s birthday. And I said to myself, ‘For his birthday, my husband came and got my brother, because my brother was too weak to fly on his own.
For more information on Angelil and Dion’s relationship, click through our gallery of the couple below.