Celine Dion’s husband, Rene Angelil, passed away last week after losing his battle to cancer.
The music producer and husband of Dion died at his Las Vegas home on Thursday (Jan. 14, 2016) due to throat cancer. Angelil was diagnosed with the cancer in 1999 and did make a recovery but later had to go through surgery when the cancer complicated things again in 2014 following the removal of a tumor at the end of 2013. He died two days before his birthday. He would be 74 years old. He is survived by his wife, his six children and seven grandchildren.
In September of 2015, the singer announced that her husband’s cancer was getting worse and only had a few more months to live. “I am scared of losing him, because it's bad," she told People back in March. "But I have to show myself, my husband and my kids that I'm strong and we're okay." She continued, “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.”
Angelil and Dion were together for 28 years and tied the knot in 1994. He was her manager for most of her singing career. However, he decided to discontinue that job to focus on his health once things started getting serious.
The following list takes you through other details you may not know about their 28-year romance.
15 They Lived Somewhere Distinct
Celine Dion and Rene Angelil decided to move into a house on Lake Las Vegas after living in Montreal and Jupiter, Florida. The “My Heart Will Go On” singer landed a gig in Las Vegas just like the ones Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears have landed. As soon as Angelil’s health scare became too serious to travel back and forth, the couple decided to settle in Vegas. Celine and her music producer husband jumped on board to put their homes on the market and pack their bags to the L.V. It was quite a change, moving from an extravagant location to a pretty casual area compared to what they had before.
14 Angelil Was a Pop Singer
Before he was the music producer and manager for Celine Dion’s career, Rene Angelil used to be a music artist himself. In the early 1960s, Rene was a part of the rock band, Les Baronets, and was big in both the United Kingdom and United States. However, after his debut as an artist, Rene, along with a best friend, thought they were better suited for a manager position and began managing individual artists. Two of the artists they managed were actually big and successful who went by the name of Rene Simard and Ginette Reno. However, their duo business didn’t last and they parted ways to continue managing individually.
13 Angelil Was Really Involved In The Music Industry
Not only was Rene Angelil behind Celine Dion’s legendary music career, but he was also involved in music in other aspects. He was also the manager of other upcoming artists such as the jazz group, The Lost Fingerz, and Jonathan Roy, the son of hockey player, Patrick Roy. Along with managing music careers, Rene was also the director of a talent show called Star Academie in Quebec, which was essentially the Canadian version of American Idol. As you can see, music was Rene’s number one passion. Even if he didn’t continue as a music artist himself, he was still very much involved in the industry.
12 Their Crazy Age Difference
Rene Angelil discovered Celine Dion when she was just 12 years old; he was 38 years old. The two officially began dating seven years later, meaning Celine was only 19 and Angelil was 45 years old. They are 26 years apart. Although, it’s said that they began dating when she was 19, the music producer wasn’t shy in putting the truth out there saying they actually began dating a year before that.
11 Angelil Invested A Lot In Dion's Career
The career of Celine Dion probably wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t for her husband’s major confidence in her. She began her career at 12 years old thanks to Angelil taking a second mortgage out on his home which paid off. Celine sold 100,000 copies and from there, launched the career we've all witnessed. He must have seen something incredibly special in the “It’s All Coming Back To Me” singer for making such a risky move.
10 Legal Troubles
The music couple did go through some legal drama during their career as all Hollywood careers usually go through. In 2001, Rene and Celine filed a defamation lawsuit of $5 million against the Quebec tabloid, Allo Vedettes, after finding out about false accusations against the couple. The tabloid alleged that the pair had paid $5,000 to rent out the swimming pool of the Las Vegas Caesar’s Palace so that Celine could enjoy her time sunbathing poolside while Rene could do his thing and go skinny dipping. After finding out the ridiculous allegation, the couple denied them and laid down the law.
9 Dion Knew She Was Going To Marry Angelil
In 1995, Celine expressed her thoughts about her romantic relationship with her manager when they first got together and mentioned she wasn’t that shocked that they hit it off ultimately leading to marrying each other. “I'm not surprised that we married each other because we have the same dreams,” she said. “We have the same goals. We respect each other.” Although their awkward age definitely made headlines in the media when the two got together romantically, they fell in love and didn’t let the media outcry about their epic age difference get in the way of their feelings for each other.
8 Infertility Issues
Celine Dion suffered from a miscarriage with their second child in 2009. They had one boy first, Rene-Charles Dion Angelil, who was born in 2001. After the miscarriage, the singer and former manager gave birth to twin boys, Eddy and Nelson in 2010. The name, Eddy, was inspired from producer, Eddy Marnay, of Celine’s first five albums, while the name of Nelson was inspired by the former South Africa President, Nelson Mandela. Angelil has three other kids aside from the ones he had with Celine. He had a son, Patrick, in 1968 and two other children, Jean Pierre in 1974 and Anne Marie in 1977.
7 Angelil Had Already Settled Down Before Dion
Before the couple got together and had children, Angelil already had settled down. Rene was first married to Denyse Duquette in 1966. His second marriage was to Manon Kirouac in 1974. Finally Celine and Rene met in 1980 but fell for each other at an awkward age. On December 17 of 1994, Rene married Celine and not only became her husband but pretty much her guide to success. In 2000, the pair renewed their wedding vows in Las Vegas.
6 Their Net Worth Is Out Of This World
Celine Dion alone is reportedly worth $630 million. Some of the singer’s hits include “Power of Love” and the popular Titanic theme song, “My Heart Will Go On.” Rene Angelil’s net worth is $400 million, mostly for managing Celine’s career and launching it to what it is today. The point is, their net worth together is outrageously a lot which leads to their outrageous wedding ceremony.
5 Over The Top Wedding
The couple wed in 1994 and considering how much they were making, they were surely going to make this one special occasion. Celine and Rene married in a ceremony held at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica which was also televised where thousands of viewers got to watch them say their "I do’s." The bride to be was seen wearing a $25,000 dress with a 20-foot train and fur coat, along with a seven-pound crystal-encrusted headdress. The total of the wedding ceremony was $500,000 which She Knows reports it would be worth approximately $850,000 today.
4 They Were Entrepreneurs
The married pair were not only a musical pair but they were also business partners. Rene Angelil co-owned the Schwartz’s Deli in Montreal and recalls his favorite memories. “I have so many great memories of being there with the guys and with Céline and our families throughout the years,” he mentioned. “It’s the most unique restaurant in the world, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.” Together, Celine and Rene owned Nickels Delicatessen and Nickels Grill & Bar before parting ways with the business. They also owned Le Mirage Golf Club in Montreal as well as Pure nightclub at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
3 Dion Took A Leave Of Absence
In 2000, Rene was declared cancer free but then in 2013, he received a devastating phone call from his doctor, where he found out he had cancer again. “I went back in my dressing room and I saw him looking pretty devastated and in shock, and I was like, 'What's going on?'" Celine told Good Morning America in an interview. "He sat down and said, 'The doctor just called me and I have cancer again.’” At the end of that year, he had his tumors removed which caused Celine to take a break from her high-profile career to take care of her husband. This break also included her Las Vegas residency.
2 Dion Won't Sing At Her Husband's Funeral
Rumors began surfacing right after the news broke of Rene’s passing away about his songstress wife singing at his funeral. She did recently shut them down. Her reps say that she never even planned on doing that so the rumors are just irrelevant, per usual. However, other plans that did exist will take place in honor of Rene’s wishes. One of them being his funeral taking place at the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal which is where he and the “Loved Me Back to Life” singer got married 21 years ago. In addition, the funeral will be televised on three networks.
1 Angelil Had Many Wishes
Rene had many wishes such as the one of his funeral location being at the same spot of their wedding ceremony. His final wish, though, consisted of him dying in the arms of his wife. “I’ll say, ‘You’re scared? I understand. Talk to me about it,’” Celine said. “And René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.’ OK, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms.’” It is no brainer that Rene was an amazing manager to Celine, considering her spectacular music career. He was an even better husband.
“But René really gave me a gift,” Celine continued. “All my grieving, it was during this last year. I think I’ve got this. For now. When it hits me, it’s going to hit me. But my biggest job is to tell my husband, we’re fine. I’ll take care of our kids. You’ll watch us from another spot.”