Celine Dion has shared a touching detail of her pre-show ritual.
The French-Canadian singer told Stellar magazine that she clutches a bronze-replica of her late husband's hand before going on stage. Dion's husband Rene Angelil passed away in 2016 after bravely battling throat cancer.
"I shake my husband's hand and knock on wood with him every night before every show," she told the publication. "Even after he's gone, I still talk to him."
As well as paying homage to her husband in this way, she ensures that his traditional seat behind the sound mixing desk is kept empty in his honor while she is performing her residency at Las Vegas' Caesars Palace. As well as having a romantic partnership, Angelil was Dion's longtime manager. "He taught me so much. He did a great job; what he had been giving to me all his life and all my life will always be with me. He gave me his all. He mortgaged his house to pay for my first album," Dion said of her husband. "I guess before he left he wanted to make sure I was fine. I'm trying to prove to him every day that I'm fine. Our kids are growing, we feel strong. We're good."
The couple first met when Dion was 12 years old and Angelil was 38, after her brother sent him one of her demos. They began dating seven years later when Dion was 19, and married in 1994, despite the 26 year age gap.
The "My Heart Will Go On" songstress is gearing up for a big birthday, turning 50 on Mar. 30, 2018, and plans to celebrate in a low-key way, taking the night off from her Vegas residency to spend time with her children, 17-year-old Rene-Charles and seven-year-old twins Eddy and Nelson. “I’ll take a day off from my Vegas schedule and tell my kids: ‘Today’s my birthday!’ To them 21 or 37 or 50 doesn’t make a difference," she stated. "So I’m going to make my birthday with my children; maybe go bowling, or go to the movies, or sit in bed watching the Disney Channel, or having breakfast three times in one day of scrambled eggs on toast with peanut butter. That’d be great. I’ll have my birthday my way, on a day off."