Celine Dion’s husband, 73-year-old Rene Angelil, died on Thursday, January 14, after living with throat cancer for 18 years.
The announcement was made on Celine Dion’s social media accounts.
Rene Angelil passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer. https://t.co/JOeLaOfbSB
— Celine Dion (@celinedion) January 14, 2016
“Rene Angelil passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer,” she wrote.
Angelil started out as a pop singer in the 1960s in Montreal and formed a pop rock group with his childhood friends. He began managing artistes after the dissolution of the group.
The couple first met in 1981 when Dion was 12. Her brother had sent her demo tape to him. CNN reports that “once he heard her, he mortgaged his house to pay for her debut album, ‘La Voix du Bon Dieu.”‘
The pair began dating when Dion was 19 and dated for nearly five years. They got married in 1994 with the couple having three children.
Angelil was first diagnosed of throat cancer in 1998 and made a full recovery. In 1999, Dion decided to take a break from limelight to care for her husband. He finally stepped down as Dion’s manager in 2014, after 30 years, to focus on his health.
Dion once popularly described her late husband as “the only boyfriend I’ve ever had”. In August 2015, she told USA today “in a sift voice” that Angelil’s one final wish was to “die in her arms”.
“I’ll say, ‘You’re scared? I understand. Talk to me about it,” she was quoted as saying. “And René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.’ OK, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms.”
Angelil was an avid poker player and he qualified for the 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. Angelil is survived by his wife and six children – three from his previous relationships.
Celine Dion is famous for her works that were used as soundtracks for Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Titanic’.