'He's my everything': The enduring love of Celine and Rene

When music manager Rene Angelil first heard a demo recorded on a cassette tape from then 12-year-old Celine Dion, he said he was moved to tears.

See Full Article

"It was so beautiful," Angelil told CTV’s W5 in 1997. "I had never heard anything like that."

The couple's decades-long relationship has been well-documented through the years, as Angelil moved from the role of Dion's mentor to the international pop star's husband and the father of her three children.

Angelil took Dion under his wing and mortgaged his home to finance her first album.

He was also the one who convinced Dion to learn English, and oversaw an image makeover for the budding pop when she was 18.

In 1990, Dion's first English-language album, Unison, established her as an international pop star, and it was around this time that the 20-year-old’s relationship with Angelil began to change.

99_Rene_Angelil_Celine_Dion.jpg

"One day, I don't know, I became a grown-up child," Dion told W5. "And he was a free man, it was just different.

"I was not a child anymore," she added.

Angelil said his feelings began to turn from professional to personal a couple of years earlier, when he realized "I felt good when I was with Celine."

However, the couple’s 26-year age gap did cause some concern.

"I was afraid about what her parents would say," Angelil recalled. "Her family put their trust in me."

Dion said her mother, at first, was not happy about her relationship as Angelil had already been married twice and had three children.

The couple kept their relationship quiet until 1993, when Dion brought Angelil onto stage at Montreal's Metropolis and the two shared their first public kiss during a live broadcast.

The couple moved forward with their relationship, and in 1994 they were married in a lavish ceremony at Montreal's Notre Dame Basilica.

Some compared the elaborate affair to the royal nuptials of Prince Charles and Diana.

98_Rene_Angelil_Celine_Dion.jpg

Dion wore a silk gown complete with a 20-foot train and a giant Swarovski-covered tiara that had to be sewn into her hair.

For those who knew the couple personally, the age difference was not an issue.

"It was never a factor when you were with them," Angelil's friend and veteran music writer Larry LeBlanc told CTV's Canada AM on Friday. "This is one of the great romances of all time."

Dion was open about her struggles to have a child and told W5 that she believed her stressful work schedule was getting in the wayof getting pregnant.

"If ever I get pregnant, if ever I have the chance of being pregnant, I'll stop," she said. "No doubt."

93_Rene_Angelil_Celine_Dion.jpg

Following fertility treatments, Dion and Angelil welcomed their first child, René-Charles, in 2001 and twins Nelson and Eddy joined the family in 2010.

Angelil's health issues surfaced shortly after the two married.

In 1998 he was diagnosed with throat cancer, from which he made a full recovery.

The cancer resurfaced in 2013 for which Angelil underwent surgery and subsequently stepped down as Dion's manager. In August 2014, Dion announced she was putting her career on hold to focus on Angelil's health issues and cancelled her Las Vegas show.

"I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband's healing, and to do so, it's important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children," Dion said in a statement.

In an interview with USA Today about one year later, Dion revealed that Angelil had told her that he wants to die in her arms and had given her detailed instructions for his funeral.

"I'll say, 'You're scared? I understand. Talk to me about it.' And Rene says to me, 'I want to die in your arms.' Ok, fine, I'll be there, you'll die in my arms."

Dion said at the time that Angelil was passing along his strength to the chanteuse.

"He doesn't stop amazing me. When he talks to me, I take notes. This is his time ... and it's going to be the way he wants it to be."

In August 2015, Dion returned to the stage of the Colosseum in Las Vegas' Caesars Palace. She admitted at the time she wasn't sure if she was ready to return, but Angelil had encouraged her to do so.

"My three children and wonderful husband wanted me to be here," she said.

84_Celine_Dion_Rene.jpg

"I'm trying really hard to show my children that sickness and things happen in life and you cannot be crying and be depressed," the singer said.

In September 2015, Dion announced that Angelil's cancer was terminal and he only had months to live.

Angelil died on Thursday. He was 73.

Dion was never shy about sharing the feelings she had for Angelil.

"He's very sensitive and smart, and quick,” she said during the W5 interview, before turning to her husband.

“You're beautiful and passionate and we have the same dreams."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Author Philip Roth dead at 85

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - Philip Roth, the prize-winning novelist and fearless narrator of sex, death, assimilation and fate, from the comic madness of "Portnoy's Complaint" to the elegiac lyricism of "American Pastoral," died Tuesday night at age 85. Source
  • Woman accuses R. Kelly of sex abuse

    Entertainment CBC News
    A woman has filed a lawsuit against R. Kelly, accusing the singer of sexual battery, knowingly infecting her with herpes and locking her in rooms for punishment. Faith Rodgers says in the suit filed Monday in New York that she met Kelly about a year ago after a concert in San Antonio, Texas. Source
  • Watchdog group calls on Netflix to pull 13 Reasons Why

    Entertainment CBC News
    A media watchdog group is calling on Netflix to pull its 13 Reasons Why series because of potentially harmful content. The Parents Television Council describes the second season of the series as "a ticking time bomb to teens and children. Source
  • GLAAD study finds LGBTQ representation in film fell in 2017

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Despite high-profile Oscar wins for art house films like "Call Me By Your Name" and "A Fantastic Woman," LGBTQ representation in films from the seven biggest Hollywood studios fell significantly in 2017 according to a study released Tuesday by the advocacy organization GLAAD. Source
  • Kathy Griffin keeping her head up with world comedy tour

    Entertainment CTV News
    Comedian Kathy Griffin is turning to the friendly grounds of Canada for her world redemption tour after landing squarely in the crosshairs of U.S. President Donald Trump, Trump nation, and even her own mother. Griffin, 57, found herself in hot water last year when she posted a mock photo of herself with a ketchup-drenched Halloween mask made to look like the severed head of Donald Trump. Source
  • Judge authorizes class-action against former impresario Gilbert Rozon

    Entertainment CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Quebec Superior Court has authorized a class-action lawsuit against former Just For Laughs head Gilbert Rozon. Several women sought permission last fall to file the suit against the co-founder of the popular comedy festival for alleged sexual assault and harassment. Source
  • Avicii's family says DJ-producer's funeral will be private

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The family of late Swedish DJ-producer Avicii says his funeral will be private. In a statement released Tuesday, Avicii's family says the funeral will include "people who were closest" to the performer. Source
  • Mulroney takes pride in his kids' 'joyful' wedding performances

    Entertainment CTV News
    Ben Mulroney says he and his wife Jessica resorted to months and months of “bribery and mild threatening” in the hopes of good behaviour from their three children who played a big role in Saturday’s wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Source
  • Robert Indiana, known for LOVE series, dies at 89

    Entertainment CBC News
    Pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s "LOVE" series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89. Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he had lived for years on Vinalhaven Island, said James Brannan, his attorney. Source
  • Actress who accused Weinstein needs money to finish film

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Actress Paz de la Huerta has started a crowdfunding campaign to finish a movie she began making years before she publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. The movie "Valley of Tears" is her take on the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Red Shoes," about a little girl with a pair of enchanted shoes. Source