Rene Angelil's funeral to be held on Jan. 22 in Montreal

MONTREAL -- The funeral for Rene Angelil, husband and manager of Canadian superstar Celine Dion, will be held next Friday in the same Montreal church where the couple married 21 years ago, Dion's publicist has announced.

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Angelil died Thursday morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 73.

In a news release issued Friday by Dion's publicist, Francine Chaloult, she said the service will be held Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal.

Angelil wanted to have his funeral at the same church where he wed Dion over two decades ago, Chaloult said.

"He will be remembered as a gentle man, generous and kind, an unprecedented visionary, a modern Pygmalion, a Renaissance man," said Chaloult. "(We) have lost a conqueror and a man of great substance and influence. He is now a part of the collective memory of the music industry, be it in Canada or elsewhere in the world.

Angelil was born in Montreal on Jan. 16, 1942, to a Syrian father and a Quebecois mother.

He started his career in entertainment as a singer in the early 1960s before quitting to manage up-and-coming Quebec artists including Rene Simard and Ginette Reno.

Angelil began managing Dion in the 1980s and helped her reach international stardom.

A wake will be held on Thursday between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. where the public will be able to pay their respects and a celebration of Angelil's life will take place Feb. 3 in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace Colosseum.

A publicist for the singer also confirmed Friday that Dion's brother has cancer and doesn't have long to live.

Kim Jakwerth confirmed reports on the prognosis of Dion's brother Daniel.


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