Mourners queue to pay respects to Rene Angelil

MONTREAL -- Several hundred people are lining up outside Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica this afternoon to get ready to pay their respects to Celine Dion's late husband, Rene Angelil.

See Full Article

The viewing continues until 9 p.m. eastern tonight at the church where the couple married in 1994, while the funeral is set for Friday afternoon.

Dion was present in the church at the beginning of the afternoon and welcomed some of the mourners, including Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.

One of those in line was Benoit Gendron, who said he has seen Dion in concert 192 times.

"Maybe I wouldn't have had the same life had it not been for Rene because I travelled around the world to see Celine," said Gendron, who comes from nearby Saint-Hubert.

"I based my vacations on where she was playing."

Gendron arrived at the basilica at 6 a.m. to be sure of being among the first to get in.

Angelil, who managed Dion's career for 30-plus years, was two days shy of his 74th birthday when he died last Thursday at his home in Las Vegas after a long battle with throat cancer.

Also in line Thursday was singer Jeremy Gabriel, 19, a well-known performer from Quebec and ambassador for the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

"The Dion-Angelil family gave me enormous support during my career," he said. "Celine and Rene were very generous with me and invited me to Las Vegas in 2006. They let me sing with her twice and to meet her in Paris."

Dion and Angelil had three children -- Rene-Charles, who was born in 2001, and twins Nelson and Eddy, who arrived in 2010.

Angelil was in a band in the 1960s called Les Baronets. When it dissolved, he teamed up with friend Guy Cloutier to manage several up-and-coming Quebec artists including Rene Simard and Ginette Reno.

He later struck out on his own and in 1981 received an audio tape in the mail from Dion's mother, who encouraged him to "listen to it carefully. It's my 12-year-old daughter."

Struck by her voice, Angelil quickly took her under his wing.

He gave Dion an image makeover when she turned 18 and launched her first English-language album -- "Unison" -- in 1990, which established her as an international pop star.

A celebration of Angelil's life will take place Feb. 3 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Dion is also dealing with another tragedy in the family -- her brother Daniel Dion died of cancer two days after Angelil.

His funeral is set for Monday, just outside Montreal in the family's hometown of Charlemagne.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • MPR says allegations against Garrison Keillor go far beyond single touch

    Entertainment CBC News
    Minnesota Public Radio provided additional details of allegations of sexual harassment against humorist Garrison Keillor on Tuesday, saying his alleged conduct went well beyond his account in November of accidentally touching a woman's bare back. MPR said in a statement that Keillor was accused by a woman who worked on his A Prairie Home Companion radio show of dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents over several years, including requests for sexual contact and explicit sexual communications…
  • Critically acclaimed writer Ursula K. Le Guin dies at 88

    Entertainment CTV News
    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Ursula K. Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction and fantasy writer who explored feminist themes and was best known for her Earthsea books, has died at 88. Le Guin died suddenly and peacefully Monday at her home in Portland, Oregon, after several weeks of health concerns, her son, Theo Downes-Le Guin said Tuesday. Source
  • Bill Cosby is hitting the town; legal experts see a strategy

    Entertainment CTV News
    PHILADELPHIA -- Bill Cosby is suddenly out and about in his hometown of Philadelphia in what legal experts say appears to be an effort by the comedian to rebuild his good-guy image ahead of his retrial on sexual assault charges in the spring. Source
  • Music firms sue to keep hit songs off fitness streaming app

    Entertainment CTV News
    ATLANTA -- Some of the nation's largest recording studios have joined forces in an effort to stop a music streaming service aimed at fitness enthusiasts from using songs by Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Green Day and other stars. Source
  • Shakira investigated for possible tax evasion in Spain

    Entertainment CTV News
    MADRID -- Pop music star Shakira is under investigation in Spain for possible tax evasion during the three years before she officially moved to Barcelona, Spanish authorities said Tuesday. Shakira switched residences in 2015 from the Bahamas to Barcelona, where she lives with her partner, Barca soccer player Gerard Pique, and the couple's two sons. Source
  • Montreal visual effects team celebrates 'Blade Runner 2049' Oscar nods

    Entertainment CTV News
    A visual effects company from Montreal is celebrating not just one Oscar nomination but three -- thanks to their work on "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," "Kong: Skull Island" and "Blade Runner 2049." Visual effects producer Adam O'Brien-Locke jokes that the firm has a 60 per cent chance of claiming a win at the splashy Hollywood bash. Source
  • Slew of Canadians get Oscar nods for Ontario-shot 'Shape of Water'

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- A slew of Canadians shared in "The Shape of Water"'s leading 13 Oscar nominations announced Tuesday, including a best picture nod for a Toronto producer who called the film's recognition an "unprecedented" win for homegrown talent. Source
  • Canadian 'Breadwinner' producer says he was losing sleep ahead of Oscar nominations

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Canadian producers behind the Oscar-nominated animated feature "The Breadwinner" say they didn't want to get swept into the awards buzz. But as the announcement for the Academy Awards contenders neared this morning, one of them found himself sleepless in suspense. Source
  • Canadian 'Breadwinner' producer learns an Oscar nomination complicates his annual pool

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- "The Breadwinner" producer Andrew Rosen says he'll have to tweak the rules of his long-running Oscar pool now that his film is among this year's Academy Awards contenders. He's hosted an Oscars competition with his friends for 27 years, but Rosen said Tuesday that he's decided all bets are off in the animated feature category. Source
  • 'Wonder Woman' is left hanging and 8 other Oscar surprises

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- It is a mathematical impossibility for a group of Oscar nominations to please everyone, but this year came pretty close with meaningful love for "Get Out," "Lady Bird" and "Phantom Thread," and the history-making nomination of "Mudbound" director of photography Rachel Morrison, who became the first woman to ever be nominated for cinematography. Source