René Angélil, musician and husband of worldwide singing sensationCeline Dion, died on Thursday, January 14, after battling throat cancer, his rep confirms to Us Weekly. He was 73.
“René Angélil, 73, passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer,” the statement to Us read. “The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment; more details will be provided at a later time.”
The Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner also released a separate statement to Us Weekly regarding Angélil’s death. “Mr. Angélil, 73, died of throat cancer at his home in Henderson while under the care of a physician,” Clark County coroner John Fudenberg said in a statement. “We have determined Mr. Angélil’s death was due to natural causes. No further investigation into his death is expected. Our condolences go out to Mr. Angélil’s family and friends during this difficult time for them.”
Angélil was born and raised in Montreal and embarked there on a music career in the 1960s. Eventually, he went into the artist management side of the business and became Dion’s manager. The French-Canadian couple married in 1994, a few years before Dion cemented her legendary status with her biggest, most iconic song, “My Heart Will Go On,” which was featured in James Cameron’s Oscar-winning flick, Titanic.
Dion and her husband share three kids: eldest son René-Charles, 14, and twin boys Nelson and Eddy, 5. The songstress, who took a hiatus from her residency in Las Vegas in August 2014, detailed her husband’s health battle in an interview with Us Weekly last August.
“I’m trying really hard to show my children that sickness and things happen in life. You cannot be crying and be depressed and consistently talk about, ‘Oh my God,’” Dion, 47, told Us and other reporters during her return to the stage. “René-Charles is going to be 15 years old soon. He’s a wonderful young man. He’s entered his teenage years, and sometimes we can go really crazy, for some teenagers, but so far so good. I have tremendous respect for my oldest, René-Charles, because he’s showing strength to see his dad this way because he’s been his anchor. When he was younger he knew his dad was older but they bonded a lot. I’m sure it’s hard for him.”
She added: “Unfortunately there a lot of people struggling with battles. When you have family around I think it helps tremendously.”
Dion told Us in that same interview that she was proud of her husband. “He doesn’t stop amazing me,” she said of his strength. “I’m being heard through my interviews, through my songs. This is his time to be heard. This is his way. It’s going to be his way, and it’s going to be the way he wants it to be.”