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Celine Dion Husband René Angélil Dies at 73, After Long Cancer Battle

Celine Dion is mourning the death of her husband Rene Angelil, who died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

Celine Dion is mourning the death of her husband Rene Angelil, who died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

Celine Dion husband René Angélil, who began his career as a singer and later devoted his life to Celine’s career, has died after a 20-year battle with throat cancer. His death came at his Las Vegas home Thursday (Jan. 14). He was 73.

Celine, 47, has canceled two shows, Saturday and Sunday, at her Caesars Palace residency to deal with his death.

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She’ll resume performing Feb. 23. Angélil’s death marks her second hiatus from her wildly popular show. She took time off last year when his condition took a turn for the worse.

The family has requested privacy, but promised to released more details at a later date. His death came two days before his 74th birthday and one month after their 21st wedding anniversary Dec. 17.

Angelil began his career as a singer and head a band called Les Baronets. He was working with the late Ben Kaye when he first met Dion. She was 12-years-old at the time, but both Angelil and Kaye recognized her immense talent.

Related: First View: Celine Dion Shows Off New-Born Twins

René sidelined his own career and became Dion’s mentor and manager. He even went so far as to mortgage his house to produce her first record in 1981 according to a popular biography. The album, La voix du bon Dieu was a hit.

They went public with their romance in 1993. René was twice divorced and 27 years older than his protege. Still, their union proved to be lasting. They married a year later in 1994.

Celine’s career skyrocketed in the 1980s. Although she began singing in French, the five-time Grammy winner studied English and released her first English-language album Unison in 1990. That opened up a huge market and made her an international star.

Related: Céline Dion Twin Boys Born Premature, Health Update

Angélil discovered he had throat cancer in 1998. He battled the disease and regained his health, until 2014 when he suffered a lapse. He retired as Celine’s manager to concentrate on his health, but his condition continued to deteriorate.

Last March, Dion revealed he was no longer able to eat food and was only able to receive nourishment through a feeding tube.

Angélil was born in Montreal to a Canadian mother and Syrian father.

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He is survived by the couple’s three children, René-Charles, 14, and twin boys Nelson and Eddy, age 5.

He also is survived by son Patrick, 47, the same age as Celine, with ex-wife Denyse Duquette and son Jean-Pierre, 41, and daughter Anne-Marie, 38, with ex-wife Manon Kirouac.

For updates on Angélil’s death, be sure to follow IM on Twitter.


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