Celine Dion Opens Up About Husband Rene Angélil’s Cancer Battle

Celine Dion
Celine Dion has had the heartbreaking task of taking care of her sick husband, Rene Angélil, 73, as he battles throat cancer. Now Dion is opening up about Rene’s dying wishes.

In an exclusive interview with USA Today, Dion told the outlet about her plans to return to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, despite her husband’s ailing health.

“My biggest job is to tell my husband, we’re fine. I’ll take care of our kids. You’ll watch us from another spot.”

In the wake of such grave news that Angélil will likely succumb to his illness, Dion said that her husband needs more than just positivity from her. Angélil, “needs something more sensitive than that, more than just positivity. Sometimes he just wants me to enter into a different place with him.”

It seems like Celine and Rene often talk about death. In the emotional interview, Dion said, “I’ll say, ‘You’re scared? I understand. Talk to me about it.’ And René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.’ OK, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms.”

Returning to work will be a challenge for the “My Heart Will Go On” singer, but she said that sometimes it’s her husband, who was her longtime manager, that pushes her.

“Don’t forget, he’s been the leader of the band all my life. So it [hacks] him off to not see me all day and over here working. But he wants me to do this, do the show, do the interviews. But he freaks when I’m not home with him, too …”

She continued, “I didn’t want to be here at first, I don’t need it. Don’t get me wrong, I love singing for people, but I have priorities. But René really gave me a gift. All my grieving, it was during this last year. I think I’ve got this. For now.”

It was apparent that things weren’t going well for Angélil when Dion canceled her famous residency in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace. At the time Dion told People magazine:

“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. I also want to apologize to all my fans everywhere, for inconveniencing them, and I thank them so much for their love and support.”

Of her husband’s illness she said it’s been, “a very difficult and stressful time.”

As stated, this is Rene’s third battle with cancer. In 1998 he was diagnosed with throat cancer, and he underwent surgery to have the tumor removed. He recovered quickly but the cancer returned in 2013 and suffered as doctors replaced parts of his tongue so he could speak. In June of 2014 Angélil retired as Dion’s manager in order to heal, but going from Dion’s emotional interview it doesn’t look like he has recovered as they all hoped he would.

As for how much time Angélil has, not even the doctors know. “We have asked (doctors) many times, how long does he have, three weeks, three months? René wants to know, but they say they don’t know.”

The pair share three children together, Rene-Charles 13, and twins Eddy and Nelson, 3.

[Photo via Screencap / USA Today]

About The Author
Niki Cruz
Niki Cruz is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist based out of New York. With a passion for Film/TV she often contributes to Paste, amNew York and Interview Magazine. Niki spends her time off learning life lessons by binge-watching Dawson’s Creek.