Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil loses cancer battle
CELINE Dion's husband and manager Rene Angelil has lost his battle with cancer, aged 73.
The My Heart Will Go On singer's longtime companion passed away on Thursday following a long fight against throat cancer.
"Rene Angelil, 73, passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer," his representative says in a statement. "The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment."
This was Rene's third bout with the disease.
Celine and her manager of over 30 years wed in 1994 and share three kids together, 14-year-old Rene-Charles and five-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy. Rene also has three adult children from his previous marriages.
Angelil started out as a singer in the 1960s, forming Montreal, Canada pop rock group The Baronets with his childhood friend Pierre Labelle. He went into management when the band split in the 1970s, and represented fellow Quebec entertainers Rene Simard and Ginette Reno, among other pop acts.
He won the Felix Award for Manager of the Year in 1987 and 1988, but his career really took off when he discovered Celine Dion as a pre-teen. Rene helped the French-speaking singer develop her signature sound throughout her teens and they fell in love, marrying in December, 1994. Celine, who is 26 years younger than her husband, became his third wife.
Angelil suffered a string of medical setbacks over the past two decades - he had a heart attack in 1992 and underwent cancer surgery in 1998. He also battled and beat throat cancer, but the disease returned in 2013, forcing him to undergo surgery again. The health crisis forced him to step down as Dion's manager, and in September, 2015, his wife revealed that Angelil's cancer was terminal.