celebrity

Céline Dion showed her true strength on the Billboard Music Awards stage.

There’s no doubt that 2016 has not been kind to Céline Dion. On January 14, the singing superstar was floored by the death of her husband, only to suffer the loss of her brother two days later.

Devastating doesn’t even begin to describe it. But today, the 48-year-old was smiling again.

celine dion 2016 billboard music awards

Dion's son, René-Charles, was the surprise presenter of his mother's Icon Award. via Getty.

Presented with the prestigious Icon Award at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, Dion expressed her gratitude for the "tremendous honour", thanking her fans, friends and family for supporting her through "good and bad times".

"My mum, who wrote my first song. My children, René-Charles, Nelson and Eddy," she said. "And most importantly, my beloved husband who I know will continue to watch over me from up above."

Video via ABC

Dion had been married to music producer René Angelil for 20 years, before he ultimately succumbed to throat cancer four months ago.

The 73-year-old was honoured with a national funeral in Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica, during which Dion spent hours greeting strangers who had come to pay their respects.

Video via CTV News

Before being presented with the award at today's ceremony, the singer treated the audience to a stunning, soaring rendition of the Queen ballad, "The Show Must Go On".

It was a typically flawless performance, the true intention of which only became clear in the final part of her acceptance speech.

"René, this one's for you," said Dion, her voice catching with emotion. "The show must go on."

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