He is the “leader of [her] band.”
In 2014, Celine Dion, 47, cancelled a tour and her Las Vegas shows to be with her husband René Angélil, 73, as he fought cancer for the second time.
Now, she’s returning to her Caesar’s Palace residence, at the insistence of her husband, who is slowly losing his battle with throat cancer.
“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,” Dion told USA Today.
“But René really gave me a gift. All my grieving, it was during this last year. I think I’ve got this. For now. When it hits me, it’s going to hit me. But 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.”
Dion and Angélil met when the singer was just 12 years old.
He became her manager and later, in 1994, her husband.
They have three sons, René-Charles, 14, and twins Nelson and Eddy, 4.
Dion told USA Today that after undergoing several operations in Boston, Angélil is now living in the family’s Las Vegas home.
He’s been nourished via a feeding tube for two years. Angélil’s two youngest children don’t know him in any other state.
Dion will perform her first show on Thursday but she doesn’t know if the man she calls “the leader of the band all my life” will be well enough to attend.
“That first show, it will be fragile. There will be moments. Of emptiness, laughter, awkwardness, tearing up,” she told USA Today. “But that’s the point of coming back.”
Dion told USA Today that she doesn’t know how much longer she has with her husband — the doctors haven’t been able to tell her.
His wish, though, is to die in her arms.
“You can have your shaking knees at the end, but when someone you love falls and needs help, it’s not time to cry. Afterwards, sure. But not yet.”
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