Celine Dion honors late husband Angelil at Las Vegas ceremony

Angelil died last month after a long battle with throat cancer at age 73.
By Annie Martin  |  Feb. 4, 2016 at 3:36 PM
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LAS VEGAS, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Singer Celine Dion tearfully spoke of late husband Rene Angelil at a memorial ceremony in his honor Wednesday.

The 47-year-old Canadian pop star returned to the stage at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to remember Angelil, her longtime husband and former manager, who died Jan. 14 at the age of 73.

"This is [my] home away from home," Dion said of the venue, where she has held a concert residency since 2011. "At the same time, I'm supposed to feel extremely comfortable being home, and right now I'm not sure how strong I feel."

"I feel his love in this room. I feel his strength and his warmth reflected in all of you," she told the audience. "On behalf of my family, thank you again for being here with us this evening for this beautiful tribute to mon amour. Rene, I love you so much."

Angelil served as Dion's manager for over a decade before marrying her in 1994. The couple had three sons, 14-year-old Rene-Charles and 5-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy, who were present at the ceremony, along with Angelil's three children by previous partners.

The Celebration of Life tribute honored Angelil and the couple's love story. Dion and Angelil held hands before each of her concerts, and had a bronze statue cast of Angelil's hand after he became too sick to attend shows. The family displayed the statue at the ceremony and touched the likeness before leaving the stage.

Dion canceled her upcoming Las Vegas concerts after Angelil's death but is expected to resume her residency Feb. 23. She thanked fans for their support in a statement last week, saying she and her family are "deeply touched by the outpouring of love."

Dion last released Loved Me Back to Life in 2013, and is scheduled to remain in residency at the Caesar's Colosseum until 2019. She recently recorded the song "Hymn" for the animated movie Snowtime!, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month.

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