As Celine Dion tearily announced that she has an incurable neurological disease, there is new interest in the singer’s life and those who have played a major role in it. Like her husband René Angélil, who discovered her and steered her spectacular career.
“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time and it’s been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through,” the Canadian singer said.
Dion said Stiff Person Syndrome affects a million people worldwide.
The diagnosis has affected Dion’s European tour dates; she has canceled eight of her summer shows scheduled for 2023, and postponed shows in spring 2023 to 2024.
Who is René Angélil?
René Angélil, was born on January 16, 1942 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. His father was of Syrian descent while his mother was Lebanese.
Angélil is best known for discovering Celine Dion when she was 12 years old. René Angélil was 31. Before becoming a music producer, he was part of the Les Baronets, a pop rock group he formed with his childhood friends, commonly referred to as Québec’s Beatles in the 1960s. The Les Baronets had a couple of hits, which were mostly translations of already popular English language songs. One such hit was C’est fou, mais c’est tout, released in 1964, a translation of The Beatles’ Hold Me Tight.
After the group disbanded in 1972, Angélil began managing artists. In 1981 he heard a demo tape of Celine Dion and became her manager, famously mortgaging his house to finance her first album.
They began dating when Celine Dion was 20 and they wed in 1994. She was 26, he was 52. They were married for 22 years before he died of throat cancer in 2016.
Angélil spent most of his life orchestrating the career of Dion, while producing timeless hits such as My Heart Will Go On. Although the two saw huge success professionally, all was not smooth in their personal life.
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They went through in-vitro fertilization multiple times before the birth of their children. Also, Angélil was contentiously accused of rape – an accusation proved false.
Angélil being diagnosed of throat cancer in 2000, brought more tumult. Angélil died on January 14, 2016, and since then Dion has been the sole owner and president of her production and management companies.