Celine Dion's Syrian-Canadian husband's funeral held in same Cathedral where they married 21 years ago

Published January 16th, 2016 - 09:56 GMT
Celine Dion's Syrian-Canadian husband Rene Angelil's funeral held at same Montreal cathedral where pair married 21 years ago. (Oldtimerbabbitt.com)
Celine Dion's Syrian-Canadian husband Rene Angelil's funeral held at same Montreal cathedral where pair married 21 years ago. (Oldtimerbabbitt.com)

The funeral for Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil will be held in Montreal at the same cathedral where the pair married in 1994.  

The ceremony will be held at Notre Dame Basilica on Friday, which is also where the couple's eldest son was baptised. There will be a public viewing on Thursday.

The singer is also planning a celebration of Angelil's life in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace Colosseum on February 3.

A post on Celine's Facebook post read: 'According to his final wishes, his Funeral will be held at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, where 21 years ago, he chose to marry the one who will remain as the great love of his life, the artist for which he had the most respect, the woman who gave him light and happiness until his very last breath.' 

Angelil died on Thursday at the age of 73 following a long battle with throat cancer. The pair had celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary on December 17.

 

Surrounded by the love of his family and friends, René Angélil passed away on Thursday, January 14, 2016, on the eve of...

Posted by Celine Dion on Friday, 15 January 2016

Celine's Facebook post said that he was 'surrounded by the love of his family and friends' when he died, and paid tribute to 'a gentle man, generous and kind, an unprecedented visionary, a modern Pygmalion, a Renaissance man.' 

Fans were invited to honour René's memory by making donations to Azar-Angelil Research Chair for ORL Cancer, which he helped to set up in 2011.

It has since been revealed that Celine's brother Daniel, 59, is in the final stages of a cancer battle.

Angelil was Celine's manager before they got together. They first met when she was 12 and he was 38, and began dating seven years later, in 1987, marrying in 1994. 

The couple are parents to three sons: René-Charles, who turns 15 later this month, and five-year-old twins Eddy and Nelson. 

Angelil was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and battled three bouts of cancer before his death on Thursday. In September, Celine revealed he had just 'months to live'. 

Announcing the devastating news of his passing in a statement, Celine's team said: 'René Angélil, 73, passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer. 

'The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment; more details will be provided at a later time.' 

Grieving Celine promptly cancelled her January 16 and January 17 performances at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where she is currently taking part in a residency.  

The star will resume performances on February 23. 

A spokesperson for AEG said in a statement: 'We are heartbroken to hear this news, not only because René was a great friend and mentor and an extraordinary partner with us in these shows at Caesars Palace for the last 13 years, but even more because he and Celine were so devoted to each other; their relationship has been a model for us all.' 

Mariah Carey paid tribute to Angelil with a Facebook post on Friday, sharing a sweet black and white photo of Celine and her husband.

 

Dear Celine,I'm heartbroken for you and your family upon hearing the devasting news about Rene. I know there's nothing...

Posted by Mariah Carey on Friday, 15 January 2016

She wrote: 'Dear Celine, I'm heartbroken for you and your family upon hearing the devasting [sic] news about Rene.

'I know there's nothing I can say to take the pain away but I'm sure the memories will comfort you now and always. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Love always, Mariah.' 

Celine's representative confirmed on Friday that her older brother is also battling cancer, with her devastated family believing he has just hours or days to live.

The singer's sister Claudette told Journal Of Montreal: 'It's very painful. It's a matter of days or hours. It looks a lot like René, he had cancer of the throat, tongue and brain. Our family is very experienced.'

Daniel is in hospital in Celine's native Montreal and surrounded by family, including 88-year-old mother Therese.

Members of the family gathered at Daniel's bedside on Thursday after being told that he is 'dying'.

Claudette added to Journal Of Montreal: 'We are with Daniel, day and night. He is 59 years old, very young to be the end of life.' 


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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