GRIEVING Celine Dion is facing the prospect of losing her brother to cancer in “a matter of days or hours” after her husband Rene Angelil died of the disease, The Sun reports. The iconic singer, 47, is still in mourning after Rene, her manager and spouse of 21 years, lost his long battle with throat cancer on Thursday – the eve of his 74th birthday.
News broke just one day later that her brother, Daniel, 59, is also dying of cancer. Celine’s sister Claudette said: “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.”
Family members are at his bedside in a hospital in Celine’s native Montreal “day and night”. Celine, who was discovered by Rene at the age of 12, paid tribute to him as “a man of great intelligence and wisdom” in an emotional post on her official Facebook page.” She wrote: “He will be remembered as a gentle man, generous and kind, an unprecedented visionary, a modern Pygmalion, a Renaissance man.
“All who had the privilege of knowing him and of working closely with him, whether personally or professionally, salute a leader and a man of great intelligence and wisdom.” The statement said that Celine “will remain as the great love of his life, the artist for which he had the most respect” and “the woman who gave him light and happiness until his very last breath.”
Rene’s funeral will be held on January 22 at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, where he married Celine. A Celebration of Life will also take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where Celine has a residency, on February 3. She has cancelled her two shows this weekend in the wake of Rene’s passing and is expected to return to the stage on February 23.
Celine previously admitted she was prepared to say goodbye to Rene, who she cared for during his illness for more than two years. She said: “I’ll say, ‘You’re scared? I understand. Talk to me about it.’ And René says to me, ‘I want to die in your arms.’ Ok, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms.”