Smiling bravely through his pain, cancer-stricken René Angélil offered a gentle wave to fans of his wife, Celine Dion.
The image — revealed here by The National ENQUIRER — will likely be the last glimpse ever seen of the singer’s ailing husband, currently in the final stages of a long battle with throat cancer.
Last August Celine cancelled all upcoming performances to care for René and their family, which includes son René-Charles, 14, and four-year-old fraternal twins Eddy and Nelson.
Despite his condition, René has urged Celine back to the stage and followed her to their luxurious Nevada compound, where he is spending his last days receiving the finest round-the-clock care and surrounded by family.
Celine has also updated her Las Vegas show to become an intimate tribute to the man she married 20 years ago and describes as “the only boyfriend I’ve ever had.”
She had hoped he would be able to sit in the front row when she returned on Aug. 27, but René — who is hooked up to a feeding tube and earlier this year was unable to swallow or talk — was too ill, instead watching a special live feed back at the couple’s home.
During Celine’s 12 years performing at Caesars Palace, her show has changed a great deal, but her current performances are the most personal she has ever performed, a clear tribute to her husband!
“Usher Mike” — whose name we have changed as he was not authorized to speak by Caesars Palace — told us: “She’s changed most of the songs in the set.
“Her husband is really, really sick, so it’s an amazing thing she’s keeping on performing. I guess, in a way, it helps her take her mind off it. You can really tell there’s a lot of passion going into each performance.”
During her set she speaks to the crowd, telling them how grateful she is for their support.
At the show The National ENQUIRER attended, she said: “I hope that by now you have got the message that tonight’s show is very, very personal to me.”
The main set ends with a stirring rendition of Queen’s 1991 classic, “The Show Must Go On,” which appears to be something of a promise from Celine to René, who has been the driving force behind her career since she was a teenager.
In 1999, René was diagnosed with throat cancer and has undergone a number of surgeries to treat it, including a 2013 operation, which led to part of his tongue being removed.
Now Celine and her children must cope with his final days.
Agonizingly, even his doctors cannot tell how long he has left, and they have to take each day as a gift.
As Celine herself recently said: “It’s important to open your eyes in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror and ask two questions: ‘Are you dead, or do you have a ticket to ride?’
“There are just two tickets. If you’re alive, have a good day. Because today is the most important day of your life.”