Celine Dion is worth a staggering $720 million, but all the money in the world couldn’t give the singer what she wants most – continued health for her beloved husband René Angélil.
In mid-August, sources told The National ENQUIRER that behind the scenes René, 72, was losing his years-long battle with cancer and a distraught Celine rushed to his bedside, immediately canceling all her showbiz commitments.
“Celine was grief-stricken over René’s condition,” said a friend.
“He was fading and she immediately stopped her schedule – determined to be by his side as long as possible.
“All the money in the world can’t keep him living.”
As The ENQUIRER reported in March, the 46-year-old songbird “was heartbroken,” and terrified to learn her husband had been hit with a second bout of cancer.
We revealed that just before Christmas, René secretly underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his throat.
René was first diagnosed with cancer in 1999, and The ENQUIRER reported that he’d undergone surgery then to remove a “squamous cell carcinoma” from the right side of his neck.
Now Celine has canceled her Las Vegas shows and upcoming tour of Asia to care for René. At the same time, she continues to recover from an inflammation in her throat muscles that’s kept her from performing since July 29.
“I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband’s healing,” the singer said in a statement Aug. 13.
After René’s second surgery, the couple flew between their Las Vegas home and medical specialists in Los Angeles – and also found time to take a holiday together in the Bahamas.
He stepped down as Celine’s manager in June.
Celine was just 12 when she met then 38-year-old René after her mother sent the music producer her demo tape in 1980.
They had their first date when Celine was 19, and married Dec. 17, 1994. In 2000, they renewed their wedding vows in Las Vegas.
The couple has three sons. Their eldest, René-Charles, was born in January 2001 after Celine underwent fertility treatment. The couple also has 3-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy.
“For Celine, René is everything – mentor, father-figure, husband and best friend,” said a second source. “René has told her that no matter what happens, she’s to carry on with her music – and he’ll remain proud of her into eternity.”