René Angélil, who mentored legendary singer Celine Dion and later married her, died on Tuesday after a longtime battle with throat cancer at age 73.
USA Today reports that Dion announced her husband’s death on her website. Angélil was first diagnosed with cancer in 1998, after finding a lump on his neck. He had been using a feeding tube for the last two years.
Angélil started out as a pop singer in his native Canada, before turning to management. He discovered Dion when she was 12 years old, and helped nurture her career, in which she has sold 220 million albums. The couple married in 1994 and have three children together.
Dion has been very candid about her husband’s battle with cancer during this past year. In August, she confided that Angélil wanted to die in her arms, and talked about how she approached his illness: “You have two choices. You look at your husband who’s very sick and you can’t help, and it kills you. Or you look at your husband that’s sick and you say, ‘I got you. I got it. I’m here. It’s going to be just fine.’ ”
Dion canceled her Las Vegas residency shows this weekend, but will start performing again on Feb. 23.
(via USA Today)