Céline Dion is known for singing from the heart. And during the 47-year-old pop superstar’s performance on June 13 at Keep Memory Alive’s Power of Love gala in Las Vegas, her source of inspiration could not have been more clear: Her husband, René Angélil, 73, who is battling throat cancer.
“There were tears in her eyes as she did a duet of "The Prayer" with Andrea Bocelli,” a witness at the charity fundraiser tells Closer. “When she sang, ‘I pray we’ll find your light/and hold it in our hearts/when stars go out each night,’ she flinched and held back the waterworks. Her thoughts seemed to drift to the crisis with René.”
Celine performing in 2014. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
These days, it’s difficult for Céline to think of anything else. Her longtime love — the pair wed in 1994 and have three sons, René-Charles, 14, and four-year-old twins Eddy and Nelson — is currently undergoing treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital, world-renowned for its success with throat and laryngeal cancers.
REALTED: Céline Dion Returns to Las Vegas With the Support of Her Cancer-Stricken Husband
The decision to relocate from Las Vegas to Boston speaks volumes about just how grave the situation has become. “They’ve been told not to get their hopes up — this may be René’s best, last chance at surviving his cancer,” a family friend tells Closer. “Although it could be a Hail Mary pass, René has a fighting spirit and Céline is right there, fighting as well.”
Celine embracing her husband and son onstage in 2007. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
They’re going to need all of the ammunition they can get. René was first diagnosed with the aggressive disease in 1999 — he beat it, but years later, the cancer came back and he underwent surgery for it in December 2013. By the following August, Céline had postponed her high-profile residency at Caesars Palace — she’s scheduled to return at the end of this summer — in order to care for her husband full-time.
“René has largely lost the ability to speak or hear,” says the friend. “He can’t eat without a feeding tube, and his body is in a weakened state.”
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