The Billboard Music Awards was an emotional evening for Céline Dion.

After performing Queen’s “The Show Must Go On,” the singer, 48, opened up about her touching tribute to her late husband, René Angélil, and being surprised onstage by her 15-year-old son, René-Charles, while receiving the night’s Icon Award.

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Céline with her son René-Charles at the BBMAs on May 22.

“To try to perform that song without collapsing was big enough and then I turned around and I saw my son. As a mother, I really, through this whole process of our new life, wanted to be strong,” she told [Entertainment Tonight](

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“I thought I was going to make it through the whole night without tears and show strength, and love won,” Céline continued. “I just collapsed. I’m very thankful for the award and proud of my family so much.”

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Céline and her late husband, René, in September 2006.

The mom-of-three — she also has twin sons Eddy and Nelson, both 5 — tragically lost René in January to throat cancer. He was just 73-years-old.

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“I’m not the first woman and I’m not the last one who will lose her husband. It’s hard, but my family is helping me through it. I think people know that I don’t do music, I don’t do my passion and sing to win an award. It’s never been the number one goal. It’s to share moments with fans and the celebration of music itself,” she added.