Celine Dion loses husband, brother in same week


Only two days after Céline Dion’s husband, René Angélil, died, the singer has now lost her brother Daniel to the same type of cancer.

Dion, 47, lost her husband to throat cancer on Thursday after he revealed in 2014 it had returned following two previous bouts.

Daniel, 59, died Saturday morning after a long battle against cancer, a publicist for Dion said in a press release.

The eighth of 14 Dion children and a father of two daughters, age 32 and 25, he died at 5 a.m. at the Maison Adhémar-Dion, a palliative-care residence outside Montreal.

A viewing will take place next Saturday, the day after Angélil’s funeral.

Impresario Barry Garber, a longtime friend of Dion and Angélil, said the second tragedy must be a devastating blow for the singer.

“My heart goes out to her,” Garbert said, noting the family is still in shock over the loss of Angélil.

“Bad enough to lose her husband, but it’s unfair that anyone has to go through the same thing twice in two days,” he said.

“Knowing Céline and the way she is so close to her family, it has to be particularly difficult,” Garbert added. “The family is a very close knit family both on René’s side and Céline’s side.”

Garbert said he hoped those close ties will sustain Céline, her mother and the whole family.

“While Céline’s friends will want to reach out to her, I think we also want to give her the space to mourn with her children,” Garber said.

Céline’s sister Claudette told the Journal de Montréal her brother was serene at the end. “He was ready and his suffering is over,” she told the newspaper.

Daniel Dion had cancer of the throat, tongue and brain, Claudette Dion said, like Angélil, who had throat cancer.

Dion cancelled her Las Vegas shows following Angélil’s death. She has tentatively scheduled her return to The Colosseum for Feb. 23.

“They’re close, she’s close with all of her siblings,” said a source close to the singer. “It’s hard.”

“Céline is still in Vegas with her kids making plans for [her husband’s] funeral,” the source added. “It’s a typical grieving process. There’s moments of shed tears, moments of memories and laughter. She’s grieving the loss of her husband.”

The state funeral for 73-year-old Angélil, who died in the suburban Las Vegas home he shared with Dion and their three children, will be held Friday at Notre Dame Basilica, where the two were married in 1994.

His final wishes were to have his funeral at the same church where he wed Dion. A wake will be held on Thursday between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m., where the public will be able to pay their respects.

A celebration of Angélil’s life will also be held on Feb. 3 in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace Colosseum.

Angélil was Dion’s manager for decades and was constantly seen by her side. He moulded her from a French-speaking Canadian ingénue into one of the world’s most successful singers.

The theme from Titanic, the smash “My Heart Will Go On,” has been her defining hit, and she has had other top songs that have sold millions of copies around the world.

Montreal Gazette

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