So touching. Celine Dion opened up about the moving moment her eldest son, René-Charles, 15, surprised her on stage by presenting her with the Icon Award for lifetime achievement at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 22, following her performance.
The “All by Myself” singer, 48, took the stage at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena to sing a cover of Queen’s 1991 track “The Show Must Go On,” which she dedicated to her late husband and producer, René Angélil, who passed away in January at age 73 from throat cancer.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Dion said she nearly fell over with emotion. “To try to perform that song without collapsing was big enough,” she explained to ET, “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.”
“I thought I was going to make it through the whole night without tears and show strength, and love won,” she said. “I just collapsed. I’m very thankful for the award and proud of my family so much.”
While she’s been making every effort to stay strong for her kids, the five-time Grammy winner explained that she wants them to know that it’s OK to cry.
“You have to be strong, but I think it’s important as well to not hold everything,” she continued. “I tried to hold it in front of my 5-year-old twins, but my 15-and-a-half-year-old beautiful son is old enough to understand.”
“Even though I did not want to cry, he understands it’s OK because it is therapeutic and you can’t take so much pressure,” the Canadian-born chart-topper added to ET. “You can take so much strength and weight on your shoulders, but sometimes you can’t control everything.”
Honoring her husband’s wishes, Dion returned to the stage for her Vegas residency at Caesars Palace about six weeks after his death. After the Billboard Music Awards, she will embark on a European tour to promote her upcoming album.
Dion and Angélil were married for 21 years and also share 5-year-old twin sons Nelson and Eddy.
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