It’s two years since Céline Dion‘s husband, René Angélil, died after a long battle with cancer, but the Grammy winner said in a new interview on Sunday, February 18, that he’s still as big a part of her life as he ever was.
The singer, who met Angélil when she was 12 and married him in 1994 at the age of 26, told Australian TV show The Project that “he’s as alive as he was before, not physically with us, but I live with him, I see him every day through the eyes of my children.”
Angelil died in January 2016 at the age of 73 after a battling throat cancer.
“For three years my husband did not have a sip of water and food, he was eating through a tube,” she told host Lisa Wilkinson. “The only thing that I hoped while his three years of agony, I wanted him to leave in peace. I wanted him to feel so light and no worries. He had a little heart attack, it’s so quick, he didn’t even feel anything. I thought that he was like liberated from his pain.”
The couple, who were married for almost 22 years, shared three sons, René-Charles, 17, and twins Nelson and Eddy, 7.
Dion, 49, said that even though she was still a child herself when she met Angélil, who was 26 years her senior, “I fell in love with him immediately.”
“Not in the romance way, I was 12 years old,” she added. “I was in love for the way he treated everyone around me, my family, including myself.”
But her mother didn’t want her daughter to end up with the much-older man.
“My mom was traveling with me till I was 18 years old, everywhere, so she had to deal with me, who had eyes only for René, and having 14 children, she saw it coming before I did, I’m pretty sure,” Dion said. “She always kept an eye on him because it was not the person that she wanted for me and I don’t blame her. I said, ‘Mama, I really love him, like it hurts inside, that’s all I think about.’ She said, ‘He’s been married twice before, he’s got children, and I don’t think that that’s the prince of charm that you deserve.'”
But the Oscar winner’s heart and head were set on her manager and mentor.
“He taught me everything,” she said in the interview that aired on Sunday. “He’s the only man I’ve seen. The only man I’ve loved. And I’ve never kissed another man in my life.”
The “My Heart Will Go On” singer, who insisted last year that she wasn’t ready to date and would grieve for Angélil for the rest of her life, said that now, “I’m doing really well.”
After learning that life is too short, Dion, who broke records with her Las Vegas residency, says she’s “not afraid to take chances.”
“At the end of the day, do you think I have anything to lose?” she asked. “Am I building a career? Am I starting something? No, I’m on a roll.”
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