Celine Dion on Husband Rene Angelil’s Cancer Battle: He Wants to “Die in My Arms”

Celine Dion and Rene Angelil
Celine Dion opened up about husband Rene Angelil's throat cancer battle ahead of her return to Las Vegas Franziska Krug/Getty Images

Celine Dion's return to Las Vegas this month will be a bittersweet one for the singer, because it comes at the cost of time with her ailing husband, Rene Angelil, who's been battling throat cancer for the last several years. Speaking about her upcoming run at Sin City's Caesars Palace in a USA Today interview published on Monday, Aug. 24, the "My Heart Will Go On" singer, 47, said she "didn't want to be here at first" —- but Angelil insisted upon it.

"That first show, it will be fragile," she told the paper of her Aug. 27 debut. "There will be moments. Of emptiness, laughter, awkwardness, tearing up. But that's the point of coming back — otherwise, I [would] just release an album."

Dion — who married Angelil in 1994 and is mom to their three kids, Rene-Charles, 14, and twins Nelson and Eddy, 4 — originally went on hiatus last August to care for her husband. She later revealed that Angelil has to be fed through a tube three times a day.

"We have asked [doctors] many times, how long does he have, three weeks, three months? Rene wants to know," she told USA Today. "But they say they don't know."

The "All Coming Back to Me" hitmaker tries to be strong, of course, but that's not always what her husband needs. "Sometimes he just wants me to enter into a different place with him," she shared. "I'll say, 'You're scared? I understand. Talk to me about it.' And Rene says to me, 'I want to die in your arms.' Okay, fine, I'll be there, you'll die in my arms."

Dion says she's done plenty of "grieving" over the last year, but now she wants to show her husband that she's strong enough for the both of them. And part of that is going back to the stage.

"You can have your shaking knees at the end, but when someone you love falls and needs help, it's not time to cry," she told USA Today. "Afterwards, sure. But not yet."

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