Celine Dion: The Death of Husband Rene Angelil

By Caitlin Fredericks
Shield Staff



Celine Dion, the woman who voiced the theme to Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On” in 1997, recently said goodbye to the businessman and husband who launched her singing career,  Rene Angelil, after throat cancer ended their 21-year marriage.

Angelil Dies of Throat Cancer

According to ABC News and other various media outlets, Angelil, 73, passed away in his Las Vegas residency, after battling a persistent form of throat cancer, which first began two decades ago in 1998. Though the cause of his Jan. 14 death may be attributed to the effects of the disease. Clark County Coroner released a statement to ABC News indicating that “Angelil died of natural causes under the care of a doctor.”

Angelil's Music Career

Recently, The Washington Post released an article memorializing the life of Angelil, and the connection he shared with Dion. Reportedly, Angelil, who shared roots with Dion in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was “a former Canadian pop singer who headed the group, ‘Les Baronets’ through the 1960s until 1980 with childhood friends.”

Angelil Manages Dion

Subsequently in 1980, The Washington Post reported that “Angelil turned to managing acts after receiving an audiotape of the then 12-year-old singer from her mother.” When prompted by the Associated Press as to why he began managing acts and why he mortgaged his house to finance Dion’s first album, Angelil said, “at the time I had been in the [music] business for 20 years, and I had never heard or had a feeling come out of someone like this little girl I had in front in me.”

Discovering Dion's Unshakable Voice  

It was discovering this unshakable voice that I believe Angelil will be most remembered for, and what motivated Angelil to collaborate with the French-speaking Dion to make her a star. In her official biography, Dion recounts how “Angelil encouraged her to learn the English language, believing that it would solidify the international acclaim in both Quebec and the United States.” Through her biography, Dion credits this is how she was “able to win the Eurovision Song Contest of 1988, to be requested by director James Cameron to record the theme song for Titanic in 1997, and for her voice to become dominant on the radio by the late 1990s and 2000s.”

Angelil's Life Memorialized by Celebrities

An article on USA TODAY eulogizing the life of Angelil, confirms that he and Dion “wed in 1994, and are the parents to Rene Charles who is 14, and twins Nelson and Eddy who are five.” Additionally, many celebrities have also remarked on ABC News that Angelil will be most remembered for his “solid business and negotiation skills, and his abilities to recognize rare talents.”