Fans are invited to pray for pop songstress Celine Dion. According to a statement released by a representative of Celine Dion, Celine's husband Rene Angelil has passed away on Thursday morning (Jan. 14) after a years-long battle with throat cancer. He died at their home in Las Vegas; he was 73.
"Rene Angelil, 73, passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer," the statement reads. "The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment."
Rene and Celine were married in 1994 and the couple have three children together: René-Charles, 14, and 5-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy. Angelil also has three adult children from a previous relationship, Anne-Marie, Patrick and Jean-Pierre.
In August 2014, Dion, 47, announced that she was postponing her career "indefinitely" to care for her husband, whom she married in December 1994. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999 (Dion put aside her career then as well) and had surgery in December 2013 that removed part of his tongue and limited his speech.
"I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband's healing, and to do so, it's important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children," Dion said then.
Rene was born in Montreal in 1942. After managing groups in Canada, he was approached to manage Dion by her parents when she was aged 12.
Last year, Dion told USA Today she was preparing for her husband's death. "When it hits me, it's going to hit me," she told the newspaper in August 2015. "But my biggest job is to tell my husband, we're fine. I'll take care of our kids. You'll watch us from another spot."