USA TODAY interviewed singer Celine Dion on Aug. 24. She said her husband Rene Angelil told her, "I want to die in your arms." Angelil is currently battling throat cancer. Dion went on a year-long hiatus to take care of her husband. She will resume singing in Las Vegas on Aug. 27.
Celine Dion's husband wants to die in her arms.
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Rene Angelil is currently battling throat cancer. He is 73 years old. Dion went on a year-long hiatus to take care of her husband. During that span, she took a leave of absence from her Las Vegas residency at Caesars Palace.
She will sing at the venue again on Aug. 27. Angelil insisted she resume her singing career. That is her passion after all, per USA TODAY's Marco della Cava.
Dion told USA TODAY singing takes second priority to family life:
"I didn't want to be here at first, I don't need it. Don't get me wrong, I love singing for people, but I have priorities.
"But Rene really gave me a gift. All my grieving, it was during my last year. I think I've got this. For now. When it hits me, it's going to hit me. But my biggest job is to tell my husband, we're fine. I'll take care of our kids. You watch us from another spot.
"We have asked (doctors) many times, how long does he have, three weeks, three months? Rene wants to know. But they say they don't know."
The couple's eldest son is Rene-Charles. He is 14 years old. Dion told della Cava he is becoming "the man of my life." They also have fratnernal twins named Nelson and Eddy. They are four years old.
Dion says they "don't know their father in any state." She told USA TODAY they would always go with her whenever she feeds Angelil.
"Rene has largely lost the ability to speak or hear," a family friend told CloserWeekly.com. "He can't eat without a feeding tube, and his body is in a weakened state."
Dion and Angelil met when she was just 12 years old. He became her manager at the peak of her singing career. They got married in 1994, per della Cava.
Angelil underwent cancer treatment at a Boston hospital. He is now staying in their Las Vegas home. Dion told USA TODAY she has been feeding him with a tube for two years now.
She then reveals to della Cava what her husband wants before he dies:
"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.
"Don't forget, he's been the leader of the band all my life. So it (hacks) him off to not see me all day and over here working. But he wants me to do this, do the show, do the interviews. But he freaks when I'm not home with him, too."
Dion is unsure if Angelil will be able to watch her show on Thursday. If he is unable to, he will watch a live feed from their house:
"That first show, it will be fragile. There will be moments. Of emptiness, laughter, awkwardness, tearing up. But that's the point of coming back -- otherwise, I just release an album.
"When you see someone who is fighting so hard, it has a big impact on you. You have two choices. You look at your husband who's very sick and you can't help, and it kills you. Or you look at your husband that's sick and you say, 'I got you. I got it. I'm here. It's going to be just fine.'
"You can have your shaking knees at the end, but when someone you love falls and needs help, it's not time to cry. Afterwards, sure. But not yet."
Dion announced back in March she will return to Las Vegas this month. The website CelineInVegas.com issued a statement from the popular singer:
"I am excited to finally tell my fans I am coming back to Caesars Palace. It was Rene's wish that I come back. While my family will always be my priority, my fans are just as important to me.
"I look forward to performing again for all of you starting August 27th, and more importantly having Rene there with me. Thank you for giving me this time I needed to spend with my family."
According to CloserWeekly.com, doctors first detected cancer in Angelil's body in 1999. The cancer returned years later. He underwent surgery in Dec. 2013.
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