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Celine Dion’s husband, Rene Angelil, dies after long battle with cancer

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Rene Angelil, the husband of singer Celine Dion, has died after long battle with cancer, his representative confirmed to PEOPLE on Thursday.

“Rene Angelil, 73, passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer,” the statement to PEOPLE read. “The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment.”

The Clark County Office of the Coroner/ Medical Examiner told the magazine that Angelil died of throat cancer.

It has been a long battle for the family. At one point, Dion stopped performing to take care of Angelil but returned back to the stage this past summer because Rene insisted she return to what she loves.

In an interview with USA Today in August, Dion said she met Angelil when she was just 12-years-old and he later became her manager.

In 1994, the pair married and have been together ever since.

 

For the past couple of years, Angelil has been on a feeding tube and remained out of the public eye.

“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.’ OK, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms,” Dion told USA Today. “You can have 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.”