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Celine Dion Was 12 When She Met Her Only Husband - After His Death She ‘Is Not Thinking’ of Love Again

Edduin Carvajal
Feb 08, 2022
01:40 P.M.
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Music icon Celine Dion met her husband, Rene Angelil when she was just 12 years old. They were married for over two decades and only parted ways when he died.

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Most people know Celine Dion as the best-selling Canadian musician and French language artist in history, but few know her unique love story with Rene Angelil. 

Dion and Angelil met when she was just a preteen, but they later gave love a chance and had one of the most beautiful romances in showbiz. Unfortunately, they faced many hardships.

Celine Dion on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California [main] Dion and her husband Rene Angelil in March 1990 and December 2002 [polaroids] | Photo: Getty Images

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MEETING ANGELIL AS A PRETEEN

Born in March 1968, Dion grew up in a family that loved music. She was only five the first time she sang in public. At ten, she convinced her parents to let her perform in a piano bar they had opened.

At age 12, Dion recorded "It Was Only a Dream," the song she wrote with the help of her mother and brother Jacques. They sent the song to Angelil, a talent manager and producer. 

Angelil set up a meeting with Dion and her family, and he later described the preteen as "very shy." He noticed she was very talented but needed some time to improve.

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Celine Dion and Rene Angelil on March 24, 1997, in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

The manager told Dion's mother that Dion would become the most prominent artist in Quebec within five years if she trusted him. Surprisingly, she only needed two years to reach local stardom.

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Angelil financed her first two albums, and after finishing sixth grade, Dion left school and toured Quebec. When she was 18, she told Angelil she wanted to be as big as Michael Jackson.

He asked her to take 18 months off and undergo a massive makeover, and she accepted. Dion's mother eventually described that period as her transformation from "adolescence to a young woman."

Celine Dion and her husband Rene Angelil in 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada | Photo: Getty Images

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For years, Angelil and Dion had a professional relationship. They kept things platonic even after he divorced his second wife, Anne, in 1985. Three years later, they kissed each other for the first time.

Dion was 20, and Angelil was 46 at the time. It was the second kiss she had ever given. The first was to a guy named Sylvain, and it happened when she was 15 years old. 

In 2009, she suffered a miscarriage.

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Angelil and Dion kept their relationship private, but they told her mother about it, and she was not a fan. Apart from their 26-year age gap, Angelil was her manager. Six months into their relationship, Dion's mom put her reservations aside and let them be.

The first hardship in the couple's relationship came in 1992 when Angelil had a heart attack in their Beverly Hills Four Seasons hotel suite.

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TYING THE KNOT IN A GRANDIOSE EVENT

Despite all challenges and mixed opinions, Angelil and Dion got engaged in 1991 and married on December 17, 1994. The wedding, broadcast on Canadian television, took place at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. 

One of the most incredible aspects of the ceremony was Dion's voluminous wedding dress that featured a 20-feet-long train. Its lace and crystals took 1,000 hours of work!

Dion's outfit, including her headdress made of 2,000 Swarovski crystals weighing over six pounds, stole the show. Jacques revealed that he felt like they were in the Mafia because they had a limousine escorted by the police. 

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FACING MORE CHALLENGES

In 1998, Angelil discovered a lump in his neck. Doctors eventually determined it was throat cancer. Dion felt it was the first time her husband needed her, so she took a two-year hiatus from her career. 

Before his cancer diagnosis, Dion and Angelil unsuccessfully tried to conceive. They later discovered he had a low sperm count and low motility. Still, they froze some of his sperm to prevent any possible damage from his cancer treatment. 

Angelil underwent two surgeries and six weeks of radiation treatment and went into remission in January 2000. Shortly after, the couple renewed their vows in Las Vegas. One year later, they welcomed their first son, Rene-Charles, via in-vitro fertilization. 

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DEALING WITH FERTILITY ISSUES

The couple wanted to keep enlarging their family, so they froze their remaining embryos from their successful IVF cycle. They needed six more rounds of IVF and acupuncture to conceive.

In 2009, though, she suffered a miscarriage. When Dion was 42 years old, a miracle happened: she got pregnant with triplets. Unfortunately, she lost one early on in the pregnancy and had fraternal twins, Nelson and Eddy, in October 2010.

"We talked before. And he sent me a text message. So, we said goodbye."

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FACING CANCER AGAIN

Angelil couldn't enjoy his children for as long as he would have wanted, though. In December 2013, he had a second tumor removed from his throat. 

Dion took an "indefinite hiatus" from her Las Vegas residency to care for her husband. In August 2015, she returned to the stage after Angelil convinced her

The music icon pointed out that she was "scared of losing" Angelil because his condition was "bad." Still, she wanted to resume her career to show her husband, children, and herself that she was strong and they were okay. 

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By the time Dion came back from her long hiatus, she was sure Angelil wouldn't survive. He had been fed intravenously for two years and had already planned the details of his death. 

He wanted to die in Dion's arms, and she was willing to grant his final wish. On January 14, 2016, Angelil passed away. Three years after his passing, she shared the details of their last interaction

"He called me before a show and give me a little message: 'I love you.' And when I came home that night, it was very, very late."

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She didn't kiss him because she didn't want to wake him up, afraid that he wouldn't be able to sleep again. The following day, he passed away. Dion added: "So, we talked before. And he sent me a text message. So, we said goodbye."

In 2019, Dion confessed she was not ready to date. However, she didn't rule anything out and admitted she kept her soul and heart open for love. One thing is clear: she keeps Angelil's memory alive by posting touching posts of him on social media. What a beautiful love story!

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