Céline Dion returned the her Vegas residency on Tuesday night after losing her husband of nearly 22 years, Rene Angélil.
The death of her husband was not the only tragic loss Dion faced in January. Just two days after Angélil passed away, Dion announced that her brother, Daniel Dion also died after a long battle with cancer.
Dion returned to the stage on Feb. 23 for her first performance since Angélil died. She paid tribute to her late husband and manager with a montage of photos of his life. Dion later walked out onstage and was received by the crowd with a standing ovation. She went right into her rendition of the Barbra Streisand song, “With One More Look At You/Watch Closely Now.”
At the end of the song, Dion fought back tears as she addressed the audience.
Thank you. I did rehearse this song in my closet and it went way better than that. Through my life I only had highs for my husband who sat out here night after night. People thought that I was looking at him actually, but I didn’t need to because every time I closed my eyes, I felt René on stage with me, whether he was seated in his seat right there, in the balcony, backstage or at home with the kids. He’s always been on stage with me. And nothing will ever change that.
You know, René always surrounded me with the very best people possible. I trusted him so much that I never really had the chance to really worry about anything. Now I guess it is only a natural impulse to constantly question myself. Would you let the kids play with these toys? Is this song too fast? Is this song too slow? Don’t talk too much. It is pretty amazing that since he’s not physically no longer with me, he is even more present. René was my very best critic, he never told me what I wanted to hear, he told me what I needed to hear. Night after night, on our way back home from the show, when he was so silent, I could sense that he was trying to know how to approach me without hurting my artistic feeling, but he had to tell me for my own growth.
René is the only man that I have known all my life. He always made me feel that we were always on our first date. Isn’t that amazing? Never talking bluntly and always impressing himself in a soft and gentle way, we were one. And nothing has changed. We will always be one. You know, I might not hear his voice yet, but I talk to him, I think of him all the time. I feel and I know he hears me. One way or another, I know he will give me a sign for his approval or not. And now, I can feel that he’s telling me to zip it and start singing. Thank you so much. Thank you so very much for being here tonight.
She later performed “All By Myself” and ran offstage in tears at the end of the song. This heartbreaking performance showed the audience how much she loved and misses her late husband. There was not a dry eye in the audience.
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