Celine Dion's husband René Angélil planned his funeral to ease her burden

Even as the end neared, Celine Dion's husband was thinking of how to protect the star. René Angélil planned his own funeral in detail to ease his wife's burden. Her friend and stylist Annie Horth told People: "René was generous enough to prepare all of this since the last few months with Céline, because of that she is going through (it) peacefully and with control."

The showbiz manager died just two days short of his 74th birthday after a long and courageous battle with throat cancer. He will be laid to rest on Friday.

René's funeral will take place in the church where he married Celine

An obituary published on the singer's website said that his funeral would take place "at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, where 21 years ago, he chose to marry the one who will remain as the great love of his life, the artist for which he had the most respect, the woman who gave him light and happiness until his very last breath".

Celine, whose career he managed from the age of 12, has decided not to sing at the funeral.

Members of the public will be able to pay their last respects to the impresario at the Chapel of Rest on Thursday.

Then, on 3 February a celebration of his life will take place in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace Colosseum, a venue inextricably associated with Celine because of her residency there.

In a devastating turn of events the 47-year-old Canadian songbird is also mourning the loss of her 59-year-old brother Daniel Dion, who died on 16 January of cancer.

Since her husband's death Celine and their three children René-Charles, Nelson and Eddy have received an outpouring of love from around the world. René also left behind three grown up children from two previous marriages, Patrick, Jean-Pierre and Anne-Marie.

In his final months, Celine spoke of how she was trying to reassure him that she could cope without him. "My biggest job is to tell my husband, we're fine,” she said. “I'll take care of our kids. You'll watch us from another spot."

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