While a heartbroken Celine Dion prepares to say goodbye to her beloved husband René Angélil, the widow's good friend gave given a rare insight into the couple's relationship, calling their bond "one of the greatest love stories ever."
René lost his battle with cancer on 14 January, leaving behind his wife and their children, René Charles, 14 and five-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy.
Celine is preparing to say goodbye to her husband
The My Heart Will Go On singer, who also lost her brother Daniel just two days later, has been grieving for her husband and the close bond they shared. "I've always said this since I met them in 1989," longtime friend and producer David Foster tells People magazine. "They were one of the greatest love stories ever, and I mean ever."
The husband and wife, who had a 26-year age gap between them, knew each other since Celine was 12 years old, but things only became romantic when she turned 19. After keeping the relationship secret for years, the singer revealed her love for René in the sleeve notes of her The Colour of My Love album.
"They had trust. The way she looked at him, the way he looked at her," David revealed. "There was an age difference, but as with all great couples, whatever the discrepancies are in age, it just sort of melts away as the months and years go by. They just became René and Celine."
The couple shared three children
Celine's longtime stylist Annie Horth, who first met the pair 18 years ago, also noticed the couple's strong bond. "This was a couple that laughed a lot. He had a great sense of humor and Celine can be extremely funny. He found her very funny. They had their inside jokes."
The 47-year-old put everything on hold to care for her husband as he battled throat cancer, but the music manager always wanted her to return to stage. "He amazes me," Celine told the publication last March. "I feel his knowledge and his security and his love and support, and I feel uplifted. He wants to see me sing again and live this again and I want to do this with him," she added.
It seems her loving husband wanted nothing more than to see his wife perform on stage. "It's very inspiring that that's what this couple was about. They created something amazing completely together," Anne Horth shared. "He loved more than anything watching her perform."