It must have been the most emotional performance of her career, but Celine Dion still managed to remain poised and elegant as she returned to the stage for the first time since the death of her beloved husband, René Angélil.
"We are one and nothing has changed. We will always be one," she told the audience at The Colosseum on Tuesday night, her first Las Vegas concert following René's passing.
Celine Dion has returned to the stage for the first time since her husband's death
The show began with a montage of pictures and videos of René over the years, along with a quote from his heartbroken wife: "I understood that my career was in a way his masterpiece, his song, his symphony. The idea of leaving it unfinished would have hurt him terribly. I realised that if he ever left us, I would have to continue without him, for him."
The curtains then parted to reveal Celine stood alone on stage in a glittering black gown. After a standing ovation, she then started to sing With One More Look At You, her voice breaking with emotion at times.
The star was understandably emotional at times
Afterwards, with tears in her eyes, she thanked the audience. "I did rehearse this song in my closet and it went way better than that," Celine began. "Through my life, I only had highs from 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 close 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."
Celine sang a number of hits during the concert, including With One More Look At You
The star continued: "You know René always surrounded me with the very best people possible. I trusted him so much, that I never had the chance to worry about anything. Now I guess it is only a natural impulse to constantly question myself. Would he let the kids play with these toys and is this song too fast, is this song too slow. Don't talk too much. It is pretty amazing that since he is no longer physically with me he is even more present.
Celine and René were married for 21 years
"René was my very best critic. He never told me what I wanted to hear, he told me what I needed to hear. You know 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 there were things that 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 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."
The first 20 minutes of Celine's show were live-streamed for her fans, during which she sang hits including Because You Loved Me and Where Does My Heart Beat Now.