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Celine Dion shares heartbreaking details about husband's illness before his death in 2016

Celine Dion has opened up about the death of her husband, René Angélil

Emmy Griffiths

Celine Dion has opened up about losing her husband, René Angélil, and spoke candidly about his discomfort prior to his death. René fought a long battle with cancer before passing away from a heart attack back in 2016. He was 73. Speaking to The Project, the My Heart Will Go On singer said: "For three years my husband did not have a sip of water or food. He was eating through a tube. The only thing I hoped while he was in three years of agony. I wanted him to live in peace. I wanted him to feel so light and no worries. He had a little heart attack, it's so quick, he didn't even feel anything. I thought that he was like liberated from his pain."

René and Celine before his death in 2016

Speaking about their relationship, she continued: "He taught me everything. He's the only man I've seen. The only man I've loved. The only man I've kissed… I fell in love with him immediately. Not in the romance way, I was 12 years old. I was in love with the way he treated everyone around me, including my whole family and myself."

READ: Celine Dion reveals late husband René Angélil is only man she has ever kissed: 'I'm still in love with him'

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Celine wed René when she was 26 and he was 52, and revealed that her mum didn't approve of the relationship. "It was not the person that she wanted for me," Celine explained. "And I don't blame her... I said mum, I really love him. It hurts inside." The iconic singer recently revealed that her pre-show ritual still involves her late husband, stating that she uses a bronze replica of his hand to help prepare for a performance. She told Stellar magazine: "I shake my husband's hand and knock on wood with him every night before every show. Even after he's gone. I still talk to him. I'm trying to prove to him every day I'm fine. Our kids are growing, we feel strong. We're good."

READ: Celine Dion on why her oldest son René-Charles won't be the man of the house