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All the tender moments between Celine Dion and the late René Angélil during 21-year marriage

René Angélil passed away from cancer in 2016

Singer Celine Dion and her husband and manager Rene Angelil pose at the 41st annual Labor Day Telethon at the South Coast Hotel & Casino September 3, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada
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Ainhoa BarcelonaContent Managing Editor
Francesca ShillcockSenior Features Writer
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Global superstar Celine Dion and her late husband René Angélil were the picture of romance before René's passing eight years ago. The husband and wife were married for over two decades, welcomed three children together and shared many heartwarming and tender moments throughout their 21-year union.

After living with cancer for over a decade, René succumbed to the disease and died on 14 January 2016. The couple, who shared a 26-year age gap, remained totally devoted to one another through thick and thin.

Having weathered storms including René's health battles and the couple's fertility treatments, the lovebirds persevered thanks to their rock-solid relationship. As the anniversary of René's death approaches, here are the most tender moments from their love story…

Celine Dion and René Angélil's love story

Blossoming romance

Record producer Rene Angelil and Canadian singer Celine Dion during their wedding ceremony. (Photo by Laurence  Labat/Sygma via Getty Images)© Laurence Labat,Getty

René first met aspiring singer, Celine, when she was just 12 years old. Their relationship began as professional when the music producer would work as her manager. Professional turned romantic when the My Heart Will Go On singer turned 20, around the time Celine had won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988.

After getting engaged on the singer's 25th birthday, the couple said "I do" a year later in René's birthplace Montreal, at the Notre-Dame Basilica. Celine wore a silk creation by Mirella and Steve Gentile – complete with a 20-foot train – and an enormous, Swarovski-crystal tiara.

Star quality

Star quality© Kevin.Mazur,Getty

Celine and René made a glamorous appearance at the 1999 American Music Awards, where Celine won Favourite Pop/Rock Female Artist of the Year. It marked the first of many achievements that the husband-and-wife team would accomplish together.

Turn of the millennium

Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil died in January 2016© Sam Levi,Getty

Five years into their marriage, Celine and René renewed their wedding vows in an Orthodox ceremony at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas, 2000. The ceremony was meant to honour René's Syrian and Lebanese roots.

Starting a family

Canadian pop singer Celine Dion and her husband Rene Angelil show off their baby Rene-Charles as they take him to his baptism at the Notre Dame Basilica 25 July in Montreal, Canada. Nearly 2,000 fans had gathered in the square in front of the 170-year-old church, in Montreal's picturesque old quarter. © MARCOS TOWNSEND,Getty

The husband and wife were extremely open about their fertility journey. They endured many rounds of fertility treatments and two operations to improve her chances of conceiving and, in January 2001, Celine welcomed the couple's first child, René-Charles. 

The little boy was baptised in July at the chapel of the Notre-Dame Basilica, where his proud parents had married six years earlier.

Sin City

Rene Angelil and Celine Dion at the GRAMMYs© KMazur,Getty

The loved-up pair attended a Grammy Awards after-party in 2002, shortly after Celine announced an upcoming three-year residency in Las Vegas, named A New Day...

The move was deemed risky at the time, but the gamble would pay off and Celine ended up extending the run of shows by a further two years. To date, the residency has grossed more than $500 million.

Celine dominates Vegas

Celine dominates Vegas© Toni Anne Barson Archive,Getty

The couple are pictured at Caesar's Palace following the debut of Celine's Las Vegas residency in 2003. The continually sold-out show proved wildly successful, making the singer the "most profitable music act in Las Vegas" since Elvis Presley, according to Market Watch.

Walk of Fame

Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil during Celine Dion Recieving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Mann Chinese 6 Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. © Christopher Polk,Getty

The songbird was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004, with her proud husband René cheering her on at the ceremony.

Awards Aplenty

Rene Angelil and Celine Dion, winner of the Diamond Award© KMazur,Getty

Later that year Celine was presented with the Diamond Award at the World Music Awards for being the World's Best Selling Female Artist of All Time in 2004.

MORE: Celine Dion's sister reveals star's treatment progress amid health struggles 

MORE: Celine Dion's family Christmas plans revealed – her sister shares hope

Family fun

Family fun© WireImage,Getty

In 2007 the Angelil family took a well-deserved break from Celine's Las Vegas show to spend some time together during a holiday at Disneyland.

Farewell Vegas

Singer Celine Dion (L) and her husband and manager Rene Angelil pose during a farewell masquerade themed party at Caesars Palace September 10, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her show will close on December 15, 2007, after a nearly-five year sold out run.© Ethan Miller,Getty

The fun-loving couple embraced the "masked ball" theme during a farewell party that was held for the cast and crew of Celine's Las Vegas show in 2007.

An emotional goodbye

Singer Celine Dion (L) is escorted by her husband and manager Rene Angelil as she leaves the stage after the last performance of her show "A New Day..." at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace December 15, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nearly three million people watched Dion perform 717 shows since it opened in March 2003.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for AEG Live/Concerts West)© Ethan Miller,Getty

The 15th of December 2007 proved to be an emotional day for Celine. The singer, who had just finished her last performance of her show A New Day… at Caesars Palace, was embraced by her husband and son as fans threw roses at the stage. 

Almost three million people watched her perform 717 shows since the show first opened in 2003.

Take me out to the ball game

Take me out to the ball game© James Devaney

Fans were thrilled to see how much the couple's son had grown, as the Angelils attended the Portland Trailblazers vs. New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden in December 2009.

Seeing double

Singer Celine Dion holds her son Nelson Angelil and husband and manager Rene Angelil, holds their son Eddy Angelil next to Rene-Charles Angelil and Dion's mother Therese Dion as they arrive at Caesars Palace on February 16, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steven Lawton/FilmMagic)© Steven Lawton,Getty

After the birth of her twins in 2010 and a brief hiatus from show business, Celine was ready to return to the stage. 

Holding baby Nelson (with René nestling twin-brother Eddy), the family was greeted by throngs of fans as they arrived at Caesars Palace, where Celine was due to begin rehearsals for her new Vegas show. The songbird told HELLO! Canada exclusively that the babies, who were conceived after six IVF attempts, had made her life "extraordinary".

Academy Awards

Rene Angelil (L) and his wife, singer Celine Dion, arrive at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre February 27, 2011 in Hollywood, California.© Ethan Miller,Getty

Celine and René were pictured at the Oscars in 2011, where Celine performed the Charlie Chaplin song Smile during the In Memoriam tribute.

The Order of Canada

celine dion gallery21 © Photo: Getty Images

The singer was decorated with the Order of Canada in July 2013, just a few months before announcing that she was taking a hiatus to take care of her increasingly ill husband. 

This was one of the last times René was pictured in public with his wife Celine, before his death in January 2016.

René's final years

Recording artist Celine Dion and children Rene-Charles Angelil, Eddy Angelil and Nelson Angelil attend the State Funeral Service for Celine Dion's Husband Rene Angelil at Notre-Dame Basilica on January 22, 2016 in Montreal, Canada.© Tom Szczerbowski,Getty

In his final years, René had stepped down as his wife's manager to focus on his health, but was still involved in business decisions. After undergoing surgery and slowing down his career, in 2015 it was revealed by Celine that René's illness had progressed.

After passing away in January 2016, the national funeral service was held two weeks later at the Notre-Dame Basilica, where the pair had married and baptised their children.

A devoted mother

Celine Dion, her boys, and their dogs in happier times.© Celine Dion Instagram

In the years following her husband's death, Celine has continued to be a devoted mother to their three boys. 

She has also faced her own health woes in recent times after being diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome in 2022.

Celine's health woes

Celine has postponed her tour indefinitely as she continues to battle Stiff Person syndrome© Celine Dion Instagram

Celine shared the news that she had been diagnosed with the neurological disorder with fans in an emotional video in which she explained she was forced to cancel her Las Vegas residency and the North American and European legs of her Courage world tour.

"I've been dealing with problems with my health for a long time, and it's been really difficult for me to face these challenges and to talk about everything that I've been going through," she explained.

MORE: How Celine Dion's twins Nelson and Eddy, 11, are coping with mom's health battle: exclusive 

The award-winning singer is continuing to rest at her $1.2 million Las Vegas home and, according to her sister Claudette, is doing "everything she can" to recover. "It's an illness we know so little about," Claudette told HELLO! Canada while candidly reflecting on symptoms linked to the syndrome. "There are spasms – they're impossible to control."

More recently, Celine made her first public appearance and performance in years when she attended a hockey game between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Montreal Canadiens with her sons.

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