René Angélil, Celine Dion’s Husband and Former Manager, Dies of Cancer at 73

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Angélil and Dion. Photo: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

René Angélil, the husband and former manager of Celine Dion, has died at 73. His reps confirm to People that the Canadian musician died on Thursday at his Las Vegas home after "a long and courageous battle against cancer." Though a pop star in his own right during the 1960s, Angélil is best known for his relationship with Dion, whom he famously discovered when Dion was just 12, after her brother sent Angélil a demo of her singing an original song that moved him to tears. Angélil went on to launch Dion's megaselling career, personally funding her 1981 debut album, and managing Dion for 30 years. He stepped down from this role in 2014, after a long public battle with throat cancer. That same year, Dion went on hiatus from her Las Vegas residency and postponed a tour in Asia to care for her ailing husband. Dion told USA Today last August, after resuming her residency, that Angélil told her, "I want to die in your arms." Angélil and Dion were married in 1994 and had three sons together, René-Charles, 14, and 5-year-old fraternal twins, Nelson and Eddy.