After fighting cancer three separate times, Celine Dion’s husband, Réne Angélil, has passed away at the age of 73, People reports. “Réne Angélil, 73, passed away this morning as his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer,” a representative for the family said in a statement. “The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment; more details will be provided at a later time.”
Dion met Angélil when she was just 12 years old, and he later became her manager. The two married in a famously lavish ceremony in Montreal in 1994, and the couple have three children together. Dion told USA Today in a heartbreaking interview that he was “the only boyfriend I’ve ever had.”
She took a year off from her Las Vegas residency to take care of him, but recently restarted her performances at his urging. As his health faded, Dion said he told her he wanted to die in her arms. “When you see someone who is fighting so hard, it has a big impact on you,” she told the newspaper. “You have two choices. You look at your husband who’s very sick and you can’t help, and it kills you. Or you look at your husband that’s sick and you say, ‘I got you. I got it. I’m here. It’s going to be just fine.'”
Angélil is survived by Dion, their three children, Réne-Charles, Nelson, and Eddy, and three children from a previous relationship, Anne-Marie, Patrick, and Jean-Pierre.