C'est avec une profonde tristesse que nous vous annonçons que René Angélil, 73 ans, est décédé ce matin à sa résidence de Las Vegas après un long et courageux combat contre le cancer. La famille souhaite vivre le deuil en toute intimité. D'autres informations vous seront communiquées dans les prochains jours.Angélil was born in Montreal to parents of Syrian and Lebanese descent. He attended College André-Grasset before breaking out in the 1960's as a pop singer in the group The Baronets. The band received airplay in Quebec, mainly with French translations of English hits.
It is with deep sadness that we announce that René Angélil, aged 73, died this morning at her residence in Las Vegas after a long and courageous fight against cancer. The family wishes to live the mourning in privacy. Other information you will be provided in the next few days.
- Team Celine -
After the band broke up René and Guy Cloutier started managing acts including René Simard and Ginette Reno but, in 1981, the two broke up their partnership.
It was in that same year that Angélil received a demo tape of a twelve-year-old Celine Dion whose voice moved him greatly. He mortgaged his home to help fund her first album which became a regional hit in Quebec. The next year, after Dion won the Top Performer award at Japan's Yamaha World Popular Song Festival, her star began to ascend worldwide.
Angélil's work with Dion was recognized in both 1987 and 1988 when he was awarded the Félix Award for Manager of the Year but his protege had yet to conquer the huge English language market in the world. In 1989, he had Dion take English lessons which paid off the next year with her first English album, Unison, and her breakout hit Where Does My Heart Beat Now (1990 / #4 Pop / #2 AC).
During this time, Angélil and Dion's partnership grew closer on a personal level and, on December 17, 1994, the two married (Celine was 26 years younger than René. It was Angélil's third marriage and he already had three children from his previous unions. Nonetheless, Dion and Angélil commenced to building a family and have three children, René-Charles Dion Angélil (born 2001) and twins Eddy Angelil and Nelson Angelil (born 2010).
Throughout their marriage, Angélil has battled various illnesses. He had a heart attack in 1992 before they married and, in 1998, was diagnosed with a malignant tumor on his neck. Dion took time off from her career to help bring him back to health.
In 2009, he had an operation for an arterial blockage and, in 2013, once again was treated for throat cancer. Dion announced in September 2015 that René's cancer was terminal.