Thursday


Everyday I tell him that I love him


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Early on a spring morning a bald bearded man and a willowy beautiful women walked almost unnoticed into a Las Vegas chapel and watched by a few friends, renewed the wedding vows they had first made in 1994.

After over a decade of heartbreak and uncertainty, Celine Dion and her husband Rene Angelil finally felt confident enough in the future to commit to it together. 

The cancer that Rene was convinced would kill him was apparently in remission and the couple were finally daring to believe that their love story would have a happy ending.

Celine had first met Rene when she was 14 and he was 38. She says if it hadn't been for his faith that she had the potential to be a singing star, her career would probably have gone nowhere. 

Now 46 and 72 their relationship warms and deepens with every day they spend together. "We are each other's best friends," Celine says. "We live for each other."

They have gone through a lot together and Celine will never forget every detail of that warm April morning in 1998, when high above Texas in a private jet, the man who had made her into a superstar worth $200 million, discovered a lump in his neck.

When the plane landed in Dallas, where Celine was due to perform at a sell-out concert, Rene Angelil hurried to a cancer specialist who scheduled him for surgery that night. The lump was malignant and the fairy-tale world of Celine Dion changed instantly into stark reality.

"I knew what I must do," she said. "I must give up my career for at least two years and be with Rene. All that matters now is being with my man, living a normal married life, and hopefully, having a child."

Celine first knew Rene when he ran a music shop in the out-of-the-way Canadian town of Charlemagne. She was a plain child with dreams of stardom, who sang a song her mother had written into a home tape-recorder.

Rene Angelil was the only person who took her dreams seriously. He even mortgaged his house to raise the money to produce Celine's first album.

"I became obsessed with this girl and her voice," he later admitted. The obsession cost him his first marriage — his wife, Anne-Renee walked out in 1985, leaving Rene to bring up their two children.

Within a year of their meeting, Celine was singing her mother's song, It Was Only a Dream, on TV. She became a star in Canada, then in France and finally in the US. In 1988, she won the Eurovision song contest and soon afterwards announced her engagement to Rene.  

Dismissing the 25-year age-gap as unimportant, she said: "From the time we met I trusted him with my career. Now I trust him with my life."

Under Rene Angelil's guidance, Celine Dion became the most successful woman pop star of all time, with three luxury homes, a private jet and an entourage of over 100 people.

But the discovery of Rene's cancer changed everything. After the Dallas operation the prognosis was good and in fact Rene went into remission, but Celine knew they could be living on borrowed time.

"I want to be with the man I love, live a normal life and try to have a child. It's time to get into reality.
"Rene needed all my attention. I will never forget those terrible days when he couldn't eat or swallow, and I was certain he was going to die.

"Now instead of him taking me to recording studios, I was taking him for radiation treatments. I took him 138 times. Slowly he began to recover and I realised there was a life for both of us again."

Celine picked up the threads of her career and today is more popular than ever. It's been estimated that somewhere in the world a Celine Dion record is being bought every second of the day. She has just issued her latest best-selling album.

Today, Celine and Rene have a 13-year-old son, Rene-Charles, and in 2010 after years of vainly hoping for more children, Celine finally gave birth to two twin boys Eddy and Nelson. "It was a blessing we never expected," she says.

Now in remission from cancer, Rene is still his wife's manager but also has another career — big-time gambler. Recently he lost $1 million in one night at Las Vegas – and won it back the next...
"Life is good again," Celine says. "But no one knows for how long. That's why at the beginning of every single day I tell Rene that I love him..." 

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