Celine Dion’s husband and manager Rene Angelil, who discovered the best-selling Canadian recording artist of all time, passed away January 14, 2016, after a 15-year battle with cancer. He was 73. Born in Montreal in 1942 to a Syrian father and Canadian mother, the music manager discovered Dion’s singing ability when she was just 12 years old. He mortgaged his own house to finance her early recording career. They became a couple years later and married in 1994 when Celine was 26. During Rene’s last days, he was able to eat only from a feeding table.
Rene Angelil himself became a singer in the 1960s and started a band called Les Baronnets. After extensive touring around the continent, the group split up in 1972, Rene deciding to go into the management side of the music industry. Celine Dion’s mother sent him a cassette recording of her daughter’s singing. Rene was so overwhelmed that he put everything he had into launching her career. After big success with her French language music, Rene helped Celine transition into English. Her first language crossover album was Unison in 1990 produced by the capable hands of Canada’s David Foster. And the rest, as they say, is history. Rene and Celine had three sons together Rene-Charles, Eddy, and Nelson.