Celine Dion has suffered few stumbling blocks when it comes to her career, but in her personal life, the singer is sadly no stranger to heartbreak.
The adored Canadian star has legions of loyal supporters and a strong family dynamic which includes her beloved three sons, twins Nelson and Eddy, 11, and René-Charles, 21.
However, when their father, René Angélil, died from throat cancer in 2016, the family were to endure even more agony.
Because just two days after Celine’s husband passed away at the age of 73, her older brother Daniel Dion, 59, also died of brain, throat and tongue cancer.
The pain was almost too much to bear for Celine, but she was determined to stay strong for the sake of her boys.
Remarkably, she also managed to see a positive and when she spoke to People magazine about her loss she said: “René escorted my brother. It was perfect.”
Had it been the other way around, Celine, said she was concerned she would have been by her sibling’s side in Montreal when her husband lost his battle with the disease.
The mother-of-three worried about what would have happened to her children had her husband died without her there.
Four months after her unimaginable loss, she opened up about no longer having the love of her life beside her.
“I really, really want to prove to my kids their mother is strong,” she said. “René always insisted the show must go on. “I lost the love of my life. I miss him a lot from when he was great but not when he was suffering. I cannot be selfish. You have to let people go. I feel at peace.”
René was more than Celine’s husband, he was also her manager and mentor. He was first diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999. Four years later, doctors removed a tumor, but the cancer returned in 2014.
After his death she spoke about caring for him and said: “It’s been a long, long journey. We were living in hope, knowing that there’s no hope.”
It was hard for Celine to cope, raising three children by herself but she was relieved that her husband was no longer in pain.
“He left me with all of his strength,” she said. “Every day we live with him, just not physically. I’m thankful that he does not suffer anymore.”