While Celine Dion and René Angélil were candid about his health struggles, the music executive's death on Jan. 14 at age 73 still came as a surprise to fans and famous friends alike. Over the course of her prolific career, during which Celine has garnered hundreds of awards, she and her manager-husband have made friends across the industry, many of whom rushed to send their thoughts and prayers to the family.
René's struggle with throat cancer started in 1998, when he underwent surgery and ended up in remission, but he fell ill again in recent years. It's been a roller-coaster for the family, including the children, René-Charles, 14, and five-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy. Celine took a hiatus from her Las Vegas residency to care for her husband of 21 years, but returned to the stage last August at René's insistence for an emotional run of shows at the Colosseum.
The couple's longtime colleague and friend, AEG Live Las Vegas businessman John Nelson, was quick to share his feelings in a statement, saying, "René was the most brilliant, generous and loyal partner one could have in business. And after the work was done, René was such a fun and joyful friend who loved to entertain, eat amazing meals and tell great stories. There will never be another one like René."
Read More: Tender moments in Celine and René's marriage
Those who sent their love and memories of René include singer Josh Groban, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Avril Lavigne, Gloria Estefan, Reba McEntire and Michelle Williams. “Rene spoke softly but carried monumental respect. Some of my first moments in this biz are because of him," said a reflective Josh.
Rene spoke softly but carried monumental respect. Some of my first moments in this biz are because of him. Love to Celine & their children.
— josh groban (@joshgroban) January 14, 2016
Trudeau shared a note for the family on Twitter, saying, "My condolences to @CelineDion, and to the children, friends and loved ones of René Angélil on his passing."
Gloria assured Celine that her loved ones would help the family through this tough time, tweeting, "RIP René Angélil, great friend & human being! The world will take @celinedion &ur boys into its arms & continue 2 love & care 4 them 4 U."
See the other touching notes below:
RIP Rene Angélil, great friend & human being!The world will take @celinedion &ur boys into its arms & continue 2 love & care 4 them 4 U.❤️
— Gloria Estefan (@GloriaEstefan) January 14, 2016
— LeAnn Rimes Cibrian (@leannrimes) January 14, 2016
My condolences to @CelineDion, and to the children, friends and loved ones of René Angélil on his passing.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 14, 2016
We should all be so lucky to have a marriage as strong as @celinedion - Sad day all around
— Devon Soltendieck (@DSoltendieck) January 14, 2016
If I saw Celine Dion right now, I'd give her a big hug. So sad. #Canadian
— devon sawa (@DevonESawa) January 14, 2016
My heart breaks for @CelineDion tonight. My thoughts are with the family. ❤️❤️❤️
— Lance Bass (@LanceBass) January 14, 2016
— Larry King (@kingsthings) January 14, 2016
— Ben Mulroney (@BenMulroney) January 14, 2016
— Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz) January 14, 2016
— Donny Osmond (@donnyosmond) January 14, 2016
— Michelle Williams (@RealMichelleW) January 14, 2016