Celine Dion's husband René Angélil never stopped protecting his beloved wife, right up until the end. In order to spare the singer the heartache of worrying about details following his passing, the music executive planned his own funeral. “He protected me," Celine told Hello! in a 2009 interview. "Over the years we fell in in love with each other, but he was always my protector and he still is."
Her friend and stylist, Annie Horth, told People, "René was generous enough to prepare all of this since the last few months with Céline. Because of that she is going through (it) peacefully and with control."
The showbiz manager died just two days short of his 74th birthday after a long and courageous battle with throat cancer. He will be laid to rest on Friday (Jan. 22).
An obituary published on the singer's website said his funeral would take place "at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, where 21 years ago, he chose to marry the one who will remain as the great love of his life, the artist for which he had the most respect, the woman who gave him light and happiness until his very last breath."
Celine, whose career he managed from the age of 12, has decided not to sing herself.
Members of the public will be able to pay their last respects to the impresario at the Chapel of Rest on Thursday.
On Feb. 3, a celebration of his life will take place in Las Vegas at the Caesars Palace Colosseum, a venue inextricably associated with Celine because of her residency there.
In a devastating turn of events, the 47-year-old Canadian singer is also mourning the loss of her 59-year-old brother Daniel Dion, who died on Jan. 16 of cancer.
Since her husband's death, Celine and their three children, René-Charles, Nelson and Eddy, have received an outpouring of love from around the world. René also left behind three grown children from two previous marriages, Patrick, Jean-Pierre and Anne-Marie.
In his final months, Celine spoke of how she was trying to reassure him that she could cope without him. "My biggest job is to tell my husband, we're fine,” she said. “I'll take care of our kids. You'll watch us from another spot."