Celine Dion is showing unimaginable strength as she prepares to lay her great love, René Angélil, to rest in Montreal. After personally greeting hundreds of fans at a public visitation on Thursday (Jan. 21), the singer's team announced on Twitter that there will be a live stream of her late husband's funeral from the Notre-Dame Basilica on Jan. 22 at 3 p.m.
Protecting his wife until the very end, René saved Celine the burden of planning his funeral by deciding on all the details himself, choosing as the location the very place where he and "the great love of his life" wed in 1994. Celine, 47, and her children boarded a private jet from Las Vegas to Montreal on Wednesday (Jan. 20), where the veil-clad star spent much of the following day hugging and chatting with grieving fans paying their respects at the church.
René lost his battle with cancer on Jan. 14. Photo: © Getty Images
The "My Heart Will Go On" singer has faced much heartbreak this week. After losing to throat cancer the "unprecedented visionary, a modern Pygmalion, a Renaissance man," with whom she fell in love as a teenager, Celine also faced the death of her 59-year-old brother, Daniel Dion, also from cancer. "Celine's heart is in pieces," a source close to the singer told People.
Despite reports that Celine will perform at the funeral, her representative has stated that there will be no live musical tribute, though a few of her songs may play during the service. René was a highly regarded figure in Canada, and as such his funeral will be televised on three networks and flags will fly at high-mast.
Celine greeted mourners in Montreal on Jan. 21. Photo: © CP
Just as René urged his shining star to return to the Las Vegas stage as his health was deteriorating, Celine will honour her longtime manager and most steadfast fan by performing on the strip once again come Feb. 23. René's family and friends will also gather in Las Vegas on Feb. 3 for a special Celebration of Life service at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.