Hours before stepping onstage at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace to host a Celebration of Life service in honour of her late husband, René Angélil, Celine Dion shared a never-before-scene photo of herself embracing her longtime love. In a poignant mark of remembrance, the 47-year-old star replaced her Facebook and Twitter profile picture with the touching new snap.
Celine has also set up a online book of condolences (www.legacy.com/reneangelil) where fans are encouraged to leave their messages of love and support.
It's been nearly two weeks since the Canadian songstress said goodbye to René, who passed away in January. She will now pay tribute to him one last time in their adopted home. The couple's friend Robin Leach reports that Celine will be joined onstage by her son René-Charles, her husband's brother Andre and René's three eldest children, Anne-Marie, Patrick and Jean-Pierre. She is expected to speak briefly during the service, which will be broadcast live online.
She has been grieving privately with her three sons but penned an emotional open letter to fans on Friday to thank them for their support.
Writing on her official website, Celine said: "My family and I are deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support from so many people who have touched our lives during these past few days.
"We have felt your love for René, and your prayers and compassion have helped us during this most difficult time... more than you'll ever know. I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
It has been a difficult time for the singer as she has also had to grieve the loss of her brother. Following René's emotional funeral in Montreal, Celine was apparently too grief-stricken to attend her brother's funeral. A source told Entertainment Tonight that the Titanic singer felt unable to go through any more public mourning. Instead the mother of three paid her respects at a visitation.
Like René, Daniel passed away following a long battle with cancer. A statement from Celine's representatives confirmed the sad news on Jan. 16. Prior to Daniel's passing, the singer's sister Claudette opened up about their brother's condition with The Journal of Montreal, saying, "It’s very painful. It looks a lot like René, he had cancer of the throat, tongue and brain," adding, "Our family is very experienced."