A few months after losing her beloved husband René Angélil, Celine Dion made true on the words she sang in a powerful performance of Queen's 1991 classic "The Show Must Go On" at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. In the evening's most emotional moment, Celine then moved across the stage to accept the Billboard Icon Award from a special guest.
Following a standing ovation from the star-studded crowd, the 48-year-old was moved to tears by a surprise appearance by her son René-Charles Angelil. The 15-year-old presented his mother with the award, which has only been bestowed on four other musicians — Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Lopez and Prince.
"I'm so sorry. I'm sorry for crying. I want to be so strong for my family and my kids. And I didn't expect that. I'm so sorry," she told the Las Vegas crowd. "I don't want to cry in front of you. You make me so happy. Thank you."
The iconic singer then proceeded to thank her fans, who supported her music during difficult times. She said, “This is such a tremendous honor of course. You know music has been my passion since before I can almost remember. So many people have helped me get to where I am today. I cannot name them all... Most especially I want to thank the fans for traveling through music with me in good and bad times... my family, my mom who wrote my first song. My children.”
Celine concluded her speech saying, “Most importantly my beloved husband whom I know will continue to watch over me from up above. René, this one’s for you. The show must go on."
René died on January 14 after losing his long battle with cancer. Celine and her late music manager had three children, teenager René-Charles and twins Nelson and Eddy, 5.
The "Power of Love" singer made her triumphant return to the stage in February following René's death. She told audience goers, "I understood that my career was in a way his masterpiece, his song, his symphony. The idea of leaving it unfinished would have hurt him terribly. I realized that if he ever left us, I would have to continue without him, for him."
The mother of three recently praised René-Charles for the heartfelt eulogy he gave during René's funeral, telling People, "I could almost hear his knee-caps shaking. I was so proud of him. [René] was so proud of him." She was surely proud at the Billboard Awards too as her son held her hand and stood by her side while she delivered her acceptance speech.