Céline Dion says husband René Angélil ‘fighting’ for his life

Celine Dion, pictured on June 13, 2015.
Celine Dion, pictured on June 13, 2015. Ethan Miller / Getty Images

TORONTO — Canadian singer Céline Dion said her husband René Angélil is fighting for his life in a Boston hospital.

“He’s fighting, he’s fighting, and he’s working really hard,” Dion said in an interview on the weekend.

“René is fighting very hard, and he’s a trouper.”

Angélil, 73, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and has had several surgeries to treat it — including an operation in 2013 that included removal of part of his tongue.

Angélil has limited speech, eats through a feeding tube, and has lost some hearing due to radiation treatments.

Dion spoke about his condition with Las Vegas Sun columnist Robin Leach at Saturday’s Power of Love charity gala, where she sang “The Prayer” with Andrea Bocelli.

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“We’re not sleeping, we’re working on the health, we see doctors, we have treatments,” the singer said.

“It’s hard, the reality is hard, but we have the ticket to live today. We’re not dead; we’re living. Today, we’re alive, and we’re going for it.”

Angélil is currently receiving treatment at the renowned Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dion, who announced last August she is taking a break from performing to care for her husband, said she still plans to return to the stage of The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in August.

The 47-year-old said Angélil is supportive.

“He wants me strong, he wants me back, he wants to see me again,” said Dion.

“Before he goes, he wants me to make sure that… I’m living a day at a time, but I’m going to be ready.”

Asked if she will get emotional singing “Ne Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me),” Dion replied: “Probably.”

René Angélil and Céline Dion, pictured in 2011.
René Angélil and Céline Dion, pictured in 2011. Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Dion met Angélil in 1980 when she was 12. He became her manager and steered her to global fame. Engaged in 1991, they married in 1994 in a lavish ceremony inside Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica.

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The couple has three children: René-Charles, 14 and 4-year-old twins Eddy and Nelson.

“I’m amazed,” Dion said of her husband. “I’ve always been because I married him. I know he could support and create a career for me, but as my husband and the father of my children, he’s done so much more.”