January 21, 2016 5:41 am
Updated: January 21, 2016 10:11 pm

Mourners pay respects to René Angélil at visitation in Montreal

WATCH: Mourners paid their respects to Celine Dion‘s late husband, René Angélil at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. Global's Elysia Bryan-Baynes reports.


MONTREAL – Mourners will have a chance to pay their respects to Celine Dion‘s late husband, René Angélil.

A viewing was held Thursday at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m.

WATCH: Local trumpeter pays tribute to Rene Angelil

His funeral will take place at the same location Friday afternoon.

Angélil died last Thursday at his home in Las Vegas after a long battle with throat cancer.

WATCH: René Angélil passes away

He was two days shy of his 74th birthday.

Dion and Angélil had three children – René-Charles, who was born in 2001, and twins Nelson and Eddy, who arrived in 2010.

Angélil was in a band in the 1960s called Les Baronets.

When it dissolved, he teamed up with friend Guy Cloutier to manage several up-and-coming Quebec artists including René Simard and Ginette Reno.

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He later struck out on his own and in 1981 received an audio tape in the mail from Dion’s mother, who encouraged him to “listen to it carefully. It’s my 12-year-old daughter.”

Struck by her voice, Angélil quickly took her under his wing.

He gave Dion an image makeover when she turned 18 and launched her first English-language album, “Unison” in 1990, which established her as an international pop star.

READ MORE: Remembering René Angélil: tributes pour in on social media

As per Angélil’s wishes, the viewing and funeral are being held at the church where he and Dion were married in 1994.

A celebration of Angélil’s life will take place Feb. 3 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Dion is also dealing with another tragedy in the family – her brother Daniel Dion died of cancer two days after Angélil.

His funeral is set for Monday, just outside Montreal in the family’s hometown of Charlemagne.

Road closures

Montreal police have blocked off several streets around the Basilica for the visitation and funeral.

There will be no parking on parts of Notre-Dame, Saint-Jacques and Saint-Urbain streets.

There will be no parking on several streets during René Angélil’s visitation, Thursday, January 21, 2016.

Montreal police

* with files from The Canadian Press.

© 2016 Shaw Media

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