After the sudden and devastating loss of her husband, René Angélil, in 2016. The pop singer Celine Dion has found a way to spend a moment with her long-time love before each performance.
It was a very difficult year for the award-winning singer, after losing her husband to cancer, her brother unexpectedly died just two days later.
"I think I will probably grieve for the rest of my life. René has prepared me for all my life since I'm 12 [sic]. I have never met another man in my life, never kissed another man in my life," she admitted.
Celine and René met when she was just 12-years-old. In the early days, René served as her manager and helped transform her into a superstar.
“I never wrote my songs. I didn’t even know how to read music or play an instrument,” she says. “I had a great manager who surrounded me with the best people.”
After a few years of working together, they began a romantic relationship, but kept it quiet because of their 26-year age difference.
"I am definitely in love with [René], married to him," she shared. "He's the love of my life. It's very difficult for me to see myself with another person. The love that I have for him, I live it every day.'"
The couple married in 1994 and spent 21 years together.
The Canadian singer has three children with her late husband; René-Charles who is 17, and seven-year-old twins, Nelson and Eddy.
The proud mother recently celebrated her eldest son's 17th birthday with a sweet post on Instagram.
“I love you more and more each day, and I’m so proud of the young man that you’ve become,” she wrote.
In spite of the emotional roller coaster, the "My Heart Will Go On" singer has not slowed down.
She has spent the last few years performing in Las Vegas in her residency at Caesars Palace, and now she is embarking on an Asia Pacific tour, including stops in Australia and New Zealand.
New year, new tour! I am thrilled to announce I’ll be touring the Asia-Pacific region this summer and I can’t wait to perform for you. I’ll be back in Tokyo and Macao after 10 years, and I will also have the pleasure to visit for the first time ever Singapore, Jakarta, Taipei, Manila and Bangkok! I hope to see you there to celebrate this tour with me! - Céline Nouvelle année, nouvelle tournée! C’est avec grand plaisir que je vous annonce ma tournée en Asie-Pacifique cet été. Je serai de retour à Tokyo et Macao après 10 ans et j’aurai aussi la chance de visiter pour la toute première fois Singapour, Jakarta, Taipei, Manille et Bangkok. J’espère vous retrouver et célébrer cette belle tournée avec vous! – Céline #CélineDion #CélineDionLive2018 #SummerTour #SummerTour2018 #AsiaPacificSummerTour #Tokyo #Macao #Singapore #Jakarta #Taipei #Manila #Bangkok
Still, René has not left her side.
"Not only is he in my heart, he performs with me. Everything that I am, and that I know, he taught me," she said.
So it is no surprise that she has a tradition to keep her husband as part of her show. But this ritual may seem odd to many.
In spite of being gone for two years, René continues to be a part of Celine's pre-concert ritual.
The "Power of Love" singer revealed that she clutches a bronze replica of her late husband's hand before each performance.
“I shake my husband’s hand and knock on wood with him every night before every show. Even after he’s gone.” she shared with Australian magazine Stellar saying, “I still talk to him. I’m trying to prove to him every day I’m fine. Our kids are growing, we feel strong. We’re good.”
René even has a special seat at every one of her concerts, which hasn't changed, since he used to sit at the back of the sound stage before his passing.
“He taught me so much. He did a great job; what he had been giving to me all his life and all my life will always be with me,” Celine said. “He gave me his all. He mortgaged his house to pay for my first album."
The singer, who turns 50 on March 30 shares that she has no plans for the big day.
“I’m not a birthday girl, not even when I was 20. To be honest, I’d rather be doing a show. But five is my lucky number, so I’m quite excited to turn 50,” she said.
That night, instead, she will be on her stage in Las Vegas, doing what she does best, with her husband in her heart.
"My husband and I, we were a team and we're still a team," she said. "We were one. We always said that we were - when I was very, very young, - 50/50. He was very, very kind and I feel extremely fortunate that I had him as a husband and that he gave me three magnificent children and I see him through them every day, every day. But René will never, ever leave me."