"I want to be so strong for my family and my kids," she said with tears in her eyes. "I don't want to cry in front of you."
Dion thanked her supportive fans and at the end of her speech, said she believed her late husband "will continue to watch over me from up above."
"René, this one's for you," she said, also speaking in French. "The show must go on."
Toronto-born Shawn Mendes, who took the stage after The Weeknd's first win, did an acoustic version of his song Stitches with strong vocals while playing both the guitar and piano during the performance.
Britney Spears opened the show with a lip-synced medley of her hits, including I'm a Slave 4 U and Womanizer.
Another highly-anticipated performance came from Kesha, whose record label had refused to let her perform before eventually giving in under the condition she not mention her ongoing legal battle with them while on stage.
Kesha got a standing ovation after singing a rendition of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe.
Madonna, Stevie Wonder honour Prince
Madonna, dressed in a metallic purple suit and holding a cane, sang one song in her tribute to Prince, Nothing Compares 2 U, before bringing out surprise guest Stevie Wonder.
Together, they had the audience on their feet singing along to Purple Rain, which closed the evening.
Who else took the stage at Sunday's Billboard Music Awards? Check out the star-studded photo gallery below to find out.