Entertainment

Céline Dion honours late husband René Angélil in return to Las Vegas stage

Céline Dion was greeted by a standing ovation upon taking the stage at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, her first performance since the January death of her husband René Angélil.

'Love tribute' to Angélil will continue in Vegas for 3 more weeks

1st performance since death of husband René Angélil 1:11

Céline Dion has returned to the stage in Las Vegas for the first time since the death of her late husband René Angélil.

Dion, clad in a long black dress, was greeted by a standing ovation Tuesday night that lasted over a minute upon taking the stage at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

The 47-year-old began her set with With One More Look at You, first popularized by Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born.

Dion spoke about her husband for several minutes after the opening number, stating that while Angélil is no longer physically with her, he is ever present.

"Every time I closed my eyes I felt René onstage with me," she said.

"He has always been onstage with me, and nothing will ever change with that," she added.

Dion said she engages in a constant dialogue with Angélil, joking, "now I can tell he is telling me to 'zip it' and start singing [again]."

After some brief words in French, Dion continued the performance with Where Does My Heart Beat Now? and Because You Loved Me.
Céline Dion, seen in a performance in Las Vegas on Aug. 27, 2015, said her husband's presence will be still be felt when she performs on stage. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Dion opened the Colosseum on March 25, 2003 and is now closing in on 1,000 performances there.

A public memorial for Angélil was held at the same venue in Las Vegas on Feb. 3, about two weeks after about 700 attended a funeral for the singer's husband and manager at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal.

The 73-year-old died Jan. 14 after a battle with throat cancer and was also survived by his six children, including three with Dion.

Dion's brother, Daniel, also succumbed to cancer just two days later.

A video tribute to Angélil's life preceded the performance, which was also available via a live stream on the superstar's Facebook page.

The "love tribute" that preceded the performance will be repeated before each of Dion's shows in Las Vegas over the next three weeks. The Quebec singer plans to perform in Belgium and France this summer before staging several performances in Montreal and Quebec City.

With files from The Canadian Press

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