Sad news for Céline Dion: Her husband, René Angélil, died Thursday after a battle with cancer, People reported in an exclusive story the same day. He was 73 years old.

The Grammy Award-winning singer did not immediately respond to her husband’s death but issued a statement through her rep. "Rene Angelil, 73, passed away this morning as his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer," the rep said in a statement. "The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment; more details will be provided at a later time." 

This was Angélil’s third battle with cancer, and Dion, 47, served as his rock. "I'll say, 'You're scared? I understand. Talk to me about it' … And René says to me, 'I want to die in your arms.' Okay, fine, I'll be there; you'll die in my arms,” she told USA Today in August.

The couple was never told how long Angélil had left. "We have asked [doctors] many times, how long does he have, three weeks, three months? René wants to know," Dion said. "But they say they don't know.”

Although he had been sick for years, his death was unexpected because he had felt better in recent days, TMZ reported Thursday. Dion reportedly scheduled business meetings for Thursday — not knowing his condition would deteriorate.

Angélil discovered Dion when she was 12 years old and helped her become an international star. They eventually fell in love and married in 1994. Dion put her career on hold “indefinitely” when his condition took a turn for the worse in August 2014.  “I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband’s healing, and to do so, it’s important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children,” Dion said at the time, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She eventually resumed her residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. 

His three children with Dion, a 14-year-old and 5-year-old twins, as well as three adult children from a previous marriage, survived Angélil.

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