MONTREAL – A veiled Celine Dion sat in silence at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica as she and hundreds of her friends, family members and fans mourned the loss of her husband and longtime manager, Rene Angelil.
Dion did not speak publicly at the funeral, instead leaving her and Angelil’s eldest son, Rene-Charles, to deliver a touching eulogy.
Mourners pay respects to René Angélil at visitation in Montreal
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He said 15 years is not a long time for a son to get to know his father but Angelil left him with enough good memories to share with his twin brothers, who are five.
Countless Quebec celebrities and dignitaries heading into the service noted Angelil’s generosity, among them former premier Jean Charest, current premier Philippe Couillard and the mayors of Montreal and Quebec City.
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People began gathering outside the basilica as early as 6 a.m. to ensure they were among about 700 members of the public who got a seat.
Andrea Marier said the story of Angelil plucking Dion from obscurity and turning her into an international musical superstar was an inspiration to thousands of fans.
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Angelil’s casket was later taken to Montreal’s Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery for a private graveside ceremony.
He died last week of throat cancer, two days before his 74th birthday.