Celine Dion celebrated the life of late husband Rene Angelil with the music mogul’s family, friends, and colleagues. The grieving widow shared a tearful tribute with a packed house at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Wednesday, February 3.
The location of Rene’s “Celebration of Life” ceremony took place in the exact theatre where Celine’s elaborate Las Vegas concerts are held. Robin Leach began the evening by welcoming guests to the Colosseum and explaining the golden hand off to the side of the stage in the auditorium.
When Celine returned to Caesar’s Palace in August of 2015, Rene would not be with the award-winning singer. Angelil had performed a ritual handshake before each show.
The golden hand, created from an actual cast of Rene’s hand, was placed in the wings of the stage in order for Celine and the crew to touch the hand as a representation of Rene Angelil’s handshake before each performance.
Leach told attendees, “You are invited, and encouraged, to come onstage following our speakers to touch the golden hand as a link to the past and a good omen for the future.”
Many took the podium during the “Celebration of Life” to share memories of Rene and how he touched their lives. Speaking in both English and French, Rene’s son Patrick guided speakers and guests through the tribute.
Grammy Award-winning producer, musician, and songwriter David Foster, revealed that “He didn’t demand your attention, he commanded it.”
Of course, the most moving speaker of the night was Rene’s widow Celine Dion. At approximately 2 hours and 8 minutes into the “Celebration of Life,” Celine came to the podium to speak of her late husband. The “Beauty and the Beast” singer received a standing ovation and spoke for approximately 20 minutes.
Celine shared many loving memories of Rene Angelil, but perhaps the beginning of the “Beauty and the Beast” singer’s tribute was the most heartbreaking.
“This is home away from home. At the same time I’m supposed to feel extremely comfortable being home, and right now, I’m not quite sure how strong I feel.” Celine fought to keep from crying throughout her entire tribute to Rene – to whom she referred to as the love of her life.
Concluding the evening, Celine Dion shared, “On behalf of my family, thank you again for being here for this beautiful tribute of mon amour. Rene, I love you so much. Merci. Goodnight.”
Image credit to FameFlynet