After taking a year-long break from her Las Vegas residency last summer to care for her ailing husband René Angélil, the singer, 47, returned to the stage Thursday at Caesars Palace’s Colosseum in Las Vegas. “Thank you for all your love,” the Grammy Award winner told her Twitter followers after the concert. “Tonight was not a new day, tonight was not really a new show. Tonight was a new beginning.”
Angélil, 73, continues to battle throat cancer.
Earlier that day, Dion held a press conference. “The meaning of the songs have a new meaning now,” she explained. “I sung them, but now I mean it. To me they’ll be different songs. To you, maybe not.” The “Because You Loved Me” singer added, “My three children and my husband wanted me to be here tonight.”
Before wrapping up the press conference, Dion told reporters that Angélil would be watching her show live via video at their Las Vegas home. The Canadian songbird said her husband of nearly 21 years told her to “just enjoy” her comeback show.
Dion spoke to USA Today earlier this week about the decision to resume her long-running show. “I didn’t want to be here at first; I don’t need it,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong. I love singing for people, but I have priorities. “But René really gave me a gift. All my grieving, it was during this last year. I think I’ve got this. For now. When it hits me, it’s going to hit me. But my biggest job is to tell my husband, ‘We’re fine. I’ll take care of our kids. You’ll watch us from another spot.'”
Angélil has been on a feeding tube for two years, Dion said, and doctors “don’t know” how long he has to live. Though she tries to be strong for her husband and their three kids, sometimes Angélil “needs something more sensitive than that, more than just positivity. Sometimes he just wants me to enter into a different place with him. 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.’ OK, fine, I’ll be there, you’ll die in my arms.”