René Angélil Dies of Throat Cancer: Celine Dion's Husband Was 73

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Rene Angelil has lost a long battle with cancer.

Rene Angelil and Celine Dion: 'Veronic Voices' Media Night

"Rene Angelil, 73, passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer," Celine Dion's team said in a statement to People.

"The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment."

Angelil has battled the disease three times since 1999;  he had surgery on his throat in 2014 to remove a tumor when the cancer returned a second time.

Angelil and Dion married in a spectacular Quebec wedding ceremony in 1994, and renewed their vows in 2000 in Las Vegas.

Dion had gone into semi-retirement in order to look after her husband, who was about 26 years her senior.

"We have asked [doctors] many times, how long does he have, three weeks, three months? René wants to know," Dion told USA Today this past August.

"But they say they don't know."

Dion recalled her husband's request to "die" in her arms. 

"Okay, fine, I'll be there," she recalled telling him.  "You'll die in my arms." 

Dion has remained remarkably strong throughout.

"You can have your shaking knees at the end, but when someone you love falls and needs help, it's not time to cry," she told the newspaper.

"Afterwards, sure. But not yet."

The music manger is survived by Dion, his sons Rene-Charles, 14, twins Nelson and Eddy, 5, as well as three grown children from a previous marriage, Anne-Marie, Patrick and Jean-Pierre.

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