Céline Dion shakes a replica of her late husband's hand before every performance

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Céline Dion, performing in Nice, France, in July, reaches out to her late husband prior to every performance. (Photo: Tony Barson/Getty Images)

Céline Dion’s bond with her late husband, René Angélil, goes on.

In a new interview with Stellar magazine, the “My Heart Will Go On” songstress says that before every one of her concerts — she has a residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas running until 2019 — she has a moment of reflection on Angélil, her husband and manager who died from cancer two years ago. There is a replica of his hand, which was cast in bronze, backstage, and she clasps it to give her strength before emerging from behind the curtains to sing.

“I shake my husband’s hand and knock on wood with him every night before every show,” Dion said, adding, “Even after he’s gone, I still talk to him.”

Here’s a tribute she posted to Angélil on the first anniversary of his death in 2017:

Getting back to work right after Angélil’s death helped Céline — who had three children with him — find her footing again. After all, he had been part of her life and career since he discovered her at age 12. (He was 38.)

“My husband wanted me to go back onstage before he passed; that’s what he wanted the most,” she said of Angélil, who had a long battle with throat cancer. “So I went back onstage while he was still alive; he wanted to make sure I could keep going. So I did prove to him, yes, I could keep going. I told him I’ve got the kids and that he’s got to trust me, he’s got to relax.”

Dion continued, “He taught me so much. He did a great job; what he had been giving to me all his life and all my life will always be with me. He gave me his all. He mortgaged his house to pay for my first album. I guess before he left he wanted to make sure I was fine. I’m trying to prove to him every day I’m fine. Our kids are growing; we feel strong. We’re good.”

Céline Dion with her boys:

And next month, Dion will celebrate her milestone 50th birthday, but the newly minted style icon hints that it’s really no big deal.

“I’m not a birthday girl, not even when I was 20,” she said. “To be honest, I’d rather be doing a show. But five is my lucky number, so I’m quite excited to turn 50.”

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