In Summary

  • The businessman set out to make Dion the biggest singer in the world.
  • At age 12, Dion had recorded a demo tape with her mother and sent it to Angelil.

MONTREAL

Celine Dion's husband Rene Angelil, who discovered the Canadian pop diva and long managed her career, died Thursday aged 73 after a long struggle with cancer.

Dion announced his passing in a Twitter message, saying: "Rene Angelil passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer."

A spokesman for the singer, Marc Olivier, said more information would be given in the coming days, but for now the family wished to be left to mourn in private.

Born in Montreal to Lebanese-Syrian immigrants, Angelil started out in music dabbling in yeye — French 60s music — before trying his hand at comedy, and finally settling on a career in music management.

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