Celine Dion returned to television to perform Queen’s ‘The Show Must Go on’ and to accept the Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards, presented to her by her teenage son, . See the photos and video of her emotional speech and tribute to her late husband, Rene Angelil.
At the 24th annual BBMAs, held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Celine Dion delivered a powerful, emotional and mesmerizing performance of the Queen classic ‘The Show Must Go on.’ She was accompanied by superstar violinist Lindsey Stirling and a full orchestra and her impeccable singing was majestic and heartbreaking all at once. Her life circumstances and her impassioned rendition gave the familiar lyrics — originally written in honor of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury who died in 1991 — a new context.
For her, as it was for the band, this has become literal fact. She has suffered inestimable grief over her husband’s death in January at 74 from cancer, and just two days later, the loss of her older brother, Daniel Dion, who also succumbed to cancer. And yet, just a few months later she has returned.
And, in a surprise both to her and to the audience, the presenter was none other than her son, 14-year-old Rene-Charles Angelil.
She began her speech, as she fought back the tears, saying, “I want to be so strong for my family and my kids and I didn’t expect that.”
She went on to say, “This is such a tremendous honor, of course. Music has been a tremendous passion since before almost I can remember. So many people helped me get to where I am today. I cannot name them all, I hope they will surely recognize themselves. Most especially I want to thank the fans for traveling through music with me in good and bad times.”
As she thanked her producers, her record label, and her mother for writing her first song, she went on to pay tribute saying, “Most importantly, my beloved husband who I know will continue to watch over me from above.” She went on to conclude, saying, “Rene, this one’s for you. The show must go on.”
It was earlier this year, when she made her return to the Las Vegas stage, that she had given a full tribute to her husband, and said at that time, “René is the only man that I have known all my life. He always made me feel that we were always on our first date.” She added, “We will always be one.”
Watch the video of Celine Dion receiving the Icon Award and highlights of her performance of ‘The Show Must Go On’ at the Billboard Music Awards below.