Celine Dion has opened up about her husband’s health battle, describing the moment she learned that his throat cancer had returned in 2013 for a third time, fifteen years after he had last finished fighting the condition.

In an emotional interview with Deborah Roberts on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Wednesday, she spoke of when her husband and long-time manager Rene Angelil told her the bad news just before she was due to perform onstage.

Celine Dion
Celine Dion has opened up about her husband's cancer and the care she provides

“Honestly, my heart started to beat faster, but my body shut off,” she remembered. “It was like, 'I'm gonna go put make-up on and I'm gonna go sing and I'm gonna forget how I feel right now.' I went on, I sang the song, and then reality started to strike.”

She also spoke about her decision to resume her Las Vegas residency on August 27th this year, at Caesar’s Palace, in spite of her husband’s condition. It is apparently at Angelil’s insistence that she’s doing so, and she hopes that performing will provide some kind of cathartic therapy.

More: Celine Dion will resume Las Vegas residency after year long hiatus

One of the biggest-selling female singers in history, Dion continued to perform her residency into 2014, keeping the news from the public throughout his surgery in late 2013 and subsequent care. However, the pressures of singing and caring for her husband and three children took its toll in August, when she announced an indefinite hiatus from live performances.

The two have been married since 1994, and have three children together: fourteen year old Rene-Charles and four year old twins Eddy and Nelson. In a separate interview, she told People magazine “when I stopped performing, I wanted to just be a wife and a mother.”

Angelil will be apparently be in the audience for at least one of the performances, and she said “I am scared of losing him, because it's bad. But I have to show myself, my husband and my kids that I'm strong and we're OK.”

Dion is scheduled for 40 live shows from August onwards, the tickets for which go on sale this weekend (March 28th).

More: Celine Dion is remaining “optimistic” as she cares for her cancer-stricken husband