Heartbroken superstar singer Celine Dion paid tribute to her late husband Rene Angelil, who tragically died of cancer in January, in her first performance since his passing. The singer took to the stage and resumed her Las Vegas residency but recognised her manager and partner of 21 years with a written message to the crowd before she began.

Celine Dion and Rene Angelil Celine Dion and her husband Rene Angelil before he passed away from cancer

The message read: "I understood that my career was in a way his masterpiece, his song, his symphony.

"The idea of leaving it unfinished would have hurt him terribly.

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"I realised that if he ever left us, I would have to continue without him, for him."

On stage, Celine struggled to hold back the tears and told the crowd: "I felt Rene on stage with me.. He’s always been on stage with me. And nothing will ever change that."

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"I might not hear his voice yet, but I talk to him, I think of him all the time. I feel and I know he hears me."

Dion, 47, first met her husband, 73, when she was just 12 years old after she sent him a demonstration recording she had completed with her mother and brother.

Rene re-mortgaged his house to pay for his future wife’s first album in 1981 before they married in 1994 and later had three children together.