Pop singer Céline Dion’s representative said Friday that Dion’s brother has cancer and doesn’t have long to live, even as funeral arrangements were announced for Dion’s husband, who died a day earlier.
Kim Jakwerth confirmed reports on the prognosis of Dion’s brother Daniel.
Le Journal de Montréal says Daniel Dion is 59 years old. He is one of the 14 Dion siblings. His sister Claudette Dion told Le Journal that it’s a matter of days or hours for her brother. She added that he has cancer of the throat, tongue and brain.
Dion’s husband, René Angélil, died Thursday after a long battle with throat cancer in the suburban Las Vegas home in Henderson he shared with Dion and their three children.
Francine Chaloult, Dion’s publicist, said the service for the 73-year-old will be held Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal.
Angélil wanted to have his funeral at the same church where he wed Dion over two decades ago, Chaloult said.
“He will be remembered as a gentle man, generous and kind, an unprecedented visionary, a modern Pygmalion, a Renaissance man,” said Chaloult. “[We] have lost a conqueror and a man of great substance and influence. He is now a part of the collective memory of the music industry, be it in Canada or elsewhere in the world.”
The Quebec government announced late Friday that it will be a state funeral.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said Quebecers will be able to celebrate Angélil’s contribution to the province’s culture during a wake on Thursday between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m in Montreal.
“We have all been touched by the death of René Angelil,” said Couillard in a statement.
A celebration of Angélil’s life will also take place Feb. 3 in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace Colosseum.
Angélil was born in Montreal on Jan. 16, 1942, to a Syrian father and a Québécois mother.
He started his career in entertainment as a singer in the early 1960s before quitting to manage up-and-coming Quebec artists including René Simard and Ginette Reno.
Angélil began managing Dion in the 1980s and helped her reach international stardom.