Celine Dion and Rene Angelil's incredible and enduring 21-year love story

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Celine Dion's Husband Dies at 73

Celine Dion was known for her romantic hits like "My Heart Will Go On" and "Love Can Move Mountains," but her greatest love story was never in a song ... it was the one she shared with her husband, Rene Angelil.

The 47-year-old singer, who said goodbye to her husband on Thursday after his long battle with three bouts of cancer, showed unwavering love and support for her partner throughout his illness and even vowed to let him die in her arms.

Celine's bond with Rene started long before they were husband and wife. The French-Canadian singer met Rene when she was just 12 years old after she auditioned for him. At the time, he was 38 and was a music manager. "While I was singing he started to cry," Dion told PEOPLE years later. "I knew then I had done a good job."

Shortly after Rene became her manager and he became extremely invested in her success. At one point, he famously mortgaged his own house in order to pay for her first record. But as she later explained -- he believed in her talent.

From their wedding to 'Titanic' success, a look back at their love
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Celine Dion and Rene Angelil's Romance in Pictures
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Celine Dion and Rene Angelil's incredible and enduring 21-year love story
UNITED STATES - MARCH 01: Celine Dion and Rene Angelil In Los Angeles, United States In March 1990. (Photo by Pool 6500/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - JUNE 19: Celine Dion celebrates her 10 years career In Montreal, Canada On June 19, 1991-Celine Dion and her manager Rene Angelil. (Photo by PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - DECEMBER 15: Celine Dion's Wedding In Montreal, Canada On December 15, 1994-Celine Dion with husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - MAY 01: Archives: Celine Dion In Montreal, Canada In May, 1996-December, 17, 1994, during her wedding with Rene Angelil. (Photo by Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
MONACO - MAY 03: World Music Awards In Monte Carlo, Monaco On May 03, 1995 - Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by Jean-Pierre REY/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - SEPTEMBER 25: Celine Dion Starts World Tour In Quebec, Canada On September 25, 1995-With husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
FRANCE - JANUARY 22: With Husband Rene Angelil in Cannes, France on January 22, 1996. (Photo by Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
MONACO - MAY 08: World Music Awards In Monaco city, Monaco On May 08, 1996 - Celine Dion & Husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by Jean-Pierre REY/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - DECEMBER 17: Celine Dion celebrates the millions solds of album 'Falling into you' In Montreal, Canada On December 17, 1996-Celine Dion with her husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Celine Dion and Rene Angelil during The 69th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
Celine Dion and Rene Angelil during The 70th Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
CANADA - MAY 01: Celine Dion decorates the national order of merit in Quebec, Canada on May 01, 1998-Celine Dion and her husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by Jean-Philippe DUMAS/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
MONTREAL, CANADA - DECEMBER 8: Singer Celine Dion (C) stands next to her husband Rene Angelil (L) and the President of Sony France Paul Rene Albertini (R) after receiving a diamond record for her album entitled 'S'il Suffisait d'Aimer' in Montreal, 07 December. (Photo credit should read ROBERT LABERGE/AFP/Getty Images)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion during The 25th Annual People's Choice Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, United States. (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
Celine Dion and Rene Angelil during 26th Annual American Music Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
Celine Dion & husband Rene Angelil (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Celine Dion & Husband Rene Angelil during The 25th Annual People's Choice Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Celine Dion & Husband Rene Angelil (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Celine Dion and Rene Angelil during 26th Annual American Music Awards at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Ke.Mazur/WireImage)
Celine Dion & Husband Rene Angelil during 71st Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
CANADA - SEPTEMBER 08: Celine Dion And Husband Rene Angelil Giving Press Conference In Montreal, Canada On September 08, 1999. (Photo by Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
CANADA - OCTOBER 25: Celine Dion And Rene Angelil Attend A Hommage To Hockey Player Maurice Richard In Montreal, Canada On October 25, 1999-Rene Angelil And Celine Dion. (Photo by Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Celine Dion & Husband Rene Angelil during 2000 Nabisco Golf Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, United States. (Photo by Sam Levi/WireImage)
Celine Dion & Husband Rene Angelil during 2000 Nabisco Golf Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, United States. (Photo by Sam Levi/WireImage)
392394 02: Pop star Celine Dion stands next to her husband, Rene Angelil, who holds their baby Rene-Charles July 25, 2001 as they arrive at the chappel of the Notre-Dame Basilica in old Montreal, Quebec before the baptism of their 6-month-old baby boy, The ceremony was celebrated by Mgr Michel SaydT in French, English and Arab under the Greek-Melkite rite. (Photo by Pierre Roussel / Getty Images)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion (Photo by Kevin Mazur Archive 1/WireImage)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion during VH-1 Divas 2002 - Backstage at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
Celine Dion, her husband Rene Angelil and their 20-month-old baby boy Rene-Charles (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Celine Dion & Rene Angelil during Celine Dion Opening Night Of 'A New Day' - Post Concert Press Conference at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Tony Barson/WireImage)
Celine Dion and Husband Rene Angelil during Celine Dion Honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Her Achievements in Music at Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 15: Celine Dion and her husband Rene Angelil pose for a picture backstage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 1: Singer Celine Dion and her husband and manager Rene Angelil walk from a news conference to a ceremony marking the opening of the 26-story, 949-room Augustus Tower at Caesars Palace September 1, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dion, who performs in her show 'A New Day...' at Caesars, also announced that she and her husband and manager Rene Angelil pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross to help deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Harrah's operates three casinos in the Gulf Coast area that were heavily damaged by Katrina. Gary Loveman, Chairman, CEO and President of Harrah's Entertainment, announced that all of the 8,000 employees at the properties will get their salaries for 90 days from the hurricane and that Harrah's will pick up the costs for all of their health care premiums indefinitely. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion during Caesars Palace Augustus Tower Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
Canadian pop star Celine Dion, her husband Rene Angelil and their child Rene Charles (Photo by Mehdi Taamallah/FilmMagic)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion at the in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Dimitrios Papadopoulos/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 07: Singer Celine Dion (L) and her husband and manager Rene Angelil help give away prizes to audience members at the end of the 500th performance of Dion's 'A New Day...' show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace May 7, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show raised over USD one million for the Celine Dion Foundation, which will split the money evenly between ten Las Vegas charities. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 07: Singer Celine Dion (R) hugs her husband and manager Rene Angelil (C) as they draw tickets to give away prizes to audience members at the end of the 500th performance of Dion's 'A New Day...' show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace May 7, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show raised over USD one million for the Celine Dion Foundation, which will split the money evenly between 10 Las Vegas charities. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - JUNE 04: Singer Celine Dion (R) and her husband and manager Rene Angelil pose before a fashion show by jewelry designer Chris Aire at the Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace June 4, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 03: Singer Celine Dion and her husband and manager Rene Angelil pose after Dion performed at the 41st annual Labor Day Telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association at the South Coast Hotel & Casino September 3, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 25: Singer Celine Dion (R) and her husband Rene Angelil attend the 79th Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theatre on February 25, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion at the Mortons in West Hollywood, California (Photo by Tony Barson/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS - SEPTEMBER 10: Singer Celine Dion (L) and her husband and manager Rene Angelil pose during a farewell masquerade themed party at Caesars Palace September 10, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her show will close on December 15, 2007, after a nearly-five year sold out run. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Caesars Palace)
MONTE CARLO, MONACO - NOVEMBER 04: Singer Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil are seen with the Legend Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in the awards room, during the 2007 World Music Awards on November 4, 2007 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/WireImage)
Rene Angelil and Celine Dion attend the 2007 World Music Awards held at the Sporting Club on November 4, 2007 in Monte Carlo.
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: ***EXCLUSIVE***Manager Rene Angelil and Singer Celine Dion in the audience during the 2007 American Music Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on November 18, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/AMA/Getty Images for AMA)
LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 15: Singer Celine Dion is embraced by her husband and manager Rene Angelil and their son Rene-Charles Angelil after the final performance of her show 'A New Day...' at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace December 15, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Almost three million people watched Dion perform 717 shows since it opened in March 2003. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for AEG Live/Concerts West)
(FILES) Canadian singer Celine Dion and husband Rene Angelil pose upon arrival at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, southern France, 26 January 2008 to attend the 2008 NRJ Music Awards. Dion is 14 weeks pregnant with twins, it was reported on May 31, 2010. AFP PHOTO VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 21: Singer Celine Dion (R) with husband Rene Angelil (L) attend the Taking Chances World Tour press conference at the Primedia Broadcasting Studios on February 21, 2008 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Michelly Rall/WireImage)
Canadian singer Celine Dion (3R) poses with her husband Rene Angelil (L), her child Rene-Charles, her mother Therese (2L), and French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R), after she was awarded with France's Legion d'Honneur during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 22, 2008. AFP PHOTO POOL CHARLES PLATIAU (Photo credit should read CHARLES PLATIAU/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 07: Celine Dion, Rene Charles Angelil and Rene Angelil attend the Portland Trailblazers Vs. New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 31: Singer Celine Dion (R) and her husband Rene Angelil attend the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on January 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: Rene Angelil, Rene-Charles Angelil and Celine Dion attend the premiere of Celine: Through The Eyes of The World presented by Piaget at Regal South Beach Cinema on February 16, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Sony)
LAS VEGAS, NV - FEBRUARY 16: Celine Dion, Nelson Dion Angelil, Eddy Dion Angelil, Rene Angelil and Rene-Charles Dion Angelil arrive at Caesars Palace on February 16, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
(L-R) Rene Angelil and singer Celine Dion arrive at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on February 27, 2011 in Hollywood, California.
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 22: Celine Dion and Rene Angelil attend the 'BAMBI Awards 2012' at the Stadthalle Duesseldorf on November 22, 2012 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Franziska Krug/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 27: Singer Celine Dion reacts to a standing ovation from the audience as she performs at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace as she resumes her residency on August 27, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show had been on hiatus since August 2014 when Dion stopped performing to care for her ailing husband Rene Angelil. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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The duo kept a purely professional relationship for years before going on their first official date. She was 19 years old and her first record, La Voix du bon Dieu, had already become a chart-topping success in her home province of Québec. Celine was still not a household name in the United States, but she was on her way to superstardom. Years later, she confessed that she saw Rene as more than her manager about a year before she was 19.

In 1990, Celine released her first U.S. album "Unison" and then the following year she received the American notoriety she had been looking for when she recorded the theme song to the Disney animation, "Beauty and the Beast." She and Rene became engaged the same year, however they kept their relationship out of the public eye.

"I was afraid of what people would think," she told PEOPLE of their relationship in 1994. "When you're in love, you want to scream it to the world," she explained

Despite their gaping age difference, the two fell in love and wed in a lavish ceremony in Montréal's Notre-Dame Basilica in December 1994. Celine stunned in massive white ball gown, a fur stole, and a beaded headpiece and veil.

"I'm not surprised that we married each other, because we have the same dreams," Celine said in 1995. "We have the same goals. We respect each other."

In 1997, Celine celebrated a massive year with the worldwide success of her song, "My Heart Will Go On" from "Titanic." She won an Oscar Award for her song, which was added to the pile of Grammys and other major awards she had won up to this point.

But 1998 brought one of the first major hardships in their marriage. Rene was diagnosed with throat cancer. Celine took a hiatus from her work and career to care for Rene. In 2000, the couple threw a lavish vow renewal ceremony in Las Vegas with an Arabian Nights theme in order to celebrate their love. And in 2001, after Celine underwent fertility treatments, the pair welcomed their first child together, son René Charles. The following year after a multi-year hiatus from music, Celine returned to the industry with her album "A New Day Has Come" and a five-year residency at Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace.

Throughout their time in Vegas, Celine and Rene remained committed and happy together. They regularly hit red carpet events together looking more loved up than ever. The couple expanded their family in 2010 after Celine became pregnant with twins. The cute kiddos were born in October and named Nelson and Eddy.

Despite the overwhelming joy over the past years, Rene's cancer returned in 2013 and Celine, again, took time away from the stage to care for her husband.

"I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband's healing, and to do so, it's important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children. I also want to apologize to all my fans everywhere, for inconveniencing them, and I thank them so much for their love and support," she said in a statement to ET in August 2014.

Celine briefly retuned to her show in 2015 and Rene's request for her to continue to share her talent with the world.

Throughout the ups and downs of their marriage, one thing always remained: He was in awe of her talent and so in love with her, and she so in love with him.

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