Canadian cable news channels provided live coverage Friday (Jan. 22) of the national funeral of René Angélil, Canadian superstar Celine Dion's husband and talent manager who died of throat cancer on Jan. 14 in Las Vegas, aged 73.
The funeral from Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica also streamed live online while TV stations for the CTV, CP24 and Radio Canada aired live reports as Dion bid farewell to Angélil in the historic church where they wed 21 years earlier.
Live shots of a large crowd under bright sunshine in Montreal captured the arrival of Dion, who was made an international pop star and an icon of Canada's French-speaking culture by Angélil. Dion, dressed in black, her eyes veiled and her hair in a tight bun, was accompanied by her three children and family as they began the long walk down the central aisle of the vaulted cathedral at 3:20 p.m.
As a recording of Dion singing in French her 1984 song "Twenty Minutes Past Three"played on the sound system, Dion -- flanked by her 5-year-old twin sons Nelson and Eddy -- paused in front of Angélil's casket. Dion then placed black flowers atop Angélil's casket before she and her family took their seats in the front pew.
Dion's third son, 15-year-old René-Charles, in a short eulogy drew a slight smile from his mother when he recounted bonding with his older father over "golf, hockey, poker and smoked meat."
Dion's duet of "All the Way" with Frank Sinatra then played on the sound system and was followed by a boy's choir, prayers and Catholic Mass. Another of Dion's recorded French songs, Love Still Exists, was also heard during the solemn ceremony as the Quebec songstress and her eldest son fought back tears.
As the casket was led from the church, with Dion following, her French recording of "For You to Still Love Me"played overhead as the mourners applauded.
The funeral, reportedly planned by Angélil before his death, followed a public visitation at the Old Montreal church on Thursday at which Dion greeted those paying homage to her husband as he lay in state (video below). A celebration of Angélil's life is planned for Feb. 3 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
PHOTOS: A look back at Rene and Celine's romance