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Ministry of Gossip

Rene Angelil, Celine Dion's husband and longtime manager, has died of cancer at 73

Rene Angelil, singer Celine Dion's husband, manager and mentor, has died at 73, according to a statement on her website.

Angelil died at home in Las Vegas on Thursday morning after "a long and courageous battle against cancer," the statement said. "The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment; more details will be provided at a later time." Authorities also confirmed the death to the Associated Press.

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The couple had faced his cancer head-on for years.

Angelil, who had a throat tumor removed in 1999 — had throat surgery again in December 2013. That news went public the following March. And though he'd been the singer's mentor since she was 12, he stepped down in June 2014.

That same year, Dion put her Caesars Palace residency on hold and canceled a planned Asian tour. "I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband's healing," she said that August, "and to do so, it's important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children."

After the 2013 surgery, "Rene could not talk, and he could not swallow; the surgery was major," the 47-year-old singer revealed in March 2015, when she finally returned to performing. "It was Rene's wish that I come back."

She further explained, telling Entertainment Tonight, "I'm his favorite singer in the world. And I'm his wife. And I'm the mother of his three children. And we have the same passions. We love each other so much."

At the same time, Dion told USA Today, "I'll say [to him], 'You're scared? I understand. Talk to me about it.' And Rene says to me, 'I want to die in your arms.' 'OK, fine, I'll be there, you'll die in my arms.'"

The couple, who'd been linked romantically since she was 19 and married in December 1994, had three children together: Rene-Charles, 14, and twins Eddy and Nelson, both 5. Angelil also had two adult children from a previous relationship.

People first reported the news.

Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs.

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