Céline Dion's Grown-Up Son René-Charles Makes Us Feel Old
Feb 22, 2021 by apost team
Céline Dion is arguably one of the most talented singers of our generation. The French-Canadian performer sang herself into our hearts when we first got to see her in the 1980s when she won the Eurovision song contest. Her phenomenal rise to superstardom only continued, and before long she was known to audiences across the world, whose ages span a wide range. After multiple decades in show business, Dion has been enjoying global success and she's still going strong, having released her latest album "Courage" in 2019.
With immense success comes a lot of riches, but despite her countless number one hits and award wins, Dion has proven over the years that she knows happiness in life is about much more than material riches. This is why family is of the utmost importance to her. After somewhat controversially getting together with her manager René Angélil when she was around 17-18 years old and he was 26 years her senior, Dion went on to prove the naysayers wrong. The couple was married in a beautiful ceremony and their relationship has stood the test of time, lasting until his tragic death from cancer in 2016.
Together, they even had three sons: René-Charles Angélil, 19, and twins Nelson and Eddy Angélil, 10. The world first got to see the little twins outside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas back in 2011 as newborns. And now, Dion's elder son René-Charles is all grown up and clearly takes after his famous mom, not just in the looks department but also musically.
Before we take a look at Céline Dion's family, let's see how she got her start in the first place, as her roots are much more humble than one might imagine for a world-renowned superstar. Born in Charlemagne, Quebec on March 30, 1968, the young Dion was one of 14 children. Her large family wasn't wealthy, in fact, five of them shared a bed, but despite their poverty, they shared warm family time together, much of which revolved around music. By the age of two, the future star was singing on the dining room table for her family, and by the age of five, she performed at her brother Michel's wedding after he'd asked her to. She fondly thought back on the experience and described it in an interview with CNN:
"And I remember singing for my brother, at his wedding. I sang a couple songs. When I started to feel the love and the warmth of the audience it got me. I said to myself, 'Really this is what I want to do all my life. I want to be a singer.'"
When Dion was 12, her mother wrote her a song titled "It Was Only A Dream." She went on to record a demo of this song, which eventually made its way to music producer and talent manager René Angélil, who was immediately impressed with her voice and set out to become her manager and incidentally wound up being her husband later on. Despite their 26 year age difference, they've had quite the love story.
According to Huffington Post Canada, Dion eventually fell in love with Angélil at around 17-18 years old. Their decades-large year age gap, however, would make their love a difficult one to pursue. She revealed to the outlet that her mother was not especially happy with the couple.
"If I reversed roles — when I had my first son, RC, if I think of him and he comes [to me] with this lady who has kids and she's 45 and she thinks she knows best, [I'd be] like, 'Take your hand off of my son," she admitted.
In the meantime though, Dion's career was soaring. After becoming an international sensation in her native Canada, France, and elsewhere, the then-20-year-old sang at the Eurovision Song Contest 1988, which took place in Dublin, Ireland, and won the top prize. It was after this that René began negotiations to secure Dion's first English-language album, with their eyes set on the United States. Her success only continued to grow, as she won an Academy Award and Grammy for her duet from the Disney movie "Beauty and the Beast," all at the young age of 24. More hits followed, securing her fame in the States.
The '90s saw Dion's star continue to rise, as she released albums in English and French to great acclaim. These include "The Colour of My Love" and "Falling Into You." And who can forget her now-signature song "My Heart Will Go On," which was the love theme from the 1997 film "Titanic." It topped charts all over the world and won her another Academy Award and Grammy.Céline Dion (2011), (Steve Granitz/Contributor/Getty Images)
Having already achieved considerable success, it was following this period that Dion took time to focus on her personal life too. She had gone public with her relationship with René in 1993 by writing a message in the liner notes of her album "The Colour of My Love." She later told CNN:
"I wrote a note behind my album. René is my love, I can't keep this secret inside of me anymore. It's getting too powerful. Let me paint a truth and show you how I feel. René, you are the color of my love."
The two got married in "a fairy-tale wedding" on December 17, 1994. In 2001, they had their first child, a son named René-Charles Angélil. Raising their son made it apparent to the doting parents that they absolutely wanted to have another child. Unfortunately, they were finding it difficult to conceive naturally, so the couple sought help and started receiving IVF treatment in 2007.
The couple still struggled, however, with Dion opening up to Oprah in 2010 about miscarrying while undergoing the treatment. Despite the adversity, they were still determined to have another child. Then finally in 2010, Angélil and Dion announced she was 14 weeks pregnant with twins.
Later that same year on October 10, Dion gave birth to Eddy and Nelson Angélil at St Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Their names have a particularly important meaning for Dion, with Eddy being named after her favorite songwriter, Eddy Marnay, and Nelson being named after Nelson Mandela, according to People Magazine.Céline Dion, Eddy Angélil, Nelson Angélil (2015), (Handout/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)
However, tragically, the boys lost their father René at a young age, when he succumbed to a years-long on-and-off battle with cancer.
“When you see someone who is fighting so hard, it has a big impact on you,” Dion told People in 2015. “You have two choices. You look at your husband who’s very sick and you can’t help, and it kills you. Or you look at your husband that’s sick and you say, ‘I got you. I got it. I’m here. It’s going to be just fine.’"
It was just two days before his 74th birthday when René passed away in 2016. ”Knowing that now he’s in peace and is resting and is always within me. I see him every day through the eyes of my children. He gave me so much strength,” Dion told Hello Magazine at the time.
”To be honest, I think I’m at the best of my life right now and I want to enjoy and embrace every moment of it and really enjoy it,” she added. "It’s like I’m having a second wind like I’m having the wind beneath my wings. I’m having a good time.”
Now aged 10, the twins seem to have inherited their parent's love for show business! That much is evident in a photo uploaded by their mom on their 7th birthday, which was apparently Michael Jackson-themed.
René-Charles Angélil, René Angélil, Céline Dion (2001), (Michel PONOMAREFF/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images)
“Can’t believe you are already 7 years old… Time flies! Happy birthday, my loves! I’m so proud of all my boys! Mom,” Dion captioned the photo.
More recently, she shared a throwback photo of the twins for their 10th birthday in October 2020. In the heartwarming post on Instagram, she highlighted not only how much they've grown-up, but also how proud they make the entire family, including their late father. The photos showed the boys playing in a beautiful autumn setting, which Dion captioned:
"Nelson and Eddy, you have been bringing so much joy, love and laughter into our lives every single day for the past 10 years. You make me, your big brother and your Dad, who is for sure watching over you, so very proud. Happy birthday my beautiful boys! We love you so very much . . . - Mom, RC and Dad xx . . . "
For Christmas, she also shared an image of herself and her three sons sitting in front of their Christmas tree with big, warm smiles on their faces. What's even more adorable than the sight of the family photo is that all four of them are wearing the exact same Christmas onesie pajamas! Opting for a classic design in white with blue stars, the family looks content and festive for the holidays. Dion captioned the gorgeous family photo with a touching message that said:
"May this holiday season bring all of you the gifts of love, peace, good health, and the promise of brighter days in the New Year ahead!"
She included a Christmas tree, stars, and red heart emojis, and then repeated the festive statement in her native French as well. To see such a personal side of Dion is heartwarming, and it's clear her family means a lot to her.René-Charles Angélil, Céline Dion (2005), (Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images)
There is no question as to whether Dion is a doting mom, as her Instagram feed is full of photos of her wonderful boys when she does choose to share something. In a photo uploaded in January 2020, you can see just how much her oldest son René-Charles has grown. The family resemblance is hard to deny, with René-Charles bearing his famous mother's piercing eyes and uplifting smile. Dion also posted a celebratory message accompanying the photo, which was for his birthday. Alongside a photo of him as a baby, as well as one of him today with her, Dion wrote:
"My dear René-Charles, I’m so proud of the way you’re conducting yourself in life. You’re a true gentleman, and I want you to know that your father’s guidance continues to support and protect you . . . as I do. Keep being the best of yourself . . . strong, passionate, and wise, as you pursue all of your dreams in life — the sky’s the limit! And above all, have a good time! . . . Your happiness, is my happiness. I love you so much, my dear son! Mom xx . . . "
Beyond sharing the same looks as his mother, René-Charles has also been blessed with her musicality. After hinting that he was working on music through his social media channels, he released his first record in January of this year. Titled "CasiNo.5," the EP features five songs and is available on all of the major streaming platforms. Self-describing it as his "first-ever project," René-Charles' style of music is a mixture of rap and R&B.Céline Dion, René-Charles Angélil (2016), (Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)
It turns out he didn't even tell his mom he was working on music until the record came out! In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, he said:
“I played it to her for the first time (Wednesday). I just felt like keeping it on the low. But she loved it. She was just kind of stunned at first, because she’d never heard anything from me. It was kind of a weird conversation: ‘Ma, I’m No. 1 and No. 2 on the charts right now.’ She was like: ‘Why didn’t you tell me first?’ But she’s very supportive of my passion for this.”
Ever the proud mom, Dion promoted his music to her fans, taking to Twitter to write:
"I’m so proud of my son. My love for him is so strong, and it touches me deeply that one of his passions is also one of mine. TVEC. – Mom xx . . . "
Despite the sad loss of the family's patriarch a few years ago, Dion has done a wonderful job raising her three sons René-Charles, Nelson, and Eddy since her late husband's death in 2016. Speaking with Extra in 2017, she said:
"What makes me most proud is to be a mother. I have three magnificent kids, that through them, I see my husband and I have the strength today to keep dressing up . . . To be honest, they're remarkable."
Now that René-Charles has followed in her career footsteps and takes after her looks, we just have to wait and see how Nelson and Eddy grow up and whether they'll take after their famous mom too.René-Charles Angélil (2019), (Marc Piasecki/GC Images/Getty Images)
Were you aware Céline Dion had three sons? What are your thoughts on René-Charles' resemblance and the fact that he's followed in his mom's career? Be sure to pass this along to any Céline Dion fans in your life to spread the word!