René Angélil

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René Angélil
CM , OQ
René Angelil.jpg
René Angélil in 2009
Born (1942-01-16) January 16, 1942 (age 72)
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Occupation Singer, manager, director
Years active 1961-present
Spouse(s) Denyse Duquette (1966-1972)
Anne Renée (1974-1980) (div.)
Celine Dion (1994–present)
Children 6

René Angélil, CM OQ (born January 16, 1942) is a Canadian singer and manager. He is the husband and former manager of singer Celine Dion.[1]

Early life[edit]

Angélil was born in Montreal, Québec, Canada, of a father of Syrian descent and a Canadian mother of Lebanese origin.[2] He is Melkite Catholic and studied at College Saint-Viateur (high school), in Outremont and at College André-Grasset (post secondary), in Montreal.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Angélil started out as a pop singer in the 1960s in Montréal, Angélil formed a pop rock group, "The Baronets", with childhood friends Pierre Labelle and Jean Beaulne. They were known as "Québec's Smithtones"[citation needed] by the name of Les Baronnets. This group had some hits in the 1960s as "C'est fou, mais c'est tout" on YouTube (a translation of the Beatles' song "Hold Me Tight") catering to the Quebec market for translations of English-language pop hits from the United Kingdom or the United States. After the dissolution of the group, Angélil and best friend Guy Cloutier began managing artists.

Together they managed the career of two successful Québec entertainers René Simard and Ginette Reno, among many other pop stars of the time. They parted ways in 1981 to each become solo managers. At the end of 1980 (not long after being replaced as Ginette's manager) René heard Celine Dion's demo tape. In 1987 and 1988, he won the Félix Award for Manager of the Year.

In July 2008, Angélil was named the director for the reality television show Star Academie's fourth season, scheduled to start in February 2009.[3]

Personal life[edit]

In 1966, he married his first wife, Denyse Duquette, the couple had one son, Patrick Angélil (born 1968). In 1974, he married singer Manon Kirouac, called Anne Renée on the stage:[citation needed] the couple had two children, Jean Pierre Angélil (born 1974) and Anne Marie Angélil (born 1977), whose husband is Quebec singer-songwriter Marc Dupré. On December 17, 1994, he married Celine Dion. Celine met him when she was twelve. Dion is 26 years younger than Angélil. Their son, René Charles Angélil, was born January 25, 2001. On August 18, 2009, the couple announced that Dion was pregnant with their second child. It was announced three months later that Dion had miscarried. On May 30, 2010, Celine Dion's representative announced that Dion was 14 weeks pregnant.[4] On October 23, 2010, Dion and Angélil welcomed twin boys. The boys were named Eddy Angelil, after Eddy Marnay, who produced Dion's first five albums, and Nelson Angelil, after Nelson Mandela. Angélil is fan of NHL hockey, and he is a good friend of former Colorado Avalanche president and general manager, Pierre Lacroix.[5]

Illness[edit]

In April 1998 doctors in Dallas confirmed that the lump in René's neck was malignant[citation needed]. He underwent surgery as Celine was booked for her Texas concert[citation needed]. He suffered from throat cancer (resulting in Dion temporarily halting her career to be with him), but has recovered[citation needed]. He appeared in the video for Simple Plan's "Save You" as a survivor of cancer.[6] Angélil underwent another surgery December 2013 for throat cancer,[7] with doctors even replacing parts of his tongue to give him the ability to speak[citation needed].

The following June, René stepped down as Celine's manager to focus on his health. However, he has still been involved in business decisions pertaining to his wife's career.[8]

Angélil is portrayed in an unauthorized TV biopic about Celine Dion by Toronto actor Enrico Colantoni.[9]

Extortion attempt[edit]

Angélil was accused by Yun Kyeong Kwon Sung of sexual assault stemming from an incident in 2000 that took place in a Las Vegas hotel. These charges were later investigated by Las Vegas police. Although Angélil eventually paid $2 million to settle, Angélil never admitted to doing anything wrong, always maintaining the settlement was to avoid negative publicity that might upset his wife Celine Dion.

Yun and her husband, Ae Ho Kwon, were later arrested in 2003 and charged with trying to extort money from Angélil over a false rape claim. The couple were convicted in 2005.[10] However, in early 2008, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed both the convictions of husband and wife as to the extortion and conspiracy charges, on grounds that the couple had not been allowed to submit evidence showing that the sexual assault actually occurred. However, the Court upheld the jury verdict as to the charges of soliciting a bribe. The court held that they should have had a chance to produce evidence of rape against Angélil in their trial.

Defamation suits[edit]

In 2001, Angélil, along with his wife Celine Dion, filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit against Quebec tabloid Allo Vedettes' for printing a story alleging the couple paid $5,000 to rent out the swimming pool of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas so that Celine could sunbathe topless and René could go skinny dipping, allegations they strenuously denied[citation needed]. They later withdrew the case, saying it was not a priority in light of the terrorist events of 9/11[citation needed].

Gambling fame[edit]

Angélil is an avid poker player, having qualified for the 2005 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, and finishing in the money at the 2007 Mirage Poker Showdown event on the World Poker Tour, a series of high stakes tournaments. Angélil is also rumored to be a dedicated gambler away from the poker table. He reportedly gambles upwards of $1 million a week at Caesar's Palace, and keeps a line of credit for the same amount at Bellagio.[11][12]

A frenzy of speculation as to how much Angélil spends in casinos was created when Jan Jones, former Las Vegas mayor and high ranking executive at Harrah's Communications, was quoted by a reporter from the London-based newspaper The Observer as saying, "Celine Dion's husband is a big gambler. He probably gambles $1 million in a week, but he can afford to." A retraction was later issued by Caesar's Palace, which is owned by Harrah's, stating that Jan Jones' previous allegations were totally without merit.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shepherd, Harvey (July 21, 2001). "Celine's son a Greek Melkite like any other: Rene-Charles to receive a combined baptism, first communion, confirmation in Catholic ceremony". The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec). pp. A6. 
  2. ^ À voir à la télévision le samedi 24 mars - Carré d'as "Né dans le quartier Villeray à Montréal d'un père d'origine syrienne et d'une mère québécoise d'origine libanaise, le jeune Angelil était un leader"
  3. ^ René Angélil prend la tête de l'académie, LCN, July 29, 2008
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Fleury, Theo; Kirstie McLellan Day (2009). Playing With Fire. HarperCollins. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-55468-239-3. 
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/13/showbiz/celine-dion-cancels/
  8. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/celine-dion-has-new-manager-711347
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1010387/ WEtv movie Celine
  10. ^ Rape Charge Dropped for Dion's Husband
  11. ^ Nick Mathiason (January 28, 2007). "Queen of Las Vegas brings her winning streak to Britain | Business | The Observer". London: Observer.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  12. ^ "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man: Rene Angélil". Vegasblog.latimes.com. 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2011-05-05.