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September 18, 2014

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Rene Angelil recovers from surgery, steps aside as wife Celine Dion’s manager

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

Rene Angelil and Celine Dion arrive at the “Veronic Voices” premiere at Bally’s on Friday, June 28, 2013.

3/15/11: Celine Dion at The Colosseum

Celine Dion's opening night at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on March 15, 2011. Launch slideshow »

Celine Dion’s message to Richard Dunn

Ever since Rene Angelil discovered Celine Dion as a teenage singing sensation, he has been her manager, and, despite their age difference, they have been inseparable as husband and wife. Now that changes because he’s stepping aside for their mutual longtime friend Aldo Giampaolo to run her career.

It also confirms recent rumors that Celine, 46, has been concerned about Rene’s difficult and long battle with throat cancer that had temporarily sidelined him and that the duo wanted him to put his full recovery first ahead of returning to the workload.

Celine and Rene had been shuttling back and forth this year between their Las Vegas home and medical specialists in Los Angeles. I’m reliably told that surgery was successful and Rene, 72, made an excellent recovery. The couple went to the Bahamas for rest and relaxation.

“He did undergo remarkable surgery in Los Angeles, and it was a great recovery from what had everybody very worried,” I was told. It was in the Bahamas that Celine, who stayed by his hospital bedside throughout the ordeal, persuaded Rene to ease up on his stress so that they could have a longer life together without fear of the illness returning.

She even offered to cut back on her singing appearances and shows. “Celine was remarkable in her devotion to him,” I was told. Rene’s battle against cancer might also explain their decision recently to sell their homes in Canada and Florida and maintain their Lake Las Vegas estate as their only residence.

On Wednesday, they revealed that Rene will turn over his management responsibilities for the first time in her career to Aldo, who was the president of a sports and entertainment company in Montreal. He becomes CEO of Celine’s company Feeling Productions as of July 4. Rene describes the appointment as “great pleasure with the utmost confidence in a longtime close friend.”

They reportedly offered him the position several years ago but felt now was the perfect time to bring it to fruition. “It was a logical step for all of us considering our 25-year friendship, collaborations and mutual respect,” Rene said. Aldo commented, “To work with Celine is an extraordinary opportunity and a new challenge I couldn’t pass up.”

Celine, who celebrates the 200th performance of her current contract at Caesars Palace on Tuesday, plays the Colosseum through Aug. 15. Rene has previously told me that Celine and he want to continue the run through 2019.

This was Rene’s second battle with throat cancer. Vegas DeLuxe learned that a cancerous tumor was removed in Los Angeles on Dec. 23 and that he is in full remission.

Meantime, Celine has responded to fan Richard Dunn’s “All By Myself” viral video filmed at McCarran International Airport over the weekend with a gracious video message posted on YouTube.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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