Céline Dion Opens Up About Her Billboard Awards Speech, Praises Prince Tribute
There was not a dry eye in the house as Céline Dion took the stage at Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards to receive her ICON Award, paying tribute to her late husband René Angélil in her speech.
Backstage, Céline talked to “Extra's” Renee Bargh about her emotional performance and speech, saying she isn't quite sure how she kept it together. “I just stay calm and focus... knowing [it was] my husband's favorite song and he's gonna be supporting and I'm gonna go through this.”
She also said she leaned on the audience for support. “There's something so magical about show business… I came onstage and before the song started, the energy was already building up, and I said, 'Just stay strong and stay calm…' I felt the energy and I felt the love, their compassion."
Dion went on to explain, “I do this for love.”
One of the most touching aspects of Dion's appearance was when her son, René-Charles, surprised her after her performance of Queen's "The Show Must Go On" in order to present her with her ICON Award. She sweetly said onstage she didn't want to cry in front of him. “The most important role I have in my life is to be as good as a mom as I possibly can," she told "Extra," "and I try to show my children a lot of strength — I don't want to cry in front of him.” Saying she knew it took a lot for René-Charles to get up on that stage, she explained, “He did that for his father, he did that for his brothers, he did that for me... My son really made it special."
Getting emotional again, Dion told Renee how much getting the words just right in her speech meant to her. “When I'm gone, these are the moments that will stay, [that my children] will remember. I mean, they're 15 and 5. When I'm gone, they'll look at this. What you say and what you did, it's important.”
Speaking of her children, the legendary singer said all three — René-Charles and twins Nelson and Eddy — are doing well since losing their dad in January. “They're great,” she confirmed.
Dion's wasn't the only emotional moment of the Billboards — how about that powerful tribute to the late Prince by Madonna and Stevie Wonder? She told "Extra" of the performance, which she watched from backstage, "I'm a big, big fan of Prince and Stevie Wonder and Madonna, of course... I think Madonna and Stevie did a wonderful, wonderful tribute."