Céline Dion’s brother dies of cancer

Two days after losing her husband and manager-mentor, René Angélil, singer Céline Dion has been dealt another blow: the death of her brother Daniel on Saturday, also from cancer.

Dion’s representative, Kim Jakwerth, confirmed his passing to USA TODAY.

He was 59 and the eighth of 14 children in the French-Canadian Dion family. Daniel had two daughters, Valérie and Marie-Michelle and two grandchildren.

He died surrounded by family in the Maison Adhémar-Dion, a hospice in Québec. A memorial service will be held next Saturday, Jan. 23, with a religious funeral to follow a few days later in the family’s hometown of Charlemagne, Québec.

“Taking in consideration the reserved character of their deceased brother, the family wishes respect and discretion from the media,” the Dions said in a statement.

On Friday, Dion’s sister, Claudette, told the Journal de Montreal newspaper that her brother was hospitalized with cancer of the throat, tongue and brain. She said her brother’s illness resembles Angélil’s.

The situation is “very painful,” Claudette was quoted as saying to the Journal.

Angélil, the former Canadian pop singer-turned-artist-manager who married the barely-out-of-her-teens Dion and helped make her a mega-star, died Thursday at their Las Vegas suburban home after a years-long battle with throat cancer. He was 73.

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