'Rene, this one's for you. The show must go on,' she said when accepting the ICON award.
Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Celine Dion paid tribute to her late husband, former manager René Angélil, during Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards.

Dion was recipient of the ceremony’s ICON Award, which was given to her — in a surprise to Dion — by her son, Rene-Charles. Dion thanked her fans, family, children, and “most importantly, my beloved husband who I know will continue to watch over me from above.”

She ended by saying, “Rene, this one’s for you. The show must go on.”

The speech ended a powerful sequence from Dion, which began with the 48-year-old covering Queen’s “The Show Must Go On.”

Queen released the track in October 1991, just over a month before frontman Freddie Mercury died of complications from AIDS. Dion previously performed “The Show Must Go On” at her live shows, and released a version of the song she recorded with violinist Lindsey Stirling this past Friday.

Introduced by Seal, Dion performed in a sequin dress with Stirling and a full orchestra.

Past recipients of the ICON Award, which Billboard launched in 2011, include Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Jennifer Lopez. This marks Dion’s 11th award from the annual ceremony.