Céline Dion delivered a heart-wrought performance during the Stand Up To Cancer telethon in remembrance of her husband and her brother.
The Canadian songstress concluded the Friday night fundraising broadcast with “Recovering,” an empowering ballad written by Pink amplified by a slideshow with Dion and her late family members.
Dion lost her husband and manager, René Angélil, on January 14 after a long-fought battle with throat cancer. Her brother Daniel died two days later of brain, throat, and tongue cancer. Her father Adhémar Dion died in 2003.
“I miss René everyday, and the loss will now be a part of my life,” Dion said before performing. “I also lost my father and my brother Daniel to cancer.
“A few months ago during my most difficult time of grieving, I received an unexpected gift from an amazing artist that I have always admired, Pink,” she continued. “She offered me a song that expresses power to stand up and stay strong.”
“Céline possesses one of the most incredible voices that I have ever heard,” Pink exclusively told EW earlier this summer. “She is like a magic light bulb, walking around emanating light into the world. When I wrote this song, there was such a simple need to it. I know everyone wants to hear Céline wail, I wanted to hear Céline’s soul. She is just simply amazing, and getting to write a song for her is one of the biggest honors of my life.”
When the song ended, Dion turned around and blew a kiss to a collage showing her late husband, brother, and father.
Stand Up To Cancer launched in 2008 as a celebrity-powered telethon, and counts Katie Couric among its co-founders. Its mission is to enlist the entertainment industry in the fight for a cure. Bradley Cooper executive produced this year’s live telecast.
Four telethons have been broadcast in the U.S. and have been made available to more than 190 countries. To date, over $370 million has been pledged to support cancer research programs, with the initial 2008 event raising more than $100 million alone.
See Dion’s moving performance, below, near the 5-minute mark.