Rene Angelil, Celine Dion's husband and manager who was behind she becoming one of the most popular singers, died of throat cancer on Thursday.

The 73-year-old singer-turned-manager died at his Las Vegas home after a long battle against throat cancer. He had been fighting the disease since it was diagnosed in 1999. It recurred several times despite he undergoing treatment over the years.

"Rene Angelil, 73, passed away this morning at his home in Las Vegas after a long and courageous battle against cancer," announced Celine Dion on her official website on Thursday. "The family requests that their privacy be respected at the moment; more details will be provided at a later time."

The 47-year-old singer also took to Twitter and Facebook to announce the death of her husband and express her grief.

Celine Dion has put her Las Vegas residency on hold to mourn the death of her husband. Her performances, due to take place at Caesars Palace on Saturday and Sunday, have been cancelled and she is not going to resume her residency until 23 February.

Celine Dion first met Rene Angelil, her husband of 21 years, in 1980 when she was 12. They got into a relationship in 1987 and tied the knot on 17 December, 1994, at Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. They had three children together: Rene-Charles Angelil, 14, and four-year-old fraternal twins Nelson and Eddy.