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Celine Dion puts her career on hold 'indefinitely' as husband fights cancer

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 7:43 AM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Celine Dion is shown with husband Rene Angelil at the Oscars in 2011. The couple and their three sons live in Las Vegas.
Celine Dion is shown with husband Rene Angelil at the Oscars in 2011. The couple and their three sons live in Las Vegas.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Celine Dion's Las Vegas residency shows and Asia tour are off her schedule
  • She will "focus 100% of her attention" on her husband, their family and her own illness
  • Her husband has a cancerous tumor removed in December
  • Dion suffers "an illness that has caused inflammation in her throat muscles," a statement says

(CNN) -- Celine Dion is putting her music career on hold indefinitely because of her husband's cancer and her own illness, the singer announced Wednesday.

Dion's Las Vegas residency shows and plans to tour Asia in the fall have been taken off her schedule, according to a statement posted on her website and social media accounts.

Dion, 46, must "focus 100% of her attention on her husband Rene, their family, and associated health issues," the statement said.

Rene Angelil, 72, underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his throat last December. He stepped aside as his wife's manager in June because of the illness.

"It's been a very difficult and stressful time for the couple as they deal with the day-to-day challenges of fighting this disease while trying to juggle a very active show business schedule, and raise their three young children," the statement said.

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Dion is suffering from "an illness that has caused inflammation in her throat muscles, and has not been able to perform any of her scheduled shows in Las Vegas since her last show on July 29th," the statement said.

Dion's shows at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace have been one of the hottest tickets in Las Vegas since she returned to the Strip three years ago. Her residency, which has included about 70 shows a year, is on hold "until further notice," the statement said.

"I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband's healing, and to do so, it's important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children," Dion said. "I also want to apologize to all my fans everywhere, for inconveniencing them, and I thank them so much for their love and support."

Dion and Angelil began a romantic relationship when she was 19 and he was 45. The couple, along with their three sons, live in Las Vegas, where Dion has been performing for three years.

The singer briefly retired from performing in 1999 when her husband was battling throat cancer.

CNN's Carolyn Sung contributed to this report.

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