Celine Dion has had a hard 2016, losing both her husband Rene Angelil and her brother Daniel to cancer within two days of each other back in January. In her first major appearance since those tragic deaths, Dion was honored Sunday (May 22) with the 2016 Billboard Music Awards ICON Award, with an introduction by Seal.
"Icon -- it's a word that conjures up visions of someone deserving of our complete respect and admiration, a person who we look at with awe ... In the past, only a select few performers have received the Billboard ICON Award, legends like Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Prince," says Seal. "And now a new name joins their ranks, a singer whose career sets the standard of excellence that all of us aspire to."
After a video montage of Dion's decades-long career, the multiple Billboard Award winner then took the stage to perform Queen's 1991 hit "The Show Must Go On."
It has obviously been an emotional time for the singer, but she took the stage like the diva she is and blew the roof off the place with her soaring vocals. Dion received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the crowd when she hit her final big notes and pumped her fist in triumph.
But the tears started when she was surprised on stage by her son Rene-Charles, who presented the ICON Award to his mother.
"Thank you very much," says Dion, choking back tears as she holds her son's hand. "This is such a tremendous honor, of course. Music has been my passion since before I can almost remember. So many people have helped me get where I am today. I cannot name them all, obviously. I hope they will and surely recognize themselves. Most especially I want to thank the fans for traveling through music with me in good and bad times."
Lastly, she thanked her husband Rene, who she says is looking down on her. "This one's for you, Rene. The show must go on."