Hundreds lined up for hours in frigid weather outside a Montreal church Thursday to pay their respects to Rene Angelil, the husband and longtime manager of Canadian singer Celine Dion who died last week.

Celine and Rene Angelil
Celine and Rene Angelil

Angelil’s funeral is scheduled for Friday at the Notre-Dame Basilica, where the couple were wed in 1994.

Dressed in a black veil and gown, her hair in a bun, with her eldest son Rene-Charles at her side, Dion received condolences from relatives, senior politicians and others, as fans filed past Angelil’s open coffin.

Outside the church, a giant portrait of Angelil greeted mourners.

A number of celebrities are expected to attend the funeral for the man credited with transforming Dion into an international superstar.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard ordered provincial flags lowered to half mast and offered a national funeral for the show business impresario, an honor reserved for Quebecers who have made a significant contribution to the arts.

Rene Angelil died of cancer at the couple’s home in Las Vegas on January 14. He was 73.


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