Despite an iconic music career, Grammy-winning artist Celine Dion says being a mother is her proudest achievement. Now that Dion has returned to the spotlight following her late husband’s death, we’ll reveal all you need to know about the three young boys who will keep her singing love songs for decades to come.
Her twins are named after her heroes
Speaking to Oprah Winfrey in 2011, Dion admitted she and husband René Angélil initially had a tough time picking out names for their twin boys, born Oct. 23, 2010.
"It’s hard to find one name. Then, we had to find two," she said. "We were feeling [very] different on names—we didn’t agree to start with." She continued, "At the hospital, [we] did not find names; it was Baby A and Baby B."
About a week later, they agreed to compromise. "The first name that popped in my heart was Nelson because we had the privilege of meeting with Mr. Nelson Mandela," she said. Baby B was named Eddy after another one of the couple’s heroes: Eddy Marnay wrote Dion’s first five French albums.
Her sons were conceived via IVF
All three of Dion’s sons—Rene-Charles (born Jan. 25, 2001) and twins Nelson and Eddy (born Oct. 23, 2010)—were conceived utilizing in vitro fertilization.
Dion has been open about her struggle to conceive. She received six IVF treatments before conceiving her twin boys in 2011. One of those IVF cycles resulted in a miscarriage. Just days before her twin boys were born, Dion also revealed in an interview with Quebec TV that she was originally pregnant with triplets. "He chose to let go to give space to his brothers to grow," Dion said of her unborn child, according to Us Weekly.
"With any pregnancy, whether it’s through IVF or not, you feel a danger," she told the Daily Mail. "You have to remain positive and try to relax as much as possible. I always say that my children’s first country is inside of me, so I try to make it a good one and be healthy."
Rene-Charles gave the eulogy at his father’s funeral
Rene-Charles—who goes by the nickname "RC"—made headlines in 2016 when he gave a touching and emotional eulogy at the funeral for his father, Rene Angelil, in Montreal, Canada.
"You left me now with enough good memories of you to share with my younger brothers," the 15-year-old RC said, according to People magazine. "As they grow older, without you being around, I’ll make sure to pass on what I’ve learned from you. You are a tough act to follow, but with your help, everything’s gonna be fine. Dad, I promise you here that we’re all going to live up to your standards."
Dion told People that RC initially did not want to give the eulogy. He changed his mind only after seeking his mother’s opinion. "[I said to him], ‘This is the last time you can talk to your dad. RC, it’s not for me or the people, it’s for your dad.’"
Angelil, who worked as a music producer and also served as Dion’s manager, died on Jan. 14, 2016, after a long battle with cancer.
Dion used a Pixar movie to explain her husband’s death
In the wake of her husband’s death, Dion admitted she struggled to find a way to explain the loss to her twin boys. She eventually found help by citing one of her kids’ favorite movies, Up (2009).
"I said, ‘You know, today, Papa went up,’" she told Good Morning America. "’…Up is a good thing. Up is uplifting…We’re going to celebrate right now because Papa is no more in pain.’" She took the kids outside, and together, they released balloons, sprinkled pixie dust, and said, "Papa. we love you. Have a good ‘up.’"
"It’s the thing I’m most proud of," Dion told People magazine. "I did not want to relate the passing to doctors and have them be afraid."
Her twins still speak to their dad
Speaking to Good Morning America in May 2016, Dion said her twin boys are continuing to keep the memory of their late father alive. One of the ways they do that is by saying goodnight to him every evening.
"Every night, we kiss him good night," Dion revealed. "Eddy starts. Two fingers, one finger. And he said, ‘I love you Papa, so much. Happy Easter. Happy Halloween. Happy Christmas. Happy ‘up,’ Papa. I love you so much. I miss you.’"
"So Nelson goes, and he repeats almost the same thing, but he adds more stuff," Dion added. "And then I do the thing, too, and I [say], ‘Good night, my love.’"
RC is a stand-up teenager
Dion’s hectic life as a working mother has its many stressful moments, but one thing she doesn’t have to worry about is dealing with an angsty, rebellious teenager at home. "[RC is] a wonderful young man," she told Us Weekly in 2015. "He’s entered his teenage years and sometimes we can go really crazy, for some teenagers, but so far so good." And with that, every parent of teenage kids is wondering what her secret is.
Her twins are already bilingual
As one would expect from parents who are French-Canadian, Dion and Angelil began speaking both French and English to their kids as soon as they were born. Proof of this was captured by cameras for Oprah in 2011, just months after the twins were born. They family is also seen speaking French in the video, above, which is pretty much the most adorable thing ever.
RC is an avid hockey player
Like any good Canadian, RC has developed a love for playing hockey. As a result, Dion has recently become the most incredible hockey mom of all time.
In August 2017, she was videotaped dancing and clapping in the stands during one of RC’s hockey games near Montreal, where she also took time to take selfies with fans. The short clip is truly adorable to watch and proved once again that Dion is just a regular, doting, loving mother like the rest of ’em.
Once you remove the millions of dollars and Grammy awards, anyway.
Dion wants RC to live his own life
Speaking to Extra in February 2017, Dion revealed that after Angelil died, she wanted to make sure 16-year-old RC never felt like he had to fill his late father’s shoes.
"I said to him that I never want him to feel the pressure that he’s the man of the house. ‘No, you have your own dreams, and your father is not here but he’s in your heart. He’s always going to be supporting you in a different way,’" she said.
When asked how her three sons are handling life without their father, she said, "To be honest, they’re remarkable. They are helping me, I am helping them—it’s mutual."
Her twins sleep with her every night
The death of Angelil has brought Dion closer to her twin boys, so much so that they all sleep in the same bed. "I organize myself to not feel lonely," Dion told the Today show in April 2017. "So I got myself a huge, huge, huge bed and I sleep with my twins." She added, "They are comforting me a lot. I need them… I need them close.".
The situation, of course, remains temporary. "When it’s time for them to say they want their room, their room’s ready," she said.