Celine Dion is one of the most respected names in the music industry. After kicking off her French-language singing career as a teen in the 1980s, Celine made her English-language debut in 1990 with Unison, which has since been certified gold and included the No. 5 hit, “Where Does My Heart Beat Now.” Perhaps her most recognizable song is “My Heart Will Go On,” which was included in the soundtrack of 1997’s iconic and record-breaking cinema masterpiece, Titanic. Celine excited fans as she made a surprise appearance at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024. She was presenting the award for Album of the Year, and she was accompanied by her eldest son René-Charles Angélil as she walked out on stage.
Before the exciting news, Celine announced she would be taking a break from performing following her one-in-a-million diagnosis of stiff-person syndrome, which causes progressive muscle stiffness and painful spasms. “While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having. Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to,” the Canadian-born artist said in a Dec. 2022 Instagram video. In January 2024, she released a statement, saying that she wouldn’t let SPS “define” her, as she announced her new documentary, chronicling her battle with the condition, and her return to the stage.
Luckily, Celine has the support of her fans and friends to lift her spirits as she deals with the rare diagnosis. Celine had three boys with her former manager and husband, René Angélil, whom she was married to until he died in 2016 at age 73. Find out more about the singer’s boys below.
Celine gave birth to her oldest son René-Charles (or “RC”), who was named after his dad, in January 2001. “Celine Dion and Rene Angelil have the great joy of announcing to you that their son was born during the night of January 25 at 1 a.m. (0600 GMT),” her publicist said in a statement at the time, per CNN. “The mother and the baby, which weights 6 pounds and 3 ounces, are doing just great and are in perfect health.” Celine had two operations to help with her fertility before her son was conceived.
RC has shown some interest in following his mother’s footsteps, as he topped the Soundcloud charts in 2018 with music that he released under the name Big Tip. The rapper admitted to the Montreal Gazette at the time that he kept his music on the down-low until it became popular on the site. “It’s kind of messed up, honestly,” he told the publication. “I played it to her for the first time [on Wednesday]. I just felt like keeping it on the low. But she loved it. She was just kind of stunned at first, because she’d never heard anything from me. It was kind of a weird conversation: ‘Ma, I’m No. 1 and No. 2 on the charts right now.’ She was like: ‘Why didn’t you tell me first?’ But she’s very supportive of my passion for this.” However, RC potentially decided music wasn’t his future, as he seems to have since deleted his Soundcloud account as Big Tip.
RC lives a fairly private life and only has three posts on his Instagram account, which boasts 90,0000 followers. He has not posted since Dec. 2021 and lists himself as an “entrepreneur” in his bio.
Regardless of what he does, his mother seems in complete awe of him. The “I’m Your Angel” singer shared a throwback photo of RC as a newborn for his 21st birthday in Jan. 2022 and gushed about how proud she is to be his mother. “We gave you life… Thank you very much for giving us the wonderful gift of becoming your parents. Since that day, I’ve been thriving as I watch you grow. Your intelligence, your generosity, your courage, and your great sensitivity never cease to move me,” she penned. “We guided you from our dreams, by holding your hand. Keep exploring and above all, listen to your heart knowing that you are always carried by our love, so that now your own dreams can come true.”
Nearly 10 years after René-Charles was born, the “All By Myself” singer faced problems trying to conceive again and even suffered a miscarriage. “It’s priceless. So you know what? We had a miscarriage. We tried three more times. It did not work,” she told ABC News in February 2010. “We are trying again for the fifth try. It’s aboard right now. All aboard. We’re just trying this one to give [RC] a sister or brother. It would be extraordinary to try and make this love of the family grow more.”
After a long period of trying, Celine announced that she gave birth to twins Eddy and Nelson in an Oct. 2010 post on her website! She named Eddy after her producer, Eddy Marnay, who had produced her first five albums. “He was like a father to her,” a representative told PEOPLE in 2010. “Eddy is a major influence in both Céline and René’s lives.”
Celine’s other son was named after revolutionary and former South African President Nelson Mandela, whom the singer had met when she performed in his home country. “René said that in just the few minutes they were able to spend with him, they were impressed by the human being he is,” Celine’s representative told PEOPLE shortly after the twins’ birth.
In October 2020, Celine wished Nelson and his twin brother a very happy birthday on her Instagram page. “Nelson and Eddy, you have been bringing so much joy, love and laughter into our lives every single day for the past 10 years. You make me, your big brother and your Dad, who is for sure watching over you, so very proud. Happy birthday my beautiful boys,” she wrote.