WASHINGTON (AFP) - Celine Dion has indefinitely halted all her show business activity and cancelled her upcoming Asia tour to care for her husband as he battles ill health, the superstar said on Wednesday.
"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 on her Facebook page.
"I also want to apologise to all my fans everywhere, for inconveniencing them, and I thank them so much for their love and support." The Asia tour had been scheduled to take place later this year and included gigs in Tokyo on Nov 18 and 19 and in Manila on Nov 29.
Rene Angelil, Dion's husband, had a cancerous tumour removed from his throat in December.
Since then, "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 Facebook post said.
It also said the Canadian singer turned international sensation has herself been suffering from a condition that caused her throat muscles to become inflamed, forcing her to cancel her scheduled shows in Las Vegas since her last performance on July 29.
The five-time Grammy winner has performed in Sin City full-time for more than three years, wowing crowds with her biggest hits that include the theme song for the 1997 Hollywood blockbuster Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet - My Heart Will Go On. "She still has not recovered from this condition," the post said.
In June, Angelil stepped down as Dion's manager - a position he had held for more than 30 years.
Dion met Angelil at the beginning of her career in 1981, when she was 12 and he was 38. The couple began a relationship when Dion was 19 and married in Montreal in 1994. They have three boys, the youngest of whom are twins.
It was unclear how long Dion's hiatus would last.
"Celine and family have requested that their privacy be respected at this time," the Facebook post said.
As word of Dion's decision spread, messages of encouragement popped up on social media. "Family first xx we love you Celine xxx," one fan, Linda Lavoie, posted on the singer's page.