Celine Dion returning to Las Vegas in August

MONTREAL (AFP) - Canadian singer Celine Dion will return to Las Vegas to perform the first of 40 shows on Aug 27, after a nearly year-long break to care for her cancer-striken husband, promoters announced Wednesday.

The star from the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec had abruptly cancelled a tour of Asia and her Las Vegas shows last year while her husband and one-time manager Rene Angelil, 73, recovered from throat cancer.

"It was Rene's wish that I come back," she said in a statement.

"While my family will always be my priority, my fans are just as important to me.

"I look forward to performing again for all of you starting Aug 27, and more importantly having Rene there with me."

Dion will not be joined, however, by her longtime band.

The four's contract was not renewed after it expired mid-March.

"It was a difficult decision to make that I felt was necessary to breathe fresh air into the show," said Aldo Giampaolo, head of Dion and Angelil's Feeling Productions.

The announcement of Dion's return comes on the 12th anniversary of her first performance at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, where she has performed 927 shows.

The next 40 performances are scheduled through Jan 17, 2016.