Rene Angelil
Singer Celine Dion thanked fans for their support following the death of husband Rene Angelil REUTERS/ Mario Anzuoni

Celine Dion has penned an open letter to thank fans for their support, following the death of her husband René Angélil. The 47-year-old singer tragically lost her husband of over 20 years, on January 14 and her brother, Daniel, two days later. Both men had been battling cancer.

In a message on her official website, signed by Céline, sons René-Charles, Nelson, and Eddy, and Angélil's three children from a previous relationship, she expressed her "gratitude" to fans.

"We thank from the bottom of our heart all the people who have expressed their love for René during these trying times. My family and I are deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support from so many people who have touched our lives during these past few days.

"We have felt your love for René, and your prayers and compassion have helped us during this most difficult time... more than you'll ever know. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your testimony and your support helped us, more than you can imagine to take this step and say our farewells."

The Grammy winner also expressed her thanks to the Quebec government for the national funeral held in honour of the 73-year-old manager. "Thank you also to the Government of Quebec for holding a national funeral, as well as to the many individuals and organizations who worked to provide a final tribute to the height of the man he was.

"We will never forget all of the kindness that you have bestowed upon us. On behalf of our family, with all of our love, Céline, René-Charles, Nelson &Eddy...Patrick, Jean-Pierre & Anne-Marie."

Just a day after Angélil's funeral, Dion mourned her 59-year-old brother during a private memorial service with her family. The 47-year-old was too grief-stricken to attend her brother's funeral on January 25.

René became Celine's manager when he was 38 and she was just a child of 12, embarking on a career in music. They began dating seven years later. Angelil stepped down as his wife's manager in 2014. A friend of the couple managed her career however, Rene remained involved in business decisions.

Celine and Rene had sons René-Charles, 15, and five-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy together, while Patrick, Jean-Pierre and Anne-Marie are his children from previous marriages.