By Mesfin Fekadu, AP
LAS VEGAS–Celine Dion is heading back to the Las Vegas stage after a year off caring for her ailing husband and says he will be there as she dedicates his return to him.
Dion was passionate backstage at the Billboard Music Awards when she spoke about resuming her series of shows on Aug. 27 and preparing to pay tribute to Rene Angelil, who has been recovering after having a cancerous tumor removed last year.
��He wants me back. He wants me strong. He wants to see me again because I’m his favorite singer,�� Dion said of her husband Sunday.
��So he wants me out there, and I have to say that I’m ready. It’s hard, but we’re ready.��
Dion, 47, is returning to The Colosseum stage at Caesars Palace after a yearlong hiatus to care for her husband, give her inflamed throat muscles a chance to heal and spend time with her three children. The singer’s residency will resume with 40 performances between August and January.
Dion said she’s been impressed by Angelil’s involvement and encouragement of her tour, from production to songs.
��Knowing he’s got a lot of weight on his shoulder … it’s very touching for me because he wants me to have a good time. It’s not selfish, it’s like, ‘I’m with you. I want you strong.
I want you back. I want to see you perform again,’�� she said at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. ��If there’s going to be one person in the theater that night, it’s going to be him.��
��It’s going to be for him. I want to make sure he sees me strong and ready for that road,�� she added.
Her last performance at The Colosseum was July 29 and she also canceled a fall tour across Asia.
Dion told reporters backstage that she was excited that Vegas is also the home to Britney Spears and Mariah Carey �X both completing residencies �X as well as Jennifer Lopez, who starts next year.
��It’s so positive. It’s all positive for all of us,�� she said.