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Celine Dion’s mother, who co-wrote her debut single, dead at 92

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Edward Berthelot/Getty ImagesCeline Dion‘s mother, who helped her daughter get her start in the music industry and raised 14 children, has died at age 92, according to the Montreal Gazette

Thérèse Tanguay Dion, known locally as “Maman Dion,” died on Friday after having been in failing health and recently losing her sight, hearing and memory, reports Montreal’s La Presse.

Born in 1927 in Saint-Bernard-des-Lacs, Quebec, Thérèse married Celine’s father Adhémar Dion, when she was just 18.  Their first child was born in 1946, and they had 14 in all; Celine, born in 1968, was the youngest.

Celine remembered her mother on Friday by posting a photo of her entire family, with the caption, “Maman, we love you so much…We dedicate tonight’s show to you and I’ll sing to you with all my heart. Love, Céline.”

Both Thérèse and Adhémar played instruments, and everyone in the family sang.  When Celine was 12, she, Thérèse and her brother Jacques co-wrote a song the title of which translates to “It Was Only a Dream.” 

Her brother Michel sent the song to an established music manager, René Angélil, who was floored by Celine’s talent.  He mortgaged his house to finance her first album, and “It Was Only a Dream” became Celine’s debut single in 1981.  Years later, he and Celine married and remained together until his death in 2016. Two days after René passed, Therese’s son and Celine’s brother, Daniel Dion, also died of cancer.

Following Celine’s success, Thérèse became a well-known personality in Quebec, launching her own line of food products and hosting a cooking show for a Canadian French-language TV network.  She also did a tremendous amount of charity work, and in 2015, she was awarded Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal.

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