— -- Celine Dion took to the stage Tuesday night in what was her first Las Vegas show since the death of her husband, Rene Angelil, last month.
The concert at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace began with a special tribute to Angelil. After the lights dimmed, a quote from Dion, printed in the program for her husband's funeral, was displayed: "I understood that my career was in a way his masterpiece, his song, his symphony. The idea of living it unfinished would have hurt him terribly. I realized that if he ever left us, I would have to continue without him, for him."
The audience saw a slideshow of Angelil before Dion came out to a standing ovation. She sang "Finale: With One More Look at You/Watch Closely Now" by Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, from "A Star Is Born," before addressing the crowd.
A teary-eyed Dion noted how supportive Angelil was throughout her career. "Every time I closed my eyes I felt Rene on stage with me, whether he was seated in his seat right there, in the balcony, backstage, or at home with the kids, he's always been on stage with me. And nothing could ever change that," she remarked.
Saying that she and Angelil will "always be one," Dion closed her speech in part by commenting, "I feel and I know he hears me. One way or another I know he will give me a sign for his approval or not. And now I can feel that he's telling me to zip it and start singing."
She offered a few more remarks in French, then continued the concert by performing her 1990 single "Where Does My Heart Beat Now."
The tribute was streamed live on Dion's website.
Angelil died Jan. 14 following a battle with cancer. He was 73.