The singer lost her manager husband Rene Angelil in January (16) after he died of throat cancer aged 73. Rene battled three bouts of cancer, which at times forced his wife of 21 years to put her career on hold to care for her spouse.

Despite her heartbreak, Celine explains Rene insisted "the show must go on" and now that he has passed she wants to prove to her children that their mother remains strong.

"Rene always insisted the show must go on," the mother-of-three said in an interview with People. "You know what, I'm 48 years old and I lost the love of my life.

"I miss him a lot from when he was great but not when he was suffering. I cannot be selfish. You have to let people go. I feel at peace," she added.

The couple first met when Celine was just a 12-year-old girl in Montreal. They had three children during their marriage - Rene-Charles, 15, and six-year-old twins Nelson and Eddy.

"It's been a long, long journey," Celine noted. "We were living in hope, knowing that there's no hope."

On Sunday (22May16) Celine will receive the Icon award at The Billboard Music Awards where she will honour her husband's legacy by performing a cover of rock band Queen's The Show Must Go On.

Past winners of the Icon lifetime achievement award include Jennifer Lopez in 2014 and Prince in 2013.

Over her singing career, Celine has sold almost 250 million albums and had 12 top 10s and four No.1s on the Billboard 200 chart. She also has 10 Billboard Music Awards and five Grammys to her name.

In addition to Celine, other performers scheduled to entertain fans at the ceremony include Britney Spears, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber and Pink.