Céline Dion’s heart will undoubtedly go on — just not yet, she insists. After much speculation over the status of her relationship with backup dancer Pepe Muñoz, Dion is finally addressing the rumors with a resolute proclamation: “I am single.”
In an interview with ITV’s Dan Wootton, Dion opened up about her romantic life in the three years since her husband, René Angélil, died of throat cancer in 2016. “The press said, ‘Oh my God, René just passed and now there’s another man,’” Dion recounted, adding, “Yeah, there’s another man in my life but not the man in my life.”
‘I’m at the best of my life right now.’
Since celebrating her 50th birthday last year, @celinedion reminisces on all she's achieved including her marriage to 'the greatest man in this world', her late husband, René. #Lorraine pic.twitter.com/ay2eE0Bzxl
— Lorraine (@lorraine) January 29, 2019
Still, there’s no denying that Muñoz is an active part of Dion’s life. Per People, he was present in the room during her interview with Wootton. And to be honest, Dion doesn’t seem to care how other people classify what the two share.
“We’re friends, we’re best friends. Of course we hug and hold hands and go out, so people see that. I mean, he’s a gentleman. He’s giving me his hand to go out,” she explained.
But Dion does worry that perhaps the media scrutiny is too difficult for Muñoz, saying, “It was probably overwhelming for him at the beginning when we started working together because we’re dancing together. We bonded right away as friends, we had a good time. It evolved. But when people started to take pictures and it was like, ‘Who’s that guy? René?’ … Let’s not mix everything.”
It’s clear throughout Dion’s interview that, despite how she or anyone else defines her relationship with Muñoz, Angélil is never far from her mind, which isn’t surprising when you consider that he helped manage Dion’s entire career and the couple was married for more than two decades.
“I see him every day through the eyes of my children,” she said, referencing their 8-year-old twins, Eddy and Nelson, and 17-year-old son René-Charles. Dion also referred to her late husband as “the greatest man in the world,” sharing that she derives great comfort in “knowing that now he’s in peace and is resting and is always within me.”
It’s that strong foundation of love that allows Dion to feel so confident and empowered now.
“To be honest with you, I think I’m at the best of my life right now and I really want to enjoy and embrace every moment of it and really enjoy it,” she said. “It’s like I’m having a second wind, like I’m having the wind beneath my wings, kind of like I’m spreading. I’m having a good time.”