Credits: Jude Eddy/

Celine Dion performed Queen’s "The Show Must Go On" at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night, where she was also honored with the Billboard Icon Award. It was a bittersweet occasion for Celine, who lost her husband Rene in January before her brother Daniel died just days after, and she became overwhelmed when her son Rene-Charles presented her with the accolade.

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“Normally I feel pretty much in control,” she explained to E! News. “I don’t necessarily like surprises. I like to be prepared; I thought I was. From a mom who was prepared with her children at the funerals, to tell them that it’s fine, to be strong and all that, so for me I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to sing my favorite song,’ and they want to give me that award? Oh, my God. It’s not the reason why I’m doing that. It’s not the reason why I’m here.

“But they’re giving me a very, very important… iconic award… for my children when I’m gone, these are the moments that will stay. These are the moments that will be remembered, I think. For my husband, 'The Show Must Go On', his favorite song that I do every night, (was why) I said ‘OK, I’ll go and it’s going to work.’”

Celine also enjoyed other star performances on the night, including pieces by Madonna and Stevie Wonder. The queen of pop sang "Nothing Compares 2 U" – the track penned by Prince and later made into a hit by Sinead O’Connor – before being joined by the crooner for a rendition of Prince’s "Purple Rain". The music icon passed away in April, aged 57, and Celine also used the night to appreciate his impact on the music world.

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Credits: Jude Eddy/

“Music is extremely therapeutic,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what kind of music you like. I’ve been singing 'Purple Rain' onstage for more than a year now… Prince wrote me a song a little while ago. It’s called 'With This Tear'… I think Madonna did an amazing job with Stevie Wonder tonight.”

Celine also stressed how important it is that today’s talent is recognized before it’s too late and focus is turned to the next new thing. Her opinion is that capable, successful artists should be awarded as soon as possible as no one knows how long they have.

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