Celine Dion will never stop mourning the 2016 death of her husband and manager, Rene Angelil. But after three years of grieving, she's rediscovered herself and chosen to live her life to the fullest — regardless of what her critics have to say.
"I think I'm having the best time of my life now," she told The Sun's Dan Wootton in a new interview that addresses her late love, her male companion, her body, her love of fashion, her children and more. She believes she's found "the wind beneath my wings," she explained. "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," she reiterated.
A big part of that was turning 50 in 2018. "It's all new. It's like I'm having a second wind. Fifty has been great for me," she said while promoting her upcoming concert in London's Hyde Park on July 5.
She's embraced haute couture like never before, making headlines every fashion week with her always-chic, often-outrageous looks. The French-Canadian diva is having fun wearing things that make her "feel attractive," she told The Sun. "I'm doing this for me. I want to feel strong, beautiful, feminine and sexy."
Critics of her slim frame, she added, don't bother her: "If I like it, I don't want to talk about it. Don't bother. Don't take a picture. If you like it, I'll be there. If you don't, leave me alone."
That's also her feeling when it comes to speculation about her relationship with Pepe Muñoz, a 34-year-old Spanish dancer and fashion illustrator who's been her constant companion for the last few years.
Celine made it clear she hates when people accuse her of replacing Rene with Pepe. "The press said, 'Oh my God, Rene just passed and now there's another man,"' she said. "Yeah, there's another man in my life, but not THE man in my life."
The singer grew close to Pepe when he joined her as a dancer during her 2017 European tour. "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? Rene?' … Let's not mix everything."
According to Celine, Pepe is always by her side because he helps style and train her. As for the nature of their relationship? "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 understands the urge to link them romantically. "I don't mind because he's handsome and he's my best friend," she said.
Celine also confirmed that yes, she's single. "I am. By the way, when I say, 'I am single,' please, leave me alone. Thanks."
Pepe has also denied romance reports, telling French magazine Gala last year, "These rumors really amused us. And we still laugh about them. I can count on her when I need to talk, and I am ready to listen to her too. Celine is a woman who is completely transparent. She doesn't cheat. She is exactly what you see: nice, tender, generous, always ready to offer the best of herself."