January 14, 2016 06:45 PM

In the last several years, René Angélil’s health met several setbacks, but his death from cancer on Thursday “was a shock,” says a source.

“We knew what he was up against, but he had good days and bad days,” says the source close to Céline Dion and Angélil. “It was expected, but it wasn’t expected. Was he at death’s door? No.”

First diagnosed in 1999 with throat cancer, the music producer had surgery in late 2013 to remove another tumor, and Dion subsequently took time off to care for her ailing husband.

But in recent days, Angélil, 73, had been keeping busy, and even had a couple business meetings, adds the source.

“No one was prepared for this to happen today or this week,” says the source, who confirms Dion, 47, has cancelled her upcoming residency shows.

“I am scared of losing him, because it’s bad,” she told PEOPLE exclusively last March. “But I have to show myself, my husband and my kids that I’m strong and we’re okay.”

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