In an interview with Dan Wooton, Céline Dion opened up about her relationship status in the wake of the devastating death of her husband, René Angélil

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January 29, 2019 10:35 AM

Céline Dion and her backup dancer Pepe Munoz have been inseparable over the last two years. But the singer, 50, very much insists the two are just friends, though she doesn’t mind if anyone thinks otherwise.

In an interview with Dan Wootton (of ITV, The Sun and The Dan Wootton Interview podcast), Dion opened up about her relationship status in the wake of the devastating death of her husband, René Angélil — who succumbed to his battle with throat cancer at the age of 74 in January 2016.

I am single,” she said, addressing the romance rumors sparked by her time with Munoz. “The press said, ‘Oh my God, René just passed and now there’s another man.’ Yeah, there’s another man in my life but not the man in my life.”

Dion went on to praise Angélil, whom she first met when she was just 12 years old and who helped managed her career throughout his life. She described him as “the greatest man in the world,” and said she takes comfort in “knowing that now he’s in peace and is resting and is always within me.”

RELATED: Céline Dion Remembers Late Husband René Angélil on Anniversary of His Death: ‘Always with Me’

“I see him every day through the eyes of my children,” she said of their kids, twins Eddy and Nelson, 8, and son René-Charles, 17. “He gave me so much strength.”

“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,” Dion told Wootton. “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.”

RELATED: Céline Dion’s Backup Dancer Saves Her from a Wardrobe Malfunction at Paris Fashion Week

Céline Dion and Pepe Munoz
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty

As for Munoz, who was in the room for Wootton’s interview, Dion admitted she’s concerned the attention is “difficult” for him.

“It was probably overwhelming for him at the beginning when we started working together because we were dancing together,” she told Wootton. “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.” 

Dion praised Munoz for helping to style her and keep her in the best shape. “We’re friends, we’re best friends,” she explained. “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.”

As for those who think they have a romance, Dion revealed to Wootton that she’s not bothered by their assumptions. “I don’t mind because he’s handsome and he’s my best friend,” she said.

René Angélil and Céline Dion
Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage

RELATED: Céline Dion Offers Late Husband René Angélil a Touching Tribute During Vegas Show

Earlier this month, Dion paid tribute to Angélil on the third anniversary of his death.

“Mon cher René… tu es toujours avec moi… et tu le seras toujours. À ta douce mémoire… xx…” Dion wrote in her native French on her social media accounts, which translates in English to, “My dearest René….always with me…..always will be. In loving memory… xx …”

During her Las Vegas residency show at Caesars Palace days later, Dion — who was married to Angélil for 21 years — spoke passionately about a song titled “You’re the Voice” by Australian singer John Farnham. She then encouraged the sold-out crowd to sing with her while reminding them that it was Angélil’s birthday.

This is the greatest gift that I can offer him for his birthday, because what he loved the most in the world is the fans, the music and to see me perform for you,” she said.

After leading the crowd in a rehearsal of the chorus, the singing legend shouted, “Are you ready to sing that for René?” Once the crowd finished the song and applauded Dion, she looked up to the sky and blew a kiss. “Happy birthday, my love,” she said.

Dion then turned back to the crowd of more than 4,000 gathered in The Colosseum, telling them, “I couldn’t have offered him a better gift.”

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