09/07/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Celine Dion has confirmed the happy news. "This time it's for real -- I'm pregnant," she said in a statement released late Friday. "In three weeks, if all goes well, we'll hear the heart of our baby beating inside of my tummy." The child is due early next year. Speculation has been running rampant about the French Canadian pop sensation, 32, since reports began circulating two weeks ago that she'd paid a visit to a New York fertility clinic. The baby news comes a full year after Dion announced that she was temporarily retiring from show business in order to start a family with her husband-manager, René Angelil, 58. Friday's statement also included health news of Angelil, who last year underwent surgery to remove a cancerous growth in his throat. "The man of my life, my whole life, was seriously ill. He could have thrown in the towel, given up and let our happiness die. But instead of giving up, he chose to fight with all his might," Dion said, adding that recent medical test results have shown him to be cancer-free.