US News Johnny Hallyday, 'French Elvis', dies at 74 after cancer

09:23  06 december  2017
09:23  06 december  2017 Source:   Reuters

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PARIS (Reuters) – Johnny Hallyday , whose death at 74 was announced by his wife and the French president on Wednesday, was a rock and roll giant in his He had been fighting lung cancer , and also preparing yet another album recording and stage tour. News of his death after weeks of frenzied

Johnny Hallyday , a singer known as the " French Elvis " whose cowboy swagger and gravelly voice helped popularize rock 'n roll in his country, has died at 74 after a battle with cancer , the office of the French president said on Wednesday. "For more than 50 years, he was a vibrant icon.

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Johnny Hallyday , a singer known as the " French Elvis " whose cowboy swagger and gravelly voice helped popularize rock 'n roll in his country, has died at 74 after a battle with cancer , the office of the French president said on Wednesday.

By Brian Love

Johnny Hallyday, whose death at 74 was announced by his wife and the French president on Wednesday, was a rock and roll giant in his native France and survived drug use, family strife and near-death episodes to strut the stage for more than fifty years.

Hallyday, with his cowboy swagger and gravelly voice, was a "French Elvis" for hundreds of millions of followers, mostly if not all in his native country, where he sold more records than any other singer.

He had been fighting lung cancer, and also preparing yet another album recording and stage tour.

Johnny Hallyday smiling for the camera: FILE PHOTO: Singer Johnny Hallyday waves as he arrives at the Cannes festival palace to attend the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes © REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo FILE PHOTO: Singer Johnny Hallyday waves as he arrives at the Cannes festival palace to attend the NRJ Music Awards in Cannes News of his death after weeks of frenzied speculation about his health, set social networks alight with tributes from fans, politicians and celebrities.

French rock star Johnny Hallyday dies aged 74

  French rock star Johnny Hallyday dies aged 74 France's most famous rock star - Johnny Hallyday - has died aged 74 after a battle with lung cancer. Known as "France's Elvis", the singer - who found his musical inspiration in Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly - sold more than 100 million albums and headlined 50 major tours.Hallyday's wife, Laeticia, 42, confirmed that he died at his home in Marnes-la-Coquette, west of Paris, on Wednesday, following hospital treatment.Mrs Hallyday wrote in a statement: "Johnny Hallyday has left us... He left us tonight as he lived his whole life, with courage and dignity.

PARIS — Johnny Hallyday , France’s biggest rock star for more than half a century and an icon who packed sports stadiums and all but lit up the Eiffel Tower with his pumping pelvis and high-voltage tunes, has died . He was 74 .

- + PARIS: Johnny Hallyday , a singer known as the " French Elvis " who helped populasize rock 'n roll in his country, has died at 74 after a battle with cancer , the office of the French president said on Wednesday.

"For more than 50 years, he was a vibrant icon," President Emmanuel Macron's office said in a statement.

Hallyday is credited with sales of more than 100 million albums over the decades.

Johnny Hallyday wearing glasses: FILE PHOTO: French singer Johnny Hallyday and his wife Laeticia pose before attending the Dior Haute Couture Fall Winter 2016/2017 fashion show in Paris © REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo FILE PHOTO: French singer Johnny Hallyday and his wife Laeticia pose before attending the Dior Haute Couture Fall Winter 2016/2017 fashion show in Paris While never earning stardom in the United States, where he lived in Los Angeles in later years, he won a legion of followers in France and elsewhere in the French-speaking world.

"Johnny Hallyday has left us," the singer's wife, Laeticia, said in a statement to Agence France Presse. "I write these words without believing them. But yet, it's true. My man is no longer with us."

It was not immediately clear where he died.

a man standing in front of a plane: FILE PHOTO: French singer Johnny Hallyday waves to photographers as he boards a plane to leave Le Bourget Airport near Paris © REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo FILE PHOTO: French singer Johnny Hallyday waves to photographers as he boards a plane to leave Le Bourget Airport near Paris Hallyday, who issued his first recording in 1959, had been preparing a new album and tour when news of his admission with respiratory difficulties at a Paris hospital was announced last month.

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BREAKING NEWS: Singer Johnny Hallyday - best known as the ' French Elvis ' - dies aged 74 after fighting lung cancer . French rock star sold 110 million records during his illustrious career.

Rock icon Johnny Hallyday , known as French Elvis , dies at 74 . Hallyday had had lung cancer and repeated health scares in recent years that dominated national news, yet he continued performing as recently as this summer.

French-Canadian singer Celine Dion posted a Twitter message saying she was very saddened to hear of his death. "He was a giant in show business ... a true icon," she said.

ROCK STAR LIFE

FILE PHOTO: French rock singer Hallyday performs at the Stade de France in Saint Denis © REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo FILE PHOTO: French rock singer Hallyday performs at the Stade de France in Saint Denis American newspaper USA Today once dubbed Hallyday "the greatest rock star you never heard of," but in France he was known simply as "Johnny."

A walking monument, he had the star power to fill the 80,000-seat Stade de France and drew a crowd of more than 750,000 when he once held a free concert near the Eiffel Tower on France's Bastille Day national holiday.

Hallyday's 2011 album "Jamais Seul" went straight to number one, selling 100,000 copies in the first week, despite his reputation for being viewed by younger generations as uncool, or passé.

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Johnny Hallyday touted as France’s first and the biggest rock star died after a severe battle with lung cancer on Wednesday. He was 74 . Telegraph reported that the announcement of his death was made by the office of the French president.

PARIS: Johnny Hallyday , a singer known as the “ French Elvis ” whose cowboy swagger and gravelly voice helped popularize rock ‘n roll in his country, has died at 74 after a battle with cancer , the office of the French president said on Wednesday.

a close up of a man: FILE PHOTO: French singer Johnny Hallyday prepares to perform during a ceremony at Place de la Republique square to pay tribute to the victims of last year's shooting at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris © REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo FILE PHOTO: French singer Johnny Hallyday prepares to perform during a ceremony at Place de la Republique square to pay tribute to the victims of last year's shooting at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris Hallyday also starred in several movies and used his image, and steely blue eyes, to earn extra revenue from advertisements for sunglasses.

He was something of a contradiction, as a star who forged his career recycling rock gems such as The Animals' version of "House of the Rising Sun" or Jimi Hendrix's "Hey Joe" in a country that has a legal limit on the amount of English music played on the radio. He once claimed to have been born in Oklahoma.

"He introduced a slice of America in our national Pantheon," said the statement from Macron's office.

Johnny Hallyday wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: French singer Johnny Hallyday attends a ceremony at Place de la Republique square to pay tribute to the victims of last year's shooting at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris © REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo FILE PHOTO: French singer Johnny Hallyday attends a ceremony at Place de la Republique square to pay tribute to the victims of last year's shooting at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris Born Jean-Philippe Leo Smet in Paris in 1943 to Huguette Clerc and Belgian-born Leon Smet, the young Johnny was raised by his aunt Helene Mar when his parents split up.

He spent his early years on the road with his cousins Desta and Menen and their acrobatic dance troupe, and eventually took to the stage himself at the age of 12, singing country songs dressed as a child Davy Crockett.

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8, 2007, file photo, French musician Johnny Hallyday during Miss France 2008 election in Dunkirk, northern France. The French president's office says Hallyday , who packed sports stadiums for decades, has died at age 74 . less.

PARIS (Reuters) - Johnny Hallyday , whose death at 74 was announced by his wife and the French president on Wednesday, was a rock and He had been fighting lung cancer , and also preparing yet another album recording and stage tour. News of his death after weeks of frenzied speculation about

The defining moment in his career came when he saw Elvis Presley in the film "Loving You", an experience that prompted him to restyle his image, adopting the hip shake that would characterise legions of rock stars on both sides of the Atlantic.

a man wearing glasses: FILE PHOTO: French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday and his wife Laeticia attend the funeral ceremony of late actress Mireille Darc at the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris © REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo FILE PHOTO: French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday and his wife Laeticia attend the funeral ceremony of late actress Mireille Darc at the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris As Johnny Hallyday, he released his first single, "T'aimer Follement" (To Love You Madly), at 16, and then set about bringing his own brand of rock to an avid French youth emerging from the austerity of the post-war era.

His music and wild stage antics sparked rioting and hysteria, and the leather-clad, Harley Davidson-loving rocker soon became famed for his hard living and self-destructive streak as much as for his chart-topping albums.

Partying, drugs, alcohol and dark tobacco, the latter apparently adopted on the advice of rock icon Keith Richards, all took their toll, carving out the husky voice and craggy face that were to become his trademark.

a group of people posing for the camera: FILE PHOTO: French rock singer Hallyday performs at the Stade de France in Saint Denis © REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo FILE PHOTO: French rock singer Hallyday performs at the Stade de France in Saint Denis In 1965 he married blonde pop star Sylvie Vartan, with whom he had one son, David Hallyday.

Their divorce in 1980 was quickly followed by four successive marriages, including one lasting 62 days and two to the same woman, Adeline Blondiau, whom he first wed in 1990 when she was just 19.

His fifth and longest marriage to the 21-year-old Laeticia Boudou in 1996, with whom he adopted two daughters, Joy and Jade, marked the start of a calmer, more stable phase in his personal life.

a couple of people that are talking to each other: FILE PHOTO: French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday and his wife Laeticia attend the funeral ceremony of late actress Mireille Darc at the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris © REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo FILE PHOTO: French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday and his wife Laeticia attend the funeral ceremony of late actress Mireille Darc at the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris When he was hospitalised in 2009 for a severe infection after a back operation, it also emerged that, morphine failing to do the trick, he had been plunged into an artificial coma to tackle pain he had sought for weeks to kill with larger than ever amounts of alcohol.

Son David has followed his father into the music world, and his daughter Laura Smet, by third wife Nathalie Baye, is an actress.

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