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French Rock Star Johnny Hallyday Dies At 74

Johnny Hallyday died at 74 on Wednesday, December 6, after a battle with cancer.

He was called the “French Elvis”; the singer helped popularise rock ‘n roll in his country.

Described by French President Emmanuel Macron as a vibrant icon, Hallyday’s career spanned more than half a century, selling more than 100 million records.


His early music brought rock and roll to French shores and earned him an army of fans throughout the French-speaking world.

In later days, he was celebrity royalty, gracing the covers of magazines, and became known for his elaborate stage performances.

Johnny Hallyday

Hallyday said in a 2012 interview:

“I always try to do shows that are a little bit different compared to the ones that I did before. But yes, I do try and do things that are out of the ordinary with nice lights and special effects, screens, anything that can make people dream.”

Hallyday had been preparing a new album and stage tour when news of treatment for respiratory problems in a Paris hospital was announced last month.

***Reuters / Sara Hemrajani

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