French superstar Johnny Hallyday, RIP

Elias Hubbard
December 8, 2017

Didier Drogba has paid tribute to French rock "n" roll music icon Johnny Hallyday who died on Wednesday.

France's biggest rockstar Johnny Hallyday has died aged 74 after a battle with lung cancer.

He called Hallyday a "national hero" and France's Elvis Presley. Although he weathered some mild commercial ups and downs in the few years after releasing that recording, but by the end of the decade, he'd firmly entrenched his superstar status: 1968's chart-topping Jeune homme LP marked the first in a almost unbroken string of Top 10 records, many of which went to No. 1, lasting through 2016's Rester vivant tour.

Macron later tweeted, "We've all got something of Johnny in us", a reference to Hallyday's 1985 hit, "Quelque chose de Tennessee", which means "Something of Tennessee".

He was the country's top rock'n'roll star through more than five decades and eight presidents, and it was no exaggeration when Macron wrote "the whole country is in mourning".

Musician Brian Ray said Hallyday was a "fearless performer" who "will be missed by millions". Sarkozy called the Hallyday family during an European Union summit and gave updates on the singer's condition during news conferences.

American singer Lee Ketchman gave him his first electric guitar.

Think of Elvis, first and foremost-the King was Hallyday's original inspiration and North Star-but add Serge Gainsbourg, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, James Dean, and David Hasselhoff, and you'll be in the right arrondissement.

The singer - real name Jean-Philippe Smet - sold about 100 million records and starred in a number of films.

His career began in 1960 with the release of his debut album Hello Johnny.

In 1965, Hallyday married blonde pop star Sylvie Vartan, with whom he had one son, David Hallyday. That year he also made an album in Nashville and rubbed shoulders with American singing greats. He played blues, rock-and-roll, country music and other styles. Soon, he also became a true movie star, acting for legendary directors like Henri-Georges Clouzot and Jean Luc Godard.

More recently, he appeared in Johnnie To's Vengeance and had talked about giving film a bigger role in his life. He spoke lovingly of daughters Jade and Joy, who were adopted from Vietnam. Many people never believed that Elvis died.

Hallyday was nicknamed the French Presley by his numerous fans.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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