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Johnny Hallyday: French rock star dies at 74

  • 6 December 2017
  • From the section Europe

Johnny Hallyday performs in St-Denis, France. Photo: May 2009Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Hallyday broke from France’s classic “chanson” tradition in the 1950s, starting singing rock and roll in French

France’s biggest rock star Johnny Hallyday has died from lung cancer, his wife says. He was 74.

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

He was made a Chevalier of the Legion D’Honneur by President Jacques Chirac in 1997.

The French have simply called him “Our Johnny”. However, outside the Francophone zone, Hallyday was almost unknown.

In a statement, his wife Laeticia said: “Johnny Hallyday has left us,” the AFP news agency reports.

“I write these words without believing them. But yet, it’s true. My man is no longer with us.

“He left us tonight as he lived his whole life, with courage and dignity,” she said.

BBC News – World

French rock star Johnny Hallyday dies aged 74
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