The biggest French rock star, died after a severe fight with lung cancer at the age of 74.
Johnny was born in Paris on 15 June 1943, he took his stage name from his aunt Desta’s husband and dance partner Lee Hallyday, a pseudonym from Lee Ketcham, an expatriate Oklahoman performer and MC at the Café de Paris where Johnny began his singing career.
Johnny was raised by Desta and Lee from a very young age, with Lee being his first manager. Johnny was always loyal to Lee and secured him a permanent job as a producer and A&R man with his label, Philips Records until Lee’s retirement and relocation back to Oklahoma.
He was active singer since 1959. His death was announced by his wife and the French president. Johnny was a rock and roll giant in his native France.
“I write these words without believing them. But yet, it’s true. My husband is no longer with us. He left us last night, after spending his entire life filled with courage and dignity”, his wife Laeticia said in statement.
In his career that lasted more than a half century, Hallyday has sold over 110 million albums worldwide. He was not very popular outside France, but many world stars, including Celine Dion, who called him “A giant in show business” and “Real icon”.
American singer Lenny Kravitz posted a tweet saying: “Repose en Paix (Rest in peace). Your soul is pure Rock and Roll.”
Also, French President Emmanuel Macron sent the last greeting to the famous musician.
“We will never forget the name, the voice and above all the concerts of Johnny Hallyday”, he wrote in an official statement and later in a message to Twitter’s personal profile, wrote that “We all have something from Johnny in himself”, alluding to his hit since 1985 – “Quelque chose de Tennessee” (Something from Tennessee).
Hallyday died of lung cancer on 6 December, 2017 in Marnes-la-Coquette, near Paris, France at the age of 74. The French President paid tribute, saying he “transcended generations and is etched in the memory of every Frenchman”.