Newstalk
Newstalk

10.37 6 Dec 2017


Share this article


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."

She went on: "Until the very last moment, he held firm against this illness that had afflicted him for months, teaching us all extraordinary life lessons."

Hallyday announced in March that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and would be undergoing treatment.

Born in 1943, he changed his name from Jean-Philippe Smet to Johnny Hallyday, and found fame as a rock star in the 1950s.

Hallyday led an eventful life fuelled by drink and drugs, marrying five times, attempting suicide in 1966 and collapsing on stage in 1986.

He also acted in a number of a films - most notably Jean-Luc Godard's 1985 film Detective, and the 2009 thriller Vengeance from Hong Kong director Johnnie To.

Despite achieving a God-like status in France, he was almost unknown in the English-speaking world.

He performed alongside both Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, but failed to achieve his dream of making it big in America.

In response to his death, French President Emmanuel Macron said: "There is something of Johnny in all of us."

Celine Dion called Hallyday "a giant in show business...a true icon" going on to say "he will be sadly missed, but never forgotten".


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

DOWN TO BUSINESS

DOWN TO BUSINESS

10:00-12:00

Share

Up next

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-18:00

Share

THE PICTURE SHOW

THE PICTURE SHOW

18:00-19:00

Share

TED RADIO HOUR

TED RADIO HOUR

19:00-20:00

Share

The Peter Casey Report

The Peter Casey Report

20:00-21:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

21:00-22:00

Share

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP.

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP.

22:00-22:30

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

22:30-23:30

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

23:30-00:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

00:00-00:15

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:15-07:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

07:00-08:00

Share

BETWEEN THE LINES

BETWEEN THE LINES

08:00-09:00

Share

BOBBY'S LATE BREAKFAST

BOBBY'S LATE BREAKFAST

09:00-11:00

Share

ON THE RECORD

ON THE RECORD

11:00-13:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on