Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

French Rock Star Johnny Hallyday Dies At 74

Fans deposed flowers outside the home of French rocker Johnny Hallyday in Marnes-la-Coquette outside Paris on ThursdayMore Fans deposed flowers outside the home of French rocker Johnny Hallyday in Marnes-la-Coquette outside Paris on ThursdayMore
Hannah Rogers | 08 December, 2017, 00:19

Hallyday, who is credited with introducing rock and roll music to France, is known as "the biggest rock star you've never heard of" outside of his home country.

While he was never taken seriously overseas, Hallyday broke from France's classic "chanson" tradition in the late 1950s, selling more than 100 million albums and headlining 50 major tours. Highlights include a music festival in Paris in 1961 that got wild enough to lead to a temporary ban on rock "n" roll shows, and a 1966 show where he gave The Jimi Hendrix Experience their first gig, opening for him. He used this ability to become a household name across the French-speaking world. Difference being: She called the president of France, Emmanuel Macron. He was twice married to the same woman, Adeline Blondiau, whom he first Wednesday in 1990 when she was just 19. He was 74-years old. The couple adopted two Vietnamese daughters, Joy and Jade.

With his square-jawed good looks and piercing blue eyes, Hallyday was often sought-out for the cinema, playing in French director Jean-Luc Godard's "Detective" (1984) and with other illustrious directors including Costa-Gavras.

The singer drew criticism from French politicians in 2006 after choosing to dodge French taxes by going to live in Switzerland, saying he had had enough of being "fleeced" back home.

Celine Dion was among those who took to social media to pay their respects as news of his death broke.

Macron, one of many French politicians to offer words of praise and condolence in the wake of Hallyday's death, issued a statement calling him "a vibrant icon" and surveying the vast cultural impact left by his music and movies over the past 50 years.

Some worldwide artists paid tribute to Hallyday's career.

Over a career that spanned half a century, he went on 181 tours and released 18 platinum albums.

"My man is no more", his widow said.

President Jacques Chirac made him a Chevalier of the Legion D'Honneur in 1997.

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