Veteran French crooner Johnny Hallyday dies aged 74 after cancer battle

Johnny Hallyday

Veteran French crooner Johnny Hallyday dies aged 74 after cancer battle

Johnny Hallyday, the rock singer known as "French Elvis" died on Wednesday at the age of 74, his wife said.

Telegraph reported that the announcement of his death was made by the office of the French president.

Reacting to the news, French president Emmanuel Macron said "there is a little bit of Johnny in all of us".

Star: Johnny Hallyday is seen in this picture from September.

The music star who has sold more than 110 million records during his career had been battling lung cancer. It was their example that wants him to become a singer.

In 1960, Hallyday released his first album.

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.

The biggest highlight of his career came in the year 2001 when he performed at the Eiffel Tower and attracted more than 600,000 people.

Despite his success at home, Hallyday failed to crack the lucrative American or any English-speaking market. The first time the USA heard him was during the "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1962 after which he gave numerous concerts, however, Hallyday never managed to receive a great following.

Simultaneously, he launched an acting career, first appearing as an extra in Georges-Henri Clouzot's 1955 thriller "Les Diaboliques".

During a year of military service he married fellow singer Sylvie Vartan, his first of five marriages. After his parents split, Hallyday moved to live with his aunt, Helena.

"He introduced rock and roll to France".

The leather-clad would-be Elvis, known simply as Johnny, announced in March he had been diagnosed with the disease and would undergo treatment.

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