‘French Elvis’ Johnny Hallyday Dies At 74 : The Two-Way : NPR

‘French Elvis’ Johnny Hallyday Dies At 74

Enlarge this photograph toggle caption Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

Singer Johnny Hallyday, referred to as the “French Elvis,” for his role found in popularizing rock ‘n roll found in his country, has died of lung tumor at age 74.

Although little recognized to audiences outside the Francophone zone, Hallyday distributed 100 million records, dominating the French rock scene for five decades. He likewise appeared in various films. The French described him merely as “Our Johnny.”

“For a lot more than 50 years, he was a captivating icon,” President Emmanuel Macron’s office said found in a assertion. “He brought a part of America into our countrywide pantheon.”

Hallyday was born Jean-Philippe Smet found in Paris in 1943, amid the German occupation during Environment War II. Following war and his father and mother’ separation, he moved to London along with his father’s sisters, where he sooner or later achieved American singer Lee Ketchman, who offered him his first electric guitar.

He performed professionally for the first time in 1960 and released his first album a year later. By 1962, he previously produced an album in Nashville, Tennessee, where The Associated Press says “he rubbed shoulders with American singing greats.”


The AP writes that he was “The antithesis of a French hero right down to his Elvis-style glitter, his gravelly voice and his name with an un-French ring, Hallyday was even so an institution in France, with a postage stamp in his honor.”

People magazine notes:

“Initially, an adept copyist merging components of Presley, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran on stage, Hallyday’s persona encompassed raw rocker, blues shouter and French crooner; his musical catalogue embraced rock, soul, R&B, British pop, heavy metal, country, psychedelia and blues. In time, he influenced everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Dion.”

Hallyday is survived by his wife Laeticia and four children – two adopted from Vietnam, and two others, one fathered along with his 1st wife and another with noted French actress Nathalie Baye, according to the AP.

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