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Johnny Hallyday, Icon of French Rock is Dead

Johnny Hallyday has died of lung cancer in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, announced his wife Laeticia.

For all, it was simply ” Johnny ” : the incarnation of French rock, a powerful voice that has passed through the modes, a star in stormy and rough life, but also a survivor singing solitude, finally defeated by cancer .. . Johnny Hallyday is dead in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday at the age of 74.

This is a statement sent to AFP at 2:34 in the morning that his wife Laeticia has announced the death of one who was called Jean-Philippe Smet in the civil:

Johnny Hallyday has left. I write this without believing. Yet this is it. My man is gone. He left us that night as he experienced throughout his life with courage and dignity.

He stood up

“Until the last moment, he stood up to the disease that was eating for months, giving us all extraordinary life lessons. His heart pounding so hard in a body of a rocker who has lived a life without concessions to his audience, for those who fawn and those who love him, “she continues.

Evoking the “daddy” of their two adopted daughters Jade and Joy, Laura (born of his union with Nathalie Baye) and David (born of his union with Sylvie Vartan), Laeticia Hallyday concludes: “Johnny was an extraordinary man . He will remain with you. Especially do not forget. It is and will remain with us forever. My love I love you so much. ”

“We all have something in us of Johnny Hallyday,” responded the Elysee.

More hope

There was much hope since Johnny Hallyday had been hospitalized there a month to respiratory distress.

Laeticia had not sent any more messages on social networks, she had regularly used to reassuring news of Johnny since he announced in early March to be treated against the disease. A cancer he knew he had to fight.

Detected in the lungs of the star in November 2016, cancer will be so overwhelmed in a year that his friend Eddy Mitchell was nicknamed him “Robocop”. And who had been also close to death, when his suicide attempt in 1966 after the divorce of Sylvie Vartan and more recently when he plunged several days in a coma in 2009 due to complications following an operation.

100 million records

Johnny Hallyday has yet finally been beaten. Going up on stage, in June and July, with his friends Jacques Dutronc and Eddy Mitchell, for the tour of “Old Scoundrels.” sometimes difficult moments like when he was in Lille where he appeared weakened by chemotherapy, he had tratment four days earlier, but also like going better and better, over the concerts, as driven by the energy of this public he met for the last time.

To “stay alive” as was called his last marathon tour (2015-2016), this “showman” who has filled in his 57-year career, all the major places of the France, the Stade de France Champ de Mars, also working on a new album.

With more than 100 million records sold and ten Grammy awards, the “teen idol” and not so young before the time: those of early rock’n’roll era where he looked like a “Elvis Presley” made in France,  and later, more variety and “mainstream” with Michel Berger and Jean-Jacques Goldman in the 80s, to return with happiness in recent years to the roots of blues and rock.

T’aimer follement

This exceptional longevity, since “T’aimer follement,” his first song recorded in 1960, is dotted with dozens of success came in the collective memory: “Souvenirs souvenirs”, “Le Pénitencier,” “Noir c’est noir”, ” Retiens la nuit “,” Pour moi la vie va commencer, “”Que je t’aime, “” Gabrielle, “” La musique que j’aime , “”Ma gueule, “” Quelque chose de Tennessee, “” Allumer le feu “,” Marie”…


Until “Un dimanche de janvier, song tribute to the victims of the attacks of January 2015 he performed in January 2016 alongside François Hollande during the tribute marking the first anniversary of the tragedy.

Excess and loves

Throughout a life lived at full speed, with its accidents, its excesses relayed in one of the newspapers, his stormy love affairs and media (Sylvie Vartan with whom he had a son, David Hallyday, Nathalie Baye, with whom he had a daughter Laura Smet), houses in Switzerland and the United States on tax exile indictment background, “Johnny” had become an artist.

A living legend, a quasi-official singer but also a sometimes annoying character for some, scratched for his way of speaking, the image of the “Ah …” popularized by its puppet Puppets.

“My life was a tunnel”




“My life was a tunnel of suffering, I do not always feel in harmony with myself, living from day to day, tormented by the fear of tomorrow,” confided in 2014 to Télérama one who was in civilian Jean-Philippe Smet, his father’s name, Belgian, he has so little known.

In recent years, it is his health which had become a sensitive subject. With his coma, many feared the worst in 2009 in the United States and the cancer that led him to his last fight.

The “suffering” that however was forgotten when he returned to the studio or went back on stage and to the end, “be Johnny Hallyday” what he called “an occupation”.

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