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Died johnny Hallyday, Ambassador of rock-n-roll in France

For French-speaking musical world he was a true rock giant. For the rest — not the most obvious celebrity, but nevertheless an artist with a stunning charisma. Johnny Holliday died on the sixth of December from lung cancer. He was 74 years old.


photo: AP

For French-speaking musical world he was a true rock giant. For the rest — not the most obvious celebrity, but nevertheless an artist with a stunning charisma. Johnny Holliday died on the sixth of December from lung cancer. He was 74 years old.

The news of the death of the musician and actor has caused a sympathetic reaction to a variety of people: from the American rock idol lenny Kravitz and canadian pop prima of Celion Dion to the President of France. “Each of us has something from johnny,” said Emmanuel macron. Kinologija Brigitte Bardot was even more categorical: “johnny is like a monument. He is France” .

The feelings he experienced compatriots to johnny, I guess you could call true love, though in the musical sense, this artist is difficult to recognize typical French. Jean-Philippe Leo Smet (that was the name of the future stars after the birth) started in the late fifties with the imitation Elvis Presley. It seemed that this expressive young man seriously intends, if not to destroy the tradition of the chanson, then at least to convince everyone that rock-n-roll, and French can live in perfect harmony. At first no one believed, but if he performs like last time, it was hard not to pay attention. The first album Holliday came out in 1960, and it was then that johnny began a forward movement from cabarets and bars to the stadiums and millions of copies.

Holliday often called the Ambassador of rock-n-roll in France, and johnny did everything to fit. Jeans and leather, and expression of rage, sex, drugs, rock-n-roll. Many thought that the glory Holliday is about to burst all boundaries and become global, but this didn’t happen. In the Anglo-Saxon rock-the Kingdom of the French rocker was too exotic stuff. But even the American critics called him “the greatest rock star you’ve never heard of”. However, all these difficulties of translation more than compensated at home. It could be three weeks in a row at the legendary Paris Olympia hall or to collect almost a million people on the Champs Elysees. In France for several decades johnny know both adults and children. For the French, it is “our johnny”, “French Elvis” with the filing of Jacques Chirac, knight of the Legion of honor.

Personal life johnny quite fit into the system rock-and-roll values. Four of wedlock, a biological son and a daughter plus two Vietnamese girls, and Will Leticia Halliday (they married in 1996) was adopted in 2004 and 2008.

The lifestyle chosen by the musician, often inspired fears for his health. “I was dying and I didn’t like it, so I decided to come back” — ironically Holliday in an interview. But it is not always the situation boiled down to jokes. In 2009, johnny was forced to cancel several concerts due to poor health, and in March of this year he said that he is fighting lung cancer. In the spring he was full of optimism, assuring his fans that his life is not in danger. However, in November Holliday had to be hospitalized.

“Johnny Hallyday has left us. I write these words, not believing them. But it’s true. He left us as he lived all his life: with courage and dignity,” — said the wife of a musician.

Watch the video on:
“The French Elvis: died on the rock singer johnny Hallyday”

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