PARIS – French singer Johnny Hallyday has died near Paris at the age of 74, a victim of lung cancer, his wife said on Wednesday in a statement.
The death occurred at his home in Marnes-la-Coquette, west of Paris, where he had been transferred from a Parisian clinic where he had been confined for six days, according to his wife’s statement.
Jean-Philippe Leo Smet, the singer’s real name, announced in March, on his Twitter account, that he was suffering from cancer and undergoing medical treatment.
“For the past few months I have been undergoing treatment for cancer,” said the French rock star in his account on the social network on March 8.
On November 17, he was admitted to hospital in an emergency for respiratory insufficiency related to his ailment. After his admission, Hallyday received a new session of chemotherapy.
In the official statement, his wife said “he left us tonight as he lived his whole life, with courage and dignity.”
Hallyday, born in Paris on June 15, 1943, to a Belgian father and French mother, was a true mass phenomenon that published a hundred albums over a 57-year career and many of his songs achieved great success.
Known as the “French Elvis,” Johnny Hallyday was always compared and admired in France as if he were Elvis Presley.
The father of French rock and roll and twist, he won 18 platinum albums since 1960 when he released his first single and first album, “Hello Johnny.”
His rock and roll tunes include titles such as “Rester vivant,” “O Carole” and “Noir c’est noir, the French version of “Black is black” by Los Bravos.
In his concerts there was no shortage of “Requiem pour un fou,” one of his hymns, or the lyrical “J’ai pleuré sur ma guitare.”