France’s king of rock Johnny Hallyday passes away at age 74 after battle with lung cancer

Source:AFP Published: 2017/12/6 17:08:39

France's best-known rock star Johnny Hallyday has died aged 74 after a battle with lung cancer, his wife Laeticia told AFP on Wednesday.

The leather-clad would-be Elvis announced in March he had been diagnosed with the disease.

"Johnny Hallyday has left us. I write these words without believing them. But yet, it's true. My man is no longer with us," said Laeticia Hallyday, 42, in a statement.

"He left us tonight as he lived his whole life, with courage and dignity."

While he was never taken seriously abroad, Hallyday broke from France's classic "chanson" tradition in the late 1950s, selling more than 100 million albums and headlining 50 major tours.

"There is something of Johnny in all of us," the French presidency said in a statement on news of his death.

Rumors of Hallyday's passing had flown online in recent weeks after he was admitted to a hospital in Paris with breathing problems.

Hallyday, whose real name was Jean-Philippe Smet, spent six days under medical care before returning to rest at his home in Marnes-la-Coquette, west of the capital.

"Until the very last moment, he held firm against this illness that had afflicted him for months, teaching us all extraordinary life lessons," said Laeticia Hallyday.

Posted in: MUSIC

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