French rocker Johnny Hallyday, who was known as France’s Elvis Presley, died today at the age of 74. The news of the singer’s death was released in a statement made by his wife, Laeticia Hallyday.
“Johnny Hallyday has left us. I write these words without believing them. But yet, it’s true. My man is no longer with us. He left us tonight as he lived his whole life, with courage and dignity,” she shared.
Hallyday had been battling cancer since earlier this year but did not specifically share what kind of cancer he had. In March, he used Twitter to share the news but also to assure fans that it was not life threatening. He made it clear that despite being treated for cancer, he was in great condition and he was doing very well. Sadly, it turns out his condition was more serious than he let on to his fans.
The legendary Johnny Hallyday was called the French Elvis Presley because his career was just as massive as the King’s. He was as talented as they come, selling over 110 million records over his musical career. In 2001 he performed to a crowd of over 600,000 at the Eiffel Tower in one of the largest concerts ever in France. Along with being a super talented musician, Hallyday was also an amazing actor, starring in a slew of films.
It was his success in both film and music that earned him the nickname comparing him to Presley. The name was perfectly fitting for Hallyday, who said the movie Loving You inspired him to sign up for acting and singing classes. The American icon was a huge influence on Hallyday’s life.
He never found a huge following outside of France, but to the French he was their king, their hero. Once news of his passing broke, social media immediately turned into a tribute to Hallyday. Fans took to Twitter to express their sorrow, celebrate an icon, and pay respects to his family. There was no shortage of love, sadness, respect, and honor shown for him today.
Hallyday left behind a wife and four children.
Heart broken to learn that our French national hero @jhallyday has passed away:( He was our #elvispresley. My heart goes to his family and particularly his wife @lhallyday. His music covered so many generations. He was the best performer we ever had. #Rip and thank you pic.twitter.com/ukxNo9MnCD
— Gilles Marini (@GillesMarini) December 6, 2017
RIP Johnny Hallyday, you will be missed.