He was France’s rock-and-roll superstar,the nation’s Elvis with his piercing blue eyes， blond quiff and charisma,Johnny Hallyday dominated the stage and captivated fans for decades.
Hallyday’s career spanned nearly 60 years, he sold more than a hundred million records,produced more than 70 albums and toured relentlessly.
His fame transcended music,he was a national icon.
But outside of the french-speaking world, many people were baffled by the popularity of the leather-clad rocker.
They couldn’t understand how he managed to appeal to fans of all ages and from all walks of life.
Whether you want on the right or on the left, he was a bit like Catherine Deneuve,
he embodied France, not an elite France,but the one of ordinary people and the dreams, the ones that went to his concerts, in many ways Johnny was France.
Hallyday’s personal story of rags to riches added to the myth.
He was born Jean-Philippe Smet during the Second World War in Paris.
His parents abandoned him,leaving him to be brought up by his aunt and her American husband named Lee Hallyday, both were dancers.
When Elvis Presley broke through in the US in 1957, Johnny found his idol and a template for his own career.
He hit the road as a teenage singer, fast becoming a sensation.Soon,he was France’s highest owning music star.
I always try to do shows that are a little bit different compared to the ones that I did before.
But yes， I do try and do things that are out of the ordinary with nice lights and special effects, screens, anything that can make people dream.
As well as music,there was acting.
Hallyday starred in films by top French directors, including Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Lelouch.
His personal life wasn’t without controversy.
He was married five times and left France for Switzerland to avoid paying high taxes.
In his last years,he battled illness but refused to stop working.
He’ll be remembered as an artist to the end as a star or simply as his fans always called him Johnny.