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Johnny Hallyday

Johnny Hallyday

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Also Known As: John Hallyday, Jean-Philippe Smet Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Johnny Hallyday was one of the biggest pop/rock stars in French history (not to mention other Francophone countries), though he was relatively unknown in places like the U.S. and U.K. He had a staggeringly long run of hit albums and singles from the '60s through the 2010s, acted in many French films over a similar stretch of time, and was a larger-than-life persona both on and off stage. Hallyday was born Jean-Phillippe Smet in Paris, Fance on June 15, 1943. In English-speaking countries he's often referred to as the French equivalent of Elvis Presley, and his early sound and image were undoubtedly inspired at least partly by Elvis. He started out with a '50s-derived, sometimes rockabilly-inflected rock 'n' roll sound, as heard on early tracks like 1960's "Laisse les filles," and became a success straight out of the gate. Hallyday's history was intertwined with the U.S./U.K. musical continuum-one of his biggest early hits was a cover of Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again," and over the course of his career he collaborated with everyone from Peter Frampton to Bono and U.S. blues man Taj Mahal. Through the years, Hallyday's sound evolved, moving with the times and encompassing multiple strands of...

Johnny Hallyday was one of the biggest pop/rock stars in French history (not to mention other Francophone countries), though he was relatively unknown in places like the U.S. and U.K. He had a staggeringly long run of hit albums and singles from the '60s through the 2010s, acted in many French films over a similar stretch of time, and was a larger-than-life persona both on and off stage. Hallyday was born Jean-Phillippe Smet in Paris, Fance on June 15, 1943. In English-speaking countries he's often referred to as the French equivalent of Elvis Presley, and his early sound and image were undoubtedly inspired at least partly by Elvis. He started out with a '50s-derived, sometimes rockabilly-inflected rock 'n' roll sound, as heard on early tracks like 1960's "Laisse les filles," and became a success straight out of the gate. Hallyday's history was intertwined with the U.S./U.K. musical continuum-one of his biggest early hits was a cover of Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again," and over the course of his career he collaborated with everyone from Peter Frampton to Bono and U.S. blues man Taj Mahal. Through the years, Hallyday's sound evolved, moving with the times and encompassing multiple strands of rock, pop, and R&B, from folk-rock to Motown-inspired soul and beyond. He began his acting career in 1962, appearing alongside Catherine Deneuve in "Les Parisiennes" (1962). As France's quintessential celebrity, Hallyday lived his life very much in the public eye; the first of his five wives was French pop star Sylvie Vartan. Ironically for a public figure who was so much at the center of French pop culture, Hallyday ultimately took up residence in Los Angeles as a tax exile from his homeland. He never quit performing and recording, and despite changing tastes, his status never really diminished. In 2000 he played a concert at the Eiffel Tower for an audience of half a million people plus millions of TV viewers. Hallyday passed away on December 6, 2017 at the age of 74 in Marnes-la-Coquette, France, sparking a major bout of national mourning among the French. His televised funeral later that month brought the city of Paris to a standstill.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Sleight of Hand (2012)
2.
 Vengeance (2009)
3.
4.
 Jean-Philippe (2006)
5.
 Crime Spree (2003) Marcel
6.
 Man on the Train (2002) Milan
7.
 Love Me (2000) Lennox
8.
 Pourquoi pas moi? (1999) Jose--Eva'S Father
9.
 La Gamine (1992) Franck
10.
 Iron Triangle, The (1989) Jacques
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Milestones close milestones

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Known for such albums as "Sang Pour Sang"
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Popular songs include "Je Te Promets" and "L'Attente".
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Scored a No. 1 hit with his cover of Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again."
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Released his first LP, <i>Nous les gars, nous les filles</i>.
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Performed for 500,000 fans at the Eiffel Tower.
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