Johnny Hallyday: French rock star dies at 74

Star of The Partridge Family David Cassidy dies aged 67

Born in 1943, he changed his name from Jean-Philippe Smet to Johnny Hallyday, and found fame as a rock star in the 1950s.

He has sold about 100 million records in his music career and has even starred in a number of films.

Reacting to the news, French president Emmanuel Macron said "there is a little bit of Johnny in all of us". "My man is no longer with us", his wife Laeticia Hallyday said on Wednesday, reports The Gaurdian.

Star: Johnny Hallyday is seen in this picture from September. Macron spoke to Hallyday's family after the news and said that "we all have something of Johnny Hallyday in us".

The death of Hallyday, a rock and roll giant in France with a career that lasted more than 50 years, was announced by the office of the French president. Johnny in 1960. The following year while performing at the first rock festival at the Palais des Sports in Paris, he set off a near-riot that led to a ban on rock "n" roll shows for several months.

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Despite his success at home, Hallyday failed to crack the lucrative American or any English-speaking market.

Simultaneously, he launched an acting career, first appearing as an extra in Georges-Henri Clouzot's 1955 thriller "Les Diaboliques". His ability to bounce back from the tragedies life threw at him is what made him a folk hero among the French people.

"The rock "n" roll attitude which he brought from the US made him an idol to youth of the sixties", Macron's office said.

Hallyday is survived by his wife Laeticia and their two adopted children Jade and Joy along with his son David Hallyday from his first marriage and daughter Laura Smet from his relationship with actress Nathalie Baye.

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