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Johnny Hallyday
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Vocalist
    (June 15, 1943-December 6, 2017)
    Born in Paris, France
    Birth name was Jean-Philippe Smet
    Had #1 hits in France with the singles ‘Viens danser le twist’ (‘Let’s Twist Again,’ 1961), ‘Retiens la nuit’ (1962), ‘Tous emsemble’ (2002), ‘Marie’ (2002), ‘Mon plus beau Noel’ (2005), ‘La loi du silence’ (2006) and ‘Ca n’finira jamais’ (2008)
    Sold 110 million records
    Nicknamed ‘the French Elvis
    Charles De Gaulle denounced him as an agent of ‘American cultural imperialism.’
    He was huge in France, but virtually unknown in English-speaking countries.
    He attempted suicide twice.
    He was married four times, divorced three times.
    His second marriage lasted two months and two days.
    He fathered a daughter out of wedlock with actress Nathalie Baye.
    He moved to Switzerland to avoid French taxes.
    He said, ‘For a long time, I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning without cocaine.’
    He held a seemingly endless series of ‘farewell’ tours.
    As he aged, he looked like Sean Penn.
    He was abandoned by his parents and raised by an aunt.
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience played their first concert as his opening act (October 14, 1966).
    Peter Frampton and Bono wrote songs for him.
    He appeared on the cover of the magazine ‘Paris Match’ more times than any other celebrity.
    He and his fourth wife adopted two daughters from Vietnam.
    His concert at the Eiffel Tower was attended by half a million people and watched on TV by 9.5 million viewers – a sixth of the country’s population (2001).
    As an actor, he won critical respect with his performances in ‘The Man on the Train’ (2002) and ‘Vengeance’ (2009).
    He established a second home in Los Angeles, enjoying his relative anonymity in America.
    He was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (1997).

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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