Paris renames metro station after rock star Johnny Hallyday

Johnny Hallyday

Adored by young and old, hard-living Hallyday was nearly a national monument, selling more than 110 million records despite being nearly unknown outside the French-speaking world.

If the date of the funeral of the famous rocker has not yet been announced, Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte have confirmed their presence.

In his hometown, Hallyday was simply known as Johnny.

Think of Elvis, first and foremost-the King was Hallyday's original inspiration and North Star-but add Serge Gainsbourg, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, James Dean, and David Hasselhoff, and you'll be in the right arrondissement.

Johnny, as he was known, was born in Nazi-occupied Paris on June 15, 1943, with the decidedly unhip name of Jean-Philippe Leo Smet. "Memories, happy moments, songs and music", said former president Nicolas Sarkozy in December 2009, just days after Hallyday, then 66, was hospitalised in Los Angeles.

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Yet while drawn to English-language music and low-tax jurisdictions, Mr. Hallyday remained defiantly French, singing "les blues" before massive crowds at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, where he appeared alongside dancers from the Moulin Rouge and drove a motorcycle across the stage. Mr. Hallyday spent decades in what Britain's Independent newspaper once called "a ghetto of francophone idolatry". One of Hallyday's most iconic hits, "Le Pénitencier", was adapted from The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun".

French singer Johnny Hallyday performs on stage on March 26, 2016 at the beginning of his concert in Brussels.

Some worldwide artists paid tribute to Hallyday's career.

People have taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the late musician, with fellow musician Lenny Kravitz saying "your soul is pure Rock and Roll". He was a giant in show business.a true icon!

Hallyday gave his last concert on July 5, in the city of Carcassonne, in the south of France.

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