The death of Johnny Hallyday – announced on Wednesday, December 6 – has caused a huge wave of grief across the French-speaking world. The singer-songwriter had a career that spanned six decades.
Hallyday, 74, had a long history of lung problems, and after a recent bout of lung cancer succumbed to the illness at his home just outside Paris late on Tuesday, with his family by his side.
“France’s Elvis” performed on many occasions in Monaco, always attracting a large following of admirers. In an interview with French-language Monaco-Matin on Wednesday, Prince Albert, who had met the singer several times in Paris and Monaco and over the years had forged ties of friendship, spoke of his own sadness.
“Johnny liked to come to the Principality, he had a lot of loyal admirers in Monaco and in the region. Johnny is a part of our daily lives, pleasant and festive moments in our lives,” the Prince told the daily.
French President Emmanuel Macron added his own voice to the tsunami of tributes. “He was a French hero,” the President said while on an official visit to Algeria.
Award-winning French singer Véronique Sanson echoed the thoughts of many when she said: ”I am deeply touched and moved by Johnny’s death. I thought he was indestructible. It is a part of all the French that goes with him.”
Bishops and priests also paid tribute on Wednesday. “Pray for Johnny! A thousand teen memories …” tweeted Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, Le Figaro reported.
American rocker Lenny Kravitz, tweeted about the legend, who loved US pop rock: “Farewell Dear @JohnnySjh. Your friendship, sweetness and support are imprinted in my heart. It is an honour to have known you and to have spent time with you and your beautiful family. Your soul is pure Rock and Roll. Repose en paix.