French “Elvis” Johnny Hallyday Has Died At 74

French rock star and actor Johnny Hallyday has passed away at the age of 74. He had been fighting cancer for several months. Johnny Hallyday was widely known as the “French Elvis.” His singing career began in the late 1950s, when he became famous for his French-language cover versions of songs by artists like Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochrane and Elvis Presley – whom he much admired.

A highlight of his career was the 2001 concert he gave at the Eiffel Tower that attracted an audience of more than 600,000. During his career he recorded over 1,000 songs, about a hundred of which he wrote himself. He also topped the French charts more than 30 times.

Unlike his friend, singer Charles Aznavour, who successfully crossed over in the U.S., Johnny Hallyday wasn’t able to replicate that kind of success abroad. Americans first caught a glimpse of him on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1962.

Johnny Hallyday also became an accomplished film actor. His best known performance, and the one he prized the most, was as a world-weary criminal in Patrice Leconte’s 2002 film “The Man on the Train.”

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