For all, it was simply “Johnny”: the incarnation of French rock, a powerful voice that has gone through the fashions, a star with a stormy and rugged life, but also a survivor singing loneliness, finally vanquished by cancer … Johnny Hallyday died in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday at the age of 74.
It is by a communiqué sent to AFP at 2:34 (20h34, Quebec time) that his wife Laeticia announced the death of one named Jean-Philippe Smet in the civil. “Johnny Hallyday is gone. I write these words without believing. And yet that’s it. My man is no more. He is leaving us tonight as he has lived throughout his life, with courage and dignity. ”
“Until the last moment, he stood up to this disease that had been eating him for months, giving us all extraordinary life lessons. The heart beating so hard in a body of rocker who will have lived a life without concession for his public, for those who adulate him and those who love him, “she continues.
Evoking “the father” of their adopted daughters Jade and Joy, Laura (born from her union with actress Nathalie Baye) and David (born from her union with singer Sylvie Vartan), Laeticia Hallyday concludes: “Johnny was a man out of the ordinary. It will remain so thanks to you. Above all, do not forget it. He is and will remain with us forever. My love, I love you so much.
“We all have something of Johnny Hallyday in us,” responded the Elysee.
There was not much hope since Johnny Hallyday had been hospitalized a month ago for respiratory distress.
Laeticia was no longer sending messages on social networks, which had been regularly used to give reassuring news from Johnny since he announced in early March, being treated against the disease. A cancer he already knew was metastasized.
Detected in the lungs of the star in November 2016, cancer will have landed in one year. The rocker had already dealt with death during his suicide attempt in 1966 after Sylvie Vartan’s divorce petition, and more recently when he spent several days in a coma in 2009 due to complications following an operation.
100 million records
Johnny Hallyday, however, fought. On stage, in June and July, with his friends Jacques Dutronc and Eddy Mitchell, for the Vieilles Canailles tour . Sometimes difficult moments, such as this first in Lille (north) where he appeared weakened by chemotherapy suffered four days earlier, but also the impression of getting better and better, through the concerts, as worn by the energy of this audience that he crossed for the last time.