French Rock Star and Actor Johnny Hallyday Dies at 74

Johnny Hallyday, the singer whose French-language covers of American songs helped bring rock ’n’ roll to France, has died of cancer at the age of 74, Variety reports. He had been ill for several months.

Hallyday, whose real name was Jean-Phillipe Smet, was born in Paris. An Elvis movie inspired him to start studying music and performing, and he released his first single, “Laisses les Filles,” in the spring of 1960. By fall of 1961, his cover of Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist...

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