French rock legend Johnny Hallyday dies aged 74

BREAKING NEWS: Singer Johnny Hallyday - best known as the 'French Elvis' - dies aged 74 after fighting lung cancer

Veteran French crooner Johnny Hallyday dies aged 74 after cancer battle

Agence France Presse is reporting that Johnny Hallyday, 74, died after a two-month battle with cancer.

Hallyday's covers instantly proved a successful way for American rock "n" roll to infiltrate its way into France.

French singer Johnny Hallyday gestures as he performs on June 2, 2013 in Bordeaux.

Frances biggest rockstar, Johnny Hallyday, the leather-trousered "French Elvis", who sold over 110 million albums over a career spanning more than half a century, has died aged 74, his wife said.

Hallyday's 2001 concert at the Eiffel Tower drew a crowd as large as 600,000. Trying to revive his moribund career again, Hallyday formed a new band called The Blackbirds, which featured future Foreigner singer Mick Jones, signaling a move into more R&B-influence sounds.

He also appeared in about 40 films, often appearing as himself. He made his first screen appearance in 1955 as an extra in Georges-Henri Clouzot's classic thriller "Les Diaboliques".

He was best known as a boxing manager in Jean-Luc Godard's "Detective" and a criminal in Patrice Leconte's 2002 "The Man on the Train".

He was born Jean-Philippe Smet in Malesherbes, Paris.

After a year of military service - during which he married fellow singer Sylvie Vartan - Hallyday attempted to jump back into his act, but found that his old style didn't fit in in an era where the Beatles and Bob Dylan were ruling the charts.

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