Johnny Hallyday

Genres: Action & Adventure Drama Foreign Films Pop / Rock World Music
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

Jean-Philippe Smet, 15 June 1943, Paris, France. After his Belgian father’s desertion, Smet was adopted by his aunt Helene Mar, wife of North American song-and-dance man Lee Hallyday, from whom the child later derived his stage surname. His aptitude for the performing arts earned him a role in his uncle’s act, and he developed a passable mastery of the guitar after giving up violin lessons. By the late 50s, he had become an incorrigible ye-ye - a Parisian species of rock ‘n’ roller that trod warily amid official disapproval. His stamping ground was Le Golf Drouot club with its jukebox of US discs. Singing in public was second nature to him, and he sounded so much like the genuine American article during his 1960 radio debut that, via the brother who managed him, Vogue contracted Hallyday for an immediate single, ‘T’Ai Mer Follement’. However, it was a million-selling bilingual cover of Chubby Checker’s ‘Let’s Twist...

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