Johnny Hallyday, who succumbed to his cancer in 2017, would have turned 79 on June 15, 2022. Love, Drugs, Rise and Fall, Alcohol, Cigarettes and “Food”… All about the crazy life of the Taulier.
Johnny Hallyday alias Jean-Philippe Smet would have been 79June 15, 2022. Nearly five years after his death, on December 5, 2017 at the age of 74, Johnny Hallyday is still considered the king of French Rock. And for good reason: his impressive career has been punctuated by numerous excesses that will have led him to lung cancer…
For Paris Matchthe paparazzi Daniel Angeli confided in the underside of their friendship and the habits of the Taulier. “I met him in Gstaad, I was 53 and I didn’t leave him for nearly 20 years. It’s the story of a sincere friendship, we shared everything”, revealed the photographer, in August 2021.
Johnny Hallyday: his consumption of alcohol and cigarettes
It’s no secret that the Teen Idol liked good bottles, but he also had a disconcerting lifestyle.
The Late Rocker”did not pretend booze level“, recalled Daniel Angeli, who added: “He could be very difficult when he was drunk“.
The two friends spent a lot of time together and did not hesitate to smoke (too) many cigarettes… “We smoked gypsies, one cartridge a day between the two of us“, thus swung the one who is nicknamed “the king of the paparazzi”.
Johnny Hallyday, between splendor and simplicity
As an absolute star, the father of Laura, David, Jade and Joy did not do things by halves. Daniel Angeli confessed to having experienced a “extraordinary life” by his side. “We were jumping from one plane to anotherwe ate at biggest tables in France. Good food was important to him“, he continued in Paris Match.
Despite his immense celebrity, Johnny Hallyday retained a spontaneous sympathy and benevolence and did not hesitate to meet everyone they met. “He always said: you have to eat it Laeticia’s rum babait’s the best’.
His simplicity and his charisma captivated me. He was talking to people on the street or in restaurants. They were hallucinating, Told the septuagenarian, who also added that the singer was despite everything “also very shy“.
The rocker died on December 5, 2017, surrendering after a fierce battle against this cursed crab. Very present in the French media landscape, the idol of young people has been on the cover of more than 2100 magazines and has made rock’n’roll culture popular until then unknown or even depreciated in France.
Johnny Hallyday: lighting the fire
True usa lover, his exceptional acting brings a lot to the French scene. Initially criticized, the Youth Idol became an icon: during his career, more than 28 million spectators traveled to see him sing, and 100 million records were sold. He is also rewarded with 40 gold records, 22 platinum, 3 diamonds and 8 Victoires de la Musique.
Johnny Hallyday: memory, memory
His nickname comes from his stepfather, Lee Halliday. His father left his mother when the little one was only a few months old. Jean-Philippe and Léon Smet had a very difficult relationship. Lee Halliday was performing in Europe with his band during the 1940s and Johnny proudly took his surname as his stage name.
Johnny Hallyday: The Music I Love
Registered at the conservatory, he learned the guitar, to the great displeasure of his family and his teachers. He also gets minor film roles and on television. It’s thanks to the movie Frenzied Love with Elvis Presley that he decided to become a rock’n’roll singer.
Johnny Hallyday: My Mouth
First of all refused in clubshe landed a stint in 1959 on the radio show Paris Cocktails where he sings “Come have a game”. He was noticed by two songwriters who brought him into the Vogue record company. He signed his first real contract in January 1960. The first album sees the name he borrowed from his stepfather misspelled. He keeps it and truly becomes Johnny Hallyday. It is the starting point of a great career of the demon of the scene.
Johnny Hallyday: That I love you
Her private life is highly publicized. In 1964, he lived a passionate relationship with Sylvie Vartan, of whom he still speaks with deep respect. They get married in 1965 during his military service. The star couple performs at the Olympia and even sings in front of Queen Elizabeth II.
Johnny Hallyday: I think he drives me crazy
But in 1966 it was loss of record sales, Johnny no longer sells out and favors foreign countries. Antoine, his “rival” at the time, even made a hit “The rantings of Antoine” where he wants “lock Johnny in a cage at Médrano” deeming it outdated. Indeed the glory, the stress and the exhaustion are right of the singer.
Johnny Hallyday: I forgot to live
When Sylvie Vartan files for divorce that year, he made a first suicide attempt in September, when their first child, David, was born a month earlier. The couple reconciled, but in February 1970 in Belfort, on the road for a gala, a serious car accident severely injured the high school girl from the twist. Surgical operations follow one another, but the singer remains prostrate for a very long time.
Johnny Hallyday: The Penitentiary
Johnny then reconnects with his demons, the drugs and suicidal thoughts. A womanizer, he had an affair with his chorister, Nanette Workman in 1972. Deeply hurt, Sylvie Vartan finally managed to forgive him and the couple released a monster hit in 1973, “I have a problem”.
Johnny Hallyday: Black is black
Bad luck pursues the cursed couple: in 1974, Sylvie Vartan, pregnant, loses the baby. In 1975, problems with the taxman forces them to go into exile in the USA: Johnny Hallyday owes a few hundred million francs in arrears. In 1977, it’s the big comeback: they chain tours and performances together “I Think He’s Driving Me Crazy”, “The Time of Rock and Roll”. In 1970, the showman made his first real film debut. He is a judge in “The specialist” and repentant thug in “Drop point”.
The 1970s also marked the abandonment of violent rock for more melodious music. “The Music I Love”, “I Love You, I Love You, I Love You”. At the end of the 1970s, the stagings are cleaner, more polished.
In 1980 he Divorce from Sylvie Vartan but will have a hard time recovering. He chained liaisons and lightning marriages (Babeth, his second wife) but in 1982, he met Nathalie Baye and married. They have a daughter, Laura Smet. Their romance lasts 3 years.
Johnny Hallyday: It does not change a man
After a few love affairs and furtive relationships in showbiz, the Taulier meets Adeline Blondieauthe daughter of one of his friends, who was only 14 at the time.
Johnny Hallyday: And When She Dances
She becomes his fourth wife. This relationship is littered with arguments and fraught with resentment. They still have a bitter memory of it.
Johnny Hallyday: That’s Life
In March 1995, he met Laetitia Boudou, French supermodel 32 years his junior, whom he married a year later. The couple ignores the comments and imposes their fusional romance. After several miscarriages, the desire for motherhood remains strong. Together, they decide to adopt two small Vietnamese: Jade in 2004 then Joy in 2007.
Johnny Hallyday: Stop there
In 2008, our French Elvis said he wanted to stop singing after a last tour in 2009. But the same year he released a new album “It will never end”. At that time, the doctors diagnosed him with colon cancer, quickly treated, and a herniated disc which earned him a few days in an artificial coma. Restored, it was released in 2011 “Never alone”followed the year after by “Waiting” of “Stay alive” in 2014 and “Of love” in 2015. Nothing stops him!
But fate decided otherwise: the French King announced in March 2017 that he was suffering from a lung cancerwhich did not prevent him from going on tour with his “Old Scoundrels” Eddy Mitchell and Jacques Dutronc. Nevertheless, his state of health continues to worry fans, relatives and friends. Admitted on November 13 to the Bizet clinic, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, for respiratory distress, then returned home where Laeticia Hallyday watched over him until his last breath, Johnny passed away. Hallyday is dead, a myth is born.