French rock star Johnny Hallyday dies at 74

London: Rock star and actor Johnny Hallyday, known as the ‘French Elvis’, has passed away at the age of 74.

He had been battling lung cancer.

“Johnny Hallyday has left us. I write these words without believing them. But yet, it’s true. My man is no longer with us,” his wife Laeticia Hallyday said on Wednesday, reports The Gaurdian.

Hallyday became the first Gallic singer to popularize rock ‘n’ roll in France and sold over 110 million records during a music career spanning over half a century.

He made his first screen appearance in 1955 as an extra in classic thriller ‘Les Diaboliques.’ Hallyday broke out in France in ‘Where Are You From Johnny?’, playing a thinly disguised version of himself.

International songstress and Billboard Icon Award-winning artist Celine Dion took to Twitter to pay homage to the late singer.

“I’m very sad to hear the news that Johnny Hallyday passed away. He was a giant in show business…a true icon! My thoughts go out to his family, his loved ones, and to the millions of fans who adored him for many decades.He will be sadly missed, but never forgotten.- Celine xx.,” she wrote.