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France to pay 'people's homage' to rocker Johnny Hallyday on Champs-Elysées

By: thelocal.fr 3 months ago
France to pay 'people's homage' to rocker Johnny Hallyday on Champs-Elysées

France will pay a "people's homage" to the legendary rock star Johnny Hallyday with a procession down the Champs Elysees in Paris on Saturday.

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President Emmanuel Macron will later pay a "brief" tribute to singer at his funeral at the grandiose Madeleine church (pictured below) in the centre of the French capital.

"It has been agreed between the family, relatives of Johnny Hallyday and the Presidency of the Republic, that as part of this 'people's tribute', the funeral procession will leave the Arc de Triomphe, then head down the Champs Elysees until the Place de la Concorde before entering the Madeleine church for a religious service," read a statement from the Elysée Palace.

Johnny Hallyday's musicians will accompany the cortege as it heads down Paris's most famous avenue.

 

The announcement came as speculation mounted that the singer, known as the French Elvis, would be given a state funeral, an honour usually reserved for France's greatest heroes.

But the French presidency stopped short of that, instead granting Hallyday, 74, who lost his long battle with lung cancer on Wednesday, a new kind of ceremony it dubbed a "homage populaire" or "people's tribute".

Paris transport bosses had earlier renamed a Metro station after Hallyday, whose death has plunged France into mourning.

The RATP transport authority temporarily changed the name of the Duroc station near the Invalides where Napoleon is buried to "DuRock Johnny".

It was also announced on Thursday that Hallyday would be buried on the French Caribbean island of Saint-Barthelemy, where he owned a house and would regularly spend time.

Adored by young and old, hard-living Hallyday was almost a national monument, selling more than 110 million records despite being almost unknown outside the French-speaking world.

Television channels cleared their schedules to broadcast tribute shows to the star, who first came to fame in late 1950s yet managed to cleverly adapt to changing musical styles.

Macron led the mourning by declaring that "there is something of Johnny in all of us", promising that he and his wife Brigitte would attend the funeral.

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