French rocker Johnny Hallyday admitted to hospital

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 November, 2017, 7:27pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 November, 2017, 10:37pm

Veteran French rocker Johnny Hallyday, who has been battling lung cancer for several months, has been admitted to hospital with breathing problems, his entourage said on Friday.

Celebrity magazine Voici reported that France’s answer to Elvis Presley checked into a private hospital in western Paris early on Monday morning.

“He is expected to go home shortly, the situation has been stabilised,” a source close to the 74-year-old singer said.

A musical icon known simply as “Johnny” at home, Hallyday has sold more than 100 million records in his decades-long career.

He also acted, starring in Hong Kong director Johnnie To’s 2009 film Vengeance, alongside Anthony Wong and Simon Yam.

Hallyday announced in March that he was being treated for cancer but said his life was not in danger.

His manager Sebastien Farran sought to reassure fans earlier this month, saying: “He’s fighting this, and he’ll be out to show you that soon.”

He expressed hope that Hallyday would return to the stage – he has already announced a tour for 2019 – adding that the crooner was finishing a new album.

The star’s early concerts in the 1960s prompted scenes of hysteria similar to those seen at shows by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones as the rock ‘n’ roll revolution swept the Western world.

Hallyday is also known for an eventful private life and a row over his decision to dodge French taxes by taking up residence in Switzerland.

His major hits, almost always sung in French, include local versions of Presley’s Hound Dog, Let’s Twist Again by Chubby Checker and Bebop a Lula by Gene Vincent.