Johnny Hallyday (born Jean-Philippe Léo Smet, on 15 June 1943 in Paris) is a French singer, songwriter, performer and actor. After more than 50 years of career, Hallyday is one of the most popular French singers and a much present personality in the French media landscape.
Per November 2011 Johnny Hallyday has sold more than 100 million records, and earned 40 gold records, 22 platinum records, 3 diamond records and 8 Victoires de la Musique (the French equivalent to the Grammy). 28 million spectators have attended his concerts over more than 100 tours in France and Europe. However, like most French singers and musicians, his international career has never really taken off. Despite some tours abroad in the 1960s and 1970s, and a concert in Las Vegas in 1996, Hallyday is virtually unknown to the public outside the French speaking world.
All in all Hallyday has recorded some 1000 songs, including a little more than a hundred self-penned titles and around 250 French adaptations of original songs in English. Especially in the beginning of his career, during the early 1960s, Hallyday build his career mostly on French adaptations of songs by his American idols.