French rocker Johnny Hallyday dies at 74

The 'French Elvis' had been battling lung cancer

Updated: 

FRANCE/

French singer Johnny Hallyday has died following a battle with lung cancer. He was 74.

His death was announced in a statement from the French President Emmanuel Macron, who said: "We all have a piece of Johnny Hallyday inside every one of us.

"The public today is in tears, and the whole country mourns."

FRANCE/

Hallyday, who was born Jean-Philippe Smet, is survived by his widow Laeticia and their daughters Jade and Joy, a son David from a previous marriage to singer/actress Sylvie Vartan and a daughter Laura from a relationship with actress Nathalie Baye

The pop star, who was known as the 'French Elvis', sold over 100million records during his long career.

He stood out from his chart contemporaries in the 1950s when he snubbed traditional music to sing French covers of rock 'n' roll songs.

Lenny Kravitz and Celine Dion are among the celebrities who paid tribute to Hallyday.

Writing in French, Dion hailed him as a "legend of showbusiness".