Weekend of Paris tributes for late rock star Johnny Hallyday

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron and hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to pay tribute to the late French rock star Johnny Hallyday on Saturday as his funeral procession weaves through Paris.

Hallyday died Wednesday at age 74. The news has prompted a wave of emotion in France, where the singer, often described as the country's Elvis Presley, seduced generations of fans.

His funeral procession will start at the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris and go down the city's grand Champs-Elysees Avenue. Up to 700 bikers will follow the coffin — since motorcycling was Hallyday's great passion.

The singer's band is expected to play some of his hits on a stage in front of the Madeleine Church, where a religious ceremony will follow. Macron plans to make a brief speech during the ceremony. Fans will be able to follow the ceremony on giant screens.

Paris police head Michel Delpuech told reporters he expects "hundreds of thousands of people" to attend the tribute. About 1,500 police officers will secure the area.

"Johnny showed deep affection for his public and his fans and I think it's important for people to be allowed to be close to the funeral procession," said Hallyday's manager, Sebastien Farran.

French radio RTL and the Le Parisien newspaper reported that Hallyday will be buried in the French Caribbean island of St. Barts where he owned a house.

Other tributes are planned. The words "Thank you Johnny" will be displayed on the Eiffel Tower over the weekend and all soccer stadiums hosting games in the top two divisions of the French league plan to play Hallyday's songs before kick-off.

The soccer league noted that Hallyday had "lit the fire" among fans in many of its stadiums.

___

Samuel Petrequin in Paris contributed to the story

You may also like these

Larry Wilmore-hosted 'Nightly Show' axed by...

Aug 15, 2016

Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" is coming to an end

'Wire' actor Wendell Pierce loses Baton Rouge home

Aug 16, 2016

"The Wire" and "Treme" actor Wendell Pierce's home was destroyed by flooding in Baton Rouge,...

Brian Williams to anchor late campaign newscast...

Aug 16, 2016

MSNBC's Brian Williams is getting a regular time slot, at least for a couple of months

New Pennsylvania AG was prosecutor who didn't...

Aug 17, 2016

The former county prosecutor taking over the duties of Pennsylvania's convicted attorney general is...

Furious California wildfire leaves trail of...

Aug 18, 2016

A destructive wildfire raced through drought-parched canyons east of Los Angeles, burning homes and...

There are so many celebrities out there, but who’s the real Diva? Discover more on your favorite celebrities and get closer to them only here in The Diva Today

Contact us: sales[at]thedivatoday.com