Jean-Philippe Smet, known by his stage name Johnny Hallyday, is a French singer and actor. An icon in the French-speaking world since the beginning of his career, he was considered by some to have been the French Elvis Presley. He was married for 15 years to popular Bulgarian-French singer Sylvie Vartan and the two were considered a "golden couple" for 20 years. Hallyday has completed 181 tours, had 18 platinum albums, and has sold more than 110 million records. He announced his retirement from performing on 3 December 2007, saying that he would retire in 2009, after a farewell tour. However, Hallyday announced in March 2012 that he would perform in Los Angeles on 24 April, in Quebec City on 10 July and in New York City on 7 October.
Hallyday remains largely unknown outside of France, Belgium, Switzerland and Quebec, thus earning the nickname "the biggest rock star you've never heard of" in English-speaking countries. Nevertheless, at an international level he is still considered as the only non-Anglophone Rock’n Roller having a large international reputation. He was made Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1997.