‘Greatest rockstar you’ve never heard of’: Johhny Hallyday gets exhibition in Brussels

‘Greatest rockstar you’ve never heard of’: Johhny Hallyday gets exhibition in Brussels
Johnny Halliday. Credit: Belga

Iconic French singer Johnny Hallyday (15 June 1943 – 5 December 2017) will have an exhibition in Brussels that celebrates his life and career.

The exhibition was created by his wife Laeticia Hallyday together with exhibition organisers Tempora and will start on 20 December 2022 in Hall 2 of Brussels Expo.

While largely unknown to the English-speaking world, Hallyday is a legendary figure credited with bringing rock’n roll to France. USA Today newspaper once described him as “the greatest rock star you’ve never heard of.”

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Hallyday’s career spanned 57 years and he released 79 albums, selling over 110 million records globally, mostly in Francophone countries. He collaborated with notable musicians in his time, such as Charles Aznavour, Michel Berger and Jean-Jacques Goldman.

Honouring an icon

Hallyday, who had Belgian heritage, will be brought back to life through personal objects as well as scenography at the exhibition. Laeticia Hallyday will make unpublished items available to the general public for the first time. Artefacts will include 50 concert outfits, 60 guitars, motorcycles and personal belongings.

The scenography will revive his concerts with a dynamic light show and sets inspired by his concerts and backstage areas. His studio in Marnes-la-Coquette will be reconstructed.

French actor Jean Reno will do a voiceover for the exhibition, which will accompany visitors through the twelve themes of the exhibiton. Recollections of family and friends will give a unique insight into who Hallyday was as a person.

The exhibition will be open until 15 June 2023 and will then move to Paris in January 2024.

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