Lee Halliday, which is written with an i, had inspired Johnny Hallyday's stage name: he died on Tuesday at the age of 95.
Johnny Hallyday's "heart father" is dead: Lee Halliday died on Tuesday at the age of 95, AFP announced, citing a source close to the family. American singer and dancer of music hall, he brought on stage the very young Jean-Philippe Smet, then only 13 years old. The future "Youth Idol" will even borrow his name, with a y, becoming the Johnny Hallyday that everyone knows.
Lee Halliday was born Lemoine "Lee" Gardner Ketcham in 1927 in Oklahoma, USA, and quickly became an artist, under the pseudonym Lee Halliday. If he is known to be the "father" of Johnny Hallyday, he is in fact his cousin by marriage, after his marriage to Desta Mar, cousin of the French rocker. The latter, abandoned by his very young father, made Lee Halliday his adoptive father, growing up under his wing.
Johnny Hallyday was originally called the American, with an "i", but an error on the cover of his first 45 rpm, in 1960, decided otherwise and the "y" remained. Lee Halliday will remain Johnny Hallyday's first producer and artistic agent. "There are a lot of people to whom I owe a lot of things, but Lee Halliday is surely the person in my life who served as a father to me, who raised me, who taught me a little about dance", remembered the Taulier in particular in the documentary Johnny by Johnny, released in 2022.