France to pay 'national homage' to rocker Johnny Hallyday Dec 08, 2017 0 51 12345 AFPParisFrance will pay a"national homage" to the legendary rock star Johnny Hallyday with a procession down the Champs Elysees in Paris tomorrow, officials said on Thursday.President Emmanuel Macron will later pay a"brief" tribute to the singer at his funeral at the grandiose Madeleine church in the centre of the French capital.The announcement came as speculation mounted that the singer, known as the French Elvis, would be given a state funeral, an honour usually reserved for France's greatest heroes.But the French presidency stopped short of that, instead granting Hallyday, 74, who lost his long battle with lung cancer on Wednesday, a new kind of ceremony it dubbed a"popular homage".Paris transport bosses had earlier renamed a Metro station after Hallyday, whose death has plunged France into mourning.The RATP transport authority temporarily changed the name of the Duroc station, near the Invalides where Napoleon is buried, to"DuRock Johnny".The Eiffel Tower will also be lit up over the weekend with the message,"Merci Johnny" (Thank you Johnny), said Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.Adored by young and old, hard-living Hallyday was almost a national monument, selling more than 110 million records despite being almost unknown outside the French-speaking world.Fans will now be able to throng the Champs Elysees to bid a final farewell to their hero as his cortege passes down the grand ceremonial avenue from the Arc de Triomphe."Johnny Hallyday's musicians will accompany him musically" on his final journey, said a statement from the French presidency, without specifying what that would be."The family and friends of Johnny Hallyday and the President have agreed that as a part of the popular homage, his funeral cortege will leave from the Arc de Triomphe and go down the Champs Elysees" before continuing to the religious ceremony at Madeleine, the statement added.Hallyday is likely to be buried later in Saint Barts, the French Caribbean island where he had a home, its leader Bruno Magras told AFP Thursday.He said the singer"told me several times he wanted to be buried in Saint Barts. Discussions are going on with the family," he added.French television channels cleared their schedules to broadcast tribute shows to Hallyday after Macron confirmed the star's passing on Wednesday, declaring that"there is something of Johnny in all of us".Hallyday first came to fame in the late 1950s yet remained a colossus in French popular culture by adapting to ever-changing musical tastes. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES EU sues Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic over quotas Dec 08, 2017 0 394 Schulz urges SPD to approve Merkel govt talks, vows to push key demands Dec 08, 2017 0 55 UK needs to regain borders, cash control from EU: Johnson Dec 08, 2017 0 56 EU's Tusk to make Brexit statement today REUTERS BRUSSELS European Council President Donald Tusk will make a statement on Brexit early today, his office said on Thursday, prompting speculation on the fate of British Prime Minister Theresa May's plans for .. Swiss border guard convicted over Syrian refugee's miscarriage AFP Geneva A Swiss military court on Thursday convicted a border guard for refusing medical assistance to a heavily pregnant Syrian refugee who miscarried while being sent back to Italy. The guard was found guilty of .. Italian police arrest man for poisoning family AFP Rome Italian police said Thursday they arrested a man who used thallium, used in rat poison, to murder two grandparents and an aunt because he claimed they were"unclean". Maria Luisa Zanetti, the prosecutor from the .. Post-Brexit UK 'won't fall apart': EU's Dijsselbloem Brussels Britain's City of London financial hub centre"will not fall apart" after Brexit even if it loses the right to allow banks to trade freely across the bloc, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on .. Poland ready to defend migration stance WARSAW Poland is ready to defend its decision in the European Union's top court to refuse to accept migrants from Africa and the Middle East under an EU plan to redistribute them, Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad .. Swiss border guard convicted for Syrian refugee's miscarriage Geneva A Swiss military court convicted a border guard for refusing medical assistance to a heavily pregnant Syrian refugee who miscarried while being sent back to Italy. The guard was found guilty of causing bodily harm ..