Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

Johnny Hallyday sent get well message from Sarkozy

Johnny Hallyday
Hallyday was taken ill in Los Angeles earlier this week

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has conveyed his best wishes to Johnny Hallyday after the singer suffered complications following back surgery.

Hallyday, 66, has been put into a drug-induced coma after being admitted to hospital in Los Angeles earlier this week with a post-operative infection.

The 66-year-old had surgery in Paris in November to correct a slipped disc.

"I am sure all French citizens agree to wish him a swift recovery," Mr Sarkozy said during a visit to Belgium.

He said he had called Hallyday's son David to inquire about his father's condition and had been "reassured".

'French Elvis'

"He is strong, he has shown it," Mr Sarkozy said of Hallyday, a huge star in France.

"For each of us, he means something personal," he continued. "It is moving to see him fight adversity."

Born Jean-Philippe Smet, the man sometimes called "the French Elvis" has sold more than 100 million albums.

Having announced his intention to retire from live performing in 2007, he suffered a herniated disc during a farewell tour.

He is scheduled to return to the stage on 8 January in the city of Amiens in northern France.

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