Children of French rocker Hallyday go to court over album

The biological children of French rock legend Johnny Hallyday have launched court action to get access to his planned posthumous album, their lawyers said on Saturday, in the latest battle in a case that has transfixed France.

Children of French rocker Hallyday go to court over album
Tensions between the feuding members of the country's first family of showbiz blew up into full-scale war earlier this week when his children Laura Smet and David Hallyday challenged his “rewritten” will, in which he left everything to his fourth wife Laeticia, 32 years his junior.
Hallyday's 51st studio album has now become part of the spat, after the “French Elvis” spent much of 2017 recording 12 songs for the record, which remained unfinished when he died of lung cancer in December.
Smet will go to court to “get to know the posthumous album project in order to exercise her rights as heir, to be able to confirm that the artistic integrity of all its contents were respected in this album, which the press has announced would be completed soon,” her lawyer Emmanuel Ravanas said on Saturday.
Smet was “mainly pre-occupied with defending her father's work,” Ravanas said, adding that Laeticia had “sharply opposed” an amicable plea to end stonewalling over the finalised album, “about which she knows little”.
“Johnny Hallyday had proudly listened to the first raw recordings of some songs with his daughter Laura on October 4,” Ravanas added. 
Along with David, Smet has urgently appealed to a court in Nanterre, to the west of Paris, to receive information about the album project within 48 hours. They also demanded Hallyday's real estate holdings, which include several luxury villas, be frozen ahead of a hearing scheduled for March 15.
The fractured family was able to maintain a unified front for the funeral of the country's biggest rock star in December, when hundreds of thousands of his fans thronged the centre of Paris for a “national popular tribute”. But that uneasy truce exploded when details of the rocker's will became known on Monday.
Smet said she was “stupefied and hurt” that she and her half-brother David — the singer's only two biological children — had been left nothing, with everything going to Laeticia and eventually the two Vietnamese girls she and Hallyday adopted.


Posthumous Hallyday album sells 300,000 on first day

French rocker Johnny Hallyday's posthumous album sold 300,000 copies on Friday after going on sale at midnight, the late star's record company Warner Music France told AFP.

Posthumous Hallyday album sells 300,000 on first day
Fans of the late French singer Johnny Hallyday buy albums on Friday. Photo: FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI / AFP
Fans of the singer, whose death last year sparked a nationwide outpouring of emotion, queued outside record stores on Thursday night to get their hands on the album.
Warner, which said the sales figure did not include downloads from streaming platforms, had earlier predicted that “Mon pays c'est l'amour” (My Country is Love) would go platinum (100,000 sales) within minutes of going on sale.
Hallyday's 1999 album “Sang pour Sang” (“Blood for Blood”), sold two million after selling 230,000 copies on its first day.
Hallyday, who had been a star since the 1960s, died from lung cancer in December aged 74.
His death sparked a bitter inheritance feud between his two biological children, Laura Smet and DavidHallyday, and his last wife Laeticia. Laeticia Hallyday on Friday said she had been trying to negotiate with the pair.
“We are trying (but) it is complicated, because a lot of things have been orchestrated,” she told the TF1 television channel.
“There is a lot of hate, contempt, humiliation, lies, which hurts. It's difficult to hear, it's difficult to suffer that,” she added.