JOHNNY Hallyday, France’s biggest rock star for more than half a century, has died aged 74.

President Emmanuel Macron, who knew the star off stage, announced his death in a statement, saying “he brought a part of America into our national pantheon”.

Macron’s office said the president spoke with Hallyday’s family, but did not provide details about where the rocker died.

French media reported widely that he died at his home west of Paris, which was quickly surrounded by mourning fans and police providing security.

Hallyday had lung cancer and repeated health scares in recent years that dominated national news, and recently returned from a hospital stay — yet he continued performing as recently as this summer.

Celine Dion was among stars sharing condolences for a rocker with a famously gravelly voice who sold more than 100 million records, filled concert halls and split his time between Los Angeles and Paris.

Brigitte Bardot tweeted: “Johnny is a monument. It is France!”

Some of France’s leading political figures on the left and right joined Macron in mourning the loss of “Johnny”, as he was known.