French rocker Hallyday out of coma, talking: spokesman
Tue, Dec 15, 2009

PARIS - French rock legend Johnny Hallyday awoke from an induced coma on Monday and was talking to family and friends, his spokesman said.

The veteran rocker was placed in a coma over the weekend to help his recovery from emergency back operations.

"Johnny Hallyday has come out of the artificial coma. Everything is going well, he is talking and is surrounded by close friends and relatives," a spokesman told AFP.

The 66-year-old singer fell seriously ill last Monday and was taken to Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles.

Doctors put him in a drug-induced coma on Friday to help him recover more peacefully from two surgeries to deal with an infection, allegedly stemming from an earlier Paris operation to repair a slipped disc.

Over the weekend Hallyday's son David said his father's life was "out of danger."

While he has never been taken seriously abroad, Hallyday is by far the best known rocker in France, with a colourful rock 'n' roll lifestyle.

He was born to a Belgian father in Paris but has homes in Los Angeles and Switzerland.

Known as the "French Elvis," he has sold more than 100 million albums and played 45 major tours, selling out at stadiums.

He was due to go on a farewell tour from January 8.

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