Rocker Johnny Hallyday tops French Google searches in 2017

Johnny Halliday's photo hangs in front of the Madeleine church, where a ceremony was held following his death
Johnny Halliday's photo hangs in front of the Madeleine church, where a ceremony was held following his death RFI/Pierre -Rene Worms

Johnny Hallyday was the most-Googled person in France in 2017, with searches soaring after the rock singer's death on 5 December to overtake those for any other celebrity throughout the whole year. Judging by searches for "how to become", French people aspired to be rich, self-employed, MPs, beautiful and/or estate agents.


Although Johnny Hallyday was not a great star outside the Francophone world, his death sparked an outpouring of emotion in France.

It also sent his millions of French fans to their keyboards to Google fond memories of their idol, the latest tributes from fellow musicians, journalists and politicians and news of last weekend's official commemoration ceremony.

"Maëlys", the name of a girl who went missing in central France, was the second-most searched term, followed by this year's presidential election.

In a year that saw an eventful presidential election, followed by parliamentary polls, politics was also high in the "how to" list, although in a peculiar fashion, the second-most popular search being how to cast a blank vote.

It was beaten, however, by "how to make slime", the viscous product popular among schoolkids.

In other searches:

  • The presidential election winner, Emmanuel Macron, was the most-Googled politician, followed by his mainstream-right rival François Fillon, hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the far right's Marine Le Pen and Socialist Benoît Hamon;

  • In what may be a warning sign to politicians, "oligarchy" was the most-Googled definition;

  • Johnny led again when it came to most-Googled song with his 1968 hit Je Te Promets, followed by Mwala Moon by Kalash, a singer from the French Caribbean island of Martinique;

  • PSG's new and costly star Neymar topped the sports searches, followed by teammate Kylian Mbappé;

  • Fifty Shades of Grey was the most googled film and Game of Thrones the most sought-after TV series;

  • "Rich" was the most-Googled in the "how to become" category, followed by "auto-entrepreneur" (a form of self-employment), MP, beautiful and estate agent;

  • Calories were high in the food searches, with tartiflette, a dish of potatoes, reblochon cheese, bacon, crême fraiche, onions and white wine, topping the menu, followed by traditional favourite beef bourguignon and more potatoes and cream in gratin dauphinois.

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