'French Elvis' ready to leave Caribbean hospital: manager

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French rocker Johnny Hallyday on Tuesday played down the health problems that led to him being hospitalised in the Caribbean, complaining that "the media exaggerate everything."

Writing on the Instagram website, the 69-year-old singer thanked fans for their concern but added: "As usual the media exaggerates everything.

"I have only had a severe bout of bronchitis which I've had since my summer tour dates."

His manager Sebastien Farran had earlier told RTL radio that Hallyday was "doing very well" and would soon be heading back to France or to Los Angeles to complete his latest album, which is due to be released in November.

Hallyday, a heavy smoker who was initially reported to be suffering from heart problems, is undergoing tests in a hospital in Fort-de-France on the French Caribbean island of Martinique.

He was transferred there after being released from a clinic on the nearby island of Guadeloupe on Monday, having first being taken ill on Saturday during a holiday on the millionaires playground of Saint Barthelemy, where he owns a house.

The singer is currently in the middle of a marathon tour he started in May and which he is due to resume on October 11 with a total of 22 dates scheduled between then and December 22.

Hallyday nearly died in 2009 as a result of complications following a hernia operation and was forced to cancel the end of that year's tour.

Insurers who took a reported 30 million euro hit on that insisted on him undergoing rigorous medical tests before this year's tour and will be keeping their fingers crossed that the singer will recover sufficiently to complete it.

Hallyday has sold more than 100 million albums in a career that began in the 1960s.

Despite being a French national icon, Hallyday moved to Switzerland in 2007, becoming a symbol of an exodus of high-earners fleeing France's relatively high tax rates to neighbouring jurisdictions.

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