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Sad news from Russia. Eduard Khil, the entertainer who became an Internet sensation through a Soviet-era video, died Monday in St. Petersburg from complications of a stroke. He was 77.

Like zillions of others, I found his performance of the so-called "Trololo" song irresistible, even before I learned its background -- the original, sentimental lyrics about a cowboy heading back to the girl left behind were considered too pro-American by Soviet authorities, so Mr. Khil turned the tune into a vocalise.

Personally, I find that story a little hard to believe, but, hey, I don't care how the song came to be, or what it was supposed to be about. I'm just glad it was preserved.

When video from the 1970s of a broadly smiling Mr. Khil performing his hit began floating on the Web about three years ago, it soon went viral. According to news reports, Mr. Khil learned of his new fame and savored it.

Just the other day, I found a recent performance of "Trololo" and posted it as part of my Midweek Madness series. If you missed it, check it out. This guy definitely had something. I'm not sure what it was, but he sure had it in abundance.

5 years ago | Read Full Story
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