Eduard Khil, a Soviet crooner who achieved Internet fame two years ago when a video of him performing became an online sensation, has died at 77.
Khil was best-known as Mr. Trololo because of the distinctive yodeling in his 1976 performance of the song 'I Am Glad, 'Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home'. The original version of the song featured lyrics about a cowboy riding across a prairie while his sweetheart knitted socks for him - a vision of American life that Cold War-era Soviet censors found inappropriate. When he performed the song, he was told to change the words: so he went with a purely vocal version. And that vocal sounded like "trololo".
Not a big deal in Soviet Russia at the time - and over the years, Mr. Khil's profile in his homeland declined as musical tastes changed. But when a video of the performance was uploaded online in 2010, it quickly racked up millions of hits and became a viral sensation. Since then, the video has been reworked by many people, with audio of the performance being laid over various other videos, and Mr. Khil even performed a new version of the song live on Russian television.
In the last two years, Internet fame has brought Mr. Khil newfound attention in his own country, and Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Khil's family today. Mr. Khil is survived by a wife and son.
The Original Video
10 Hours of Trololo
Lord of the Rings Trololo
A 2012 Live Version of Trololo