Russian baritone Eduard Khil, whose song went viral on the internet in 2010, died in a St. Petersburg hospital at the age of 77.
Khil, a recipient of the People's Artist Award in the Soviet Union, became famous in the West after his song of 50 years ago, I Am So Happy to Finally Be Back Home, which contains no words but only a melody of a series of "tro-lo-los," hit the internet.
The Trololo song, according to Khil had originally featured lyrics describing a cowboy riding a horse to his farm; however, the Soviet Union rejected the lyrics because of the association with American lifestyle.
He was also the first singer to perform Where the Motherland Begins, a song Vladimir Putin performed while playing the piano in 2010 when he was prime minister before guests at a charity event, whose attendees included Sharon Stone, Kevin Costner, Monica Belucci, Vincent Cassel, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Paul Anka, Mickey Rourke, Alain Delon, Ornella Muti, Ingrid, and Gerard Depardieu.
Khil was born in Smolensk on September 4, 1934. He died Monday morning after irreversible damage from a stroke at the end of May.
Rest in Peace Eduard Khil