ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Soviet crooner Eduard Khil, who gained international stardom in 2010 when his 1976 video of a vocalized song known as Trololo became a global Internet hit, has died. He was 77.
Ksenia Kachalova, a press officer at the city’s culture department, said the singer, better known internationally as Mr. Trololo, died in a St. Petersburg hospital on Sunday night. The cause of death was not immediately reported.
Khil suffered a stroke in early April and has been in hospital ever since. Doctors then reported that Khil had severe brain damage.
While the crooner was a top Soviet performer during the 1960s and the 1970s, he unexpectedly rose to international stardom in 2010 when Khil’s old video of a vocalized song “I’m so Glad I’m Finally Coming Back Home” was uploaded on YouTube and shortly got 2 million hits afterwards.
Khil explained in an interview that the song, which originally had lyrics about a cowboy riding a prairie back home, was banned by Soviet censors. Khil then had to take out the words in order to be able to perform it.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences in a message to Khil’s wife and son.
Khil’s name was trending worldwide on Twitter shortly after the announcement.