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Eduard Khil, the 1970s Soviet crooner who found international fame over 30 years later when a video of him was posted on YouTube, has died at the age of 77.
According to The Associated Press, Khil died on Monday at age 77. He had been in a St. Petersburg hospital since April, when he suffered a stroke. Tatyana Mamedova of Petersburg-Kontsert, which promoted his concerts, told the AP that the stroke, which left him with brain damage, was the cause of death.
The New York Daily News reports that Khil, who has now become internationally known as Mr. Trololo, was a well-known singer in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s. By the time the Iron Curtain fell, though, he had slipped into obscurity. Then, suddenly, two years ago, a 1976 performance of Khil singing “I Am Glad, `Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home” was posted on YouTube. It became an instant hit, that reached two million views. One post from a Russisn YouTube user has reached over 12 million hits.
In 2010, Khil told Russia’s RT that he heard about his newfound Internet fame from his 13-year-old grandson, who was humming the song one day. “Grandpa, you’re home drinking tea here, [and] in the meantime, everyone’s singing your song on the Internet,’” Khil said the boy told him.
The song became the center of countless parodies. It even made an appearance in Family Guy. “I love it...People [are] doing parodies, having fun. It unites them,” Khil said, notes the Daily News.
One person even posted a ten-hour version of the song that has 7 million hits.