Eduard Khil, the Soviet performer known as “Mr. Trololo,” is dead at 77. Khil rose to Internet fame in 2010 when a video of him singing his signature song hit big on YouTube.
Khil was a top Soviet performer during the 1960s and ’70s, reports the Associated Press, whose song “I Am Glad, ‘Cause I’m Finally Returning Back Home” aroused the ire of Soviet censors because of sentimental lyrics about an American cowboy. Rather than have his song banned, Khil instead sang something that sounded like “trololo.” It passed the censors and, in 2009, made him famous worldwide.
He was puzzled and amused about his new-found fame and joked to his grandson that he “never made a kopeck” from the resurgence.
The singer had been hospitalized in St. Petersburg since April when a stroke left him with severe brain damage.