Russian singer Eduard Khil, better known as Mr Trololo, has died aged 77.
Khil, a baritone popular in the 1960s and 1970s in the Soviet Union, became internationally famous for his self-censored rendition of ‘I Am Glad, ‘Cause I’m Finally Returning Home’. The lip-synched song without any lyrics – expect for ah-ah-ah-ah et oh-ho-oh-ho – went viral in the blink of an eye, reaching several million views. Eduard was dubbed Mr. Trololo and a star was born.
The tune was originally written with lyrics about an American cowboy traveling back home to his loved one, but it was deemed too sentimental and pro-western in Soviet-era Russia. Aware that the highly repressive Soviet government wouldn’t let him perform the song, Khil decided to ditch the words, and simply sing the melody.
In an interview with the American radio station Liberty, the singer explained that he first discovered his video’s internet fame from his grandson. Soon after, he posted a video of himself inviting people to invent their own song lyrics on You Tube.
He died on Monday, June 4, in the St. Petersburg hospital where he has been hospitalised since a stroke in April. The web community that loved him so much bade its farewell on Twitter, Tumbrl and 9gag.