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Legendary Russian Singer Eduard Khil Becomes Unlikely Internet Phenomenon

24. August 2010 by Admin 0 Comments

Eduard Khil is an extremely popular singer from Russia’s Soviet period. While having largely retired from singing in the mid ‘90’s, he has enjoyed a career spanning almost fifty years in his home country of Russia, but never reached much notability overseas.

All this changed for Eduard Khil in February 2010, when a video of him singing on a Russian television show appeared on the popular internet video site Youtube. The video, featuring an extremely “retro” looking backdrop and wardrobe featured Khil vocalizing over an orchestral rendition of composer Arkady Ostrovsky’s “Я очень рад, ведь я, наконец, возвращаюсь домой” (I am very glad, because I’m finally going home) and was posted with the title “Trololo”, a reference to his almost scat-style singing.

The video, and the copycats it has spawned, have amassed millions of views ever since and has inspired at least one Internet petition for the 75 year old singer to come out of retirement and take part in a world tour. Eduard Khil himself has been amazed by the international response although has remained skeptical about the nature of it. The video’s popularity could be said to be based more on the singer’s exaggerated facial expressions, the wordless delivery and the bizarre look of the performance than the actual music itself.

Although its popularity is mainly online, the video has popped up in more mainstream media outlets – American comedy show The Colbert Report has played it and the video was even parodied in a skit on Late Night talk show The Jimmy Kimmel Show, with Oscar-winning German/Austrian actor Christoph Waltz in Khil’s role.

The video’s popularity has helped Khil’s career at home as well. He has been recently featured on Russian talk shows, performing the song in front of a group of dancing Russian ladies in ‘70’s garb and has been considered a favorite to represent Russia in upcoming Eurovision Song contests.