How Eduard Khil’s 1976 Performance Will Live on Forever

Eduard Khil was a Russian singer who has been famous since Soviet times. However, it is entertaining to note that Khil has secured a surprising measure of fame beyond Russia in modern times because of the use of one of his performances for an Internet meme. There are some people who might have ignore such a thing, but in Khil’s case, he embraced it, so much so that he was known to have used Mr. Trololo as a stage name from time to time.

How Did Eduard Khil Become So Well-Known?

Khil was born in Smolensk in the mid 1930s. As a result, he was still a child when the Second World War broke out. Due to this, his kindergarten was bombed. Furthermore, he had to be evacuated to Bekovo in the Penza Oblast, with the result that he was separated from his mother. Even worse, the children’s home where Khil winded up was lacking in even basic facilities. Still, when Smolensk was liberated from the Nazis in 1943, Khil was reunited with his mother, which was a lot more than what could be said for a lot of Russian children in those times.

Eventually, Khil studied at the Leningrad Conservatory. As a result, he started performing in operas in the second half of the 1950s. Following graduation, Khil fell in love when he listened to a performance by Klavdiya Shulzhenko, who was a Soviet pop singer who did some acting as well. As a result, Khil started performing pop music, which proved to be popular enough that he went on to win a wide range of awards and other accolades under the Soviet Union.

By the 1970s, Khil had secured an incredible measure of success, as shown by the wide range of performances in a wide range of countries that he was involved in. In one case, Khil performed a non-lexical vocable version of a song, which resulted in him being nicknamed Mr. Trololo because that is what his utterances sounded like. Amusingly, the song apparently had lyrics, which Khil has stated to have been about a cowboy riding a horse back towards his farm.

Regardless, the song turned into a viral sensation in 2011, with the result that it was mentioned in TV shows as well as on talk shows in the English-speaking world. On top of this, it should come as no surprise to learn that Khil saw a resurgence of fame, with the result that he performed the song one more time for a Russian TV special for the New Year. Unfortunately, Kihil would never get the chance to go on tour like some of the interested individuals were asking because he died in April of 2012 because of a stroke that resulted in serious brain injuries. Still, considering how Kihil’s musical career had fared about as well in the 1990s as the rest of Russia in that same period of time, his sudden as well as most unexpected resurgence must have been both very odd and very interesting.

Final Thoughts

Nowadays, Khil’s song remains embedded in the collective recollection of the Internet, which is perhaps unsurprising considering how much “trololo” sounds like trolling. As a result, it continues to receive recognition in various forms, with an excellent example being how Google featured an interactive doodle of him singing his song on what would’ve been his 83rd birthday. Something that made for a very nice touch.

However, it should be mentioned that there are also those who remember his music with fondness for reasons beyond the meme. In his time, Kihil managed to become a hit in not just Russia but also other regions, which was by no means a coincidence. For some, his music was likable because he imbued it with charm, which is why some of his songs remain relatively well-known in the present. However, it should also be noted that his sonorous voice was matched with a surprising measure of humor, which was set in a general sense of optimism. As a result, while Kihil’s music might not have been particularly deep, it was certainly something that brightened the days of a lot of people in its hey-day. For that matter, considering how the Internet has responded to him in more recent times, it seems safe to say that it will continue to do so for some time to come.


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