Today, the internet says farewell to one of its legends. Eduard Khil, the man responsible for one of the more memorable, long-lasting, and recreated viral videos of all time has died at the age of 77.
Last week we told you that Khil had suffered a stroke and was in critical condition at St. Petersburg Polenov Scientific Research Institute of Neurosurgery. Doctors were reportedly planning additional surgeries on Khil, but they acknowledged the fact that he suffered irreparable brain damage as a result of the trauma.
And early Monday morning in St. Petersburg, Khil passed away from “irreversible damage” caused by the stroke, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti.
In Russia, Khil was very popular and his baritone voice won him the People’s Artist Award in 1974. In addition to his success as a singer, Khil also taught the craft at Saint Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy. Two years ago, Khil was given the Order of Merit for the Fatherland by Russia.
But of course, his introduction to the West came courtesy of a YouTube video that went viral in 2009. The video, shot in 1976, shows Khil performing “Я очень рад, ведь я, наконец, возвращаюсь домой,” or “I am glad, cause I’m finally returning back home.”
Or, as it is known by many on the interwebs, the Trololo song.
The video was parodied countless times and even found itself on par with the “Rickroll” in terms of classic internet bait-and-switch tricks. Check out Khil reacting to the various parodies of his performance back in 2010. Most of us won’t be able to understand what he’s saying, but there’s no doubt that he’s tickled by his internet stardom: