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Эдуард Хиль

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Smolensk, U.S.S.R. (1934 – 2012)

Эдуард Анатольевич Хиль (Eduard Anatolyevich Khil; born 4 September 1934 in Smolensk, U.S.S.R. - died 4 June 2012) was a Russian baritone . Khil was the original performer of many songs popular in the Soviet Union during the 1960s, such as “Лесорубы” (“Woodcutters”) and “Песня о друге” (“Song About a Friend”). He also performed hits such as “Берёзовый сок” (“Birch Tree Juice”), “Солнечная баллада” (“Sun Ballad”), and “Как хорошо быть генералом” (“So Good to Be a General”).

Khil’s musical career began in 1955 when he attended the Leningrad Conservatory; five years later, he graduated. During his studies, he began performing various lead operatic roles, including Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro. Post-graduating, he became enamored with pop music after witnessing a performance by K.I. Schulzenko.

Several awards and decorations were bestowed upon Khil: in 1968, he was granted the title of Meritorious Artist of the Russian Federation, and in 1974 he was the People’s Artist of the Russian Federation. In 2009, he was given the Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 4th class. Furthermore, he participated in and won the Russian and International Variety Performers Contests.

More recently, Khil became the subject of an internet meme, owing to a performance of the song “Я очень рад, ведь я, наконец, возвращаюсь домой” (“I Am Very Glad, Because I’m Finally Returning Back Home” uploaded onto YouTube in 2009.

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