One of the greatest Russian singers of the Soviet era, Eduard Khil, has died at the age of 77 in St. Petersburg. Our condolences to his family, friends, and millions of fans in Russia and all over the world.

Those of you in North America may know Khil as Mr. Trololo, the smiling singer from the internet meme that was the spiritual successor to RickRolling. Video of Khil lip-syncing to “I’m Very Happy Because I’m Finally Going Home” has been a crutch of internet yucksters for the last few years, but Khil has been a big deal in Russia for decades.

In addition to being a beloved singer, Khil was also a big sports fan. He sang what is maybe the famous Russian song about hockey: “Coward Doesn’t Play Hockey.” It’s basically a hockey anthem (like Tom Connors’ “The Hockey Song” in North America), and it can often be heard at games or other hockey-related events.

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