‘Soviet Sinatra’ Iosif Kobzon dies at 80

Popular Russian singer and pro-Kremlin lawmaker Iosif Kobzon -- sometimes called "the Soviet Frank Sinatra" -- died aged 80 on Thursday. Born in Ukraine's Donbass region to Jewish parents, Kobzon began his career in 1959 and was most popular in the 1970s and 80s. Kobzon won a competition to perform in front of Stalin in the Kremlin with a children's choir as a 10-year-old boy. He also performed in front of Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev. No major concert on Russian national holidays would take place without Kobzon, who also entertained Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan in the 1980s and Russian troops in Syria in 2016. A legend of Soviet patriotic music, Kobzon recorded more than 1,500 songs and held a world record in the number of concerts performed in one day: he once gave 12 concerts in a single day spending

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