Joseph Kobzon

Joseph Kobzon

© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, August 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his condolences to Ninel Kobzon, wife of renowned Russian crooner Joseph Kobzon, on his death. The message of condolence was posted on the Kremlin’s website on Thursday.

“Please accept my deep condolences on your family’s enormous loss – the death of Joseph Kobzon. Joseph D. Kobzon was truly a people’s artist, an outstanding Russian cultural personality, a man of immense inner strength, courage and dignity,” the message reads.

The head of state noted that Kobzon deserved the sincere adoration of millions of people thanks to his talent, creative generosity and wonderful songs that are timeless. “The memory of Joseph Kobzon will remain in our hearts forever,” the president added.

The venerated Russian singer who was awarded the title of the People’s Artist of the USSR passed away on Thursday at the age of 80.

Kobzon recorded nearly 3,000 songs, including popular hits like Smuglyanka and Victory Day. He gave classes at the Gnessin State Musical College and the Russian Academy of Theater Arts.

From 2005 to 2007, the vocalist had headed the Russian State Duma’s culture committee. He was also a member of the board of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia and the presidium of the all-Russian public organization, The League of Nation’s Health. In 2005, Kobzon was diagnosed with cancer.

He was also known for his political, public and charity work. In a particularly bold and heroic move, during the Dubrovka theater hostage standoff, he risked his life in negotiating with the kidnappers, which led to the release of a Russian mother and her three children along with a British citizen on October 24, 2002.

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