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Famous Like Me > Actor > K > Joseph Kobzon

Profile of Joseph Kobzon on Famous Like Me

Name: Joseph Kobzon  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 11th September 1937
Place of Birth: Chasov Yar, Donetsk province, Soviet Union [now Ukraine]
Profession: Actor
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Joseph Kobzon

Iosif Davydovich Kobzon (Иосиф Давыдович Кобзон) (born September 11, 1937) is an iconic Soviet crooner, who has been acclaimed as "the official voice of the Soviet Union". More recently, he has been notorious for his alleged links to the Russian Mafia.

Kobzon was born of Jewish parents in the mining town of Chusov, Ukraine. Bald from childhood, he has had to use a permanent wig. His career was also handicapped by his Jewish roots. Lidiya Ruslanova even advised him to adopt a Russian surname in order to appeal to wider audiences.

In 1962, Kobzon recorded his first LP which included songs written by Aleksandra Pakhmutova. In the next 5 years, he was awarded at the international song contests in Sopot and Bulgaria.

During Leonid Brezhnev's time in office (1964-82), there was hardly an official concert where Kobzon didn't take part. In 1984 the singer was honored with the USSR State Prize. Three years later, he was made People's Artist of the USSR.

In 1969, Kobzon married Lyudmila Gurchenko, one of the best known stars of the Soviet cinema, but their marriage proved a disaster. He divorced her a year later.

In Kobzon's own words, his singing style was inspired by the U.S. crooners, such as Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. His best known song is "Instants" from the legendary Soviet TV series "Seventeen Instants of Spring" (1969).

Joseph Kobzon appeared with the solo concerts in most cities of the former USSR. He also performed on tour in many countries of the world, including USA, Spain, Sweden, Israel, Greece, Finland, Panama, Bolivia, and Argentina. In 1986, he performed in the town of Chernobyl to cheer the nuclear reactor rescuers. In 1997 Joseph Kobzon officially finished his international touring.

Since 1989, Kobzon has been active in the Russian business and politics. He is probably the most experienced Russian MP, and also the one which gets reelected with the largest margin in the country's history. As of 2005, he was the head of the State Duma's culture committee.

Kobzon was also involved in political projects of his close friend Yuri Luzhkov in the Crimea and Abkhazia. There is another side to this friendship, as it is rumoured that Kobzon controls most of the restaurants and bars in Moscow. His shadowy business activities and alleged arms trafficking were cited by the US Department of State, which has been denying him and members of his family a visa since 1995.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Joseph Kobzon