[From the New York Times
The standard shorthand is to describe Iosif Kobzon as “the Russian Frank Sinatra,” a moniker that encompasses both his career as a popular singer and suggestions that he had connections to the Russian mob.
But what with the hostage-negotiation heroics, the bombing that may or may not have been aimed at him, and the international eyebrow-raising over his political positions, Mr. Kobzon, who died on Aug. 30 at 80, may have outdone even Ol’ Blue Eyes for high drama.
His death was announced on the website of the Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, of which he had been a member since 1997. The location and cause were not given, but the Russian news agency Tass said Mr. Kobzon had had cancer since 2005.
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