Jazz crooner to the list of Vladimir Putin’s talents
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Is there no end to Vladimir Putin’s talents? The Russian Prime Minister already has a reputation as an accomplished fighter-jet pilot and Siberian tiger-hunter, and is a black belt in judo. Now you can add jazz crooner to the list.
The 58-year-old former KGB chief stunned an audience at a charity event on Friday that included Sharon Stone and Kevin Costner with his rendition of Blueberry Hill.
‘Like an overwhelming majority of people, I can neither sing nor play but I very much like doing it,’ he said modestly after being urged by the event’s host to get up on stage and perform. After playing the opening notes to the Fats Domino hit on the piano, he stepped up to the microphone and sang.
Putin, described as ‘alpha-dog’ in diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, is reported to have sung patriotic songs to a group of Russian agents after they were expelled from America in July. But before Friday’s show in St Petersburg, his musical prowess had not been noted.
His spokesman said he learned the lyrics to Blueberry Hill as part of his English language studies. At the show, Putin also tried to play a Soviet-era song called From Where The Motherland Begins but hit a wrong key and stopped.
The former KGB officer has previously been photographed in a series of PR pictures on holiday.
Three years ago he was seen fishing bare-chested on a Siberian river as he entertained Prince Albert of Monaco on an outdoor pursuits holiday.
They weren’t the first images of the former Russian president holidaying in bare-chested in Siberia.
Images of a shirtless Putin fishing in a Siberian river caused a stir when they were published two years ago.
The athletic politician demonstrated his trademark judo moves at a dojo school in St Petersburg, using a a sweeping hip throw on a succession of opponents.
He even released his own judo DVD two years ago, called ‘Learn judo with Vladimir’.
The photographic display of Putin’s masculinity has included images of him fishing shirtless, shooting a tiger with a tranquiliser dart, horseriding, racing a truck, driving a train, piloting a fighter jet and a commanding a submarine.