Iosif Kobzon, an iconic Russian crooner and political figure dubbed "the Soviet Sinatra" for his decades-long career, has died. He was 80 years old.
One of the most revered Russian singers of the 20th century, Kobzon is remembered not only for his concerts but also for efforts to negotiate the release of hostages and prisoners of war.
The Russian State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, said in a statement that Kobzon died Thursday.
Russian news agencies quoted his assistant as saying the singer's death resulted from a protracted illness, a typical Russian euphemism for cancer. Kobzon was diagnosed with cancer a decade ago.