Today’s Best Cover of a Rock & Roll Classic by a Ruthless Tyrant: Vladimir Putin, “Blueberry Hill”

On December 13, 2019, the president of Russia, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин) both sang and played an American rock & roll classic, Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill.” It was for a children’s charity dinner in his hometown of St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) also attended by American celebrities Sharon Stone, Kevin Costner and Goldie Hawn.

“Like an overwhelming majority of people,” Putin said while introducing the song, “I can neither sing nor play but I very much like doing it.”

He then very carefully played the single melody line on piano, before the orchestra kicked in and he started singing the famous song written in 1940 by Rose, Stock & Lewis.

[For more on the origins and evolution of “Blueberry Hill,” see here.]


Being Putin, a former KGB officer known for always cloaking the truth, his performance itself is cloaked with some mystery. At least one other unseen voice is singing the melody in unison with him, making it impossible to determine how much Vlad we are hearing.

There’s also a video online of Putin singing Radiohead’s “Creep,” which is fake. This one, however, is real.

Videos by American Songwriter

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