Joseph Kobzon, People's Artist of the USSR and a State Duma deputy, passed away four years ago, but the audience remembers him. On the eve of Kobzon's 85th anniversary, a memorial in his memory was erected in Oruzheiny Alley in the center of Moscow.
During the unveiling of the monument, depicting the singer with a microphone in his hand, the National Anthem of Russia was performed, which was once sung by the artist himself. On September 11, on the day of the 85th anniversary of Joseph Kobzon, there was a concert dedicated to his birthday in the State Kremlin Palace.
During his life Joseph loved Kremlin Palace very much and more than once he performed there. On the day of the anniversary, which was already celebrated without Joseph Kobzon, his songs sounded performed by friends and colleagues of the artist. The singer had a wonderful memory, and his repertoire included more than 3,000 songs. He sang them in several languages and, what is remarkable, he sang mostly without an audio recording.
Many of the songs, performed by the legendary singer, are now especially relevant. For example, the song ‘Moments’ from the popular film Seventeen Moments of Spring. In his small motherland, Donbass, bullets are whistling at the temples of many thousands of people. The allied forces are defending the Donbass land from the nationalists, and these very Moments sever people, giving each his own, as in the song, “shame, infamy, or immortality.”
The most important thing at such moments in history is, as the same song says, “to remember duty.” Kobzon not only could sing patriotic songs with his mesmerizing baritone, but was himself a true patriot of his homeland. He performed nine times in Afghanistan, where the Soviet troops fulfilled their international duty, and he came with concerts to Chechnya, when there were hostilities. Kobzon was the first famous artist to give a concert in a month and a half after the Chernobyl accident, which took place in the immediate vicinity of the reactor. The audience wore respirators, and when the singer took them off, his listeners also took off their respirators in solidarity with him. In 1988, he was again the first of the famous artists to visit Armenia and support the people who survived the terrible earthquake in Spitak.
Kobzon remembered all the time about his duty as a man and a citizen. This was his way of life, and he simply could not act differently. How else could we call his act at the Theater Center on Dubrovka? Kobzon was personally involved in negotiations with the militants who had taken over the theater. He went there four times, managed to come to terms with the terrorists and led four hostages out of the seized building. That was a mother with three daughters. If you think about it, it's moments like these in every citizen's life that force him to make one choice or another, which shows who he really is.
There was written a lot about Kobzon’s charitable activities. He took the patronage of the Vishnev Clinic in Moscow. He helped many artists and acquaintances, brought the necessary medicine, rendered assistance in show business, defended rock bands, and brought them out underground.
Kobzon was devoted to the stage, highly appreciated his audience, and could perform for hours without sitting down even during intermission, so that not a single crease would form on his concert suit. He stood his ground as a public and political figure, as a human being. Kobzon was awarded the title of Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation. He was a laureate of the State Prize of the USSR and the Prize of the Government of the Russian Federation but refused the title of People's Artist of Ukraine after Kiev deprived the singer of all state awards.
Maybe that is why millions of people love this remarkable artist so much who always remained the Real Man even in the most difficult and complicated moments of his life, setting an example of serving his Motherland to all of us.