Putin's Blueberry Hill remix wows Russian clubbers
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin caused jaws to drop last year when he gave an impromptu performance of the Fats Domino classic "Blueberry Hill" at a charity concert.
Now one of the country's best known DJs has remixed Putin's vocals into a six-minute dance track that he says is wowing clubbers around the country, even if he admits that Putin is "not a singer."
"It was so funny seeing the video on the Internet. When I got the track, I mixed it in a day. It was like kind of a joke," DJ Smash, whose real name is Andrei Shirman, told AFP.
"Now it's very popular, it plays all over the clubs. People smile, everyone knows this track."
Last December, Putin revealed a new side when he got on stage at a star-studded charity concert in Saint Petersburg and performed the song in correct, if accented English. He went on to bash out a Soviet-era song on the piano.
The charity concert, also featuring Sharon Stone and Kevin Costner, was later mired in scandal over whether it raised any money directly for children's medical treatment, with organisers insisting equipment was donated.
DJ Smash, whose biggest hit is called "Moscow Never Sleeps," insisted the track had no connection with the upcoming presidential election, saying he is "far from politics."
"My track is not connected with this, 100 percent," he said, adding that, "Vladimir Putin, he doesn't need any promotion, because everybody knows him." Asked about the premier's singing talent, Smash was diplomatic. "I don't know, I think he's a good politician ... he's not a singer."
He said he wants to release a single crediting the premier -- "DJ Smash featuring Vladimir Putin" -- but does not know who to contact for permission.
Putin has made awkward attempts to connect with youth culture. He made a surprise appearance on a televised competition for young rappers, called "Battle for Respect," telling the performers to promote healthy lifestyles.
He told journalists he had taken part in a singalong with members of the spy ring, including the sultry redhead Anna Chapman, who were flown back to Russia last year in a high-profile swap.
© 2011 AFP