Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 13:20 UK

Famous Russian singer Zykina dies

Ludmila Zykina. Photo: June 2009
Zykina celebrated her 80th birthday last month

Ludmila Zykina, one of Russia's most celebrated singers, has died in Moscow. She was 80.

"Several days ago she had a stroke. Today her heart stopped beating," Russia's First Channel television said in a report.

Ludmila Zykina began her professional career in the late 1940s, performing Russian folk songs.

She was much loved by millions of people in the former Soviet Union and Kremlin leaders alike.

The singer celebrated her 80th birthday last month, and was personally congratulated by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

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