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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gorbachev Records Charity Album

Mikhail Gorbachev has added crooner to his list of accomplishments.

The former Soviet leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate said Tuesday that he recorded an album of old Russian romantic ballads to raise money for a charity dedicated to his late wife, Raisa.

"The disc includes seven of Raisa Maximovna's favorite romantic songs. I sang them myself, with Andrei Makarevich playing the background music," Gorbachev said at a news conference at his Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow, Interfax reported.

Makarevich is the founder and frontman of the rock group Mashina Vremeni.

Only one copy of the album, "Songs for Raisa," was made, and it was auctioned off at a charity dinner at London's Hampton Court on June 6, according to the web site of the Gorbachev Foundation.

The CD fetched $164,940, according to Novaya Gazeta, which posted one of the songs, "Old Letters," on its web site. Gorbachev is a co-owner of the newspaper.

The dinner raised a total of 1.7 million pounds ($2.8 million) for the Raisa Gorbacheva Foundation to buy special equipment and medicine for hospitals in Moscow and St. Petersburg that treat children with leukemia.

The album's recording coincides with the 10th anniversary of Raisa Gorbachev's death from leukemia on Sept. 20, 1999, at age 67.

Gorbachev, 78, performed "Old Letters" at the charity dinner at the insistence of the 347 guests, who included London Mayor Boris Johnson and Sarah Brown, the wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

By recording an album, Gorbachev joins a number of politicians who have tried their hand at music.

Kremlin deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov wrote songs for the rock band Agata Kristi several years ago.

Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky has recorded patriotic and anti-U.S. rap songs and Russian folk songs that can be downloaded from the party's web site free of charge.

State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov wrote a football anthem in support of the Russian national team two weeks ahead of the UEFA European Football Championship last year. The anthem's refrain goes, "Russia, go ahead! / Our turn has come! / Russia, go ahead! / Victory is awaiting us!"

The team unexpectedly made it to the semifinals.