Top 8 Putin moments: From Harley-riding bad boy to Formula One driver

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is known for his displays of athletic prowess and daring feats, as well as the occasional croon before an audience. His visit this week to a Russian youth camp did not disappoint. Here are some of his most notable romps throughout Russia.

Sinatra-like crooner

Aleksey Nikolskyi/RIA Novosti/Reuters/File
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin plays the piano at a charity concert in St. Petersburg on Dec. 10, 2010.

Vladimir Putin showed his gentler – yet still suave – side in December 2010 at a charity dinner in St. Petersburg, taking the stage to tickle a piano's ivories and croon into a microphone.

In front of an audience of businessmen and Hollywood stars, he played the opening notes to the 1940s jazz standard "Blueberry Hill" on the piano, then stood and took the microphone and sang in pretty decent English, reported Reuters.

He got a standing ovation from Kevin Costner and Goldie Hawn, who were in attendance along with Sharon Stone, Kurt Russell, Gerard Depardieu, Mickey Rourke, and others. β€œLike an overwhelming majority of people, I can neither sing nor play but I very much like doing it," Putin told the audience.

UPI reports that "Putin has been showing a softer side lately. Last week he invited the 5-year-old winner of a nationwide competition to name his new Bulgarian Shepherd puppy to his official residence to meet the dog. Buffy was a present from Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov."

With Prime Minister Putin considering a run for presidential office in 2012, incumbent President Dmitry Medvedev may have to consider learning his own musical instrument if he wants to hold on to his seat. A participant at the event told Reuters: "Medvedev will now have to learn to play saxophone."


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