Sergei Yakovlevich Lemeshev was born into a peasant family in 1902. He was sent to St. Petersburg (Leningrad) in 1917, where he bagan working under his uncle's, a shoemaker. In the 1920's Lemeshev made his way to Moscow, joined and graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. The young graduate was cast in "Evgeniy Onegin" as Lensky, a role that he reprised over 500 times, the last being on his 70th birthday, when his health has significantly declined. During WWII he travelled and performed with frontline brigades. He is particularly well known for performing Matvey Blanter's "My Love" (Moya Lyubimaya), an iconic WWII song that evokes the fear and hopes of a young soldier away from his beloved girlfriend. Lemeshev's performance can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBmpuVtblVo . When performing at the front, outside in the cold, he developed tuberculosis in one of his lungs. Normally, this would be a career ending illness, but he continued performing for many more years, relying on his one healthy lung. His personal life - Lemeshev was married five times - was constantly in the public eye and crowds of people came to see him perform and followed him when strolling down the street. Lemeshev passed away on July 26th, 1977, a day before his 75th birthday.