He was a very popular performer in the USSR. After his singing career faded in the early 1990s, Khil re-entered private life and worked in a cafe in Paris, singing cabaret. Starting in 1997, Khil was involved with his son in a joint project with the rock group Препинаки.
Khil became known to international audiences in 2010 when a 1976 recording of him singing a non-lexical vocable version of the song "I Am Glad, 'Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home" (Я очень рад, ведь я, наконец, возвращаюсь домой) became an Internet meme, often referred to as "Trololol" or the "Russian Rickroll". The video, uploaded to YouTube, quickly "went viral' and Khil became known as "Mr. Trololo" or "Trololo Man". The song is now commonly associated with Internet trolling. According to Khil, the Trololo song originally featured lyrics which described a narrative about a cowboy riding a horse to his farm: