Ofra Haza 1957 - 2000
And no Israeli atrist before had spoken the world beat language more fluently than Ofra Haza. A musical ambassador-at-large, this internationally acclaimed singer and songwriter brought people from around the world together through the universal appeal of her extraordinary and evocative music.
Ofra Haza was born on the 19th of November 1957 in the "Tikva" neighbourhood in Tel-Aviv. She sang since she was very young, and she first performe on a stage withing the "Tikva's neighbourhood Sadna" , that discover young talents. The "sadna" art manager Betzalel Aloni has been Ofra's manager through all the years. With the "sadna" Ofra had few hits like "Uri Tzafon Veboei Teiman" (Wake Up North And Come Yemen).
When she was 14 years old she first performe at a mediteranean music festival, and she won the first prize with the song "Shabat Hamalca" (Shabat The Queen). Since then, she has participated in many festivals, from kids one to the Eurovision song contest.
When she was 18 She joined the Israeli army and served as a clerk. When she finished her army service, there was a try to join her to the "Chocolad Menta Mastik" group, but the try hadn't gone well, and Yardena Arazi was chosen instead.
The big success in Israel began when she played a big rule in the movie "Shlager", and sang the song "Shir Hafrecha" (The bimbo song). After "Shlager" she played in another movie - "Na'arat Haparvarim" (The Subrub Girl).
Since then Ofra had huge hits in Israel like "Flash Gordon", "Shir A'ava Lahaial" (Love Song For The Soldiar), "Tfila" (A Prayer) , "Simanim Shel O'avim" (Lovers Signs), "Kaitz" (Summer), "Gavriel" , "Super Star", "Amen Lamilim" (Amen To The words), "Acharei Hahagim" (After The Holidays) and of course "Hi" (Alive), the song which represented Israel in The 1983 Eurovision Song Contest.
Listen to Hi
Ofra had continued to record hits albums like "Shirei Moledet" (1985), "Bait Ham" (A Place For Me 1984), "Adama" (Earth 1985) and "Yamim Nishbarim" (Broken Days 1986), breaking her own selling recordseach year.
At the end of 1984 Ofra recorded a Yemenite album called "Shirei Teiman" (Yemenite Songs) and one of the songs, "Galbi", has been published in a special 12" version made by Izhar Ashdot. Later she had a big success in the UK with the song "Im Nin'alu", which was also a hit in other european countries like Germany and Switerland. This was only the beginning of Ofra's international success.
On February 3, 1987 Ofra Haza and her manager Bezalel Aloni survived an airplane crash in a Cesna aircraft on the Israel / Jordanian border. Ofra was used to celebrate this date as her second birthday.
- "Im Nin'alu" reached top 1 in the German charts for nine straight weeks.
- "Im Nin'alu" reached top 1 in the Euro charts for two weeks.
- "Im Nin'alu" reached top 1 in Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweeden, Portugal and more.
- The album "Shaday" was very successful in Europe and Japan.
- Ofra appears in the re-mix of "Paid in Full" (Eric B. & Rakim / Ofra Haza) in Colors movie soundtrack. (Starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall).
- Won two Tigra Awards in Germany
- Ofra Haza won singer of the year.
- "Im Nin'alu" received song of the year.
- First tour in Europe included the "Montreux Jazz Festival".
- Recieved 1st place award in the Tokyo music festival for "Im Nin'alu".
- Successful sold out concerts in Tokyo.
- Broke into the United States and Canadian market.
- On October 26, 1989, the album "Shaday" recieved "The New Music Award" for the "International Album of the Year" in New York City.
- Shaday sold over 1.5 million copies world-wide.
- Ofra received "World Music Award" in Monte Carlo for "Best-Selling Israeli Artist" ever.
- Songs "I Want to Fly", "Slave Dream" and "Love Song" appear on the Wild Orchid movie soundtrack. (Starring Mickey Rourke).
- Ofra appeared on The Carson Show.
- Ofra appeared in the "Artists of the World For Peace in the World" video with world artists such as: Peter Gabriel, Lenny Kravitz and M.C Hammer. In the video, the artists performed John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance".
- The album, "Kirya", reached top 1 in Billboard magazine in the world music category.
- Successful tour in the United States and Canada.
- Sisters of Mercy's 1992 version of "Temple of Love" (sub-titled "Touched By The Hand of Ofra Haza") entered top 3 in the United Kingdom.
- Nominated for the 1992 Grammy Awards in the World Music category for the album Kirya.
- Appears in The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Rock in the world section next to stars such as Miles Davis, Enya, Bob Marley and UB40.
- Ofra returned to Israel to record her new Israeli and Hebrew album "Kol Haneshama" (All of My Soul) after eight years of silence in Israel.
- The song "Elohi", written by Ofra and composed by Ofra and Goran Bregovic (Arizon dream, Time Of The Gypsies) appeared on the Queen Margot movie soundtrack as the single. Queen Margot, starring Isabelle Adjani is the 1994 winner of the Cannes Film Festival's "Special Jury Distinction" Award.
- On December 10, 1994, by the personal invitation of the late Israeli Prime Minister , Izhak Rabin, Ofra performed at the "Nobel Peace Prize" ceremony in Oslo, Norway. The ceremony honored Israel's late prime minister , Izhak Rabin, and foreign minister, Shimon Peres together with PLO leader, Yasser Arafat for their efforts for peace in the middle east. Local television covered the ceremony and aired it world-wide.
- Ofra Haza, featured in Paula Abdul's "My Love Is For Real", reached Top 10 in the USA dance charts.
We will always remember you OFRA, as our one and only national singer.