The Queen of Hebrew Song: Celebrating the Legacy of Shoshana Damari

OV Digital Desk

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Shoshana Damari (31 March 1923 – 14 February 2006) was a Yemeni-Israeli singer known as the “Queen of Hebrew Music.”

Life and Career

Shoshana Damari was born on 31 March 1923 in Dhamar, Yemen. Her family immigrated to Mandate Palestine in 1924 and settled in Rishon LeZion.  She grew up in Tel Aviv and began her singing career at a young age. In 1943, Damari performed for the first time on the radio, and she quickly became a sensation, with her unique voice and style winning over audiences across Israel. Her repertoire included traditional Yemenite songs, popular Israeli tunes, and songs of the Jewish diaspora. She performed in Hebrew, Arabic, Yiddish, Ladino, and English, and her music had a broad appeal that transcended language and cultural barriers.

In addition to her singing career, Damari also acted in films and television shows, including the classic Israeli film “Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer.” She was also a popular performer in the United States, appearing in concerts in New York and other cities.

Over the course of her career, Damari released over 1,000 recordings, and she received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to Israeli culture. She was awarded the Israel Prize, the country’s highest honor, in 1988 for her lifetime achievement in music. She continued to perform and record music until her death. She died on 14 February 2006 at the age of 82. Her legacy as one of Israel’s most beloved and influential performers lives on.

Award and Legacy

Shoshana Damari received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including the Israel Prize in 1988 for her contribution to Israeli music. She was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Composers, Authors, and Publishers of Music in Israel in 2005.

Damari’s legacy as a singer and actress is a significant part of Israel’s cultural history. She helped to popularize and preserve traditional Yemenite songs, and her unique voice and style continue to influence Israeli music today. She was a cultural icon in Israel, and her music and performances had a profound impact on Israeli society.

In recognition of her contributions to Israeli culture, there are several streets named after her in Israel, including one in Tel Aviv and another in Jerusalem. Her music is still popular and widely listened to today, and her recordings continue to be played on Israeli radio stations. Damari’s legacy as the “Queen of Hebrew Music” is secure, and she remains an enduring symbol of Israeli cultural identity. On 31 March 2013, Google celebrated Shoshana Damari’s 90th Birthday with a doodle.