November 26, 1949
Israeli folk rock singer-songwriter and composer Shlomo Artzi is born on Moshav Alonei Abba, southeast of Haifa. In the course of his career, he has sold over 1.5 million albums, making him one of Israel’s most successful male singers.
Artzi would spend most of his childhood in Tel-Aviv. Both his father, Yitzhak, who served as a Knesset member from 1984-1988, and his mother were Holocaust survivors. Artzi’s work addresses “second generation” issues in his later songs, especially “In Germany Before the War” and “Like a Large Yard.”
As a teenager, Shlomo Artzi began his musical career teaming up with female artist, Ricki Gal. They formed the duo, Tsemed Sinai (Sinai Pair). While serving in the IDF, Artzi was part of the Naval Entertainment Group and served as the group’s lead singer. After completing his army service, Artzi earned first place in the 1970 Israel Song Festival and in 1972 was voted Singer of the Year, the first of ten times winning that honor. On Israel’s 60th anniversary in 2008, he was awarded “The Singer of the 60 Years,” by Israeli Television.
In addition to his contributions to Israeli music and culture, Shlomo Artzi gave his time freely to peripheral geographic areas of Israel. Artzi and his wife founded a non-profit organization which, among other projects, provides scholarships for students in Tel-Aviv.