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עפרה חזה

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Tel Aviv, Israel (1957 – 2000)

עָפְרָה חָזָה {Ofra Haza} (1957-2000) was a popular Israeli singer, actress and international recording artist of Yemenite Jewish ancestry.

Born on the 19th November 1957, the youngest of nine children, in the poor Tel Aviv suburb of Hatikvah, she became a local and then national success story, the subject of great pride for many Israelis of Yemenite origin.

Inspired by a love of her Yemenite-Jewish culture, the appeal of her musical art quickly spread to a wider Middle Eastern audience, somehow bridging the divide between Israel and the Arab countries. As her career progressed, the multi-lingual Haza was able to switch between traditional and more commercial singing styles without jeopardising her credibility. The music, too, fused elements of Eastern and Western instrumentation, orchestration, and dance-beat. Success followed in Europe and the Americas; during her singing career she collected many platinum and gold discs.

She died on the 23rd February 2000, at the age of forty-two, of AIDS-related pneumonia.

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