Shoshana Damari (Hebrew: שושנה דמארי) was born in Dhamar, Yemen. She fled persecution and dhimmi status to pre-independence Israel with her parents in 1924. They settled in the city of Rishon LeZion. At a very young age Shoshana performed with her mother, and when she was 14 she had her first songs broadcast on the radio.
Her alto voice was distinctive, as was her Yemenite pronunciation of certain Hebrew letters. Her first record was released in 1948 and her best known song Kalaniyot (Anemones) dates from that period. She became known as the "Queen of Israeli song" and was especially popular among Israeli soldiers, for whom she frequently performed.
In the mid-1980s, Damari teamed up with Boaz Sharabi for a duet that brought her back into the limelight. She was awarded the Israel Prize in 1988 for her contributions to vocal music.
In 2005, aged 82, she recorded two tracks for the Mimaamakim album by Idan Raichel's Project and participated in some of their live performances. The two had been slated to begin another joint project.
She died in Tel Aviv after a brief bout of pneumonia. She breathed her last breath whilst Kalaniyot was sung by her family and friends who had been sitting in vigil during her final few days.
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