18 Mayıs 1981 (age 39)
Shiri Maimon (Hebrew: שירי מימון; born 17 May, 1981) is an Israeli pop singer, TV show host and actress, who rose to fame as the runner-up in the TV show Kokhav Nolad. She represented Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest 2005.
Maimon was born in Haifa, Israel, and raised in Kiryat Haim. She is of Sephardi Jewish descent: Her mother is Moroccan and her father, Tunisian. She made her debut at the age of ten, at a children's song festival. She joined the Israel Defense Forces, where she sang with the Israeli Air Force entertainment troupe. In 2001, she featured on a music video by the band Teapacks. Later, she worked a year and a half as a singer and bartender in Eilat. In 2003, she auditioned for Kokhav Nolad and ended up the first runner-up.
She released her first single, "Until You Understand Me". While working on her debut album, she was a presenter on a popular daily youth TV program in Israel, EXIT. In 2005, Maimon took part in the Kdam Eurovision, the pre-Eurovision song contest at which Israel's national entry is selected, and was not the favorite to win. She won first place for her performance of HaSheket SheNish'ar (Time to Say Goodbye). Thus she became Israel's representative at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev. She initially rebuffed suggestions that parts of the song should be performed in English. In the end, considering that foreign language songs had not been successful in the past, she agreed to sing half in Hebrew and half in English. She placed fourth in the contest, winning 154 points.
In September 2005, Maimon released her eponymous debut album, Shiri Maimon which went gold within a few months, selling over 20,000 copies. She appeared on the soap opera Yeladot Ra'ot (Bad Girls) on the Israeli Music Channel, where she played the role of Maya Gold, a talented singer and recording star trying to balance her career and her love life with caring for her drug addicted brother. Her first single out of her second album, was released in December 2007, entitled "Yoter Tov Lisloach" (Better to Forgive), and became a hit. In March 2006, she began starring in a musical version of an Israeli cult movie "The Band" in the Habima theater. In January 2008 her second album Rega Lifney She… (Just Before…) was released.
Winning the MTV Europe Awards as Best Israeli Act, she went to Liverpool, where she performed a new single, "Now That You're Gone". In competition for the "Europe's Favourite Act", she finished in 3rd place, before the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 Dima Bilan, and the famous British singer Leona Lewis. She was also chosen to take part in the Global One project, a worldwide project to record songs with successful local artists in their native languages in over 20 countries panning five continents around the world.
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