Ofra Haza earned an international reputation as a singer on the strength of her blend of pop and traditional Yemeni music. At age twelve, Haza joined the Hatikvah Quarter Theater Workshop, where she met her future manager, workshop leader Besalel Aloni. She recorded her first hit song, “Ga’agu’im,” the following year. In 1979 she both acted and sang in the film Shlagger, her breakout success, leading to her four-year reign as Singer of the Year from 1980–1983. In 1983 she placed second in the Eurovision competition in Germany, and the following year, her album Shirei Teiman became an international sensation with its electronic remix of traditional Middle Eastern songs and instruments. In 1988 she won both the Golden Lion competition in Germany and the International Song Festival in Tokyo, and her album Shaday sold more than a million copies. In her brief career, she recorded 27 albums. She performed in concerts throughout Europe, America, and Israel, sang “L’Orech Ha’Yam” at the memorial service for Prime Minister Rabin, and performed “Jerusalem of Gold” for the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Israel. She died suddenly, in 2000, of what was revealed to be an AIDS-related illness.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Ofra Haza." (Viewed on March 17, 2018) <https://jwa.org/people/haza-ofra>.