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August 14, 2022 2:23 pm
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King of Pop Dies: Israeli Politicians, Fellow Artists Pay Tribute to Legendary ‘Maestro’ Zvika Pick

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Israeli singer and songwriter Zvika Pick. Photo: Wikipedia, Michal Vardi Kahana

Legendary Israeli rock star and composer Zvika Pick, who produced numerous hits during his lifetime, died on Sunday at the age of 72.

“Pick sang ‘Music penetrates the heart,’ a phrase that best describes most of his songs and tunes that penetrated the heart and Israeli culture and became an inalienable asset,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid stated. “ He was a revolutionary artist of his generation and one of the pillars of Israeli pop.”

Many politicians, fellow composer, singers, and Israelis remembered the Israeli music legend, who was also called “The Maestro,” for shaping Israeli culture and leaving behind songs that entered every home and every heart in Israel, becoming soundtracks for the nation.

The Poland-born rock star with his trademark long-hair, round sunglasses, and extravagant dress started his music career in the mid-60s as the vocalist in several Israeli rock bands. His breakthrough came in the early 1970s when Pick played a lead part in the Hebrew version of the musical Hair.

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“Pick immigrated to Israel at the age of 8 from Poland, in the same months that my parents immigrated. Maybe that’s why they liked him at home,” said Israel’s Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz. “I really adored him as a child, and bought all his records [and] to this day, his great songs are some of the most beautiful of Israeli songs.”

Fellow Israeli singer-songwriter Shlomo Artzi wrote on his Facebook page that “the seventies were filled with melodies and wonderful songs of Zvika Pick.”

“He was one of a kind, bold and impressive,” Artzi said. “Every song was a pleasure to the ears and enters straight into the heart.”

Pick produced numerous no.1 hits, including Mary Lou but his international claim to fame, he struck with the song Diva which he wrote for Israeli pop singer Dana International and won the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest. Later on in the early 2000s, some of his songs were turned into a musical. In 2018, Pick suffered a stroke which affected his speech and movement.

In his eulogy, Israeli President Isaac Herzog described Pick as an artist who brought new life to the Israeli cultural landscape and created a revolutionary change.

“His extraordinary talent as an artist yielded beautiful pearls to Israeli culture,” Herzog. “He was very Israeli and deeply connected to the richness of Israeli traditional roots, while simultaneously showing the beautiful face of Israel to the world.”

To the world outside Israel, the Pick family became more known in 2018, when his daughter Daniella got married to the Hollywood filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.

“Pick was neither east nor west – he was east and west,” tweeted Defense Minister Benny Gantz. “Pick’s songs were the most international and the most Israeli – and this combination created for us many moments of musical magic that will forever play in our hearts and in our memories.”

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