Israel crowns new ‘Idol’

JERUSALEM (JTA) – A daughter of Ethiopian immigrants won Israel’s version of “American Idol.”

Hagit Yasso, a velvet-voiced 21-year-old from Sderot, garnered the most votes to take first place in the televised song content “Kochav Nolad” (“A Star is Born”) on Saturday night.

Yasso, whose parents are Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia, served in a musical troupe in the Israeli military and has since worked as a kindergarten assistant in communities on the Gaza periphery. Her repertoire during “Kochav Nolad” suggested an affection for R&B and soul, in addition to Hebrew pop and folk classics.

“I hope to try to combine all of the things I like, so that I create something that is purely mine,” she told Army Radio on Sunday, when asked about her career plans.

Nine seasons old and broadcast over Israel’s top-rated Channel Two television, “Kochav Nolad” has a track record of streamlining young talent toward Israel’s music industry, as well as acting and advertising.

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