JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli singer and composer Shmulik Kraus, who helped in the evolution of Israeli music, has died.
Kraus, a recipient of the Minister of Education and Culture Award for Life Achievement, died Feb. 17 after being hospitalized 10 days earlier with swine flu. He was 77.
The Jerusalem native helped advance Israeli music from its traditional form to modern Israeli pop and rock and roll.
His song “Hatishma Koli” was chosen by astronaut Ilan Ramon to be played as the ill-fated Columbia Space Shuttle orbited the earth in 2003.
Kraus began his musical career in the 1950s, and in the late 1960s joined the iconic Israeli band Hahalonot Hagvohim, or The High Windows, with Arik Einstein. His wife, Josie Katz, also was a member of the band, but they would later divorce. Kraus also joined the Lul group of singers and musicians.
He was awarded the government’s life achievement award in 2006.
Kraus had a history of violence and was hospitalized several times in a mental hospital.