Yigal Bashan, singer and composer of Israeli classics, dies at 68


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Yigal Bashan, a beloved singer and composer of many classic Israeli songs, has died at the age of 68.

Bashan starred as part of the Kmo Tzo’anim trio for nearly a decade until 1995, appearing in the Israeli children’s show “Hopa Hey.” The trio is known for losing the 1985 contest to represent Israel in Eurovision by a single point.

They then wrote a song titled “Anachnu Nisharim Ba’aretz,” or “We’re Staying in Israel,” which proved to be more popular than their entry for Eurovision. His other classics included  “Sivan” and “Eretz Hatzabar.”

Bashan released dozens of albums, including several in English, over his more than 40-year career.

He was found dead in his home on Sunday. His last performance was 10 days before his death, in Herzliya.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin described Bashan as a “singer for grown-ups who was also the undisputed leader of ‘Hopa Hey’ and an integral part of so many childhoods.”

In 2016, Bashan was honored with a Life Achievement Award by ACUM, Israel’s performance-rights organization.

Bashan is survived by his wife of more than 40 years, fashion designer Mika Bashan, and two children.

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