Israeli Singer Meir Banai Dies Aged 55

The celebrated Israeli singer and songwriter Meir Banai died on Thursday evening at age 55.

Banai, who was behind some of Israel’s most notable rock and pop hits of recent decades, passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer, reports in Hebrew-language media said.

He was a member of one of the most prominent show business families in the country that includes several acclaimed musicians, actors and entertainers.

Banai’s sister Orna is a popular comedian and actress and his brother Evyatar is also a well-known singer. Cousins Yuval and Ehud have also made a major mark on the Israeli rock music scene.

His first single, “Evyatar,” released in 1982, was about his younger brother. Throughout his career, he released 10 albums.

Best known for his pop-rock ballads, Banai’s music was often characterized by a fusion of blues and Mediterranean sounds.

After he reconnected with his religious roots in the mid-2000s, he began to include mystical and spiritual themes in his music.

His last studio album, 2007’s “Shma Koli,” heavily influenced by traditional Jewish liturgical texts, was met with critical acclaim.

Banai is set to be buried in Jerusalem on Friday.

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