Svika Pick, prolific Israeli singer-songwriter, dies at 72

Svika Pick, a pillar of the Israeli music industry who gained international attention after his song won the Eurovision Song Contest, has died. He was 72 years old.

Pick, known as “the maestro” in Israeli pop circles, was a prolific singer, songwriter and songwriter who penned dozens of No. 1 hits. Israeli radio interrupted regular programming to broadcast his music.

Pick’s catchy pop songs, dating back to the 1970s, have become a nation’s soundtrack. He began his stage career with a role in the musical “Hair” and over the decades has become a mainstay of the Israeli music scene. A collection of his songs was turned into a musical in the early 2000s.

Among his best-known tracks was “Diva”, written for the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest and performed by singer Dana International. This song won the campy contest that year, and observers have repeatedly chosen it as one of the contest’s all-time best entries. In a report. Dana International called Pick “an Israeli cultural icon. A pioneer. A gifted composer. The king of Israeli pop.

Early in her career, Pick brought glitz to the Israeli music scene with her iconic David Bowie dress and long hair at a time when artists and audiences in the country were more conservative.

The Pick name gained international recognition when Daniella Pick, one of Zvika’s four children, married American director Quentin Tarantino. The couple recently welcomed a second child and divide their time between Israel and the United States

Pick suffered a stroke in 2018 which hampered his speech and movement. Although his condition has since improved somewhat, he has not returned to play or write as often as before.

Pick’s death drew condolences from all walks of Israeli life, including politicians, fellow artists and ordinary Israelis. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Pick’s songs “entered into Israeli hearts and culture and became an anthem.”

“Svika passed away today, but his songs and compositions he left behind will continue to be played for years to come,” Lapid said.

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