(1949 - )
Shlomo Artzi's career in music was launched in the late 1960's as a soloist in the navy choral troupe. He then went on to appear in the Israel Folk Festivals, winning first place three times in five years: in 1970, for Pitom Hayom, Pitom Achshav (Suddenly Today, Suddenly Right Now); in 1973 for Shir Baboker Baboker (Early Morning Song); and in 1974 for Haballada al Baruch Jemili (The Ballad for Baruch Jemili).
Following these early achievements, Artzi's career declined, and his work was considered routine and unoriginal. Although adept at setting poems to music, notably those by Bialik, Tchernichovky, and Amichai, Artzi was unable to develop an authentic voice of his own. Only in 1978, with the release of his new album Gever Holech Leibud (A Man Losing His Way) did his career pick up with songs that reflected a new and more personal style. Many subsequent releases followed in quick succession, and Artzi became one of the most successful Israeli performers. He has sold more albums than any Israeli singer, and his lengthy performances, lasting easily three hours or more, are immensely popular. Artzi's music fuses rock with native Hebrew strains, and its most prominent recurring image is dance, as a symbol for life and vitality.