Pop singers Eyal Golan and Keren Peles were named Israel's Artists of the Year earlier this week by the Pelephone cellphone company, which based the annual honors on the number of times songs, performances and video clips by the two singers were downloaded onto its cellphones. Golan's single "Im Yesh Gan Eden" broke records set in previous years to become the most-downloaded song of 2006, with some 20,000 Pelephone customers purchasing the song as a ringtone or downloading it for listening on their cellphones.
The award caps off a breakthrough year for Peles, who'd written hits for Miri Mesika and Harel Ska'at before releasing her debut album, Im Eleh Hahayim (If This is Life) earlier in 2006. Among Peles' most high-profile admirers is Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who cited the single "Shimon Hashachen" while identifying himself as a Peles fan this fall during an appearance on Channel 2 talk show Yair Lapid.
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