Rock band Izabo to represent Israel at Eurovision

2012 European song contest to be held in Azerbaijan; Israel has won competition three times.

February 7, 2012 19:12
1 minute read.

Izabo 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Rock band Izabo will represent Israel in the 2012 Eurovision song competition set to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan in May, with their single 'Time', the Israel Broadcasting Authority announced on Tuesday.

Izabo, which performs its mix of hard rock, high-pitched wailing vocals, Arabic-tinged guitar work and dance beats in English, was signed to British record label 100% records in June.

The quartet, featuring Ran Shem Tov, Shiri Hadar, Jonathan Levi and Nir Mantzur has already built up a following in Europe with numerous festival appearances based on the popularity of its second album, 2008’s Super Light which was released by Sony BMG.

Israel was represented by singer Dana International's song "Ding Dong" in last year's Eurovision competition in Dusseldorf, Germany. The pop star failed to make it into the final round of the competition. Azerbaijan's Eldar Gasimov and Niga Jamal, known as Ell/Nikki, won the 2011 contest with their duet "Running Scared".

Israel has triumphed at the Eurovision on three occasions. The first was in 1978 in Paris when Izhar Cohen won with “Aba Nibi,” composed by Nurit Hirsh with lyrics by Ehud Manor. Israel won again in Jerusalem in 1979 when Gali Atari, backed by Milk and Honey, performed “Hallelujah” composed by Kobi Oshrat with lyrics by Shimrit Orr. In 1998, Dana International won the Eurovision contest with her song "Diva," making her the only transsexual to ever win the European song contest.

Eurovision, which is one of the longest-running and most widely watched television shows in the world, was inaugurated on May 24, 1956.

David Brinn contributed to this report.

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