Israeli singer cracks Billboard Top 10

Yael Naim has become the first Israeli to crack the coveted list.

Yael Naim 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Yael Naim 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
An indie artist from Ramat Hasharon has become the first Israeli to crack the Billboard Top 10. Yael Naim, a 29-year-old IDF veteran, earned Billboard's coveted "Hot Shot" designation last week with "New Soul," an English-language single that scored the highest debut of any song on the music magazine's singles chart. The song ranked ninth in total sales across the United States on the chart issued February 16, ranking between singles by rapper Snoop Dogg and Jamaican dancehall newcomer Sean Kingston. The song also ranked second on Billboard's list of digital singles, while Naim's self-titled album landed at sixth on the magazine's digital albums chart. The song's soaring Billboard debut follows a week spent at #1 on the iTunes Top Songs list, and certified Naim's rapid emergence on the American music scene. Unknown in the US a month ago, Naim has become the breakout performer of early 2008 with "New Soul," which earned massive exposure last month after being selected for an aggressive marketing campaign for the MacBook Air laptop. Born in Paris to immigrants from Tunisia, Naim moved to Israel as a four-year-old, later serving in the IDF and recording songs in French, English and Hebrew.