A million YouTube subscribers for Israeli pop star Netta

Barzilai burst onto the international music scene when she won Eurovision in 2018, singing the self-empowerment anthem, “Toy.”

 NETTA BARZILAI at her home studio in Tel Aviv last year (photo credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS)
NETTA BARZILAI at her home studio in Tel Aviv last year
(photo credit: NIR ELIAS/REUTERS)

Pop diva Netta Barzilai has just broken a new record: She is the first Israeli musical artist to have one million subscribers on YouTube.

Barzilai posted a message on her Instagram account, thanking her subscribers and saying, “1 million Pink Rhinoceros” – her affectionate name for her fans and a reference to the image that opens her “Bassa Sababa” video (which has amassed more than 218 million views since it was released two years ago). “Thank you for the high you gave me today.”

Barzilai burst onto the international music scene when she won Eurovision in 2018, singing the self-empowerment anthem, “Toy.”

Her latest girl-power anthem, “CEO,” and its accompanying video, which was released in October, has more than 3.6 million views and likely attracted some new subscribers. The video features Barzilai’s trademark mix of English-language upbeat pop, complete with cartoon-like visual effects and costumes, an in-your-face delivery and a high-energy dance. 

She plays a worker in a fast-food chain who defies the corporate overlords who own the business and was quoted by ShoreFire Media as saying, “I have often found it extremely hard to make decisions by myself, letting other people’s fears, agendas and preferences penetrate my mind, until it’s completely submissive. I am the mothaf**kin’ CEO of my business, my life and my journey. I’m manifesting control back into my life. 

“I wrote ‘CEO’ as a call for everyone to join the tribe, be fearless and fierce, and make your own choices.”

Israel’s Netta reacts after winning the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena hall in Lisbon, Portugal, last May. (credit: PEDRO NUNES/REUTERS)Israel’s Netta reacts after winning the Grand Final of Eurovision Song Contest 2018 at the Altice Arena hall in Lisbon, Portugal, last May. (credit: PEDRO NUNES/REUTERS)

The always outspoken entertainer made headlines earlier this month for refusing to perform at the Miss Universe pageant in Eilat. In a statement released to Channel 13, she said that while she was “flattered by the offer to perform at the ceremony,” she would not take part. 

“Even though I see a lot of beauty in it [the pageant], I still cannot see myself standing on a stage where women are judged by appearance, body size, height, and weight... Although updates have been made in accordance with the times, I still think beauty pageants are a harsh concept. They are outdated and diminishing. It’s time to move on.”

Another popular Israeli performer, Noa Kirel, who has more than 536k YouTube subscribers herself, performed instead at the pageant.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.