Over the summer, we are featuring a new series called Beyond Eurovision. Every week, we look at what happened to Eurovision stars since they took part in the contest. Next up in the series is Shiri Maimon, who represented Israel in 2005.
Shiri Maimon rose to fame after finishing first runner-up in Kokhav Nolad, a new singing talent show, in 2003. The show was very successful and helped her make a name for herself in the mainstream music industry.
Following Kokhav Nolad success, she joined EXIT – a youth TV program – as a host while working on her debut album. She released her first single “Ad SheTavin Oti” in 2004 which was moderately successful
Career during and immediately after Eurovision
In early 2005, she took part in Kdam Eurovision with “Hasheket Shenish’ar”. She won the national final with an overwhelming margin and went on to represent the country at Eurovision where she finished in 4th place, scoring 154 points. This was Israel’s best result in the new millenium until Netta and “Toy” won the contest in 2018.
Her Eurovision participation garnered a lot of positive attention from the Israeli public. “Hasheket Shenish’ar” became the most played song on Israeli radio in 2005 and it helped solidify her career.
Not long after her Eurovision success, Shiri released her third single. “Ahava Ktana” became a big hit, and the music video has 3 million views on Youtube. This is even more impressing considering it was uploaded as late as 2013, almost a decade after the song came out.
In September 2005, she released her debut album which she named after herself. It was quickly certified gold, selling over 20,000 copies. She released two more singles – “Kama Pe’amim” and “Le’an SheLo Telchi” – off the album, both of which were successful.
First English languaged album and international recognition
“Yoter Tov Lisloach” was the first single off her second album, and an English version was also recorded for her first international album. Rega Lifney She… and Standing On My Own were both released in January 2008.
Three additional singles were released from Rega Lifney She…; “KsheHalachta”, “Tohavi Ktzat Et Atzmekh” and “VeRatziti SheTed’i”. None of them enjoyed the same level of success as her previous singles, but “KsheHalachta” became a popular memorial song.
In late 2008, she released “Chelek Mimcha” and an English version called “Now That You’re Gone” specifically for the MTV Europe Music Awards that year. She won Best Israeli Act and got to perform the song at the show after becoming one of the five local winners who also got nominated for “Europe’s Favorite Act”.
Successful collaboration and long awaited solo projects
Her fourth album, released in 2011, was a live album in collaboration with Shimon Buskila. The album has been certified platinum, selling more than 40,000 copies. During this collaboration, the duo also toured and released a few singles, including “Shir Tikva” which did well on radio.
Four years after her last solo project, she came out with another album titled Sheleg Ba’sharav in 2012. Among the singles released from this album was the title track as well as “Mekhaka SheTashuv”.
Earlier this year, after an eight year wait, Shiri released Neshima, an album consisting of songs she released some years prior as well as a new song. The album tracks include “Zchuchiyot” which was the 10th most played song on Israeli radio in 2015 and “Neshima”, which currently has 3 million views on youtube.
Acting gigs and TV work
Shiri hasn’t only been releasing music since her Eurovision participation. She’s also dabbled in acting, both on stage and on screen.
In 2006, she was on a soap opera called Yeladot Ra’ot and she starred in a musical version of HaLehaka, a famous Israeli movie.
Furthermore, she played Eva Perón in the famous musical Evita, playing some 200 shows until it closed. Shiri then made her Broadway debut when she played Roxie Hart in Chicago for two weeks in 2018. She’s also played Jasmine in the musical Aladdin VeYasmin.
In addition to her acting roles, she’s also worked on TV in different capacities. In 2011 she returned to her Eurovision roots and hosted Kdam Eurovision. Since 2013, she’s been a judge on X-Factor Israel.
Who would you like to see featured in Beyond Eurovision next? Check out the previous parts of the series here.
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