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Renowned Israeli singer-songwriter Arik Einstein dies at 74

  |   Nov. 26, 2013 at 8:34 PM
TEL AVIV, Israel, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Singer Arik Einstein -- Israel's "Frank Sinatra" -- died of a ruptured aneurysm Tuesday night at a Tel Aviv hospital, a hospital official said. He was 74.

Einstein was stricken at his home, complaining of shortness of breath and collapsing, and was rushed to Sourasky Medical Center where he died on the operating table just before 11 p.m., hospital director Gabi Barbash told reporters.

"Arik Einstein arrived while being resuscitated," Barbash said.

"He died as a result of a ruptured aneurysm. We operated on him, but his condition was too difficult for us to save him."

Singer Israel Gurion called Einstein "a great friend and a great singer," The Jerusalem Post reported.

"He was our Frank Sinatra," Gurion said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the singer-songwriter's tunes were "the soundtrack of the country."

"Arik was the greatest of them all," Netanyahu said. "We all grew up on his songs. You said 'Arik Einstein' and you said 'the Land of Israel.' He was a wonderful singer and a wonderful person."

President Shimon Peres said Einstein's was following was multigenerational and his "musical notes will continue to fill the country, even after his passing."

"He wrote his songs during our difficult days and during our uplifting moments" Peres said. "I loved his songs, and knew what many others know: there was no one else like him."

Einstein partnered with Shalom Hanoch to create the first local rock albums, the Post said. Einstein's hits included "Ani Ve'ata" (Me and You), "Sa Le'at" (Drive Slowly), Yesh Li Ahava (I Have Love) and "Oof Gozal" (Fly, Little Bird).

Einstein is survived by four daughters, two with his current wife, Sima Eliyahu, and two with his first wife, Alona, who died of cancer in 2006.

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