Arik Einstein, an iconic Israeli singer and an artist considered by many to be the grandfather of modern Israeli music, died Tuesday at the age of 74.
He had been admitted to the hospital earlier today and was listed in critical condition.
“I expressed deep regret over the death of singer Arik Einstein. Eric was the best. We all grew up on his songs,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today.
“Erik was a great and wonderful person…I loved him very much. The culture he brought to the State of Israel will be missed. My wife and I are very saddened today.”
Einstein was born in Tel Aviv to a creatively talented family, which encouraged him to audition for the Nahal Brigade entertainment troupe, which he was accepted into.
He had a prolific career in the Israeli entertainment industry, as a singer, songwriter and actor. He was vocalist for bands Green Onion, Yakon Bridge Trio, and The High Windows.
He also played a crucial role in identifying and promoting new talent, helping bring previously unknown names like Yankele Rotblit, Shalom Hanoch, Miki Gavrielov and Yoni Rechter into the limelight.
Einstein took part in the 1970 television series “Chicken Coop,” as well as several Israeli films, including “Snail.”
In 2005, Ynet readers ranked him the 22nd greatest Israeli of all time.
“He knows how to be inside the song in an absolute way, while somehow, at the same time, standing outside of it at a distance, as an observer,” poet Eli Mohar once said of the performer, according to Haaretz.
Einstein is survived by his three children.