Israeli Singer Ofra Haza Dies

Ofra Haza, the Israeli pop singer whose voice was sampled on M.A.R.R.S.’ international dance hit “Pump Up The Volume,” died Wednesday night in Tel Aviv, Israel after suffering multiple organ failure caused by an unknown illness.

Haza, who was 42 years old (although some outlets in Israel have listed her age as 41), had been admitted into the respiratory intensive care unit at Sheba Hospital two weeks ago.

Although initial reports suggested that Haza was only suffering from pneumonia or an extended bout with the flu, “The Jerusalem Post” reports that her condition rapidly deteriorated after she entered the hospital.

By the end, Haza was unconscious after suffering liver and kidney failure and was said to be receiving intravenous drug treatment. Administrators at Sheba Hospital said that Haza’s heart finally stopped beating on Wednesday because of an abnormal increase in the amount of hydrogen in her body.

Haza, who was born in Tel Aviv on November 19,
1957, began her music career in the early ’70s and recorded several award-winning albums after joining a theatre troupe at the age of 12. After a two-year mandatory stint in the Israeli military, Haza launched a solo career and developed her unique vocal style, which she modeled after Yemeni folk singers.

Haza was sampled by Eric B and Rakim on 1987′s “Paid In Full,” a portion of which M.A.R.R.S. used for “Pump Up The Volume.” In 1992, Haza was nominated for a Grammy Award for her “Kirya” LP, which featured a guest appearance from Lou Reed.

Most recently, Haza contributed vocals to the animated feature “The Prince Of Egypt” and was featured on several songs on the soundtrack album, including “Deliver Us,” “Goodbye Brother,” and “Cry.”