Prominent singer Meir Banai dies at 55

Singer and songwriter Meir Banai, who was a member of prominent show business family, dies after lengthy battle with cancer.

Ido Ben Porat,

Meir Banai
Meir Banai
Flash 90

Singer and songwriter Meir Banai, one of the most well-known musicians in Israel, passed away on Thursday evening at the age of 55.

Banai died at his home in Moshav Ganot, located in central Israel, after a long battle with cancer. His funeral will be held on Friday at 12:00 p.m. at Har Hamenuchot in Jerusalem.

Meir Banai was a member of the famous Banai family, which is one of the most prominent show business families in Israel. He was a nephew of the late Israel Prize laureate Yossi Banai, and brother of actress Orna Banai and singer Evyatar Banai.

Banai’s first album came out over 30 years ago. His last studio album, “Shma Koli” (lit. Hear My Voice), was released in 2007 and included Jewish liturgical texts from different time periods.

Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev eulogized Banai and said, "We are saying goodbye today to Meir Banai, who hails from the Banai family. I liked listening to his songs, which echoed his uniqueness as an artist and as a person.”

President Reuven Rivlin said of Banai, "Maybe it's his voice that thrills the heart, maybe it’s the meaning behind his songs, but every time I heard him sing my mind drifted and identified with the music.

“Meir Banai, I will remember you as a young man, hiding a shy smile, a wonderful songwriter and a rare musician. My condolences to the Banai family," added the president.