The show’s producers and Rihanna’s management are in advanced talks for a performance at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv in late October, according to the report. Rihanna performed at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium in 2010.
The Barbados-born singer’s profile has skyrocketed in recent years with such hits as “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been.” Only 25, she has already sold some 30 million albums and 120 singles worldwide making her one of the most successful pop artists of all time.
A video of Rihanna’s 2010 Israel show is posted below:
Ten years later Aynaw, 22, is the first Ethiopian-Israeli to be crowned Miss Israel — a title she hopes to use to showcase Israel’s diversity.
“Israel really accepts everybody,” she told JTA. “That I was chosen proves it.”
Ethiopian and other African-Israelis have historically struggled with poverty and integration. But recently, several African-Israeli women have made a pop culture splash.
Along with Aynaw, Ethiopian-Israeli actress Ester Rada, 28, has just released her first solo rock record to positive reviews. And Ahtaliyah Pierce, a 17-year-old Black Hebrew Israeli, reached the semifinals on Israel’s edition of “The Voice,” a reality show in which emerging singers compete.
Though their personal stories diverge, each woman has experienced challenges as an African immigrant and wants to use her fame to help other African immigrants better integrate into Israeli society.
“It’s hard for Ethiopians to adapt, but they should be who they are, be the best that they can be,” said Rada, who was born in Jerusalem to Ethiopian parents who spoke Amharic at home. “Don’t let others keep you down or make you feel like we don’t belong.”
Rada’s parents stayed close to their Ethiopian roots, eating traditional foods and listening to traditional music. But Rada rebelled. She refused to speak Amharic and failed to understand why she should feel tied to a country she had never seen and did not understand.
In recent years, the resistance has softened. Ethiopian culture “is a part of me and I can’t run away from it,” Rada said. “I decided to embrace it. And it’s helped me define who I am, in my culture and in my music.”
Aynaw says it’s important for Israelis to see the positive side of the Ethiopian community. She compares the effect of her winning Miss Israel to Barack Obama’s election as president of the United States. The two met at the Israeli president’s residence during Obama’s recent trip to the region.
“There are wonderful things about the [Ethiopian] community, and it’s important that [Israelis] see it,” she told JTA. “Israel is a multicultural state. We’re diverse and we come from different countries, so we need to show that outwardly.”
Rada and Pierce report incidents of racism directed at them because of their skin color. A woman once accused Rada of coming to Israel only for the money. And Pierce says in her hometown of Dimona, she used to be called “kushi,” a Hebrew pejorative used to describe blacks.
“There are many stigmas about the community, and unfortunate stories,” said Hava Tizazu, an Ethiopian-Israeli actress who works with at-risk African youth. “Now there are new personalities who are beautiful and positive. It helps to change the image, but it’s just one step in a longer process.”
Since she advanced to the semifinals on “The Voice,” Pierce says the slurs have all but stopped. She was voted off the show in March, but like Rada she hopes to keep performing after her army service.
“I want to be on stage,” Pierce said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m modeling, singing or acting. I have to be on stage.”
Aynaw also hopes to model and act, and to support youth arts clubs during her year as Miss Israel. She will represent Israel at the Miss World competition in September in Indonesia.
“I feel like a very important person,” Aynaw said. “I don’t usually get up and see myself on all of the TV channels. I’m definitely getting used to it.”
JTA’s Chavie Lieber contributed to this story.
Rumors that troubled Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan has been dating Israeli guitarist Avi Snow of the rock band “City of the Sun,” have been circulating for about a week, but a photo of the couple locking lips at a club in Santa Monica, California made it official.
“(Lohan) arrived late, just before the band went on,” an onlooker said. “She was kissing Avi passionately in the corner of the club – then the band went onstage.”
In an exclusive phone interview with Ynet on Wednesday, Snow said, “Until the photos were published I did not know we were together; it’s very new.”
Snow, 24, was born in the US and made aliyah to Israel at age 15. Following his IDF service in a Paratroopers Brigade unit, Snow began working as a security guard, and then decided to travel to the US, where he remained.
“We met through mutual friends, but at first we were just friends,” he told Ynet from New York. “With time it developed. It does not thrill me that much that I’m dating Lindsey. I’m dating her because she is a great girl,” Snow said in a heavy American accent. ”
Does she know you’re Israeli?
“Of course. She has only good things to say about Israel. She supports us and even told me she plans to visit Israel.”
In the past she had an Israeli girlfriend. Did she mention her to you?
“Yes, as soon as she understood I was Israeli she told me about her Israeli girlfriend. A woman named Eilat Anschel. I only know who she is because Lindsey told me about her.”
The concerts will take place June 15-16 at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium, the Israel media reported.
On June 18, Streisand will perform at the opening ceremony of the Israeli Presidential Conference, which will be marking Peres’ milestone birthday.
Streisand reportedly has visited Israel many times, and is a strong supporter of Israel, but has never performed in the Jewish state.
One of the best-selling musicians of all time, Streisand has sold some 72.5 million records in the United States. She performed at last month’s Oscars for the first time in 36 years.
Some 4,500 people are expected to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference.