Rita Jahanforuz : Iranian-Israeli Singer
Israel and Iran maybe at each other’s throats, but there’s some common thanks to our own Madonna – Rita.
The country’s most popular female singer – whose full name is Rita Jahanforuz was born in Iran, is fluent in Persian and moved to Israel as a small child where she became a one-name wonder in the Israeli pop world.
Her latest album, All My Joys, takes some of the Persian hits of old and recasts them with a Mediterranean flavor, in the process making it palatable to peoples on both sides of the divide.
Rita Yahan-Farouz (English: Jahanforuz; Hebrew: ריטה יהאן-פרוז; Persian: ریتا جهانفروز), stage name Rita, b. March 24, 1962) is an Iranian-born Israeli pop singer and actress, notable for being the most famous female singer in Israel. After becoming a professional singer and performer in the 1980s, she has appeared in numerous concerts, many being "packed" with fans, including members of government.
In 2011, she also became popular in Iran as an underground "singing sensation" after the release of various pop records which she sings in her native Persian language. Iran has tried to block Western-style pop music and filters the Internet. In 2012, her album "All My Joys," also sung in Persian, was popular in both Israel and Iran, going "gold" in Israel after three weeks. She has since been referred to as a "cultural ambassador" between Israeli and Iranian citizens, and states she hopes to "puncture the wall of tension" between their countries.
In its story on Rita – titled ‘Iran and Israel Can Agree on This: Rita Jahanforuz Totally Rocks’ and subtitled ‘Jewish Star Remakes Persian Oldies in Tel Aviv and Her Fans in Tehran Can’t Get Enough’, the WSJ reported that Rita’s Iranian fans use special software to download her songs online despite government censorship on the Internet.