Lived: June 9, 1952 - October 17, 2004
Why you should know him: An Israeli singer, songwriter, and TV star, Hitman was known for his distinctive voice and his Hebrew songs.
The son of Holocaust survivors, Uzi Hitman was born and raised in Israel. His father was a cantor, so Uzi learned religious and liturgical music at a young age, but enjoyed the songs of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, as well as opera. Because of this love of music, Uzi's parents gave him a guitar when he was 11, which he taught himself to play. His grandmother also gave him a piano when he was 17. This early love of music led Uzi to join the Israeli Central Command's military entertainment troupe when he served in the IDF from 1971 to 1973.
Uzi first found fame in 1976 when he wrote a new melody for the Jewish hymn, "Adon Olam (Eternal Lord)." He gained polularity throughout the next two decades, writing over 650 songs, including "Kan (Here)" which placed third in the 1991 Eurovision contest. He also made younger fans in the 1980s by appearing in Israeli children's TV shows. Sadly, Uzi died of a heart attack at the young age of 52. In his honor, the city of Ramat Gan renamed the square in his neighborhood Kikar Hitman (Hitman Square).
The above song is one of his most beloved, "Ratziti Sheteda (I Wanted You to Know)," and opens with the following lyrics:
My God, I wanted you to know
A dream I dreamt last night in bed
And in the dream I saw an angel
From the heavens he came to me and said thus:
I have come from the heavens, I have traveled far,
To deliver a Blessing of Peace to all children,
To deliver a Blessing of Peace to all children.