Svika Pick, the Israeli composer who helped to write and compose his country’s 1998 winning entry “Diva” has died at the age of 72.

Pick, also known as Zvika or Tzvika Pick, composed Dana International’s song that saw her triumph in Birmingham in 1998, and teamed up on the lyrics with Yoav Ginai. He also had a hand in two other Eurovision entries, joining forces again with Ginai on 2002’s “Light a Candle” by Sarit Hadad, and co-writing Ukraine’s debut entry in 2003, Olexandr’s “Hasta la Vista”.

Born in Wrocław, Poland on 3rd October 1949, his family migrated to Israel in 1957, where Pick studied music in Ramat Gan and performed in local bands in his teen years. Svika became a popular performer during the 1970s, competing on many occasions to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest but not making it to the contest. He also composed entries for Belarus’ Angelica Agurbash in 2005 and Israel’s Harel Ska’at and Georgia’s Sopho Nizharadze in 2010, although all three entries didn’t make it to the contest.

Outside of Eurovision, Svika was a judge on Kokhav Nolad, the local version of Idol, between 2005 and 2009. He is also the father-in-law of acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino, through his marriage to Pick’s daughter Daniella.

Our thoughts at ESC United are with Svika Pick’s family, friends and loved ones at this sad time.

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