French-Israeli singer Yael Naim was declared France’s singer of the year Saturday in the 31st Victoires de la Musique, the country’s equivalent of the Grammys.
Naim (whose name in Hebrew means pleasant) won the prize, awarded annually by the French Ministry of Culture, for the second time in her career (the first was in 2011) for her album Older, recorded in collaboration with French multi-instrumentalist David Donatien. In 2008 she won a Victoires prize for album of the year, for a selection of songs recorded with Donatien simply titled Yael Naim and David Donatien.
Her prize for Older gives her label, Tot ou Tard, two wins this year. The other was for an album by newcomer Vianney.
Older was also nominated in the album of the year.
Naim, 38, was born in Paris but lived in Israel from the age of 4 to 21 and served in the IDF, in the military orchestra.
Her music career was massively boosted when Apple picked a song from her debut album, New Soul, and used it in an ad for the Macbook Air laptop computer.
Naim thanked “this wonderful country that welcomed me more than 15 years ago” and expressed hope that “everyone will remain open to one another.”
She will be heading to the US shortly for two shows ahead of the American release of Older. The short tour will mark her first US performances since 2011.
The French Victoire awards have been given since the mid-1980s. They are the French parallel of the American Grammy Awards and the UK’s Brit Awards.
— AFP contributed to this report.