French-Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naim won the top French award for female singer of the year Tuesday. Naim, who released a highly successful album last year, was competing at the annual French Music Awards against several other high-profile performers - including actress and pop star Vanessa Paradis, and French-Nigerian singer Asa, seen as a rising star in France.
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This marked the second time Naim was vying for the award, having been nominated in 2008 for her eponymous sophomore album, which included her breakthrough single "New Soul." That song was chosen by Apple for its Macbook Air's global campaign in January 2008, hitting number two on the Apple iTunes download chart by February and seventh place on the American Billboard chart.
Born to Tunisian parents in Paris, Naim, 32, spent her childhood in Ramat Hasharon and served in the Israel Airforce Orchestra. She proceeded to act in the successful musical "Les Dix Commandements" ("The 10 Commandments" ) by Elie Chouraqui and stayed on in Paris.
Her first album, "In a Man's Womb" (released in 2001 ), was met with only moderate success. Her second album and the subsequent Apple campaign brought her fame, with tracks in English, French and Hebrew. Her third and latest effort, "She Was a Boy" (released last year ), done entirely in English with a mix of pop, jazz and folk, won her the French title of singer of the year.