Yael Naim

Yael Naim (Hebrew: יעל נעים‎, born 6 February 1978 in Paris, France), is an Israeli-French singer-songwriter. She rose to fame in 2008 in the US after her hit single "New Soul" was used by Apple in an advertising campaign for its MacBook Air. The song peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2013, the French government made her a knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.[1]

Yael Naim
Yael Naim in 2016
Yael Naim in 2016
Background information
Birth nameYael Naim
Born (1978-02-06) 6 February 1978 (age 42)
Paris, France
OriginRamat HaSharon, Israel
GenresIndie folk
InstrumentsVocals, piano, guitar, ukulele, keyboards
Years active2000–present
LabelsWarner Music France
Tôt ou tard
Atlantic Records


Yael Naim was born in Paris, France to Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Tunisia. At the age of four, she moved with her family to Ramat HaSharon, Israel, where she spent the rest of her childhood. She served in the Israel Defense Forces as a soloist in the Israeli Air Force Orchestra.[2]

She began her singing career with a part in the musical Les Dix Commandements[3] and her first solo album, In a Man's Womb (recorded in Los Angeles with Kamil Rustam), was released in 2001. She also sang the song "You Disappear" by Bruno Coulais for the film Harrison's Flowers. In her early work, she was credited simply as Yael. She also performed a duet with Din Din Aviv titled "Mashmauyot".[4] Her version of the Britney Spears song, Toxic also garnered significant attention.[5]

Naim joined with percussionist David Donatien [fr] and, over a period of two years, they arranged and recorded thirteen of Naim's songs in a studio in her apartment in Paris.[6] These were released as her second album, Yael Naim, on 22 October 2007, on the Tôt ou tard label. The songs are in French, English and Hebrew and received critical acclaim.[3] The album entered the French album chart at No. 11 the week after its release. Her style has been described as having a touch of folk and a touch of jazz, with mysterious and evocative words sung with a delicate and intentionally husky voice.[7]

In January 2008, Apple featured her song "New Soul" in its debut commercial for the MacBook Air laptop. Steve Jobs himself picked the song for the launch of the laptop line.[8][9][10] Owing to high U.S. digital sales, the song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 for the chart week of 16 February 2008, at No. 9, becoming Naim's first U.S. top ten single, and making her the first Israeli solo artist to ever have a top ten hit in the United States. "New Soul" moved up to No. 7 the following week. The song was also featured on the soundtrack of the movies The House Bunny and Wild Target. Her third album was released in November 2010. The first single from this new record was "Go to the River".

In 2016, she won her second Female Artist of the Year award at Victoires de la Musique, the French equivalent of the Grammys.[11] She previously won the award in 2011.[12]

Personal lifeEdit

She is married to David Donatien [fr], a Martiniquais musician, with whom she has two children.[11]


Studio albumsEdit

Year Album Peak positions
2001 In a Man's Womb  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
2007 Yael Naim 10 2 15 6  – 27  – 18 50
2008 Yael Naim and David Donatien
(jointly with David Donatien [fr])
 –  –  –  – 24  – 17  –  –
2010 She Was a Boy [fr]
(jointly with David Donatien [fr])
 – 27  – 14  –  –  – 63  –
2015 Older [fr]  – 22  – 12  –  –  –  –  –
2020 Nightsongs[19][20]  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –


Year Album Peak positions Album
2008 "New Soul" 29 2 1 7 2 4 6 12 21 5 30 7 Yael Naim
Performing in 2008.
  • 2001 – "You Disappear"
  • 2001 – "Do I Do"
  • 2001 – "Avril"
  • 2007 – "Toxic" (SPAIN Peak #35)
  • 2008 – "Too Long"
  • 2009 – "Far Far"
  • 2010 – "Go to the River"
  • 2010 – "The Only One"
  • 2011 – "Come Home"
  • 2015 – "Dream in My Head" (FRANCE Peak: #77)
  • 2015 – "Coward" (FRANCE Peak: #123)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Result
2008 Victoires de la Musique Album of the Year (World Music Category) Won
NRJ Music Awards Francophone Revelation of the Year Nominated
Prix Constantin Album of the Year Nominated
2009 Victoires de la Musique Best Female Singer of the Year Nominated
2011 Victoires de la Musique Best Female Singer of the Year Won


Naim's voice was used in a Season 21 episode of The Simpsons, entitled "The Greatest Story Ever D'ohed". She voiced Dorit, the niece of an Israeli tour guide named Jakob (voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen).[1]

Her single "Come Home" was in an episode of Season 7 of Grey's Anatomy and in episode 6 of the ABC Family series Switched at Birth. Also, her cover of Irene Cara's "Flashdance (What a Feeling)" was used in the promotion video of The Voice UK in 2014.


On 27 November 2015, she participated together with Nolwenn Leroy and Camélia Jordana at the national memorial day for the victims of the November 2015 Paris attacks singing the song "Quand on n'a que l'amour" from Jacques Brel.[23]


  1. ^ a b Older and Wiser, Singer Yael Naim Still Feels Like a New Soul Haaretz. 20 April 2015
  2. ^ Shechnik, Raz (29 July 2008). "Yael Naim makes the cut". Ynetnews. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Yael Naïm | LetsSingIt Lyrics". Artists.letssingit.com. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  4. ^ Din Din Aviv and Yael Naim – Mashmauyot on YouTube
  5. ^ Israeli Singer Yael Naim Embraces Apple, Britney Spears for Success Haaretz. 23 March 2008
  6. ^ "YAEL NAIM & david donatien | Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace.com. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Mac Ad Raises Yael Naim's Profile". Npr.org. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  9. ^ Hey, Let's Write a Song Called "Steve Jobs Is Dreamy" 100 And Single, Idolator. Accessed 12 February 2008
  10. ^ Farber, Jim. Apple ad creates recognition for Yael Naim, New York Daily News, 11 March 2008.
  11. ^ a b A French-Israeli Singer Takes an Unlikely Path to Success, The New York Times. 16 March 2019
  12. ^ French-Israeli Singer Claims Top Award in Paris Haaretz. 3 March 2011
  13. ^ a b "Yael Naim discography". austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Yael Naim discography". ultratop.be/nl/. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  15. ^ a b "Yael Naim discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  16. ^ a b "Yael Naim discography". italiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  17. ^ a b "Yael Naim discography". charts.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Yael Naim discography". hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  19. ^ Braithwaite, Andrew (18 February 2020). "Interview: Yael Naim on Latest Album 'NightSongs' and Upcoming Tour". Musictalkers.com. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  20. ^ McCarthy, Michael. "BETTER IN THE DARK: AN INTERVIEW WITH YAEL NAIM ABOUT HER NEW ALBUM NIGHTSONGS". Loveispop.com. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Yael Naim discography". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Yael Naim discography". dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  23. ^ Emeline Cazi; David Revault d'Allonnes. "Hommage aux morts des attentats aux invalides". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 29 November 2015.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
by Agnès Jaoui
Victoires de la Musique
World music album of the year
Yael Naim
by Yael Naim

Succeeded by
Tchamantché [fr]
by Rokia Traoré