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Rika ZARA

Rika was born on the 19th Feb 1938 in Jerusalem , as the second child of a family of jewish settlers.

Her mother Shula, who was a Polish descent, wished to become a doctor in medicine. But the Jewish persecutions shattered her dreams. As an athlete, she took part in some sporting competitions in Palestine, where she met Rika's father and decided to settle and stay there.

Rika's father, named Eliezer Gozman, came from a very poor Russian miller’s family. He made up his mind to leave Russia, and walked to the Promised Land. He worked at drying up swamps for many years, but kept studying on his own, and finally became an electronics engineer.

Life was hard, but the mum, was an energetic spirited woman, who supported her family with much strength. She expected good study results from her children. Also, as she pays a specular attention on musical education, Rika started, learning the piano at a very young age.

Rika left home to go to military service when she was seventeen. Her musical knowledge was noticed and she was soon appointed musical director for the Arts group of her Army center.

After her first taste of public praise, she decided to choose singing as her choice of career. She started performing in theatres and that is how, one day, she was discovered by a producer who offered her an oppotunity to perform at the Olympia in Paris.

To her, it was truly a dream come ! On the producer's recommendation, she decides to leave for Paris to chase for glory.

She only spoke English and Hebrew. Rika, who had left her husband, therefore found herself alone with a small child to feed and care for, and no job prospect, in a country in which she didn’t understand or speak the language. It was a very difficult time for her, and to survive, she sang in strip bars and brothels in Belgium and Germany. Little by little though, she learnt French, and things start slowly improving.

With songs which are all welcomed with success, Rika sings, tours and appears on television all over Europe. In 1965, she was signed by Philips. It was in 1969 that she would get her biggest hit ". But destiny took a dramatic turn, when, on November 9th 1969, as her and Jean-Pierre were driving home from a concert, their car crashed.

It was a catastrophe!  After 6 days in a coma, the doctors seemed to come to the conclusion that she would never walk again. She even thought about ending her life.But Rika was a fighter who would not accept defeat, and she decided she would work with all her willpower, against the odds, to regain her health and walk again. So, hidden from her doctors, she started using plants and clay treatments, and six weeks later was told by the same doctors that amazingly, her bones had started to heal and she was finally allowed home. Her body was in a cast shell still, but now she had hope, hope to walk again!

In 1970, she was still unable to move, laying in her bed with a microphone above it, Rika recorded her new hit "Balapapa".

After some well deserved rest Rika soon took to the road again to tour and perform in France but also Spain, Italy and Holland.

In 1972, she received the French Arts and Letters' knighthood.

Still extremely popular, she spent most of the 70's touring France. She released hit after hit. From December 16th 1976, she was due to perform at the Palais des Congrès in Paris in an American-style production, which was something totally new for her. But after years of traveling, hard work, stress and weight loss diets finally taking their toll, she had to cancel the show and went to rest in a Swiss clinic.

The 80's were on their way, and soon a new wave of artists were emerging. As for Rika she left Philips, her record company, and quitted the music scene to write a book on natural medicine, which when published in 1985 broke bookselling records!

In March 1985, a new book “Ma medecine naturelle" hits the bookshops.

In 1991 she released an album to celebrate 30 years in the music business. But the closure of her factory, judicial problems, her mother’s illness, brought Rika into a state of chronic depression. It was only in 1994 that by winning her court case she finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and again wrote about her experiences with “Ces émotions qui guérissent? published in 1995, and was once again a best seller and translated in many countries.Two other books would follow: “Le code secret de votre personnalité” and “Ma medicine naturelle?(revisited and with add-ons)

In 2000, Rika finally resumed her music career with the release of her new album. The sounds and rhythms of the album were so in touch with contemporary tastes. The success was huge.

In September 2006 Rika published her autobiography "L'espérance a toujours raison ". From hospital stays to physiotherapy centres, Rika fights the illness that is paralyzing the left side of her body. She is now rarely seen out in public. The music business would be really dull without her, so long live RIKA!.

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