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February 2: Dana International

lawrencebush
February 2, 2013

Israeli pop star Dana International was born on this date in 1972. She released her first album in 1993, the year in which she had sex reassignment surgery and transitioned from being Yaron Cohen to being Sharon Cohen. Of Yemenite and Romanian Jewish ancestry, Dana International has recorded eight albums and three compilation recordings and was the winner of the 1998 Eurovision song competition — though her victory horrified ultra-Orthodox authorities in Israel. Before her sex change, Cohen earned a living as Israel's first famous drag queen, parodying well-known divas. To see her singing an English version of her best-known song, "Viva la Diva," click below.

"I'm standing for a liberal Israel, an Israel which accepts the human being no matter how you are, no matter how you look like and no matter what sex or race you are." —Dana International