Popular Israeli music duo Static and Ben-El announced on Thursday that they were parting ways after seven years of successful partnership, amid a series of public scandals.
In a joint statement the pair posted on their social media accounts amid growing rumors of a split, they declared the time had come to go their separate ways.
“We both decided it was time for each of us to go our separate ways,” wrote Static (real name Liraz Russo) and Ben-El Tavori, the estranged son of iconic Israeli singer Shimi Tavori.
“The incredible project called Static and Ben-El has changed our lives forever,” they added. “From two kids with a dream to the band of the decade, with millions [online] views, thousands of performances in Israel and abroad and truly a fulfilling endeavor and a dream come true – all thanks to you.”
The pair writes that the decision “was not easy, but it is not new either. We still love each other very much and of course we will support each other in everything.”
The musical duo, who in recent years have been pursuing international fame, wrote that “we feel that we have reached the end of our musical project and each of us wants to explore ourselves individually and bring you new music that breaks boundaries, just like we did seven years ago.”
In 2018, the duo signed a 10-year, $5 million deal with Capitol Records brokered by Israeli-American music mogul Haim Saban. They have since released a series of English-language singles with moderate success, including collaborations with the popular artist Pitbull on the 2020 single “Further Up”, with the Black Eyed Peas later that year on “Shake Ya Boom Boom”, and with Snoop Dogg on “Ziki Ziki” earlier this year.
Despite a local media buzz, the couple’s English-language singles failed to gain chart success in the United States. The future of their deal with Capitol Records remains unclear following their split. A request for comment from the record label’s parent company was not immediately returned.
Pressure on the pair has intensified in recent weeks as their personal lives have come under increased media focus. Static, who married his longtime girlfriend Sarit last year, faced rumors of a cheating scandal and was the subject of intense tabloid speculation that his marriage was coming to an end. He denied all the rumors and even filed a lawsuit against Ron Nesher, a rapper with whom he had a long feud, who released a song accusing him of such behavior.
And in recent weeks, Tavor, who has been embroiled in a messy custody battle with his ex-girlfriend over their son Tav, 3, has faced a slew of unflattering headlines for his behavior.
Last week, recordings of Tavor shouting at his ex, Ortal Amar, and threatening to cut off all contact with his son and – somewhat illogically – to turn him against her, were released by the newspaper Israel Hayom.
“I don’t want to see him again in my life”, Tavori can be heard shouting in the recordings, among various insults and threats towards Amari.
Following the release of the recordings, the Strauss Group, which ran a long campaign with the pair to promote its Milky Pudding product – including a sponsored song – announced it would no longer work with Tavor.
“We condemn violence of any kind,” Strauss said in a statement after the recordings were made public. “We thank him for his cooperation and wish him luck in the future”, added the company later.
Rifts in the pair had been predicted for weeks, escalating after the pair canceled a live concert that had been scheduled for Thursday. In their split announcement, they promised to fulfill every show and engagement already scheduled.
News of their split came just hours after several people were moderately injured at what could end up being their last live concert in Eilat on Wednesday night – in what some saw as an omen for the future of the couple.
Static and Ben-El were one of the most successful Israeli pop duos over the years, producing songs that were often ubiquitous on local radio stations, including 2017’s “Tudo Bom,” 2016’s “Kvish Hahof” and ” Yasso” of 2019.
The pair have been seen as inseparable for years, appearing as a couple on music reality TV shows as well as advertising campaigns. They served on the judging panels of Hakochav Haba (Rising Star) and The Masked Singer, usually taking a vote between them, demonstrating their status as a cemented duo.