Not too many 18-year-olds can boast that they’ve sung with former President Bill Clinton, German rockers The Scorpions or the legendary Herbie Hancock, but Israel’s Liel Kolet has performed with them all. When she was only 14, she invited Clinton on stage to sing John Lennon’s “Imagine” at the 80th birthday bash for former Israeli prime minister (and current president) Shimon Peres. The show aired on CNN, exposing the peace-promoting teen to the world.
This June, Be Free, Liel’s follow-up to her debut album Unison, will hit stores. An accomplished guitarist, Liel wrote and composed five of the songs on the record, which brims with lyrics and melodies that reflect messages of hope, love, peace, and tolerance. “The Dream Of Tomorrow,” written after she lost a family member in a terrorist attack in Israel, asks for the chance to live in a better world, while “Out Of Reach” is a love ballad that highlights Liel’s innate knack for pop songcraft.
Be Free also features the hit “Jerusalem,” recorded with Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine. Liel has worked closely with The Scorpions since her first encounter with the band in 2005. The unlikely pair met at an awareness concert in Germany for the victims of the tsunami, and later performed together to help celebrate 40 years of friendship between Israel and Germany.
Unlike many her age, Liel devotes much of her time to charity work. She’s the ambassador for two peace organizations, and often performs at peace concerts around the world. On June 4, she joins Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Beyoncé and more in Los Angeles for the first ever Global Peace Awards, and she’s also slated to take the stage with Lenny Kravitz at the Geneva Peace Festival. “I’m a kid who grew up in Israel,” Liel recently told Lifestyles magazine, “and I saw how people suffer. It’s important to me to make people know that we have one world and we have to live in it together.”