Veteran singer Ehud Banai was the big winner yesterday (Feb. 14) at the inaugural Israel Music Channel awards.

Veteran singer Ehud Banai was the big winner yesterday (Feb. 14) at the inaugural Israel Music Channel awards.

He was named best singer and best lyricist and his set "Answer Me" (NMC Music) was named best album.

The AMI Awards were broadcast live from Tel Aviv Fairgrounds by organizer Channel 24, Israel's national commercial all-music cable and satellite channel.

Other winners include Arcady Duchin for best composer and best song for "Who Loves You More Than Me" (Helicon); Maya Bouskilla for best newcomer and best female singer; and band Hadag Nahash (Hed Arzi) for best group and best clip.

The awards are presented in 12 categories to recognize achievement in 2004. They were chosen by a mix of industry Academy members (70%) and the viewing public (30%). The Academy is composed of music writers and directors from all branches of the media.

The AMI Awards replaces the defunct Tamuz Awards as the only music awards to be broadcast in Israel. The channel reaches approximately 90% of Israeli homes.