Nadine Shamir, who under the name Nadine Renee, co-wrote and performed the 1996 techno classic Set U Free, died early Thursday at North Shore Hospital from complications following the birth of her first child, Liat Nadine. Shamir was 32.
Born in New York, Shamir moved to Miami with her mother while she was still an infant, but traveled the world during her childhood where she developed an ear for exotic sounds.
While attending Miami Coral Park High School, Shamir began doing vocals for studios and music acts in the Miami area, including pop trio Exposé and other smaller acts.
''She was so talented, and she loved making people smile,'' recalled her mother, Joanna Pavone. ``She was writing prose poems as a child and acting in school plays.''
At 16, she debuted as a solo singer, releasing her first album under an independent label.
Shamir's first taste of success came in 1995 with the release of the hit single Say You'll Stay, which was widely played on the Miami and Los Angeles radio circuits.
Soon after, Shamir teamed up with Miami disc jockey George Acosta to produce Set U Free, which they released under the group name Planet Soul. The song hit number 26 on Billboard's Top 40, crossed over onto the R&B charts and was a success internationally.
''She never expected in a million years for that to be her biggest song,'' said Jon Shamir, Nadine's husband. ``It was just a fluke thing she did and that's how life works sometimes, but she was proud of it.''
Shamir performed in Europe and continued song writing and recording through her adult years. She was signed to MCA records in 2000, cutting the album Oasis of Love, said Jon Shamir.
She was also signed as a songwriter with Warner Chappell, a music publishing house.
While Shamir enjoyed painting, writing screenplays and meeting people, music was her passion.
''It was her life. That's what she did 99.9 percent of the time,'' Jon Shamir said.
The couple met in the early '90s at MCA Studios in New York City: Jon was working as a producer and Nadine as a receptionist.
The two were married in January 2003. Liat Nadine Shamir is their first child.
''Her number one goal in life was becoming a mother, but the business always put a wedge in there, making her hold off,'' Jon Shamir said.
``Finally, she saw an opportunity, and throughout her pregnancy, she was always doing research on the Internet to make sure everything was OK.''
Liat Nadine Shamir was born around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Her mother passed away around 3 a.m. the following morning. The cause of death is still being determined.
In addition to her mother, husband and daughter, Shamir is survived by a sister, Deborah Frangomihalos, and a brother, Joseph Silza.
Funeral services were held Sunday.