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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 20 May 1959Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Date of Death 26 June 1997Honolulu, Hawaii, USA  (respiratory failure)
Nickname Iz
Height 6' 2" (1.88 m)

Mini Bio (1)

All Hawaii mourned, and more than 10,000 people turned out for a state funeral in honor of Israel Ka'anoi "Brudda Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole. The son of Henry Kalei'aloha Naniwa and Evangeline Leinani Kamakawiwo'ole, Israel was surrounded by music growing up; his uncle was Moe Keale, a very well-known and respected musician, and his parents worked at a Waikiki bar where many of the legends of Hawaiian music performed. Israel started playing music with his older brother Skippy at the age of 11, performing for tourists. One day when Israel was 15, Jerry Koko heard him as he sat playing his ukulele on a picnic table at Makaha Beach. Jerry invited Israel over to his house to play with some friends; there he met Moon Kauakahi and Jerry's brother John. After playing together for a while, the boys decided to form a group, and the Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau was born. The group originally consisted of Israel, Skippy, Moon, Mel Amina (Israel's cousin) and Sam Grey. After playing local events and parties for some time, they were invited to perform on a Jerry Lewis telethon. The Makaha Sons of Ni'ihua met with great success and popularity in Hawaii, recording 10 albums over a period of 15 years. In 1993, Israel decided to leave the group and pursue his own paths. He soared as an solo performer, with his album "N Dis Life" spending 39 weeks on Billboard's World Music chart, rising as high as #8. Israel sang from his heart and soul, and his words and his high, clear voice touched the heart and soul of Hawaii. His heart and spirit were far bigger than his enormous, 700-pound frame, and he grew to be greatly loved. After a beautiful state funeral at the capital building (an honor afforded only two other people in Hawaii's history), Israel's body was cremated, and the ashes scattered at Makua Beach on the Waianae coast where he was raised. He is survived by his wife Marlene Ku'upua Ah Lo Kamakawiwo'ole, and their 14-year old daughter, Ceslianne Wehekealake'alekupuna Ah Lo Kamakawiwo'ole.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Alan Little (imdb@holotech.net)

Spouse (1)

Marlene Kamakawiwo'ole (1982 - 26 June 1997) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (1)

Practiced in the Robert Louis Stevenson hut located where producer/performer Anthony Begonia used to live.

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