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Hawaiian Historical Society

Jun 27, 2014 -- 5:58am

Today—26 June—in Hawaiian History [1997]: Israel Kaʻanoi Kamakawiwoʻole dies at 38 yrs of age at Queenʻs Medical Center in Honolulu.

"Bruddah Iz" grew up in the Oʻahu community of Kaimukī and began playing music with his brother Skippy and cousin Allen Thorton. When his family moved to Mākaha, he met musicians Louis "Moon" Kauakahi, Sam Gray, and Jerome Koko. He and his brother joined the Mākaha group and became the Mākaha Sons of Niʻihau. The group became one of the best selling Hawaiian groups of all time.

In 1990, "Iz" started a solo career in which he released four studio albums. In 1997, he was honored at the Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards with awards for "Male Vocalist of the Year," "Favorite entertainer of the Year," "Album of the Year," and Island Contemporary Album of the Year." His 1993 album ʻFacing Future" became the best selling Hawaiian album of all time.

Approximately 10,000 people attended his memorial service and on 10 July 1997 his body lay in state at the state capitol. He was the only person who was not a governmental official, to be given this honor.

The official video for his hit "Over the Rainbow" which featured clips from his funeral and scattering of ashes has received over 108,000,000 views.

"Over the Rainbow" official video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I

Please feel free to add a link to your favorite Iz song/video :))

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