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Israel 'IZ' Kamakawiwo'ole

The most popular entertainer in Hawaii until his tragic death in 1997, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole formed the traditional Makaha Sons as a teenager in the mid-'70s, went out on his own in more of a contemporary style by the 1990s, and released four immensely popular recordings before passing away just after the release of 1996's N Dis Life. Born in the Honolulu suburb of Kaimuki, Kamakawiwo'ole later moved to nearby Makaha. In allegiance to his new home, Israel formed the Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau with brother Skippy plus Louis "Moon" Kauakahi, Sam Gray and Jerome Koko. The Makaha Sons recorded No Kristo in 1976 and released five more albums during as many years, though Skippy's death of a heart attack in 1982 came as quite a blow to his younger brother. The group soldiered on, and became Hawaii's most popular traditional group with breakout albums like 1984's Puana Hou Me Ke Aloha and its follow-up, 1986's Ho'ola.

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole decided to begin recording on his own with 1990's Ka 'Ano'i, which became the most popular Hawaiian album of the year. Though he continued his solo career, by 1991 he had recorded with the Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau again, and that year's Makaha Bash 3 set still more records in Hawaii, thanks in part to the single "Broken Promise." Another Makaha LP, Ho'oluana, appeared in 1992, though it was the last with Israel. His second solo effort, Facing Future, appeared in 1993, and 1995's E Ala E featured a reunited duet with Skippy, thanks to studio technology. Israel continued to win awards and sell very well with 1996's N Dis Life, but his ballooning weight problem (at times, he weighed over 750 pounds) caused his early death at the age of 38. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Such a beautiful song which warms our souls
Few songs can compare
Bill Mealer
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Over the rainbow I love this song
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amordesmurf6 3
They played this song on journey2
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My father, who enjoyed playing anytime, anyplace, was in a trio during my high school years, and his closing song was as always Somewhere Over the Rainbow. When my dad passed away in 2010 we played IZ'S version, 1 because it was dad's song and 2, because takes Over the Rainbow to another level. His version is incomparable j . Brings a tear to my eye whenever I hear it.
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This is a really good song
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One of my fav songs. Rest in Song.
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Moncha....
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Mom Mom is the rainbows bright and beautiful like we see here on earth, miss u nonchalant��
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I love this song so much
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I love this song
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Heard this song for the very first time on Cold Case. It caught me and it's a favorite every time I hear it I turn it up! He sings with the angels.
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macethedemon
Such a lovely song! It is so restful and chill. IZ was truly talented!
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There are 2 songs I want at my funeral- Iz singing over the rainbow (which I cry at every time I hear it) and Simple man ( Shined own version)
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caitlinr2004
He has such a beautiful voice and song
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Very calming, the only version of this song that should ever be played! My wife and my favorite song to get us in the Hawaiian vibe. RIP
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Braddah Iz is a role model for me and helps me to be more proud of being Hawaiian ����✊
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The gift to mankind,than k u for your service to all in this world ,I feel u everywhere
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t2blazerbree
Wonderful Sound, Soothing sounding words
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Aaaw Bach Shut up
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cknight472
I need to listen to you more often Big IZ. It's been a while. Maybe your absence in my life has led to my aggression.
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he lifts me up
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arilum808
:) nice
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I love it��������
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Wonderful voice
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ulili E : nani
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thomascrkven a c
I just discovered IZ. May you rest in peace. I'll bet the angels love singing with you. Rest now with your brother.
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What a wonderful voice in a dark world
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Kiss your left hand Say your crushes name Close your hand Pick a school day Say your name Post this on 15 different songs Your crush will ask you out
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damn unless his weight issue was genetic or something he culda gone on atkins or some s**t and have lived at least a bit longer
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The most respect for you���� (´・_・`)
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Beyond beautiful!!
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Me gusta mucho
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So tragic that he died young, but I'm grateful that he left a musical legacy for us and future generations to remember him by. He did great in such short time.
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I remember hearing this for the first time on television. It came on my favorite show ER.
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IZ song comes on - I'll NEVER change the channel, turn it off, down, EvEr.
His music is like a vacation - no matter where you are or what you're doing. Definitely someone who found and made use of his God given talent
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sofiadolphin 2 0 1 4
I love IZs music. He has the voice of an angel. Im sure he now lives in a musical, and peaceful world now.
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������������
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Love somewhere over the rainbow played that song for my husband funeral
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lissymissy18
I singed this song in Kindergarten and I still love it!��
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dagio63
He has the voice of an angel. I love his songs. They always make me forget about my worries. ��
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An enormous talent.... No pun intended~~~
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Sooner than we think, we'll all be up there with him, singing along to his tunes.
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Love you, IZ, always....Lo o k foward to singing with you when I come Home, too...P.
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blueroseskat h y j o
Voice of an angel. There is surely a heaven for this beautiful man.
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If only I could wake up to Iz everyday
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i love this song reminds me of chilhood memories singing this song for Kindergarden graduation :)
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alexiap141
I love Over The Rainbow. My favorite! It's relaxing, can imagine myself listening on a beach, somewhere in Hawaii, Mexico, wherever.
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tinusleonie
This is for u read till the end it's adorable I sent an angel to watch over u last night but when is came back it was asked why it said Angels don't watch over other Angels
There r twenty Angels in ur world twenty r sleeping nine are playing and one is reading this message God has seen u struggling with some things and God says its over a blessing is coming ur way if u believe in God send this to 14 friends
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roundrockbal l a d o r e c h i e n
God's rainbow is true and I hope Iz gets to see it everyday as he sings with the Angels .
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I had always want this song in the morning in second grade and now. I'm thirteen going to eighth grade and this song brings back alot of wonderful memories
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