————————-“Iz” – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole———————-

Translation: “The Fearless Eyed”; May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997), also called Bruddah Iz (Brother Iz), was a Hawaiian musician.

His voice became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993. His medley of “Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” was subsequently featured in several films, television programs, and television commercials.

Throughout his life, Kamakawiwo?ole was morbidly obese and at one point weighed 767 pounds (348 kg; 54.8 st) standing 6-foot-2-inch (1.88 m) tall (Body Mass Index = 99). He endured several hospitalizations because of health problems caused by his weight. Beset with respiratory, heart and other medical problems, he died at the age of 38 in Queen’s Medical Center at 12:18 a.m. on June 26, 1997.Kamakawiwo?ole was survived by his wife, Marlene Kamakawiwo?ole, and their daughter, Ceslie-Ann “Wehi”.

The Hawaii state flag flew at half-staff on July 10, 1997, the day of Kamakawiwo’ole’s funeral. His koa wood coffin lay in state at the state capitol building in Honolulu. He was the third person in Hawaiian history to be awarded this honor, and the only one who was not a government official. Approximately ten thousand people attended the funeral. Thousands of fans gathered as his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at M’kua Beach on July 12, 1997. The funeral and the scattering of Kamakawiwo’ole’s ashes were featured in the official music video of “Over the Rainbow” released posthumously by the Mountain Apple Company; as of July 2014, the video as featured on YouTube has gained over 110 million views.

On September 20, 2003, hundreds paid tribute to Kamakawiwo’ole as a bronze bust of the revered singer was unveiled at the Waianae Neighborhood Community Center on O’ahu.

from Wikipedia

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