Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

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Folk Singer
Date of Birth May 20, 1959
Place of Birth Honolulu, Hawaii
Date of Death Jun 26, 1997 (38)
Horoscope Taurus

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Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole, Hawaiian for 'the fearless eye, the bold face'; May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997, also called Bruddah Iz or IZ, was a Native Hawaiian singer-lyricist, musician and Hawaiian sovereignty activist. He achieved commercial success outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993. His medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" was released on his albums Ka ʻAnoʻi and Facing Future. It was subsequently featured in several films, television programs and television commercials. Along with his ukulele playing and incorporation of other genres, such as jazz and reggae, Kamakawiwoʻole remains influential in Hawaiian music.

Birth name: Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole
Also known as: Bruddah Iz, Iz
Born: May 20, 1959, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii
Origin: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Died: June 26, 1997, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Genres: Hawaii, folk, world, reggae
Occupation(s): Singer-songwriter
Instruments: Tenor ukulele, vocals
Years active: 1976–1997
Labels: Mountain Apple Company
Associated acts: Mākaha Sons
Youtube: Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's Youtube channel
IMDb: Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's IMDb
Spotify: Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's Spotify
iTunes: Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's iTunes

About Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Hawaiian musician and entertainer who became an international star in 1993, dying of heart problems just four years later. He is best known for his medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World."

Before Fame

He began playing music with older brother and cousin at the age of eleven and continued after both his partners went their separate ways.


His medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World" reached #12 on the Billboard charts and was used on the TV series Glee, Scrubs, ER, and Life on Mars. It has also been featured in several feature films.

Family Life

The popular Hawaiian musician and actor Moe Keale was his uncle.


His music was used in the film Meet Joe Black, which starred Brad Pitt.

Information related to Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

  • Mountain Apple Company artists
  • Songwriters from Hawaii
  • Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners
  • Native Hawaiian musicians
  • Native Hawaiian activists
  • American ukulele players
  • Burials at sea
  • Converts to Christianity
  • Independence activists
Show more
Latest information about Israel Kamakawiwoʻole updated on February 28, 2021.

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