Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

by M-Rebeiro

IZ started playing music with his brother at 11 years and formed his first band in when he was 17.

Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole was a Hawaiian musician best known for his 1993 album Facing Future and the cover medley of Over the Rainbow and What A Wonderful World which was his most most popular song. Named one of the most popular funeral songs of all time it has been used in countless movies and television commercials.

IZ, throughout his entire life, was obese and at one point carried well over 700 pounds on his 6’2″ frame. He suffered respiratory problems due to his weight and in June 1997 died of complications.

The Hawaii State Flag flew at half-mast on July 10, 1997, the day of his funeral. His koa wood coffin was in the 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 friends and fans gathered as his ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean at M’kua Beach on July 12, 1997.

Read more:

The Official Site of Israel IZ Kamakawiwo’ole

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