Israel Kamakawiwo`ole – In Loving Memory

iz
May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997

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Condolences by mail can be sent to P.O. Box 308, Aiea, HI, 96701. Kamakawiwo’ole is survived by his wife Marlene Ku`upua Ah Lo; daughter, Ceslianne Wehekealake`alekupuna Ah Lo; sister, Lydia Ka`ehukai Kauakahi; hanai brothers Glenn Kapahu and Ronnie Ching; hanai son Johnny Boy Gomes; and nieces and nephews.

His Life | Albums | DVDs | Books | Guestbook

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65 Comments

  • I never heard of his music before, but now i love his songs they make you feel good something people all over the world can use more of . It sad he passed away so young but i,m sure his songs will last forever . He seemed to me he cared about living and life . hope god loves your music . joe

  • I have been gone from the islands since 1979. Although gone, my heart and part of my soul still is there. I still love the music and spirit of Aloha, that is the true Hawaii. I decided to do a search to find out who was singing this beautiful music, Over the Rainbow. It led me today to Israel. I have listened to one song after the other on YouTube and was carried back across the ocean to the place I love. Israel’s beautiful songs brought such warmth and happiness to my heart today. The only sadness I felt was to also learn that he has passed on. I want his family to know that today, in Salt Lake City, UT, the spirit of Aloha has warmed the heart of a girl who heard Israel’s song, so far far away. In her heart she was back for a moment to a place she loves. Mahallo
    Sarah

  • I wanted to find out more about this song that was played at a funeral last week and it was the music to a slide show of a trip to Hawaii and the lady that passed away. I was so moved by the voice and the song that when I came home I had to find this song on youtube and find out more about the singer. I was very upset to find that Israel Kamakawiwo’ole had passed away in 1997 and still today he is touching the hearts of so many people. I wanted to send along my thoughts and prayers to his family and let them know that still the memory of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole lives on in the blessing of his voice and he brought comfort to over 300 people at this funeral and may you be blessed and I know that heaven there is one more golden voice that brings comfort and joy to so many..
    Bless you Jim

  • I wanted to find out more about this song that was played at a funeral last week and it was the music to a slide show of a trip to Hawaii and the lady that passed away. I was so moved by the voice and the song that when I came home I had to find this song on youtube and find out more about the singer. I was very upset to find that Israel Kamakawiwo’ole had passed away in 1997 and still today he is touching the hearts of so many people. I wanted to send along my thoughts and prayers to his family and let them know that still the memory of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole lives on in the blessing of his voice and he brought comfort to over 300 people at this funeral and may you be blessed and I know that heaven there is one more golden voice that brings comfort and joy to so many..
    Bless you Jim Nova Scotia Canada

  • I just arrived from a cruise to beautiful Hawaii Islands. In one of the shops I was in they were playing this music that interested me to where it drew me to ask about it and where I could buy a tape for me. I was given the information. I hear it all the time to where I wanted to fine out who was this beautiful person with a voice of gentleness that brought me pease to my soul everytime I hear his music. I search in the website and was sadden to hear that the good Lord took him home. I never had heard about bruddah IZ but his soft spoken words in his music will live forever and has blessed me. May his family continue to fine confort in the lives that bruddah IZ still touch with his kindness and truthful songs. I may never return to Hawaii but will never forget it
    God Bless
    God Bless

  • I was browsing on youtube when I came across the song What a Wonderful World. This led me to hear another one Somewhere Over the Rainbow. When I clicked on the performer named IZ, it was so awesome. I couldn’t describe my feeling while I was listening to him. It makes my soul at peace.From that very moment I made a search regarding this singer. It was then that I found out he passed away a long time ago. Though it was too late for me to know him, his music will live in me. I just have a problem looking for his CD in my country. I am trying my best to find one. May the good Lord bless and keep you Bruddah IZ!!!! Mavic Sanchez, Philippines

  • His music will live on Now and Forever! His music was pure and beautiful just like Iz was. Rest In Peace Brudda Iz and may your music still touch millions and millions of people. God Bless.

  • the day that brada iz died was a year befor i was born when my dad shoed me the song somewhere over the rainbow i clinged to it.it has been my favorite song ever sence!i still wish he was alive to sing and play songs on his little ukalale!

  • While searching for music for my daughter’s upcoming wedding, I heard Israel’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” once again. With tears in my eyes I sign out loud today in anticipation of our special “dance together” and memories of a lifetime still ahead.

  • I have loved his music since I heard it several years ago in Maui. It lifts me on a day I’m down and has got me through some tough times. His music is always with me. Thank you Bruddah IZ!

  • what an amazing voice only heard his version of ;SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW yesterday and cannot believe he is no longer here with us our loss is heavens gain god bless you Brudda IZ

  • Aloha
    Brother iz has been such a touchable man
    i loved his music and i love his voice
    without Brother IZ Life will not be the same

    I’m gonna Miss you Brother IZ!

  • I’ve heard different versions of this song and by far Bruddah Iz has given it a timeless appeal..I was crying as I read how he has passed on..It will be his crowning glory that he was able to share his music and his gift with the world before he died.

  • Aloha Well we will celebrate the memeory of Iz on his birthday and knowing he left a family who loved him and all the grandkids who also enjoyed his music as well
    well take care and much aloha to Iz wife and daughter.
    aloha Hariah

  • aloha and imua 🙂 lots of love to all the family – Iz helped to carry our mother over the rainbow – thanks a lot – tomorrow it will be my first birthday without my mother …
    and also my first birthday with my rainbowmama – and of course I will celebrate our birthday in loving memory
    much aloha to wife and daughter and – as I said – to all the ‘family’
    thank you Iz 🙂

  • Iz reminds us that perfection is one of those things that resonates with us far beyond who people see us as in the flesh, but into the realm of intangible beauty. There is something in his voice that heals my heart every time I hear it, and I am so so very grateful that he walked this earth long enough to share his amazing gift with us all. God takes the best ones early, but at least He allows them to leave their mark with us.

    Namaste 🙂

  • With tears in my eyes I sit here and listen to a wonderfull voice. A voice from a great man that still live in my heart.

    His voice brings the sun in my life!

  • I just learned of Israel and his music this past week at a wedding which I attended in Florida. I am AMAZED by his voice and I have listen to nothing but him all week. I tend to be a very traditional person when it comes to music and dislike it so much when other artists record songs made famous by others. I have never liked any version of “Over the Rainbow” except that of Judy Garland from “The Wizard of Oz,” but I have fallen in love with Israel’s arrangement and version. I finally took some time today to read about him and was saddened to learn that he has died. May God richly bless his widow and his daughter. What a great tribute that, like me, new fans continue to learn of his artistry and talent. He will live on forever.

  • I’ve been watching this website for a few years now and I am always amazed at how many people have been touched by his music, and his spirit of love, the way I was. He was just being himself, but it was like a miracle or something. I still name him my #1 singer and I still cry like he was my brother.

  • Bradda man Iz was an amazing singer, although I listen to his amazing CD’s I always wish I could have seen at least one live preformance from this incredible man. Rest in Peace Bradda Man Iz!!! Your music and voice will never be forgotten!!!

  • Having lived in Hawaii for six years, we do know the Aloha Spirit. No more beautiful place exists on this Earth. We have listened to our IZ cd’s till they are worn thin, and never get enough. His heart and soul just pour out sharing his love and understanding with us all. We return every year for a couple weeks and it never fails… we always meet kind, loving people who make you feel welcome. Although not native Hawaiians, we feel we share your Aloha Spirit. This man will never be forgotten. I hope his message gets out to everyone and is understood. The beauty, love and serenety of Hawaii must never be lost. And, the most beautiful part are the people. Mahalo.

  • My wife and I had never heard of IZ but heard his music on a recent trip to Hawaii and bought the “Face Future” CD. If a CD could wear out, ours would be gone. His music stirs my soul and I am so sad that he is no longer with us.

  • Wow I think this man was the most beautiful man in the whole wide world I will never forget is song over the rainbow! I would have LOVED to get the chance to meet him.

  • Before returning to the mainland from Kauai on Sept 25, 2009; my son asked me to research IZ. I had no idea who this was ( no telling with an 18 yr. old) All I can say is AMAZING! He knew how to touch the soul so deep with his beautiful voice. I listen to him daily, and feel so at peace!

    I have never met people in my life like the ones of Kauai. So pure,who love their land and care for it, and in return their land cares for them. I left my heart in Kauai, I know it will be safe with the people….
    Until I return…Aloha

  • I live in Toronto, Canada

    and my daughter lives and was married on:
    Sept 6, 2009 in Selma, California.

    I heard Israel’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
    for the first time in my life at the wedding while
    viewing a slide show of my daughter from childhood
    to teenager.

    I was moved because of two things

    1. My daughter lives far away and we only talk
    to each other every now and then and when
    I seen her wow time waits for no one she has grown
    and I missed allot of time spent with her
    because I suffer from:
    panic attacks and anixety attacks.

    2. Israel’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
    has put me at peace when I heard his music
    as a matter of fact I stayed strong and did
    not have any anixety or panic attacks while
    at the wedding even when I walked my daughter
    down the isle.

    saying all this I feel deeply sad about Israel’s
    passing it has been a blessing for God to have
    Israel on our planet earth as he has changed
    my life forever God Bless him and his family

    the things that are important to us is not money
    or material things.

    It is what great memories that are left behind
    and become timeless and live forever like
    Israel’s music.

  • My name is melanie and I write for hubpages under the name Nell Rose. I was sitting in a friends house earlier this week, and I heard Israel’s music for the first time. After I had left, I felt myself humming over the rainbow all day. By that evening I realised I had to find out more about this amazing singer. When I read of his passing, and saw the video, I had tears in my eyes, and realised that I had to write about him. I hope I did it justice. I called it Israel Kamakawiwo’ole The Hawaiian with the Golden Voice. I hope it does him justice as I am now completely under his spell where his music is concerned. God bless. Melanie. (Nell)

  • Iz is was a moving, outstanding inspirational artist that puts smiles on peoples faces he touched the lives of many people across the nation. It was a tragedy that his life ended so abrubtly but his music will keep the legacy of him alive…..Rest in peace IZ we all miss you

  • A whiff of fresh air in the world of uncertainty.Wish I heard him way back then.I adore his song “In this Life”,
    which I dedicate to my Mom who passed away last Sept.
    Thank you IZ for the gift of music.You will remain in my heart forever.

  • I was sitting and listening to “Over the ranbow” and suddenly got inspiration to a poem about IZ. Im a macho old soldier with hardly any feelings. It was kind of a revelation, it took me 15 minutes. I never written like that before so be gentle:

    “There once was a angel”
    Tribute to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
    by Christian Badsted

    There once was an angel,
    You didn’t see his wings,
    he walked as a man on this earth,
    sharing kindness and love,
    he was giving love all since his birth,
    He walked the Hawaii’ns cove,

    There once was an angel,
    His power was his heart,
    His voice could stop wars,
    but his life was cut short,
    But we know he sits by the stars,
    in heaven with our god,

    There once was an angel,
    he has now left us all,
    But his spirit was left behind,
    he touched humans that heard his voice,
    Im sure he didn’t mind,
    He didn’t really had a’ choice,

    There once was an angel,
    He will never be forgotten,
    He truly was a saviour,
    His heart was to big for this earth,
    You could only love his behaviour,
    Lets light a candle on his birth,

    Rest in peace Israel Kamakawiwo’ole…

    Im kind of amazed. I never write poems 🙂

  • I made some corrections so it flows better. This is the end result. I hope you like it:

    “There once was an angel”

    Tribute to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
    by Christian Badsted

    There once was an angel,
    You didn’t see his wings,
    he walked a man on earth,
    with kindness and love,
    he gave love since birth,
    He walked Hawaii’ns cove,

    There once was an angel,
    His power was his heart,
    His voice stopped wars,
    but his life was cut short,
    he now sits by stars,
    in heaven with our god,

    There once was an angel,
    he has now left us all,
    But his spirit left behind,
    he touched all with his voice,
    Im sure he didn’t mind,
    He didn’t have a’ choice,

    There once was an angel,
    He will never be forgotten,
    He truly was a saviour,
    A’ heart to big for earth,
    You loved his behaviour,
    Light a candle on his birth,

    Rest in peace Israel Kamakawiwo’ole..

  • I guess I’m the first entry of 2001.
    I was watching the fireworks on TV at midnight and they played a bit of “Somewhere over the Rainbow” and it left me wanting to hear the whole song because he sings it so beautifully.
    It breaks my heart to find out about his passing,the video was done beautifully.
    That song has always made me cry when I hear it because it touches my heart so.Now it will make me cry even more knowing he has passed.
    To His family,He will never be forgotten and he lives on in the hearts of many he has touched with his music.
    Mahalo,
    CK
    Rest In Peace Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

  • A few weeks ago I was entering a website that required a password sent from them. So far two of the passwords they sent me were direct messages from friends who had died. Today, after listening to a medley of Bro Iz’s songs I went back that site (not looking for any message) but today’s password was, “izluvsu”. What a wonderful human being who lives on entertaining the Universe. luvutoiz.

    Bro Mikee

  • I had never heard of Iz until last week, while watching “Finding Forrester” What a loss for me. What an Amazing person! He sings, performs, lives and loves from his inner soul. What a beautiful person and what a tremendous loss for humanity. Im sadden by his passing but he left something everyone can be feel from him. Love for his fellow brother thru his voice. I can feel it daily as I listen to him sing.

  • once i heard this song’s “somewhere over the rainbow” i feel in my mind it will relax and can relieve my problem.the song’s means that there is above up high over the rainbow the most beautiful place of all.when i listend this song and saw how he died i felt he love of world.blessed to IZ he compose the song for the world so that they can realize how beutiful the world.joseph paña of phillippines

  • HI there

    I have heard this song before on the tv, and i thought i would look for it on the internet so i could learn to play it. its a tricky rythym by the way and its played on the little guitar. but its so beautiful. so i looked and found it, looking for some skinny white bloke and for the whole song complete was really hard , then i discovered Isreal. wow i was gob smacked, i am totally humbled. when i seen the film clip with isreal in the island village singing in his comunity and the joy all around it made me cry so much, he touched a nerve in me like never before. i really felt the pain, i share a similar pain, i really feel it, his rendition is so beautiful and dreamy much better than any version. in fact he might as well have written it. what a voice and what a musician. i can tell from just looking and listening to the tribute film clip that he was very much loved and must have been a really special person. maybe there is hope for us all and may we all find happiness.

    Much respect to all the Family.

  • by the way i forgot to mention how well made the tribute video was, it was so good it really told the story you wanted it to. wow,
    I wished i was loved so much that such a tribute would be made for me.
    you must have loved him

    VERY SPECIAL

  • QUE DIOS LO TENGA EN SU GLORIA Y QUE SUS CANCIONES SIGAN DESPERTANDO EL AMOR DIVINO A TRAVES DEL TIEMPO EN EL CORAZON DE CADA SER DE LUZ. QUE DIOS TE BENDIGA IZ.

  • Hi to everyone touched by his music. Iz had an amazing voice and his version of Somewhere over the Rainbow has always given me goosepimples, even the hair on the back of my neck stands up. My 8 year old girl and 3 year old boy all sing and dance along to it. It just makes us happy.

    I hope Iz has the same effect in heaven…….
    Regards to his family and your loss is our loss.

    George(Scotland)

  • Conheci a obra de IZ, há 2 dias apenas e estou o impressionadíssima com sua linda forma de cantar e mais ainda com a sua alma simples. IZ deixou um grande legado de paz, ternura, enfim só de coisas boas.
    Quero guardá-lo no meu coração por toda a minha vida.
    Ouço suas músicas todos os dias!!
    Grande beijos á sua família e aos seu fãs!!

  • Hello

    Just today found the voice of an Angel…such a beautiful man…such touching music and deep caring soulful man…taken like my brother much too young…

    Thank you so much for touching my tears and beyond…my heart and soul…and giving me hope and strength against what I have…for I too am battling daily….and your beautiful music helps so much….thank you, and may God keep you close…always….

  • While I am writing this here tears are droping on my keyboard. It is for me impossible to explain what I am feeling. I am a music fanatic, but this (Bruddah IZ, or better Angel IZ) is the first person ever that touched my heart in this way. He rolled over my feelings like an steamroller and showed me what music can do if it is pure! The people from Hawaii should be very proud that they had IZ. IS it possible to use his songs in prisons and other agressive places to make the people calm? His songs are like a medicine for te heart.

    R.I.P. Bruddah IZ (An Angel on earth!)

    Frank Meier
    Bangkok
    torosorogoro@yahoo.com

  • While I am writing this here tears are droping on my keyboard. It is for me impossible to explain what I am feeling. I am a music fanatic, but this (Bruddah IZ, or better Angel IZ) is the first person ever that touched my heart in this way. He rolled over my feelings like an steamroller and showed me what music can do if it is pure! The people from Hawaii should be very proud that they had IZ. IS it possible to use his songs in prisons and other agressive places to make the people calm? His songs are like a medicine for te heart.

    R.I.P. Bruddah IZ (An Angel on earth!)

    Frank Meier
    Bangkok
    torosorogoro@yahoo.com

  • Several years ago I would be at work, sitting at my desk grinding away at various duties…the Today show was always on in the background. When the eToys commercial came on with this wonderful music I would immediately STOP everything I was doing, close my eyes and immediately reminisce to my childhood….because of the angelic sound of this woundeful music. For those few, brief moments, my blood pressure probably dropped 40 points and I felt a relaxation and peace I can’t describe….

    Just wanted to say Thank You for sharing this neverending gift, IZ!!! God Bless to you and your family…my wish is that you may rest in the same peace your music has given the world…it must surely be a heavenly peace.

  • I was on the islands in 2006, i came across IZ music by chance. i was so moved my his voice, the voice of a angel.
    When i am feel down i listen to IZ it brings me back to the islands & feels my heart with peace & love. He was truly a gift from the Gods.
    Thank you brother IZ!

  • I was in Maui in 2001 and heard Somewhere over the Rainbow while flying in a helicopter, the song combined with the beauty of the island was breathtaking, I have that song and Wonderful world on my Ipod. Everytime I play it it takes me back to that beautiful island. Thanks IZ for for the peace and joy you have brought to my life by you beautiful voice. You were truly a gift sent to us by God.

  • Today is the first time I ever heard IZ. What an amazing man he must have been. Big man with a voice like what I believe to be an angel. I am traveling alone driving across the united states. I will definately keep my stress level down by listening to him sing on my trip. God bless his family and may the angels hold IZ.

  • A few years ago visiting the big Island of Hawaii and while staying at a friends condo we discovered an “IZ” cd……!! Asked one of the locals about possibly seeing him at a local concert and was told that would be impossible I was crushed.

    Just yesterday was in an IZ kind of mood and on You-Tube found the official “Somewhere over the Rainbow” song with a short clip of the locals scattering his ashes at sea…!! What I saw was more beautiful than words can describe,(GOOSEBUMPS). I also read where his body was lying in state at the Capital Rotunda for all the Islanders to pay their final respects!

    I want to see more!!

    My hope is that oneday in the not so distant future his family will allow the story of Iz to be published where a movie based on the life of this precious man who exemplied human love compassion and kindness can be told. We could really use it!

    Much love to his family!! Rest in Peace Bruddah IZ!! Your music lives on!!

  • A few years ago my husband and I were visiting the big Island of Hawaii and while staying at a friends condo we discovered an “IZ” cd……!! Asked one of the locals about possibly seeing him at a local concert and was told that would be impossible I was crushed.

    Just yesterday was in an IZ kind of mood and on You-Tube found the official “Somewhere over the Rainbow” song with a short clip of the locals scattering his ashes at sea…!! What I saw was more beautiful than words can describe,(GOOSEBUMPS). I also read where his body was lying in state at the Capital Rotunda for all the Islanders to pay their final respects!

    I want to see more!!

    My hope is that oneday in the not so distant future his family will allow the story of Iz to be published where a movie based on the life of this precious man who exemplified human love compassion and kindness can be told. This world could really use it!

    Much love to his family!! Rest in Peace Bruddah IZ!! Your music lives on!!

  • I had the pleasure to live in Hawaii for 3 years as I studied at UH. is music was the best. He was a great person.

  • the size of the man pales in comparison to the size and magnitude of his music, and the size of his heart. his song moves the people, it moves the earth, and the heavens. where he surely is now. thank you for gracing us with your presence.

  • I seen his U Tube video “over the Rainbow” Such a beautiful voice. I was mostly listening but then I seen the boats and people at the beach and what seemed to be a urn. I googled his name and I came across this page. Iam so sorry to hear such a beautiful voice leave this earth.

  • I, too, was watching a youtube video with the scattering of ashes and went to yahoo to see if in fact he was no longer with us….so sad! Yes, he was way too big to survive very long…way too many health issues but what insane great talent!

  • iz music is so mellow and nice unlike the songs you here today when they are all about fame and money and beating up women. i cry when i listen to his songs because theyre happy and even before he died i knew he wasnt gonna live to long i thought he may die of a heart attack like his brother. I have alot of respect for iz because he seemed like a good man. If you listen and understand the lyrics to his song Some Where Over the Rainbow it sounds like he knows where hes gonna go when he dies. and if his wife is reading this i just want to say that Iz’s death not only hurts u but people all over the world. He is good man and is in a better place.

  • first time i heard his song, Somewhere over the rainbow. i had taken my blood pressure in early morning, was stressed out with worries so it was somewhat high….after taking it, i listened to his song, checked bloodpressure, it was very low,99/69…i believe i was mellowed out through his song…………

  • I heard this song “Somewhere over the rainbow” over the weekend for the first time – what great music!

  • GRACIAS ISRAEL POR EXISTIR MI CORAZON ES TUYO GRACIAS POR CANTAR EN ESE MUNDO Y DARLE ESA LINDA VOZ DIOS TE BENDIGA EN EL CIELO Y ME DE LA OPORTUNIDD DE CONOCERTE AYA EN EL CIELO GRACIASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS PO ESA LINDA VOZ

  • The music of Bruddah IZ is so beautiful and each word is from the heart with love, Israel IZ Kamakawiwo’ole stays in our hearts forever! Keep smiling bruddah xXx love xXx

  • I first heard IZ’s version of somewhere over the rainbow and what a wonderful world sung by a musician in the subways of boston. then i looked him up on youtube.

    wow!! such a soothing loving beautiful version of the original. Frankly, i like his version better than the originals, and i bet Judy Garland and Louie Armstrong are both dancing with joy somewhere over the rainbow, so happy to hear Iz’s version.

    In fact, I bet they are all dancing together with unbounded joy.

    what a beautiful human being. I am so sad to hear that he died and my deepest condolences to his family, community and friends. We truly lost an amazing man, yet i believe IZ lives on.

    I liked seeing the pictures of native Hawaiians; they looked so beautiful brilliant soulful and real. i feel sorrowful about. how this country treated Hawaii.

    Everyone I know who visits there says the people are amazing.

    Blessings love and peace to Iz and to Hawaii and all the world

    shifra butterfly

  • My condolences to the family although many years past. I Loved his music and what he stood for I’m very sad to know of his passing. He showed in his videos that I have had the pleasure of viewing that his love of life family and people shined through his music he will live in our hearts forever,
    Regards, Archie Anderson
    Cobourg Canada

  • my wife played the IZ song Over the rainbow for me just now and from now on I will be a true IZ fan. His music is so soothing and meaning ful as opposed to what we are exposed to anymore. Its too bad we lost such a great talent at such an early age.