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Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole: The Voice of Hawaii

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Introduction: Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole was a renowned Hawaiian musician and songwriter, known for her soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, she grew up surrounded by music and culture, which inspired her to pursue a career in music. Despite facing several challenges throughout her life, Kamakawiwo’ole never gave up on her passion for music and became an inspiration to many.

Early Life and Musical Journey:

ceslie-ann kamakawiwo’ole was born on June 10, 1955, in Honolulu, Hawaii. She grew up in a family of musicians and was exposed to music from a young age. Her father, Henry Kaleialoha Naniwa Kamakawiwo’ole, was a singer and musician, and her mother, Cleopatra Kamakawiwo’ole, was a hula dancer. Kamakawiwo’ole started playing the ukulele when she was five years old and later learned to play the guitar and bass.

In the 1970s, Kamakawiwo’ole started performing in clubs and music festivals across Hawaii. She gained recognition for her unique voice and style, which blended traditional Hawaiian music with contemporary styles like folk, rock, and pop. Kamakawiwo’ole’s music was influenced by her Hawaiian heritage and her experiences growing up in Hawaii.

Success and Legacy:

Kamakawiwo’ole released her first album, “Kaleidoscope,” in 1981, which was well-received by audiences and critics. She went on to release several more albums over the years, including “E Ala E” (1995), “Facing Future” (1993), and “Take Me Home Country Roads” (1998).

Kamakawiwo’ole’s most famous song is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World,” a medley of two classic songs that she recorded in 1993. The song became an instant hit and was used in numerous movies, TV shows, and commercials. Kamakawiwo’ole’s rendition of the song remains one of the most popular and beloved versions to this day.

Kamakawiwo’ole was not just a talented musician but also a philanthropist and activist. She worked to promote Hawaiian culture and language and advocated for social justice issues. Kamakawiwo’ole was also involved in several charities and foundations, including the Hawaiian Humane Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole was a trailblazing musician who left a lasting impact on Hawaiian music and culture. Her unique voice and style continue to inspire musicians and fans around the world. Kamakawiwo’ole’s legacy as a musician, activist, and philanthropist will be remembered for generations to come.

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