Talk:Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

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Link for note 10 for example is deleted. Could anyone please review the article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:14, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Video link[edit]

I was wondering about the video link that can be found under external links.

If the link to the youtube video should be kept someone should change the url since the video the current url is referring to has the audio from a different person then the person this article is about.

The correct url is the standard youtube link but replace 0OMLoAtC9RY with D68ymfjpw98. I tried to change it myself but the change was reverted. The video at the new url is orginally the same as the old one but the new have the correct audio.

//Theblacksmith99 (talk) 00:50, 15 March 2009 (UTC)


Is it possible to get some help with the pronunciation of his last name? How about recording and embedding an OGG, preferably by a native/fluent Hawaiian? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:21, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

The Hawaiian language is beautifully phonetic: just sound it out. :) The apostrophe is a glottal stop. Elmo iscariot (talk) 12:51, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Edit by Re: Anurexia[edit]

Please make a case for the phrase "sickly overweight" in place of "obese" as an improvement to the article. Bruddah Iz was obese, and the article on obesity is very thorough. Also, I have undone your flagrant vandalism to Randydeluxe 20:18, 15 August 2007 (UTC)


I created a new section called Biographies because the one recently inserted into the "early years" section reads like an advertisement. I had a shot at de-advertising the entry but decided to simply move it to an alternate section.

New Picture?[edit]

Could someone get a better, non-copywritten picture of Iz for the article? Especially one of him playing the ukelele!

Try this:

 That seems to be from the Star Bulletin:

 so i guess it is copy-written Domandologo (talk) 20:08, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Love of cheesburgers?[edit]

"He was described as always cheerful and positive, and was best known for his love of the land, the people of Hawaiʻi and cheese burgers."

Is this correct? I suspect the cheeseburger comment was vandalism, but I wanted to ask here. — BrianSmithson 16:05, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Never mind. Recent vandalism. Removed. — BrianSmithson 16:07, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
Not that it is important to the article, but Israel (pronouced w/ only 2 syllables) was quite well known for his love of cheeseburgers. Part of his weight problem came from a lot of people at his concerts bringing him (and his brother Skippy) burgers which he ate between songs.Kingsley911 22:15, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Is this really true? I have heard elsewhere he had an endocrine problem. Are both true? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:41, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Israel was a Type 2 Diabetic. This is an endocrine disease caused by obesity. Idashuman (talk) 01:33, 26 June 2012 (UTC)Beth NH

larger size Hawaiians[edit]

native hawaiians larger size, as 6 5 and 300 lbs, was normal and in addition, their kings and queens considered holy and gods': and esp the queen was considered to bestow blessings upon the people, the larger she became - see James Michener's "Hawaii" - historical novel of Hawaii and its people both natives and missionaries... [1] - lil turtil wid wurld on ma bak ~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:24, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Version of "somewhere..." in movies[edit]

I've seen sources (such as which states that the version used in Finding Forrester isn't the one by Israel, or at least not performed by him. If so, this should be more clear in the article.

There is more than one version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on the Finding Forrester soundtrack. Israel sings Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World and Bill Frisell plays an instrumental version. --Uruz7 06:43, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Can anybody explain why the song was not used on the 50 First Dates Soundtrack record? It was used in the film in a great way but not on the record...odd.

Try the reference desk Corsulian (talk) 03:14, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
The article states: "In 1991, Iz's medley "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" was featured during the closing scene and end credits of Finding Forrester." Yet when I click on the link for "Finding Forrester," the article for that film states that it was released in 2000. IMDB confirms this. --Pokeysan 17:10, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Just confirmed that it is in the soundtrack. I'll change the date in the article. NJGW (talk) 17:16, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I decided to remove the sentence 'cause it's not part of his career (happened after he died) and covered elsewhere more thoroughly. NJGW (talk) 17:25, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Just so you all know, this song also appears in the credits of the movie Meet Joe Black featuring Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. Mention it somewhere in the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cybersteel8 (talkcontribs) 16:02, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

The first time I remember hearing "Somewhere over the Rainbow" was in the movie "50 First Dates". Here's the entire list of Israel's songs in TV and Films from IMDB: (talk) 02:40, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

now defunct television network?[edit]

"Additionally, it featured prominently in the 2000 summer series "Young Americans" on the now-defunct WB television network..."

last I checked, the WB TV network is still going strong. Am I misreading this?

WB is merging with UPN 23:35, 13 July 2006 (UTC)ahassan05

Strange lead[edit]

It seems a tad strange to start an article with the place someone lived and then their age of death, without saying anywhere that he was a singer and musician... --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 05:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

music career / early years[edit]

Would it make sense to discuss Iz's entire music career within the section "music career" rather than only mentioning the Makaha Sons as an "early years" event. It would be neat (imo) to have biography entries such as moving to Makaha, and the importance of Niihau to his music in the "early years". And then in the "music career" discuss both his career with Makaha Sons as well as his solo career? Popoi 20:11, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Any published sources that explain the resurgence?[edit]

I noted that "Rainbow/World" wasn't released as a single until 2006 or later (announced in '06) and made the charts in 2007. Are there any published sources that discuss the fact that years after his death, suddenly (it seems sudden to me) there's this increase in recognition outside Hawai'i? Lawikitejana 22:57, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, but if you can be a little bit more specific, I can provide the information you require. Are you just trying to expand the article or are you requesting a source? —Viriditas | Talk 03:45, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I was saying that the article should be expanded to explain that, if possible. Lawikitejana 10:29, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Ok, I will attempt to find this information tomorrow if you don't get to it before I do. —Viriditas | Talk 10:39, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry about the delay. Carroll's IZ: Voice of the People discusses this in "The Legacy of israel Kamakawiwoʻole", pp.163-167. I'll see what I can add. —Viriditas | Talk 08:42, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

CNN's theme song for September 11 Attacks[edit]

I recall CNN repeatedly played Iz's "Somewhere over the Rainbow" as their theme-song for the September 11 tragedy. Anyone go reference to this? Why did CNN chose to play this song along with footage of the planes striking the towers and collapses? This was the first time I'd heard the song and loved it. But the usage I thought was inappropriate. Its also eerily inappropriate because Israel is Iz's name and half the world now believes that Israel were behind the false-flag attacks of 9/11.

Your comment confuses me... False flag attacks? (talk) 00:49, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
He means that some conspiracy theorists believe that Israel is responsible for the 9/11 attacks but made it look like Muslim extremists did it in order to get the U.S. on their side.-- (talk) 17:29, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Name: Israel?[edit]

Anyone know why he was named Israel?

Added earlier years[edit]

I added Iz's involvment with his brothers' band, which he co-founded, before his solo career.

This timespan is significant because it was his success with the Makaha Sons that helped him get noticed and subsequently launch his successful solo career. It was also during this time that he first performed the famous "Hawaii'78" that became an anthem for Hawaiian independence.

I'm sure others will see issues with the technical aspects of how it was inserted and I welcome format editing to my contribution, but the material remains factual and can be referenced to the group's web site as needed.

Raygellenbeck (talk) 19:37, 11 January 2008 (UTC)Ray Gellenbeck

Style of music[edit]

The article doesn't seem to state just what style of music he played. Pop music? Hawaiian folk music? Nurg (talk) 10:52, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Not a contraction[edit]

It is interesting to note here that part of his name, anoʻi, when simplified to noʻi may be a contraction of the Hawaiian word, nohi. Nohi means "bright-colored, vivid, as the rainbow"

It is my understanding that what appears to be an apostrophe in Hawaiian is nothing of the sort. It is a glottal stop and is considered a consonant. Thus I believe the statement above is wrong and should be removed. See Hawaiian language NjtoTX (talk) 02:28, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

eat 500 donuts?[edit]

I am suspecting the phrase "He would later go on to eat 500 donuts" is vandalism... can someone find a reference for this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:27, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Cover Versions[edit]

Jason Castro on Season 7 of American Idol covered his version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow and got raving reviews by the judges. He also performed Israel's version of the aforementioned song on the American Idol tour. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:20, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

genetic disorder[edit]

Re: "It has been suggested that a genetic disorder was responsible for his obese condition"

I didn't find this suggested in ref. #4. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:49, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Popularity outside US[edit]

The German article seems to suggest that the spikes in popularity outside the US, particularly in Germany, were mostly related to the delayed releases. Apparently the song became popular in Germany after Universal acquired the rights and published it there, not simply because it was used in an advert (which one?) as this article currently suggests.

Could someone check the release history and rights ownership to shed some light on that? I'm German and although his version of Over the rainbow seems somewhat familiar, I don't think I've ever heard it outside movie soundtracks until it recently began to be aired on MTV etc (which made me assume it was a new album, when in fact it's the original album the song was originally on). -- (talk) 01:27, 20 November 2010 (UTC)


The article mentions that he is no longer with us, but it doesn't say when died. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Dates of Death vs. marriage & birth of daughter[edit]

From the article: "In that same year, Kamakawiwoʻole married his childhood sweetheart Marlene. Soon after, they had a daughter whom they named Ceslieanne "Wehi" (born c. 1983)."

Yet, according to the article, he died in 1979. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2603:9001:7400:8B00:3580:4DF4:D89C:1691 (talk) 05:47, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

Where does it say that? Skimming through the article, I saw his DOD as 1997. Also, please sign your posts with four tildes (~~~~). Thanks! xRENEGADEx (talk) 19:37, 20 May 2020 (UTC)

Significance of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole[edit]

I am not an expert and this is a vague comment. I have a general sense that the significance of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole as a musical and historical figure is not properly communicated by this article. I hope those better qualified than I will step forward to build the article into one worthy of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

Nickname transcription[edit]

Can anybody add his nickname (IZ) transcription to the preface of the article? It will help non-english speaking people. I mean is it just IZ or may be Aizee etc? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Artempalkin (talkcontribs) 16:36, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Services Dates[edit]

Iz laid in state on July 9 not on the 10. The article cited is dated July 10 and refers to the services at the Capitol as "yesterday." His formal (and presumably more private) services were July 10.


Both his parents, brother and sister were deceased before he was, as mentioned in one of his songs, and helps bring perspective possibly to some of his music. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:58, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Best-selling Hawaiian musician "of all time"?[edit]

While I can intuitively believe the statement, considering his album "Facing Future" was the first certified platinum album in Hawaii. However, the statement is still not attributed. Cite or remove. Schlice (talk) 03:19, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Platinum Awards weren't introduced until the 1970s, so I'm not sure that "first to be certified Platinum" is the same as "first to sell a million copies" (something Arthur Lyman also did).[[2]] Richard K. Carson (talk) 17:40, 1 August 2018 (UTC)


The "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" Recording[edit]

Currently this article sources the origin of Israel's most notable recording with one sentence: "The decision to record a cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was said to be a last-minute decision by his producer Jon de Mello and him.[6]"

Based on this article on NPR: and this article from Ukulele Magazine the song was recorded in 1988. This previously existing five year-old recording was included on the 1993 album by producer John de Mello after it was brought to his attention by the recording engineer on the 1993 album (Milan Bertosa) who happened to have also been the sole engineer of the never-released 1988 late-night recording made by Israel. A most fortunate coincidence leading to this beloved recording being released.


  • The previous sentence should be revised to reflect the cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was recorded five years earlier. It does not appear that the producer of the later album the song was released on was involved in the recording of the earlier track or the decision to originally cover the song five years before. Perhaps the proper edit would be "The decision to [record a] include the cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was said to be a last-minute decision by his producer Jon de Mello and him."
  • It would also be informative to relate the unusual and interesting circumstances of the one-take, late-night recording of Israel's most notable song, sourcing either or both of the articles linked above (NPR / Ukulele Magazine). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

The ʻOkina[edit]

Oops, sorry about messing up the template, but my motives were pure.

I certainly agree about consistency with the name of the article. May I remind that the ʻOkina article says "often replaced by an apostrophe in modern publications, recognized by Samoan scholars and community", so it's not as if I'm some crank trying to enforce a heretical position. I don't have a preference one way or the other about which approximation of the ʻokina is used; let's just not pretend that the left single quotation mark is actually an ʻokina.

I was trying to make the WP markup consistent and even expressed my uncertainty, so please lighten up. Carlstak (talk) 18:17, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

The ʻokina has been used in this article for over 14 years starting with this edit, so it was a bit of a shock to see several edits trying to remove it. You are correct to strive for consistency, but unknowingly made a choice inconsistent with the history & name of the article. I get what you were alluding to in the ʻOkina article, but since the display of the ʻokina is not an issue anymore & we have the {{Okina}} template, it is easy to maintain the ʻokina in articles to maintain traditional spellings.
I lived in Hawaiʻi for nearly 1½ decades & have been a member of WikiProject Hawaii for a number of years, so I am familiar with issues around pronouncing & spelling Hawaiʻian words. Forgive me if I am a bit overprotective.
Peaceray (talk) 19:05, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Daughter as a criminal[edit]

I came to this article and Googled her daughter name. Found Unsure if this is topic to be included in Wikipedia. Tõnu Samuel (talk) 01:40, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Hawaiian vs. American at Willie K[edit]

There is a discussion open at Talk:Willie_K about how William Awihilima Kahaiali'i is identified in the first sentence of his article. It currently says "American". Should it say "Hawaiian", or even "Native Hawaiian"? JimKaatFan (talk) 05:17, 22 May 2020 (UTC)


Why In The Discography There Is No Singles And Only Albums? DSOFOreverTYU (talk) 18:06, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

What Year[edit]

The Song "Somewhere..." Was Released On 1990 or 1993? DSOFOreverTYU (talk) 18:08, 19 August 2020 (UTC)


There is a banner on the top of the talk page that addresses the need for a photo of the Bust in Wai'anae. That is now a part of the article, how do we remove the banner or is the photo not considered acceptable? Additionally it seems as if this article is lack luster in terms of media content which could be improved.Koalafied1 (talk) 00:44, 25 September 2020 (UTC)Koalafied1


check out awards, etc and nom for hollywood walk of fame etc (talk) 07:37, 24 August 2021 (UTC)izzie fan willie bob