Willie K, Grammy-Nominated Hawaiian Artist, Dies at 59

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Willie K

Willie K, the Grammy-nominated Hawaiian artist and producer, died Monday evening (Might 18) at his residence in Wailuku after a years-long battle with lung cancer. He was 59.

Born William Kahaiali‘I and recognized affectionately as Uncle Willie, the celebrated artist mastered the blues from a younger age, taught by his dad Manu Kahaiali‘I, himself a revered musician.

“My father was an ideal affect,” says Willie K in his biog. “He groomed me to be the place I’m at this time. He was simply as numerous as I’m—the man knew find out how to play all the things: jazz, blues and Hawaiian.”

Willie’s artistry wouldn’t be tied right down to any style or instrument. He may play nearly any instrument wanted in his efficiency, from guitar to bass, ukulele and extra, and his music palate was simply as broad, overlaying jazz, reggae, rock, nation and even opera. Although conventional, indigenous Hawaiian was near his coronary heart.

Willie’s debut album Kahaiali‘I dropped in 1991 and the awards and plaudits quickly adopted. Over his profession, he went on win a number of Na Hoku Hanohano awards and his 2004 album with Amy Hanaiali’I, Amy & Willie Dwell, earned a Grammy nomination for Greatest Hawaiian Music Album.

He was identified with small cell lung most cancers in January 2018, and in the identical yr was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts.

Willie “fought exhausting for over 2 years whereas nonetheless performing,” reads a press release posted to his socials. In mid-February of this yr, he was hospitalized for pneumonia which brought on problems together with his lung most cancers.”

The late artist was in “optimistic spirits” and seemed to be on the mend. “He then all of the sudden turned for the more serious and misplaced his battle,” the assertion continues.

A celebration of Willie’s life can be introduced in the end.

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