Everyone knows the classic tune “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and millions more have heard this beautiful version accompanied by a ukulele, but few people know the singer who sang it.
Israel Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole grew up in Hawaii and became a well known singer and entertainer and Hawaiian sovereignty activist. He was known as the “Gentle Giant” and his soulful, tender singing and his version of “Over the Rainbow” showcases this wonderfully. The tune became a huge hit and has been used in many films and television shows.
Sadly, Israel died at the age of 38 in 1997 due to complications with his health, attributed to his weight. But his musical legacy continues to live on. The video of the song below celebrates his life and has been viewed over 261 million times!
The song is available for download through Amazon.