The death of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole remembered in Google Doodle: how did the singer of Over The Rainbow die?
Google Doodle of May 20 pays tribute to the legendary Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, but who was the Hawaiian musician.
Who is Israel Kamakawiwo’ole?
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole was a Hawaiian music artist and sovereignty activist who would have turned 61 today.
According to Spotify, Israel has seven albums of material, but the musician was best known for his version of Over the Rainbow and his crossover version of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World.
The official Over the Rainbow music video on YouTube has nearly 900 million views.
How and when did he die?
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole died on June 26, 1997. He was only 38 years old when he passed away.
Throughout its life, Israel suffered from severe obesity and at one stage even weighed up to 757 pounds (343 kg; 54 st 1 lb).
This caused a series of health problems for the much-loved musician and saw him hospitalized multiple times for respiratory, heart, and other medical problems.
His death on June 26 occurred as a result of respiratory failure.
About 10,000 people attended his funeral on July 10, 1997, and thousands more were present when his ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean on July 12.
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s music has reached millions of people around the world and can often be heard in movies or on TV shows.
According to IMDb, Israel’s music, most notably Over the Rainbow, has been used in 35 film and television projects ranging from 50 First Dates and Forgetting Sarah Marshall to 2014’s Godzilla and the BBC crime drama Life on Mars.
It will almost certainly not be long until you hear the music of Israel in a movie or TV show once again.