21 May 2020 02:34
The untold truth of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' singer Israel Kamakawiwoʻole Although he passed away in 1997, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole lives on through his music. The "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" singer was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but became world-renowned for his beautiful voice and ukulele skills. According to the U.K.'s The Mirror, Kamakawiwoʻole was "raised in the community of Kaimuki." At just 11 years old, he started playing music, going on to study at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. After he completed his studies, the singer moved to Makaha where he formed the group Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau with his brother and some friends. The iconic Hawaiian group went on to make 15 albums together.
In addition to making music with the group, Kamakawiwoʻole also recorded several solo albums. While his entire discography is worth digging into for new fans, he is best known for his cover of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," originally sung by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz. While the song was recorded in 1988, per NPR, it really gained notice in later years as television shows, movies, and advertisements started to use it, making Kamakawiwoʻole a legend. However, he wasn't really alive to enjoy much of his mainstream success.