Israel Kamakawiwo'ole: One of NPR's 50 Great Voices

Dan Kois

You might've heard a familiar voice this morning on Hawaii Public Radio.

The late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, better known in the islands as "Bruddah Iz," was featured on Morning Edition as part of NPR's 50 Great Voices series about great singers from around the world.

It's a nice piece. You can listen to the full segment on NPR's website.

In Hawaii, Iz was a well-known and beloved figure. His appeal spread far beyond the islands after the release of a single song, "Over the Rainbow," featuring nothing but Iz's voice and a ukulele. As NPR's Renee Montagne puts it, Iz "did something rare in music. He redefined a beloved classic."

The music producer whose studio was the site of the original recording tells a nice story about the spontaneous 3 a.m. session behind the iconic track.

Do you have your own personal stories about Israel? We'd love to hear them in our discussion below.

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