Google celebrates Israel Kamakawiwo'ole with new Doodle

May 20 (UPI) -- Google is celebrating late singer-songwriter Israel 'IZ' Kamakawiwo'ole with a new Doodle on what would have been his 61st birthday and in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the U.S.

Kamakawiwo'ole was born in 1959 in a suburb of Honolulu. He was raised in a native islander family who loved Hawaiian music. At 10-years-old he started to carry his ukulele everywhere.


The musician, his brother and three friends, formed contemporary Hawaiian music group Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau, achieving success across 15 albums.

Kamakawiwo'ole recorded in 1988 his most famous track, a cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The song has been featured in a number of films, television shows, commercials and remains on various Billboard charts to this day.

Google's homepage features artwork of Kamakawiwo'ole alongside a play button that starts an animated music video of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

The music video, directed by Doodler Sophie Diao, follows Kamakawiwo'ole's life and how Hawaii continues to celebrate him.

"Thank you, Israel, for providing the soundtrack for Hawaii and for continuing to move hearts around the world through your music," Google said.


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