Alexa

Hawaiian music icon Aunty Genoa Leilani Keawe dies at 89

Hawaiian music icon Aunty Genoa Leilani Keawe dies at 89

Aunty Genoa Leilani Keawe, one of the most enduring and beloved voices in Hawaiian music, died Monday. She was 89.
Family members say the icon of traditional music in the islands died in her sleep at home in Papakolea.
Her son, Eric K. Keawe of Keawe Records, says she had suffered health problems over the last decade but always managed to bounce back into the limelight.
Known widely as Aunty Genoa, she recorded more than 20 albums, dating back to vinyl 78 rpm and 33 1/3 rpm albums, and about 150 singles.
Born Genoa Leilani Adolpho, Keawe marriedEdward P. Keawe-Aiko. They had 12 children.
Keawe's life in music started in Laie, center of Mormon culture in Hawaii. She sang with the island Mormon choir and said her sister, Annie, was a great influence on her music as they sang church songs together.
She began her professional career in 1939, singing for bandstand shows in Kailua and at the Officers Club before World War II with George Hookano and his band.
Keawe sang on the radio and on early TV, she became a regular on the "Lucky Luck Show," hosted by Robert Luck. She also sang on the nationally broadcast "Hawaii Calls" and at several clubs and hotels on Oahu.
She received many music awards and took traditional Hawaiian music across Asia, Canada, Switzerland, Brazil and many U.S. cities. She performed on a trip to Russia when she was in her 80s.