'Bruddah Iz," five others receive Na Hoku Lifetime Achievement Awards

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The late Israel Kamakawiwoole was among those honored with Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards for 2014.

The honors were given at a luncheon at the Ala Moana Hotel Saturday.

Other awardees included brothers Sam and Gary Aiko, the late Iwalani Kahalewai, Cyril Pahinui and Ben Wood.

The Aiko brothers are the sons of Hawaiian music legend Aunty Genoa Keawe. Sam Aiko died in 1992, but his widow returned to the islands to receive the award on his behalf.

"He was kind of shy and never really wanted to be the star, and I just think that this is just such a great tribute to him. He had such a beautiful voice. Really beautiful," said Barbara Aiko.

Older brother Gary still performs with the Keawe Ohana and also sings with the Royal Hawaiian Band.

"I'm shocked that they even considered me. But I'm glad they did, you know? I'm very grateful that they did. I didn't think I was in that category," he said.

Singer, slack key master and composer Cyril Pahinui thought back to his father, the late and legendary Gabby Pahinui, before he received his Lifetime Achievement Award.

"I remember when I accepted my dad's Lifetime Achievement Award and now it's my turn, it's a full circle for me and my dad, because you know, he's my master. You know, my father opened the doors for me," he said.

Ben Wood is a longtime columnist for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and now the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. He has covered the local entertainment scene since the Hawaiian Renaissance in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when there was a resurgence of Hawaiian music and culture.

"It's the greatest honor I've ever had you know?," said Wood. "All those years of writing about these wonderful entertainers, it was a labor of love. And I was there."

Iwalani Kahalewai was a Hawaiian soprano who was a regular cast member of the "Hawaii Calls" radio show. She died in 2009.

Kamakawiwoole, popularly known as "Bruddah Iz," was also granted a Lifetime Achievement Award. His songs are still heard in the islands and worldwide, long after his passing in 1997.

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