Malani Bilyeu, founding member of iconic Hawaiian band Kalapana, dies

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Dec. 28, 2018 at 7:17 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Malani Bilyeu, a founding member of the legendary Hawaiian band Kalapana, has died, several close family friends confirmed.

He was 69.

“It’s just hard to believe that he’s gone,” said HNN’s entertainment reporter Billy V. “Kalapana was such a part of that fabric of the 1970s that brought us such incredible music.”

Bilyeu started Kalapana in 1973 along with Mackey Feary, D.J. Pratt and Kirk Thompson.

They went on to become one of the most popular bands in the islands over the decade, responsible for hits like “Night Bird” and “When the Morning Comes."

In 2011, Kalapana’s members were awarded a Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bilyeu also had a successful solo career, releasing several albums through the year. And earlier this month, he appeared on HNN’s Sunrise to promote the release of a career-spanning album of Kalapana’s music.

He was also a foreman at the Hanalei Bison Ranch on Kauai.

Additional details on services and survivors were not immediately available.

This story will be updated.

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