‘Truly a treasure’: Hawaii musicians, dignitaries remember Danny Kaleikini

Kaleikini is survived by his wife and a son. Family said he died peacefully Friday morning at St. Francis Hospice.
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 2:36 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Legendary entertainer Danny Kaleikini was remembered Friday for his monumental impact on Hawaiian music and culture, his fun-loving personality, and his warm embrace of the aloha spirit.

“He was the embodiment of the very essence of everything that is so very special about Hawaii,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “He was truly a treasure, to Hawaii and to the world.”

Here’s a look at how others are remembering Kaleikini:

Kaleikini’s grandson Nicholas:

“Growing up, he was my hero. I remember at the Kahala Hilton, I would wait on the side of the stage waiting for him to call me up, and I’d introduce myself ‘Nicholas Danny Kaleikini’ cause he was my idol.

He’s someone I look up to not only in the musical world, but you know I always say, he could make a stranger feel like they’ve known each other for years, and it’s something so special, and I’ve always admired.

He always put others before himself, even with his talent and fame, he always put Hawaii close to his heart, and his family close to his heart — it’s a sad day.”

While he was ‘ambassador of aloha’ and everyone would see him as this star, he’s just grandpa to me. It’s all very surreal, but at the same time I’m glad to have been able to share such special memories with him, and he’s always been there for us, our families, but it’s been a very overwhelming past few weeks.

I’m most thankful that he’s not suffering anymore and that he can be with his family up in heaven, and one day we’ll see each other again.”

Senate Vice President Michelle N. Kidani:

“I am saddened and completely loss for words at the passing of Danny Kaleikini. Not only was he my good friend, but he was an amazing ambassador of Hawaii who truly embodied the aloha spirit.

From attending many of his performances at the old Kahala Hilton to watching him serenade the Senate chamber on opening day in 2015, Danny’s memory and legacy will forever live on through the thousands of people that he met over the course of his legendary career.

My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kaleikini ʻohana during this difficult time. Hawaii has lost a favorite son.”

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi:

“Danny was a very special friend to me starting in the early 1970s, when I was a young football coach at the University of Hawaii, but that is who Danny was to so many — a very special friend! He was loved and respected by everyone who knew him. To me, he was the embodiment of the very essence of everything that is so very special about Hawaii. He was truly a treasure, to Hawaii and to the world.”

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawai’i:

“I join Hawai’i in mourning the loss of a legend across the islands and beyond our shores. Danny was an extraordinarily talented, charismatic, joyful, and fearless performer who energized any stage he stepped on and warmed any heart he touched. He was the kind of person who made everyone who he interacted with feel special. He was a living embodiment of the aloha spirit, and we are all deeply sorrowful for this loss. I will miss his voice, his personal warmth, and his friendship. May he rest in peace and aloha.”

Actor Daniel Dae Kim:
Musician Rolando Sanchez:
Former anchor Angela Keen:
Musician Bobby Moderow:
Musician Makana: