Central figure in 'Stevie Wonder Blunder' dies

Published: Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:20 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2013 at 4:50 AM HST
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KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of the figures in the Stevie Wonder Blunder, Hawaii promoter Bob Peyton, died Thursday morning at Castle Medical Center, sources said.

He was 66 years old.  His cause of death was not released, but he suffered severe medical problems because of diabetes, according to friends.

Peyton was the point man between the University of Hawaii and mainland promoters in efforts to set up a failed Stevie Wonder concert as a fundraiser for UH athletics last summer.

Serious medical problems prevented Peyton from testifying at a State Senate hearing investigating the affair in October.

At the time, Peyton's medical doctor said he had been confined to Castle Medical Center since Aug. 17 for multiple medical problems requiring extensive surgery and amputation of his leg.

Peyton also suffered from severe kidney disease requiring dialysis, according to his lawyer.

Peyton faced financial problems not long before planning for the concert began in March.  His Kailua home was foreclosed upon in the fall of 2011 after he filed for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy.  Peyton claimed he lost $50,000 of his own money as part of the deposit for the concert that the UH canceled July 10, after the university said $200,000 in school funds were sent to an unauthorized "third party," and not Stevie Wonder's agent.

According to a bio Peyton provided to Hawaii News Now several months ago, he was an event manager and producer for hundreds of artists, including Billy Joel, Whitney Houston, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Wonder. He also said he was one of the founders of the famous Diamond Head Music Festivals. Peyton also promoted the Prince Lot Hula Festival in the late 1970s and early 1980s and the Brothers Cazimero May Day Concerts for the first seven years of their existence, he said.

Peyton was a political science major at UH and also did graduate work in mass media and politics at the UH Manoa campus.

He is survived by his wife, Marie Peyton.

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