He’s Hot, He Plays the Ukulele and He’s Dead

Apologies to that great Rolling Stone cover of September 17, 1981 featuring Jim Morrison of the Doors (He’s Hot, He’s Sexy and He’s Dead.).

Possibly the greatest headline of all time comes to us from Agence France Press (AFP), the International wire service, and features the much beloved Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – better known as just Iz or Bruddah Iz. It seems that Iz’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” has been topping the charts in Germany lately after appearing in a television commercial.

Hence this great recent headline: “Dead ukulele-playing Hawaiian tops German charts.”

The story itself is straightforward enough and begins like this:

With the body of a sumo wrestler and the voice of an angel, a ukulele-playing Hawaiian named Israel Kamakawiwo’ole has stormed to number one on Germany’s music charts — 13 years after he died.

But apparently they don’t want you to forget that Iz is no longer with us.

Comparing him to unlikely British pop stars Paul Potts and Susan Boyle, the Tagesspiegel daily said: “The Germans love the captivating song of the dead Hawaiian, which floats peacefully like an ocean.”

Iz died in 1997 at the age of 38 from complications brought on by his excessive weight. At one point in is life he tipped the scales at 757 pounds.

He may be gone, but his great music and amazing voice will live forever.