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Don Ho was one of Hawaii's biggest entertainers for more than four decades and ended up with legions of fans worldwide.
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Ho had more success appearing as himself on other programs, including The Brady Bunch, Charlie's Angels, Sanford and Son, and Fantasy Island.
In the 1990s, Ho dabbled in acting, appearing in the comedy Joe's Apartment (1996) with Jerry O'Connell and the independent film First Daughter (1997). Still much of his time was spent in Hawaii,
entertaining visitors with his show. Ho lived in beautiful home on the slope of Diamond Head crater, not too far from Waikiki were he played regularly. A family man, Ho had ten children, six with his first wife Melva May Wong who died in 2002.
In his later years, Ho struggled with a heart problem. He traveled to Thailand in 2005 to undergo an experimental treatment that used stem cells to repair the damage to his heart. The next year, however, Ho had to have a pacemaker implanted to regulate his heartbeat. Despite his health issues, he returned to performing, but had a reduced schedule of shows. Around this time, Ho married his former assistant Haumea Hebenstreit.
A dedicated performer, Ho made his last appearance at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel only two days before his death. He passed away on April 14, 2007, from heart failure. Family, friends, and fans turned out to good-bye to this Hawaiian icon at his memorial service on May 5 at Waikiki Beach where his ashes were scattered off shore.
His show at the Waikiki Beachcomber goes on as the Ohana Ho Show--ohana
means "family" in Hawaiian. Some of his family, band members and
several other people involved in his original show are part of the
production, which is in part a tribute to Don Ho. Several of his
children are also following in his footsteps, most notably his daughter
Hoku. She is a singer who had a hit single with "Another Dumb Blonde" in
2000. She got her start performing on stage with her legendary father.
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They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
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