For more than four decades, Don Ho was one of Hawaii's biggest entertainers, drawing huge crowds to his shows. The success of his albums in the 1960s, especially his hit single "Tiny Bubbles," brought him legions of fans worldwide and led to numerous appearances on TV. The charming entertainer pursued a number of TV projects in the 1970s and briefly had his own variety show, The Don Ho Show.
Death and Legacy
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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