Catch yourself singing “Kachi Kachi Music Makawao” as you head up Haleakala Highway? Or “You Ku’uipo” when possessed by the trilling thrills of love? Thank Willie Kahaiali’i. Oh wait, you have, by again voting him best of the kane crooners. He’s the only Maui boy I know who can waltz up to a karaoke mic and take over the night with his own tunes (as I’ve luckily borne witness). Not that he needs to. Gigging regularly from Mulligan’s to the MACC, his altruistic side also places him at oodles of charity events, including his own Willie K. Celebrity Golf Tournament, a benefit for the Maui Memorial Medical Center’s Oncology Department. He’s worked with such notables as B.B. King, Santana, Willie Nelson, Prince, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, and can also boast a stack of Na Hoku Hanohano awards and Grammy nominations. Too, how many Christmas albums are worth caring about? It’s a short list, but Willie’s on it.
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