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Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole: Honoring a Legacy of Music and Advocacy


Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole, known affectionately as “Aunty Ces,” was a beloved figure in the Hawaiian music community. Her legacy lives on through her music, but also through her tireless advocacy for Hawaiian culture, language, and sovereignty. In this article, we will explore the life and accomplishments of Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole, and how she continues to inspire and impact the Hawaiian community today.

Early Life and Music Career:

Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole was born on January 19, 1955, in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was raised in the small town of Makaha on the west side of Oahu, where she grew up surrounded by music and Hawaiian culture. Ceslie-Ann began singing at a young age and later joined a Hawaiian music group called Na Leo Nahenahe o Mokuleia. She went on to become a solo artist, releasing several albums and performing throughout Hawaii and the United States.

Advocacy for Hawaiian Culture and Sovereignty:

In addition to her music career, Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole was a passionate advocate for Hawaiian culture and sovereignty. She was actively involved in various organizations and initiatives aimed at promoting Hawaiian language, culture, and traditions. Ceslie-Ann was also a vocal supporter of Hawaiian independence, advocating for the restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the recognition of Hawaiian sovereignty.

Legacy and Impact:

Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole passed away on February 15, 2002, at the age of 47. Despite her untimely death, her legacy continues to inspire and impact the Hawaiian community today. Her music remains beloved by fans around the world, and her advocacy work has inspired a new generation of activists and leaders. Ceslie-Ann Kamakawiwo’ole’s commitment to Hawaiian culture, language, and sovereignty serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and celebrating the unique identity of Hawaii and its people.


ceslie-ann kamakawiwo’ole was a gifted musician, a passionate advocate, and a beloved figure in the Hawaiian community. Her life and legacy remind us of the power of music to connect people and cultures, and the importance of standing up for what we believe in. As we continue to honor her memory, we can draw inspiration from her example and work towards a more just and equitable future for all.