A Hawaiian singer has touched the hearts of Americans everywhere after performing a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner last Saturday.
William Awihilima Kahaiali’I, also known as Uncle Willie K, performed before the University of Hawaii’s Nevada Wolf Pack took on the Hawaiian Rainbow Warriors at the Aloha Stadium. The 58 year-old, who revealed earlier this year that he is suffering from lung cancer, took the field wearing a lei garland and botanical print monochrome shirt.
Those watching his performance were clearly touched by it as they stood and watched him sing with their hands on their heart.
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Uncle Willie K later took the field again during half-time to play Hawai’i Pono’ī, the current state song for Hawaii, before playing his feel-good 1991 song Katchi Katchi Music Makawao.
Video of his performance has since gone viral, touching the hearts of people all over the world.
“I just have to say, this is one of the most beautiful versions I have ever heard. The effort he put in to make it his own,” one person tweeted. “You don’t [sing] it like that without a true love in your heart. Most people are just reciting the same old song they have always heard.”
“Is Willie K’s version of the Star Spangled Banner available to download? It’s a beautiful, touching rendition of our National Anthem!” another added, with a third writing, “Different does not equal wrong. Loved it!”
This comes months after Uncle Willie K revealed that he had started four rounds and 12 weeks of chemotherapy for the limited stage small cell carcinoma localized to his upper right lung.
“This has been a whirlwind experience, but with the love and support of family and friends, I’m optimistic that we will beat this, and be back on stage in no time,” he said at the time. “I also want to thank my doctor, and her team for their swift, expert action in treating me – we are lucky to have such caring health care professionals in Hawai’i, and their compassion has been a key component in this process.”
Please keep Uncle Willie K. in your thoughts and prayers, and check out his performance below!
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