This singer's Hawaiian-inspired version of the Star Spangled Banner has been hailed one of the most beautiful renditions of the song to date.
The Star Spangled Banner has been sung countless times by musicians but no one ever rendered it the way Hawaiian singer Willie K. did. His version is the most stirring of them all.
"...one of the most gorgeous performances of the Star-Spangled Banner I’ve ever heard. Just absolutely beautiful"
Willie earned the respect of netizens when a clip of his unique and mesmerizing performance of the national anthem emerged.
He sang at a football game at the Aloha Stadium in Honolulu with only his ukulele accompanying his voice. The singer created his own melody, a stunning Hawaiian-inspired arrangement that tops other versions of the anthem in the past. It was calming and touching, a beautiful performance from a man who’s also battling lung cancer.
Willie completed his chemotherapy treatment in April. At the time his performance went viral in October, he was still getting treatment to boost his immune system. A GoFundMe campaign was in place to raise funds for his medical bills.
Willie is grateful for the appreciation he got for his spin on the national anthem. The response has been astounding. Among the random comments he received, these were some tweets that stood out.
“Normally, I would be against a rendition like this, saying that it doesn’t sound like the anthem. But, wow, Willie K, that voice. It may not have sounded like the anthem, but it sounded like something straight from the heart. Beautiful.”
“Amazing.....from WillieK, Hawaiian legend....this is good stuff....usually I’m not a fan of messing with the star spangled banner, but this leaves you with lump in your throat.....just incredible”
“This brought tears to my eyes - one of the most gorgeous performances of the Star-Spangled Banner I’ve ever heard. Just absolutely beautiful.”
The Star Spangled Banner is probably one of the most sung songs in America. It’s been sung for generations to introduce events and commemorate historical moments. Like Willie, others have come before him who’ve stunned audiences with their own renditions. One of the more recent ones involved a seven-year-old girl. Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja moved the crowd at an LA Galaxy soccer game in Los Angeles when she belted out a powerful rendition of the national anthem. Malea had won the chance to sing that day after joining a contest on social media. Judges were right to choose her. Her voice was captivating. Here’s a clip from her memorable performance.