Israel 'IZ' Kamakawiwo'ole (Oahu, 20 May 1959 - Honolulu, 26 June 1997) was an American singer and musician native of Hawaii. He is also known by the pseudonyms Bruddah Iz, or Bradda IZ, or simply IZ.
He became famous in 1993 with the release of the record 'Facing Future' containing the medley of the songs 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' (which was written in 1939 by Harold Arlen with lyrics by EY Harburg, played by Judy Garland and inserted in the column score for the film 'The Wizard of Oz') and 'What a Wonderful World' (standard brought to success by Louis Armstrong) executed in a version with just the ukulele accompaniment, played by the same Kamakawiwo'ole.
In the latter part of his life Israel 'IZ' Kamakawiwo'ole has suffered from a severe form of obesity, coming to weigh 757 lbs being 6 feet 2 inches tall, which was even more out of contrast between the size of his body and the tiny ukulele played by him.
He died from respiratory problems on 26 June 1997 at the age of 38 years. The whole day was shown the Hawaiian flag at half mast. His body was exposed to the Capitol Building in Honolulu, where more than 10,000 people paid tribute to him.
His ashes - as you can see in the video - were scattered in the ocean at Makua Beach.
Iz was nicknamed 'The Good Giant' by his admirers.