GRAMMY-nominated Hawaiian songwriter and slack key guitarist Dennis Kamakahi died April 28 following a battle with lung cancer. He was 61. Born in Honolulu, Kamakahi emerged in 1973 as a member of ukulele player Eddie Kamae's group the Songs Of Hawaii, replacing guitarist Pops Gabby Pahinui. He spent more than 20 years in the group and wrote several classic hula songs, including "Pua Hone," "Wahine 'Ilikea," "Koke'e," and "Kou Aloha Mau A Mau." He released several albums as a solo artist, including 1999's 'Ohana (Family), which peaked at No. 15 on Billboard's Top World Music Albums chart. He earned a 2008 GRAMMY nomination for Best Hawaiian Music Album for The Spirit Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, marking his first career GRAMMY nomination. He earned a 2010 nomination in the category for Amy Hanaiali'i And Slack Key Masters Of Hawaii.
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