New West Broadcasting Monday (Aug 27) announced the passing of KWXX radio’s morning show personality Ke‘ala Kawa‘auhau at the age of 47. The cause of death has not been determined.
Kawa‘auhau joined New West Broadcasting 19 years ago and most recently co-hosted the popular Breakfast Luau show along with Loeka Longakit, that airs weekday mornings. Kawa‘auhau was the forefather of Hawaiian Hip Hop and a member of the groundbreaking and influential musical group Sudden Rush, which has been an annual headline performer at the KWXX Ho‘olaulea for the past several years. He was also an outspoken Hawaiian activist.
Chris Leonard, New West Broadcasting President/General Manager said, “Ke‘ala’s legacy will live on through his ground-breaking and influential music with Sudden Rush, his family, friends and thousands and thousands of KWXX listeners on Hawaii Island and around the world who started their day with a smile on their face because of him.” Leonard said, “There’s a giant void left by his passing, however, we are thankful for the time that we spent with him and for the time that he spent entertaining and informing our listeners.”
Kawa‘auhau is survived by his ‘ohana: Kalei, Kealoha, Mala‘e, Cheydon, parents Donald and Stella, brother Kawika, sisters Nani and Kahea.
Memorial services are pending.