Maui Arts & Entertainment

Legendary entertainer Danny Kaleikini remembered

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Danny Kaleikini, Hawaii’s ambassador of Aloha, was scheduled to act as master of ceremonies for a free, public concert, Na Mele o na Keiki, ‘Music for the Children,’ at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall Dec. 10, 2005. The event was designed to support the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots campaign. Credit: Public domain Wikimedia Commons via

Legendary Hawaiʻi musician and entertainer, Danny Kaleikini has passed. He was 85.

Senate Vice President Michelle N. Kidani (District 18 –  Mililani Town, Waipi‘o Gentry, Crestview, Waikele, portion of Waipahu, Village Park, Royal Kunia) issued a statement today saying, “I am saddened and completely loss for words at the passing of Danny Kaleikini. Not only was he my good friend, but he was an amazing ambassador of Hawaiʻi who truly embodied the aloha spirit.”

From attending many of his performances at the old Kahala Hilton to watching him serendae the Senate chamber on opening day in 2015, Sen. VP Kidani said, “Danny’s memory and legacy will forever live on through the thousands of people that he met over the course of his legendary career.”


“My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Kaleikini ʻohana during this difficult time. Hawaiʻi has lost a favorite son.”

US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) also released a statement on Kaleikini’s passing:

“I join Hawai‘i in mourning the loss of a legend across the islands and beyond our shores. Danny was an extraordinarily talented, charismatic, joyful, and fearless performer who energized any stage he stepped on and warmed any heart he touched. He was the kind of person who made everyone who he interacted with feel special. He was a living embodiment of the aloha spirit, and we are all deeply sorrowful for this loss. I will miss his voice, his personal warmth, and his friendship. May he rest in peace and aloha.”


Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority President and CEO John De Fries said:

“Danny’s warmth and charisma brightened every room he walked into and every stage he was on. He was larger than life, an icon and genuine ambassador of the Hawaiian Islands who shared his love for music and the people of Hawai‘i throughout the world. We extend our deepest aloha to his family and all those who loved him.”

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey said she joins in grieving the passing of Kaleikini, Hawaiʻi’s iconic “Ambassador of Aloha.”


“He was the quintessential entertainer; an award-winning singer and musician whose music delighted audiences for more than half a century. He performed for local audiences and tourists, as well as for celebrities and foreign dignitaries, combining his tremendous talent with ineffable charm and natural charisma. Known for his genuine kindness, he exemplified aloha and was an inspiration to many other Hawaiian musicians,” said Lindsey.

Danny Kaleikini was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame as an honoree in 2016; he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hawaiʻi in 1991; and was proclaimed an Ambassador of Aloha in 1988 by then Gov. John Waiheʻe III.


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