How did Danny Kaleikini die? Legendary musician cause of death explained

Danny Kaleikini, a renowned musician and performer in the islands who throughout the course of his long career crossed paths with leaders and celebrities and was widely regarded as Hawaii’s “ambassador of aloha,” has passed away. Let’s see How did Danny Kaleikini die and Danny Kaleikini cause of death in detail.


How did Danny Kaleikini die?

The “Ambassador of Aloha” and his motto, “Aloha ke kahi I ke kahi,”(“Love is where you find it”) are both used to describe Danny Kaleikini, a singer, musician, showroom performer, actor, and recording artist. At St. Francis Hospice in Nuuanu, he passed away peacefully on January 6, 2023. He was 85.

Linda Wong, his business partner, confirmed his death this morning.


Danny Kaleikini cause of death

Danny Kaleikini cause of death has left the community inconsolable.

His family reported that he passed away quietly on Friday morning at St. Francis Hospice, where Hawaii performers had flocked over the past month to share their aloha and song.

At this point, it is unknown precisely what led to his death apart from the confirmation of his death and the exact Danny Kaleikini cause of death was not released as well.

In order to learn more about Danny Kaleikini cause of death, we are attempting to get in touch with his friends and family. This section will be updated as soon as we learn any new information regarding the tragic event that brought many people to tears.


Who was Danny Kaleikini?

Danny “Kaniela” Kaleikini was an American singer, musical artist, and entertainer.

He is frequently referred to as “The Ambassador of Aloha” and is best known for his lengthy residence at the Kahala Hilton in Hawaii, where he played for 28 years. He played with Sammy Davis Jr., Wayne Newton, Dolly Parton, Phyllis McGuire, and Don Ho at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas as Paul Anka’s opening act over his more than 50-year career in show business.

Early Life

Kaleikini was born and raised in Papakolea, Honolulu. He was of Italian, Chinese, Irish, Chinese, and native Hawaiian heritage. His father, Danny Kaleikini Sr., was a refuse worker for the City and County of Honolulu and served in the Hawaii National Guard.

Margie, his mother, worked as a waiter for cocktails at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Kaleikini grew up learning to speak Hawaiian from his mother and grandmother, who were both bilingual in English and Hawaiian.

He started selling copies of The Honolulu Advertiser with his brother when he was five years old to get money. Kaleikini and his brother attended jam sessions with Jesse Kalima and Thousand Pounds of Melody on Fridays after shining shoes in Chinatown, where they developed their singing and performing skills.

At Royal Elementary School, Kaleikini participated in the bell choir. He competed against Robert Kihune and other candidates for the position of student body president at Kawananakoa Intermediate while playing the trumpet and drums.

Kaleikini went to Roosevelt High School, where he participated in a 16-piece orchestra and sang in the school choir. Ron Jacobs and Wesley Park, who subsequently rose to the position of his business manager, were among his high school classmates.

He received a music scholarship to attend the University of Hawaii at Mnoa, where he majored in music education.

First Breakthrough

At the Hilton Hawaiian Village, where he played for seven years, Kaleikini got his big break. There, Hilo Hattie served as his mentor and taught him how to emcee using proper English rather than Pidgin.

After Alfred Apaka passed away, he began working in the luau presentations and eventually rose to prominence in the Tapa Room, sharing the stage with singer and hula dancer Lani Custino.

Kaleikini was described as “a charming shaker” who

“has the correct shakes as he shows his versatility in doing the Hawaiian and Tahitian hulas” 

in a review published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in July 1961.

Residency at the Kahala Hilton

As the featured performer at the Hala Terrace at the Kahala Hilton in 1967, Kaleikini secured the first lucrative event outside of Waikiki.

His manager Wesley Park negotiated his first five-year deal, which included a $1.5 million income guarantee.

Over time, it became a “must-see” event that was attended by American presidents, officials from other countries, and Hollywood royalty.  For 28 years, Kaleikini remained a resident in the Kahala Hilton.

The performance began on April 26, 1967, and it ran twice every night besides Tuesdays. It included Kaleikini as well as Penny Silva, three dancers, and five musicians under the direction of Jimmy Kaopuiki.

At first, neither residents nor visitors were familiar with Kahala as a travel destination.

Kaleikini took part in the show’s promotion by bringing a hula dancer and a ukulele player to Waikiki so they could play songs during the day to pique people’s attention.

Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha

After beginning his ninth year in the same place, he had the main room revue that had been running the longest by 1974.

On April 27, 1987, Kaleikini celebrated his 20th anniversary at the Hilton with a two-hour extravaganza after more than 10,000 appearances.

Danny Kaleikini was formally referred to as “Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha” by Governor John Waihee in 1988. On December 31, 1994, the day the Kahala Hilton was sold, Kaleikini left the company.

He was nominated for a Guinness World Record for his extended run at the Kahala Hilton’s Hala Terrace. The front drive of the Kahala Hotel & Resort was renamed Danny Kaleikini Square in his honour in 2022.

Radio and TV

Kaleikini hosted a radio programme on KHVH in the 1960s from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. He started appearing frequently in the 1970s on Webley Edwards’ Hawaii Calls radio show, which included professional musicians and was once regarded as the most well-known Hawaiian music radio show in the world.

After Edwards suffered a heart attack in 1972, new management took control of the programme, and Bud Dant hired Kaleikini to serve as the host on an ongoing basis. Hawaii Calls struggled to find sponsorship in its latter years, and Kaleikini acquired a 20% ownership stake in the programme.

On August 16, 1975, Hawaii Calls made its final airing. He started presenting Danny Kaleikini Theater, which aired on KHON-TV on Saturdays at 11 pm and Sundays at 2:30 pm, in 1970.

He aired a feature film every week, interspersed with three previously taped portions in which Kaleikini showed unique locations in Hawaii.

Danny Kaleikini Foundation

He founded the nonprofit Danny Kaleikini Foundation in 1983 and presided over it.

The foundation has contributed more than $400,000 to date, assisting neighbourhood organisations in serving the local population.

The Danny Kaleikini Scholarship at the University of Hawaii was also endowed by him. Kaleikini has played a significant role in preserving and restoring Kahaluu Fish Pond.

DK Records

DK Records was Kaleikini’s recording label. Danny Kaleikini: Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha, a double-length album of 24 songs that Kaleikini recorded in the 1970s, was released in 1993 by producer Michael Cord.

Alooha is a 2015 CD of five songs by Danny Kaleikini and his grandson Nicholas Kaleikini that blends Hawaiian and pop standards with American jazz and pop arrangements.

The EP garnered positive reviews from critics, with Honolulu Star-John Advertiser’s Berger noting that

“Danny’s voice is as strong and operatic as ever.”


When Frank Fasi ran for governor in 1994, Kaleikini was chosen as his running mate. Following a political career in which he had run for and held office as both a Democrat and a Republican mayor in Hawaii, Fasi founded a short-lived independent group known as the Best Party.

Fasi and Kaleikini pledged to lower taxes and “give governance back to the people” throughout their campaign. The popular but unorthodox choice for lieutenant governor was Kaleikini. He was a “straight shooter” in Honolulu and had a long history of relationships with “politicos.”

He was commended for helping to “smooth” Fasi’s “notorious bluntness” during the 1994 campaign, but detractors fretted about Kaleikini’s lack of political experience and his preparedness to take over the office of governor in an emergency.

Kaleikini was discovered to be the richest of the six candidates running for governor and lieutenant governor based on their financial disclosure forms. Fasi and Kaleikini received 31% of the vote in the election, coming in second place despite spending close to $4 million on their gubernatorial campaign.

They placed second to Democrats Ben Cayetano and Mazie Hirono by 6% but ended ahead of Republicans Pat Saiki and Fred Hemmings.


Throughout his life, Danny Kaleikini was given various honors and distinctions, including:

  • Honoree, Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame, 2016
  • Honorary doctorate from the University of Hawaiʻi, 1991
  • Proclaimed “Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha” by Governor John Waihee, 1988



Tributes to Danny Kaleikini

Many people expressed their profound sympathies to his family and expressed how much they loved him. The news of this occurrence has upset his supporters and fans.

U.S. Sen Brian Schatz said in a statement,

“I join Hawaii 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.”

Musician Henry Kapono wrote,

““Alooooooha!!!” I can hear uncle Danny Kaniala Kaleikini welcoming everyone with his signature way of say, “Aloha.”. I have so many great memories of Danny. When I was a kid I always looked up to him cuz he was so Aloha, charismatic, always happy to see people, kind and full of sunshine. He will always be the Ambassador of “ALOHA.” Goodbye, Danny and mahalo. Love you, Kapono”

Angela keen wrote,

“Today hits hard as an avalanche. Unko Danny Kaleikini AKA Mr. Aloha passed away. He was the epitome of what Aloha is. In this photo, we were walking in the Heart Walk for Hawaii Pacific Health. I worked at Straub Hospital at the time and asked him to be the Grand Marshal and he happily obliged. His oli and his prayers were beyond compare and full of mana. Moe mālie Unko Danny. 🥺

Mahealani Richardson wrote,

“Aloha, Danny Kaleikini. Mike and I are forever grateful to you and Linda for opening your Kahaluʻu property, World of Aloha, to us in 2004 for our wedding and welcoming us back with our son, Sky. Your aloha spirit will be with us always. #dannykaleikini #ambassadorofaloha”

Amy Hanaialli wrote,

“I have deep aloha for Uncle Danny Kaleikini. He loved Hawai’i and his culture. Always a big smile and ready to sing. A Legend. Recently at Hawai’i Theatre we talked back stage in the dressing room. He said baby girl where you touring next? I said come with me Uncle. He said Uncle tired I no like tour anymore. I said Uncle after all of the thousands of performances you’ve done in your life, rest. He smiled. I will miss you Uncle. Mr Aloha.”

One of the worst things anyone can go through in life is losing a loved one. Any journey must have a destination at the end. The person’s time on earth has regrettably come to an end now that they have died.

We wish him eternal peace and send our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones, family, friends. May he rest in peace.

Kindly use the comment box below to honor the death of Danny Kaleikini by leaving a tribute.


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