THE LATE "IZ"EARNS GOLD FOR HAWAI'I
Without marketers and pollsters, a CD becomes a hit because people across America found an Artist whose music they loved and embraced.
HONOLULU, Hawaii (September 19, 2002) -- Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's, Facing Future, has just become the first-ever full length album from Hawai'i to be certified GOLD by the RIAA; and the first-ever GOLD Record awarded a Native Hawaiian owned record company or any record company from Hawai'i.
Facing Future, "IZ"'s first release, is now recognized by people around the world through movies, television, radio, magazines, books and the more powerful than ever "word of mouth." This success has catapulted "IZ" to a level unheard of by other entertainers from Hawai'i, other than Don Ho and Jack Lord.
Israel's fans have wildly accepted his music whether they are just discovering "IZ" or have been a fan for years. His latest album, released posthumously, has been in the top 5 on Billboard Magazine's World Chart for an unprecedented 51 weeks and #1 for 13 weeks. Facing Future has remained on the Billboard Chart for 177 weeks and jumped back to the #1 spot where it has remained all summer. He is the voice of the modern day Hawaiian and speaks through his music to not only Hawai'i residents, but also to the millions of people who visit Hawai'i and the millions who are Hawaiians at heart.
The path to this Gold record has been paved with the support of a diverse group of supporters and champions. From film producers and directors such as Martin Brest and John Wells, authors such as Dean Koontz and Paul Theroux, to entertainers and artists such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, Paul Simon and countless others that became passionate about "IZ" and his music.
In a day when technology promotes the creation of big productions and complicated electronic beats and sounds, the latest GOLD record certified by the RIAA has been awarded to an artist whose popularity is based on the simple sounds of his 'ukulele and vocal, a sound that the world is responding to because of its gift of purity.
"IZ", born and raised in Hawai'i, was a founding member of the Hawaiian legendary musical group, The Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau. "IZ" left the Makaha Sons in 1993 and began his own record label, Big Boy Records. Originally, "IZ" asked to be a recording artist with the successful Mountain Apple Company, but Owner Jon de Mello insisted this pure Hawaiian needed to own his music and guided him through the creation of developing Big Boy Records. As a result of the Big Boy Records-Mountain Apple Company association, Big Boy Records is one of the most successful Hawaiian owned businesses.
"IZ, who died in l997, didn't live to see the enormous international success of his music. To the people of Hawai'i, "IZ" has become a spiritual voice and a guiding light. The popularity of his music has brought attention and greater understanding of the Hawaiian people and their causes in the new millennium.