Don Ho, Hawaii’s most popular entertainer, has died at Honolulu medical center at the age of 76. Don Ho will be always be remembered for his “signature” song, “Tiny Bubbles”. Not only by his local fans, but the countless millions of tourists who have seen his shows while visiting Hawaii. Donald Ho Tai Loy, a native of Honolulu, was born August 13, 1930 of Chinese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Dutch and German descent. He served as a fighter jet pilot in the United States Air Force and began his singing career in 1962 at a night club called Duke’s. Within three years, he had a recording contract and was playing shows in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and New York.
While no official cause of death has been released, the Honolulu Advertiser reported he had suffered a heart attack. Don Ho had a history of heart problems. He underwent an experimental stem cell procedure in Thailand in December of 2005 which undoubtedly extended his life. He is survived by his wife Haumea and daughter Hoku.
On a personal note, I won a trip to Hawaii in 1973 and while the gorgeous weather and golf courses were high notes, attending the Don Ho show was my favorite event. He was a personable man and gifted entertainer. Hawaii may claim him as a favorite son, but the entire world is saddened at the lost of his talent and vitality.
Listen for “Tiny Bubbles” on “the Honor Roll of Hits” – 24/7 at TUNEDEX MEMORIES!