KAILUA-KONA — Ke’ala Kawa’auhau, a KWXX morning show personality and member of the groundbreaking musical group Sudden Rush, died Monday morning. He was 47.
The cause of Kawa’auhau’s death has not been determined, New West Broadcasting announced Monday afternoon.
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.
“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,” KWXX president and general manager Chris 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 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.