Kaulana Pakele, the lead singer of Mana’o Company, has died at 47. Pakele is survived by his wife of 23 years, Lisa Huihui Pakele as well as their 3 children.
Pakele had been the lead singer of the band since 1998. They had been together since 1989 prior to Pakele joining. In 2019, the band celebrated their 30th anniversary. Mana’o Company mixes “Hawaiian vocals and Jamaican reggae style rhythms,” according to the band’s promotional material. The band’s 2002 album, Spread a Little Aloha, won 5 Hoku awards including Album and Song of the Year. Pakele was previously the singer with the band Ehukai.
Pakele Had Been Surfing in Makaha on Memorial Day
Kaulana Pakele, lead vocalist of the local music group Mana'o Company has passed away at age 47. pic.twitter.com/ytEiPmMpZr
— KITV4 (@KITV4) May 26, 2020
KITV reports that Pakele was pulled from the water in Makaha, 35 miles west of Honolulu, around 6:30 p.m. local time. The station reports that Pakele was at the beach surfing. Pakele was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
I’m so sad to hear that Kaulana Pakele, of Mana’o Company, has passed away at age 47. He was the voice behind so many of our island favorites and a genuinely kind man. All my best to his family.
At the time of his death, Pakele was living in Kapolei, Hawaii. Pakele was originally from Hilo, Hawaii.
Pakele Had Been a Fan of Mana’o Company Since He Was in High School
Pakele told The Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 2001 that Mana’o Company was his favorite band prior to his joining. Despite the honor of being asked to join the group, Pakele said:
When they asked me at first I said no, because I felt that I wasn’t at the level that they are at, but Mana’o has always been my No. 1 inspiration. Just to be part of that and carry on the legacy, I decided to take it on.
In the same interview, Pakele said he had been attending Mana’o Company shows since he was in high school.
In Addition to His Singing Career, Pakele Was a Safety Director for Hawaiian Airlines
In addition to his singing career, Pakele was also a safety director for Hawaiian Airlines. According to his LinkedIn page, Pakele had been in the role since August 2006.
In a post on the Hawaiian Airlines’ union website, Pakele worked across cargo and customer service.
Pakele Credited His Wife With ‘Changing His Life’
On his Facebook page, Pakele studied Liberal Studies at the University of Hawaii at Hilo between 1995 and 1997. Among Pakele’s final publicly viewable Facebook posts saw him pay tribute to his wife on the day of their 23rd wedding anniversary. Pakele wrote:
Can’t believe that we’ve been married for 23 years! Thank you for EVERYTHING that you have done for me & for changing the course of my life!
I am more in love with you now than ever before & I am looking forward to creating forever memories together!😊 Thank You for strengthening me, being patient with me, praying for me & inspiring me to be better!!