How Did Bruddah Waltah Die? Cause of Death Explained

Bruddah Waltah Aipolani, one of the pioneers who introduced the beat to the Hawaiian islands, rose to prominence as a leader of island reggae sadly passed away on Thursday, August 17th, 2023. He captivated fans with his deep compositions and sentimental lyrics for decades. However, his recent passing has left a void in both the reggae and Hawaiian music scenes, leaving fans and admirers wondering about the circumstances that led to his untimely demise

Keep reading the article to know more about Bruddah Waltah, including who he was, how he died, what was the cause of his death, tributes for him, and much more!


Who Was Bruddah Waltah?

Hawaiian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, Bruddah Waltah Aipolani was born in 1955 close to Hilo in Keaukaha. He migrated with his family to Oahu when he was a young boy. He began performing in Waikiki in the 1980s when he acquired the moniker “Bruddah Waltah.” He is often referred to as the “Father of Hawaiian Reggae” since he and the bands he was a part of, such as Island Afternoon, contributed to the rise in popularity of Hawaiian-style reggae music in the 1980s and 1990s.

Bruddah Waltah was more than just a musician; he was a storyteller who used his music to paint vivid pictures of the Hawaiian way of life. With his guitar as his faithful companion, Bruddah Waltah strummed his way into the hearts of many with his soul-soothing melodies and emotive lyrics. His 1986 hit, “Sweet Lady of Waiāhole,” remains an enduring anthem that pays homage to the beauty of the Waiāhole Valley on the windward side of O’ahu. The song resonated not only with locals but also with people worldwide who were captivated by the pure, unfiltered emotions that flowed through his music.

Aipolani performed his first live performances in 1980 with his siblings in the band Aku Palu, whose name translates to “Bloody Fish Guts.” Tragically, just as they were about to release their debut album, their employer was fatally shot. As a result, the band disbanded and briefly joined their uncle’s Hawaiian music group Na Mele Kani.

Their sister, a dancer, and singer visiting New Zealand, gave them a cassette CD of Bob Marley songs. Later, after becoming more familiar with Rasta music and culture, the brothers launched Tumbleland Jams, a run of free concerts in Honolulu.

How Did Bruddah Waltah Die? Cause of Death Explained

Renowned Hawaiian first reggae musician and Native Village Rescue team leader unexpectedly passed away on Thursday, August 17th, 2023. He took his last breath at his home in Hilo in the company of his closest relatives. 

As news of Bruddah Waltah’s passing spread, it was met with shock and sorrow. However, the circumstances surrounding his death remained undisclosed.

Bruddha’s cousin Jim Sequeira was the one who first announced his passing, and penned a heartfelt note for him, saying

“I was quite upset to learn that my cousin Bruddah Waltah had crossed over to the other side of the thin curtain separating our world from paradise and was now sitting among our ancestors. On my mom’s side, we are cousins. Going to miss his kolohe manners, Aloha, and smile. I cherish you, Cuz. Aloha Oe, until we cross paths once more on the other side!”

The mystery of his passing may remain unsolved, but his legacy will continue to delight the islands and hearts of loved ones.

Tributes for Bruddah Waltah

The word of his departure spread throughout the Hawaiian islands and beyond, inspiring a flood of tributes and expressions of sympathy from followers and lovers.

Hookena30, a famous band posted on Facebook, saying “What are the odds that a message from Bruddah Waltah from this day in 2009 appears in my Facebook page Memories, that I send it to his page immediately, only to learn that he passed away a few hours later?”

In a post, Eric T Yamanada mentioned, “After learning the demise of one of my friends, Bruddah Waltah Aipolani, my heart has sunk a little deeper. I’m thinking of you, Thailand. The rest of your Ohana, including Denise Leionaona Aipolani. Love and consolation from the Yamada Ohana. I adore you, my friend!”

Duncan Bamsey sent condolences, “I often had the opportunity to play with the legend. Last year, Hokus was one of my favorites, and this evening, the video was recorded. March 2022.  This was the first time we could all be together again since Hawaii abolished the mask requirement.”

In the realm of music, there are those who merely perform, and then there are those who touch souls. Bruddah Waltah Aipolani undoubtedly belonged to the latter category. His ability to produce the beauty, and joy of life through his reggae melodies and heartfelt lyrics was a gift to the world. As we remember him, let us focus on the spirited life he lived and the indelible mark he left on the hearts of those who heard his music.

Keep visiting our website to read more articles of the same type, and don’t forget to comment down your thoughts and prayers for Bruddah Waltah’s beloved family, as they are going through this difficult period of time.

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