Hawaiian singer and musician Willie K. stunned the crowd at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu on Saturday with a stirring new take on the national anthem.
Accompanied by his ukulele, he dispensed with the traditional melody and went with his own for “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to the game between the University of Hawaii and University of Nevada, Reno.
The result turned Willie K. ― a local legend known for his virtuoso skills on both the ukulele and guitar ― into a viral superstar overnight.
US President Donald Trump arrives at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on January 8, 2018.
Trump is attending the College Football Playoff National Championship between the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by ROTC students, sings along with the national anthem before the NCAA College Football Playoff Championship game between Alabama and Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Jan 8, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; President Donald Trump stands for the national anthem before the 2018 CFP national championship college football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
U.S. President Donald Trump sings along with the national anthem before the NCAA College Football Playoff Championship game between Alabama and Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the national anthem before the NCAA College Football Playoff Championship game between Alabama and Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. January 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump on field during the national anthem prior to the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Here’s some of the reaction to his take on the national anthem:
This brought tears to my eyes - one of the most gorgeous performances of the Star-Spangled Banner I’ve ever heard. Just absolutely beautiful. 🇺🇸♥️🇺🇸♥️ https://t.co/yXwiKr5Vo7
Normally, I would be against a rendition like this, saying that it doesn’t sound like the anthem. But, wow, Willie K, that voice. It may not have sounded like the anthem, but it sounded like something straight from the heart. Beautiful. https://t.co/QZ5Ud6nLHS