Willie K. is a big deal in Hawaii. The local musician and singer is an icon because of his virtuoso skills on ukulele and guitar. That’s why he was invited to perform the National Anthem at the University of Hawaii - University of Reno football game this past weekend.
Armed with just his ukulele, Willie K. seemingly pulled off the impossible. He gave the anthem a new melody, which was reverent and moving, and did it justice.
The local legend pulled off the feat despite battling lung cancer. Reaction on Twitter, with 1.7 million likes of the video, came from Meghan McCain saying she was brought to tears, Chris Cuomo who simply said “Awesome!,” and many others who said it was the one time “messing with the anthem” was appropriate.