Local entertainer and guitar virtuoso Willie Kahaiali’i, also known as Willie K, was taken to a Maui hospital Saturday night after becoming unresponsive while on stage.
Kahaiali’i, 58, was hosting and performing at his annual Willie K and Friends Bluesfest at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center when the incident occurred. The concert, which also featured appearances by Alice Cooper, Tommy Castro and Michael McDonald, continued after an ambulance transported him from the venue.
Kahaiali’i, who was diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2018, posted a short video to Facebook a few hours later.
“I’m doing good. I’m alright,” he said. “I just had a little relapse because I’m dehydrated.”
A second post on Facebook said Kahaiali’i was “stable” and would remain in the hospital overnight for observation. He was released Sunday afternoon.
Kahaiali’i returned to performing publicly shortly after his diagnosis and beginning treatment last year. He returned to his monthly headlining performances at Blue Note Hawaii in March and has since been seen performing regularly on Oahu and Maui.
So far, family, friends and fans of Kahaiali’i have also raised more than $86,000 of $100,000 requested via GoFundMe to help replace lost income and pay for medical expenses.