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.
What makes the unforgettable performance even more impressive is that Willie K. managed to pull it off despite a battle with lung cancer.
Hawaii News Now said the performer’s final chemotherapy session was in April, but he is currently in treatment to boost his immune system.
Fans have been contributing to a GoFundMe campaign to help with his medical bills.
Here’s some of the reaction to his take on the national anthem: