Donald Tai Loy Ho, who was Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and German, was born Aug. 13, 1930, in Honolulu and grew up in the then-rural countryside of Kaneohe. In high school, he was a star football player and worked for a brief time in a pineapple cannery. After graduating in 1949, he attended Springfield College in Massachusetts on an athletic scholarship. He grew homesick, returned to the islands and ended up graduating from the University of Hawaii in 1953 with a degree in sociology.
Inspired by the U.S. military planes flying in and out of Hawaii during World War II, Ho joined the Air Force. As the Korean War wound down, he piloted transport planes between Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu and Tokyo.
When he returned home and took over his parents' struggling neighborhood bar, Honey's, he put together a band and started performing at his father's request. "I had no intention of being an entertainer," Ho said. "I just played songs I liked from the radio, and pretty soon that place was jammed. Every weekend there would be lines down the street."
Honey's became a happening place on Oahu, with other Hawaiian musicians stopping in for jam sessions. Ho began to play at various spots in Hawaii, then had a breakout year in 1966, when appearances at the Coconut Grove in Hollywood helped him build a mainland following, and the release of "Tiny Bubbles" gave him his greatest recording success. This record charted on both the pop and easy listening charts and caused the subsequent Tiny Bubbles LP to remain in the album Top 20 for almost a year. Another song that was familiar with Don was the song “Pearly Shells”. Soon he was packing places such as the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Stars such as Lucille Ball, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra were known to be in the audience for Ho's shows.
Ho also became a television star, and hosted the "The Don Ho Show" on ABC from 1976-77. One of Ho's most memorable TV appearances was a 1972 cameo on an episode of "The Brady Bunch." "I've had too much fun all these years," he said in a 2004 interview. "I feel real guilty about it." Besides "Tiny Bubbles," his other well-known songs include "I'll Remember You," "With All My Love," and the "Hawaiian Wedding Song."
Ho was diagnosed with heart failure caused by cardiomyopathy. The cause of his heart failure was unknown, but there was no treatment available. He contacted Theravitae, a biotechnology company specializing in treating heart conditions with adult stem cells working in conjunction with Dr. Amit Patel, a cardiac surgeon and pioneer of the use of adult stem cells for heart disease. On December 6, 2005, Ho had his own blood-derived stem cells injected into his heart by Dr. Patel with his surgeons in Thailand. The treatment went without incident. In an interview with the Associated Press later in the month, Ho said, “I’m feeling terrific, 100 percent better”. He credited the treatment with saving his life.
In September 2006 Ho married Haumea Hebenstreit, who produced his show at the Waikiki Beachcomber. Ho’s daughter, Hoku, performed with her father in his Waikiki show and later went on to become a nationally known recording artist in her own right.
In the final years of his life, Ho's heart problems couldn't keep him away from the stage. He was back performing at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel on a limited schedule less than two months after his heart procedure in Thailand. His final performance was on April 12th 2007, two days before he died.(Info various but mainly edited from Wikipedia).