The U.S. national anthem, "Star Spangled Banner," is one of the most difficult songs to perform live, but you wouldn't be able to tell when you listen to singer Willie K, perform the iconic tune.
Artists often play around with the arrangement to add their unique spin to the song and make their performance stand out from all the rest, but sometimes the best performances are the ones delivered with minimal effort.
His voice and ukulele were the only instruments Willie, needed to wow the Aloha Stadium crowd at last weekend's football game between University of Hawaii and University of Nevada.
The local star, affectionately known around the islands as "Uncle Willie," has been fighting lung cancer, but that couldn't stop him from giving the audience a wonderful surprise with his pleasantly different version of the anthem.
Have a listen:
ICYMI: Talk about #LiveAlohaPlayWarrior 💪🏼🔥Not letting his battle with cancer over the last few months get him down, Willie K CRUSHED The Star-Spangled Banner last night 🎶#HawaiiFB 🌈🏈 🤙🏽 pic.twitter.com/HzKof7wGpR— Spectrum Sports HI (@specsportshi) October 22, 2018
Willie, who has shared the stage with some of the world's biggest stars, including Prince, Santana, Journey, and ZZ Top, also impressed the audience during his special halftime appearance with the UH Marching Band.
The video of Willie's performance went viral as soon as it was shared online, and was well received by many social media users.
I just have to say, this is one of the most beautiful versions I have ever heard. The effort he put in to make it his own. You don't don't it like that without a true love in your heart. Most people are just reciting the same old song they have always heard.— Justin Shirey (@Just21hb) October 21, 2018
I don’t usually like it when singers mess with the original melody, but Willie K can do whatever he wants. Great voice.— WildcatPoise (@WildcatPoise) October 21, 2018
It's a refreshing take honestly. Double thumbs up for using a uke too. 😁👍— BarracudaEms (@ecgowaffle) October 21, 2018
Soulful and gorgeous!— Duane (@DuaneHere) October 21, 2018
Following the memorable performance, some people suggested that he should be picked to perform the anthem at the upcoming Super Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia.
Others said that the popular singing competition The Voice "should accept this [the anthem performance clip] as his audition tape."
One veteran asked for this version of the patriotic song to be made available on iTunes so fans can purchase it and listen to it over and over again.
I am awestruck. Truly awestruck.— usafdav (@usafdav) October 21, 2018
Please sing it over and over again. Put it on iTunes so I can purchase it.
Thank you for capturing the most stunning rendition I’ve heard.
There were some who wondered why Willie wasn't more famous outside of Hawaii, but he has a very good explanation for that.
In an interview with the University of Hawaii Productions, Willie revealed that he has had the opportunity to become a "big gigantic star," but he just can't trade Hawaii "for anything else in the world."
"On Maui, I say, 'When you wake up in the morning and you see that sunrise, give me a phone call and here’s my number. Then you find out why,'” he said. “I love it here. I would never trade it for anything else in the world."
We're wishing Willie a speedy recovery so he can continue to serenade us with his beautiful voice!