Kawai Cockett was born on September 24, 1937 in Puko'o on the island of Molokai'i. His love of music got him to travel around the islands and lead him to Honolulu and in front of Hula Records founder Don McDiarmid Jr., who worked with him for what would become his debut album featuring the song that is still identified by him, "Beautiful Kaua'i". He would continue throughout the years and release new music every few years, all while still retaining to playing and singing the old Hawaiian style. He died on September 20, 2006 in Kane'ohe on the island of Oahu, due to complications from diabetes. He was 67.