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Kiwi music legend Bill Sevesi dies

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/04/2016

Kiwi music legend Bill Sevesi has passed away, aged 92.

The Pacific Music Awards Trust posted the news on social media on Saturday, saying he was a true icon in Pacific music - an amazing musician, songwriter, artist and man.

"We were proud to honour him at the 2006 Pacific Music Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award. We thank you Bill for all your music and all your generosity of spirit that you shared with us all."

The Tongan-born songwriter and steel guitarist composed more than 200 songs and helped to popularise Hawaiian-style music in New Zealand.

His band, Bill Sevesi and his Islanders, were a fixture of the Auckland music scene from the 1950s to the mid-1970s.

From there, he turned his attentions to recording, building a modest home studio.

He recorded and encouraged several singers, including the Yandall Sisters and Annie Crummer, played with fellow steel guitarists Trevor Edmondson and Bill Wolfgramm, and appeared with Neil Finn and Dave Dobbyn.

During his career, Sevesi toured Australia, the United States and the Pacific.

He was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2015.

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