Kupuna Life: Singer doesn’t let pandemic stop her from performing, uses Facebook Live to share music

Kupuna Life

HONOLULU (KHON2) — This music icon is busier than ever, especially with Facebook as her friend. She’s a legend and she’s not letting lockdown get her down.

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On Facebook Live to Ohana Hale Marketplace in Kakaako. There’s a free concert every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It’s the incomparable Melveen Leed. She started performing on Facebook Live three years ago.

“I just got a new toy with a vocal to have harmony with myself,” said singer Melveen Leed. “I learned from when I saw Willy K. I said, ‘Willy, how did you get all those voices and everything. What are you doing? Oh, I’m pressing on this thing, go get one Melveen. You should get one.’ So I went and got one.”

Leed adds, “On my keyboard, I have to go and program it–each song different. Guess who plays with me every Sunday, but you can’t see him. Led Kaapana. He plays guitar at home, he watches me.”

Many do, around the world for her voice, and for the good fun that is Melveen.

Wearing her favorite Hailama designs, she models and creates these ads, for free, and posts them on Facebook. She makes the shell jewelry she’s wearing, and even gives them away to strangers for free.

A heart of gold, this treasure, who four years ago, was diagnosed with leukemia.

“I wasn’t gonna take any chemo, you know. I was just gonna let it go cause I thought I lived a good life and everything, but then my husband begged me. He said, ‘Please, you know. I don’t want you to leave me. They can help you. Please take the chemo and last minute, I did, and I’m glad I did. I had a hard time though. It was brutal, very brutal.”

But it helped. She’s in remission, for nearly two years now.

“I’m 77-years-old now and I think to myself, why not just keep living and making other people happy.”

Melveen is also now writing the story of her life to include her love life.

“I’ve been married six times, you know,” she laughed. But her Miguel ‘Mike’ Reyes is her last.

They got married in Las Vegas almost nine years ago.

“I got married in black, you know, dressed in black. I go, ‘Well, if I’m gonna mourn, this is the last time, you know, this is it.”

He’s been her friend since they were teenagers.

“I finally found a really wonderful husband that understands me and it’s just different now. It’s a different life for me,” the singer said. “I’ve reached that pinnacle, that top of my life and I’m so happy now I know what happiness really is.”

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