Photo/ Audio Culture
Iconic Māori singer of the 1970s Bunny Tekokiri Miha Wahi Walters passed away peacefully at Waikato Hospital this morning after a short illness. He was surrounded by his partner Anne, his children and whānau members.
A descendant of Ngāi Te Rangi, Mātaatua waka, Walters was 63-years-old.
Walters was best known for his hits Nearest thing to Heaven, Take the money and run and Brandy.
Born and raised in the small Bay of Plenty town of Katikati, Walter's first single Just out of Reach was released in 1969.
Three years later he went on to produce what would be one of his most popular songs, Brandy which featured backing vocals by The Yandall Sisters. The song reached number 4 on the New Zealand pop charts, while Take the Money reached number 2.
Walter's contribution to the New Zealand music scene was significant, and it is said that artists who inspired and influenced him the most in his career were The Drifters and Tom Jones.
However, his success wasn't restricted to the world of music - he was also a talented actor who appeared in the 1978 film Skin Deep and an episode of Shortland Street.
Walters will be remembered by those who loved his timeless music, and artists whom he performed with and influenced during his time.
Te Kāea will have more on this tonight at 5:30pm.