'Kōtiro Māori E' is one of the most well-known songs in Māoridom, written by Tommy Taurima around 40 years ago.
Even at age 77, he still has an unbridled passion for music.
Mr Taurima said he drew inspiration from his love for his grandchildren, and for where he grew up.
Surrounded by friends and family, he was awarded the Lifetime Living Legend award from the Polynesian Cultural Centre in Hawai'i.
Mr Taurima was so delighted to see his friends and colleagues from Hawai'i, overcome with tears of joy.
He brought the best of the Māori culture to Hawai'i and the world, with 'Ruawharo' and 'Te Rina' being amongst his most renowned titles.
The new award will go along with his Queen's Service Medal and his honorary master's degree from TWoA in Auckland for his services to performing arts.