Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on several small guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde.
The singer and comedian George Formby was perhaps the UK's most famous ukulele player, who was born in Wigan Lancashire. Although he actually played a banjolele, which is a hybrid instrument consisting of an extended ukulele neck with a banjo resonator body. After George took his Uke to film, demand for the instrument surged because of its relative simplicity, portability & price point. More recently Grace Avery VanderWaal, an American singer-songwriter from Suffern, New York. In September 2016, at age 12, she won the eleventh season of the NBC TV competition show America's Got Talent playing Ukulele bringing the popularity of the Uke back to the mainstream.
Perhaps one of the most popular tracks of recent is Somewhere over the Rainbow by Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole
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