Musician Pauly Fuemana dies

Last updated 18:14 31/01/2010

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New Zealand musician Pauly Fuemana has died.

Fuemana, who shot to fame with his song How Bizarre in 1995 died just after 7am this morning, North Shore hospital confirmed.

He was 40. His family has not confirmed how Fuemana died, but it is understood he had spent some weeks in hospital suffering a short illness.

His brother told One News he shot to fame from nothing. "He had all this fame dumped on him, which he had to cope with by himself."

He said his last wishes were to have his family, including children, by his bedside. "He just fought all the way to the end."

In 1995 OMC (Otara Millionaires Club) achieved fame with How Bizarre, which reached number one in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and parts of Europe.

OMC sold between three and four million copies of their album, also titled How Bizarre, making it New Zealand's biggest-selling record, but the band broke up in 2000.

While How Bizarre made millions, Fuemana was judged bankrupt in 2006. After his bankruptcy he told the Sunday Star Times he had been "a little bit stupid" with his money at times.

"I bought my brother Phil a Range Rover and my sister a BMW... because they were at the bottom of their glass, they were struggling. I said 'here, have some money'."

OMC reformed in 2007 and released a single 4 All of Us, featuring actor Lucy Lawless.

Tony, Pauly and their older brother Phil - who died in 2005 - set up the first independent Polynesian record label in the country, Urban Pasifika.

Record producer Phil, who died of a heart attack, helped launch Pauly's career in 1994. 

- with NZPA

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