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Pauly Fuemana

Pauly Fuemana
Background information
Born (1969-02-08)8 February 1969[1]
Auckland, New Zealand
Origin Otara, New Zealand
Died 31 January 2010(2010-01-31) (aged 40)
North Shore City, New Zealand
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, musician
Instruments Vocals, Guitar
Years active 1995–2010
Associated acts OMC

Paul Lawrence Fuemana[1] (8 February 1969 – 31 January 2010) was a Niuean-New Zealand singer, songwriter and musician.[2][3] Fuemana was the lead singer of the music duo, OMC (Otara Millionaires Club), which was best known internationally for the 1995 hit, "How Bizarre".[4] The song is still the best selling New Zealand record of all time, as of February 2010.[5]


  • Early life 1
  • OMC 2
  • Death 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Fuemana was born in Auckland, to parents Takiula Fuemana and Merelyn Fuemana.[1] He was of half-Niuean and half-Māori descent.[1] His father, Takiula Fuemana, is originally from Mutalau, Niue, before emigrating to New Zealand, while his mother was Taranaki Māori.[1] Fuemana was the youngest of four children.[1]

Fuemana was raised in Otara, a poor suburb in South Auckland with a large Pacific Islander population.[1]


OMC was formed by older brother Phil Fuemana and was passed on to Pauly Fuemana. Fuemana's musical duo, OMC, reached worldwide fame in 1995 with the single "How Bizarre", from their debut album of the same name.[6] OMC, which consisted of Fuemana and Alan Jansson, ceased recording in 1998, but recorded again briefly in 2007.[6]

The song, which was named Single of the Year at the 1996 New Zealand Music Awards, hit number one around the world, including the United States, Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.[4][7] In 2002, their song "How Bizarre" reached #71 on the 100 Greatest One-hit Wonders. The single was a chart hit in many countries and spent multiple weeks at number one in several countries, reaching the top for two weeks in Austria, three weeks in Ireland,[4] three weeks in New Zealand[4] and five weeks in Australia.[4]

He often spoke about the hit: "I put a lot of hidden stories in there so people could read between the lines and sense it for what it is instead of telling them, 'Yeah, we got pulled over by the cops, and my mate got his head smashed in, and we got arrested, and they found some pot on him,'" Fuemana told Reuters in a 1997 interview.[4]

Fuemana declared bankruptcy in 2006.[1] His older brother, Phil Fuemana, who pioneered a form of Polynesian influenced hip-hop and R&B, died of a heart attack in 2005 at the age of 41.[1]


Pauly Fuemana died following a protracted battle with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, ultimately succumbing to respiratory failure[8] at North Shore Hospital, North Shore City, on 31 January 2010.[4] His death occurred eight days before his 41st birthday.[4] He had been in declining health for several years.[1] For a few months prior to his death he had been suffering from a neurological condition,[1] and also developed pneumonia. The week of his death, "How Bizarre" re-entered the New Zealand singles charts at #40.

He is survived by his wife, Kirstine Fuemana, an Englishwoman whom he married in 2002,[1] and five children.[4]

Fuemana's funeral was held on 5 February 2010, at the Pacific Island Presbyterian Church in Newton, New Zealand.[5] The 200 attendees included rappers Dei Hamo, Ermehn and Darryl Thompson, who is also known as DLT, Alan Jansson, Simon Grigg, Nathan Haines and the mayor of Auckland Super city, Len Brown.[5][9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Field, Michael (2010-02-08). "Pauly Fuemana: Otara's star flared but briefly".  
  2. ^ Cartwright, Garth (2010-04-04). "Pauly Fuemana obituary, Singer-rapper whose 1996 hit How Bizarre is New Zealand's biggest-selling record".  
  3. ^ Obituary London Independent, 6 April 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "How Bizarre's Pauly Fuemana dies".  
  5. ^ a b c "Mourners farewell musician Pauly Fuemana".  
  6. ^ a b "Musician Pauly Fuemana dies".  
  7. ^ - How Bizarre
  8. ^ "Pauly Fuemana's rare disease revealed".  
  9. ^ Davidson, Isaac (2010-02-06). "Mourners hear of Fuemana's twin joys over song and son".  

External links

  • AudioCulture profile
  • RIP PaulyFuemana on Facebook
  • Sunday Star Times: Fuemana: the money, the violence, the drugs
  • Pauly Fuemana - The Real Story
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