Married name: Lehualani Ehukai Kanoa (current marriage), Lehualani Ehukai Nahima (fist marriage)
Maiden name: Lehualani Ehukai Sandbo
Stage name: レフア (LEHUA), Lehua Sandbo
Date of birth: February 7th, 1983
Place of birth: Hawaii, USA
Date of debut: January 2000 (Member #29)
Graduated: February 17th, 2002
Official twitter (2014)
Lehua Sandbo was a Japanese singer and beauty pageants contestant, and is now working as a model. She started her career as a member of the group Coconuts Musume in 2000, from which she graduated in 2002.
Auditions were held to recruit new members for the Hello! Project goup Coconuts Musume in 2000, and Lehua was chosen as the only 2nd generation member.
According to Sandbo in an interview from 2003, she first heard of the Coconuts Musume auditions from her aunt who read about it in a Hawaiian newspaper:
«I wasn’t going to audition at first because I just finished doing a play. Something just got into me and told me that I have to audition for it, so I called and they said that they already had auditions, but they would still take my resume and some pictures and would call me if they wanted to meet with me. A couple days after I had mailed everything in, I got a call saying that they wanted me to sing for them.»
After being called back for an audition in Waikiki, Sandbo had sang her rendition of Whitney Houston’s «I Will Always Love You» (originally by Dolly Parton). A few days later, she and two other girls were finalists in the auditions. The second part of the auditions required the girls to sing and dance a Coconuts Musume song. Sandbo had shocked everyone when she chose to perform the Japanese version of Dance & Chance. After everything was said and done, Sandbo was picked as the winner. (Taken from the wikia)
She was a part of the group for two years, until she graduated to pursue her college education. Sandbo later stated that after the attacks in the US in 2001 she wanted to return home to her family.
Back in Hawaii she participated in (and won) several beauty pageants, she got married and had a daughter and later divorced. She then worked as a photo model, and later on joined college to become a nurse. She has since gotten two kids.