Music

The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii 

Ranker Music
Updated April 30, 2020 939 votes 94 voters 4.5k views 78 items

List Rules Only artists born or raised in Hawaii or bands formed in Hawaii.

Here are the best artists and bands from Hawaii. Despite Hawaii's small size in comparison to other states, it has made some major contributions to the music industry. For example, the styling of the slack-key guitar is recognizable no matter where you live around the globe. The state has also impacted the country music genre with the introduction of the steel guitar, which can be heard in dozens of classic songs. One thing is certain. When you look at the best musical artists from Hawaii, you never know what you might get. 

From folk artists to rock bands, Hawaii has an incredibly diverse roster of artists to call its own. All of the artists on this list were either born in the state or raised there at some point in their childhoods. Don Ho's song "Tiny Bubbles" was a smash hit upon its release. All of the members of the band Iration came from Hawaii, and now, they play their smooth, reggae beats for audiences to enjoy worldwide. Other popular Hawaii artists include Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, Jack Johnson, and Hoku.

Even if you come from the mainland, you will find artists here you adore. Determining who the most famous Hawaii musical artists are is entirely in your hands. It is up to you to decide who the biggest kahuna of them all is. 

list ordered by
1
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Music of Hawaii, Reggae & Jazz; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Alone in IZ World, Over The Rainbow, N Dis Life, Facing Future, E Ala Ē, + more

Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole (pronounced [kəˌmɐkəˌvivoˈʔole]; Hawaiian for "The Fearless Eyed Man"; May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997), also called Bruddah Iz or IZ, was a Native Hawaiian ...more

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2
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Indie pop, Tropical rock & Pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: In Between Dreams, Sleep Through the Static, On and On, En Concert, To the Sea, + more

Jack Hody Johnson (born May 18, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor, record producer, documentary filmmaker and former professional surfer. Johnson is known ...more

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3
Don Ho is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Pop music, Music of Hawaii & Traditional pop music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Hawaii's Greatest Hits, Tiny Bubbles, Greatest Hits!, Hawaiian Favorites, Don Ho Gold

Donald Tai Loy Ho (August 13, 1930 – April 14, 2007) was an American traditional pop musician, singer and entertainer. He is best known for the song "Tiny Bubbles" from the album of
4
Arthur Lyman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii

Albums: The Exotic Sounds of the Arthur Lyman Group, Hawaiian Sunset, Taboo, Yellow Bird, Taboo 2, + more

Arthur Lyman (February 2, 1932 – February 24, 2002) was an American jazz vibraphone and marimba player. His group popularized a style of faux-Polynesian music during the 1950s and 1960s which ...more
5
Alfred Apaka is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Traditional pop music and Standard; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Greatest Hits of Hawaii, Alfred Apaka's Greatest Hits, The Best of Alfred Apaka with the Hawaiian Village Serenaders

Alfred Aholo Apaka, Jr. (March 19, 1919 – January 30, 1960) was a Hawaiian singer whose romantic baritone voice was closely identified with Hawaii between the late 1940s and the early 1960s. ...more
6
The Brothers Cazimero is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
The Brothers Cazimero

Albums: Hawaiian Paradise, Hawaiian Hula Eyes, Destiny, The Brothers Cazimero: Volume 2, Destination Paradise, + more

The Brothers Cazimero are a Hawaiian musical duo made up of Robert Cazimero on bass and Roland Cazimero on twelve string guitar. Robert also plays piano as a solo musician. The Cazimeros got ...more
7
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Adult contemporary music, Pop music & Rock music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Rose, Cool Yule, Beaches, Bette, Some People's Lives, + more

Bette Midler (born December 1, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and film producer. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Midler began her professional career in several ...more

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8
Go Jimmy Go is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii

Albums: The Girl With The Fishbowl Eyes, Slow Time ..., Soul Arrival

Go Jimmy Go is a ska, rocksteady, reggae and soul influenced band from Honolulu, Hawaii. Although chronologically, the band belongs to the third-wave, their mellow, slower tempo sound is ...more

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9
BK3 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
BK3
BK3 is the third solo album by rock guitarist Bruce Kulick. It was released by Twenty4 Records on February 2, 2010. Bruce Kulick has been the lead guitarist for Grand Funk Railroad since 2001. ...more
10
Jake Shimabukuro is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Folk music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Live, Gently Weeps, Walking Down Rainhill, Dragon, Crosscurrent, + more

Jake Shimabukuro (born November 3, 1976, in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American ukulele virtuoso and composer known for his fast and complex finger work. His music combines elements of jazz, blues, ...more

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11
Pamela Polland is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Pamela Polland
Pamela Polland is an American singer-songwriter who made three albums for Epic and Columbia Records in the 60s and 70s and whose songs have been recorded by a number of popular artists. In the ...more
12
Agnes Lum is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Agnes Lum
Agnes Nalani Lum (born May 21, 1956) is an American gravure idol, singer, actress, and bikini model popular in Japan in the late 1970s and early 1980s. At that time, she was nicknamed ...more
13
Moe Keale is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii

Albums: South Sea Island Magic

Wilfred Nalani "Moe" Keale (December 3, 1939 - April 15, 2002) was a musician of Hawaiian music, a ukulele virtuoso, and an American actor. He was the uncle and major musical influence ...more
14
Razed in Black is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii

Albums: Share This Poison: Retrospective, Sacrificed, Oh My Goth!, Shrieks, Laments & Anguished Cries, + more

Razed in Black is a gothic electronic music act created by Romell Regulacion (vocals, keyboards, guitars) and is supported in live performances by band members Chris Nelson and Raj Kapololu. The ...more
15
The Green is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
The Green

Albums: Hawai'i '13, Ways & Means, Take Me On, The Green

The Green is a reggae band formed in 2009 on Oahu, Hawaii. Their sound blends roots reggae with traditional Hawaiian vibes.
16
Yvonne Elliman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Yvonne Elliman Genre: Popular music, Ballad & Disco; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: The Best of Yvonne Elliman, The Very Best of Yvonne Elliman, Love Me, Food of Love, 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Yvonne Elliman

Yvonne Marianne Elliman (born December 29, 1951) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who performed for four years in the first cast of Jesus Christ Superstar. She scored a number of ...more

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17
Glenn Medeiros is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Pop music, New jack swing & Smooth jazz; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Glenn Medeiros, Not Me, Sweet Island Music, Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You, Captured, + more

Glenn Alan Medeiros (born June 24, 1970) is an American singer and songwriter of Portuguese descent who achieved chart success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He is best known on the national ...more
18
Sudden Rush is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii

Albums: Ea

19
Genoa Keawe is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Pop music and Easy listening; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Hana Hou! Volume 1

‘Aunty’ Genoa Leilani Adolpho Keawe-Aiko (October 31, 1918 – February 25, 2008) was a Hawaiian musician. Aunty Genoa was born on the island of Oʻahu in the Kakaʻako district of Honolulu and grew ...more
20
Hoku is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Pop music, Rock music & Rhythm and blues; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Hoku, Listen Up

Hoku Ho Clements (born June 10, 1981) is an American singer. She is best known for her 2000 hit single "Another Dumb Blonde" from the soundtrack and film Snow Day and the song ...more
21
Eddie Kamae is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii

Albums: Eddie Kamae & Friends

Edward Leilani "Eddie" Kamae (August 4, 1927 – January 7, 2017) was one of the founding members of Sons of Hawaii. He was a 'ukulele virtuoso, singer, composer, film producer and ...more
22
Camile Velasco is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Genre: Pop music; Nationality: United States of America
Ciara-Camile "Camile" Roque Velasco (born September 1, 1985) known by her stage name Eli-Mac is a Filipino American singer and came in ninth place on the third season of the ...more
23
Iration is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii

Albums: Automatic, New Roots, Fresh Grounds, Time Bomb, No Time for Rest, + more

Iration is a reggae group from Santa Barbara, CA. All members originally hail from Hawaii. They play a mix of reggae, dub, rock and are known for playing a lot of Sunshine Reggae.
24
Coconuts Musume is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii

Albums: DANCE & CHANCE, Jounetsu Yuki Miraisen, Tokonatsu Musume, Watashi mo "I Love You", Halation Summer, + more

Coconuts Musume was a group from Hello! Project that was formed and promoted as the "girls from Hawaii." After nine years, the group officially disbanded when Ayaka Kimura graduated ...more
25
Ooklah The Moc is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Ooklah The Moc
Ooklah The Moc is a band formed in 1997 playing roots reggae. Through the years and several lineup changes, Ooklah became a strictly roots dub reggae band and reached its present 8-person lineup ...more

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