Music

The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii  

Ranker Music
508 votes 37 voters 1.1k views 76 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
Music of Hawaii, Reggae, Jazz
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
2
Go Jimmy Go is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady
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
3
BK3 is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
Don Ho is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Pop music, Music of Hawaii, Traditional pop music
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
5
Sudden Rush is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
6
Agnes Lum is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
Jake Shimabukuro is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Pop music, Rock music, Folk music
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
8
Pamela Polland is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
The Brothers Cazimero is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
The Brothers Cazimero Hawaiian
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
10
Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Rock music
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
11
Ooklah The Moc is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Ooklah The Moc Roots reggae
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
12
Razed in Black is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Electro-industrial, Gothic rock, Electronic body music
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
13
Moe Keale is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
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
Alfred Apaka is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Traditional pop music, Standard
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
15
Jack Johnson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Indie pop, Tropical rock, Pop music
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
16
Arthur Lyman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Exotica
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
17
Mike Starr is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Grunge, Heavy metal, Alternative rock
Michael Christopher Starr (April 4, 1966 – March 8, 2011) was an American musician best known as the original bassist for the rock band Alice in Chains, which he played with from the band's ...more
18
Martin Nievera is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Dance music
Martin Ramon Razon Nievera (; born February 5, 1962) is a Filipino singer and songwriter. In his career spanning more than three decades, Nievera has garnered eighteen platinum, five double ...more
19
Melinda Caroll is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Melinda Caroll
Melinda Caroll (born April 4, 1952, Jacksonville, Florida) is a singer, composer, record producer, recording artist, and lifetime Member of Girl Scouts. She has created and produced music for ...more
20
James Mercer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Indie pop, Indie rock
James Russell Mercer (born December 26, 1970) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and musician. He is the founder, vocalist, lead singer-songwriter, and sole remaining original member ...more
21
Mason Jennings is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Mason Jennings (born March 19, 1975 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American folk-pop singer-songwriter. He is well known for his songwriting and distinctive voice.
22
Coconuts Musume is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Pop music, J-pop
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
23
Camile Velasco is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Pop music
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
24
Hoku is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues
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
25
The Dambuilders is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii
The Dambuilders Rock music, Indie rock
The Dambuilders was an indie rock band that began in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, in 1989 and later relocated to Boston. They released seven LPs and a number of EPs before breaking up in 1998. Members ...more