Music
197 voters

The Best Musical Artists From Hawaii

Updated January 27, 2021 1.9k votes 197 voters 11.6k views81 items

List RulesOnly 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. 

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    Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

    Music of Hawaii, Reggae
    Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole (pronounced [kəˌmɐkəˌvivoˈʔole]; Hawaiian for "The Fearless...  more

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    48
    11

    Don Ho

    Pop music, Music of Hawaii
    Donald Tai Loy Ho (August 13, 1930 – April 14, 2007) was an American traditional pop musician,...  more
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    52
    16

    Jack Johnson

    Indie pop, Tropical rock
    Jack Hody Johnson (born May 18, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist,...  more

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    34
    11
    Arthur Lyman (February 2, 1932 – February 24, 2002) was an American jazz vibraphone and...  more
  • 5
    33
    9

    Jake Shimabukuro

    Pop music, Rock music
    Jake Shimabukuro (born November 3, 1976, in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American ukulele virtuoso...  more
  • 6
    Wilfred Nalani "Moe" Keale (December 3, 1939 - April 15, 2002) was a musician of Hawaiian...  more
  • 7
    34
    13

    The Brothers Cazimero

    Hawaiian
    The Brothers Cazimero are a Hawaiian musical duo made up of Robert Cazimero on bass and Roland...  more
  • 8
    30
    9

    Alfred Apaka

    Traditional pop music, Standard
    Alfred Aholo Apaka, Jr. (March 19, 1919 – January 30, 1960) was a Hawaiian singer whose...  more
  • 9
    28
    9

    Glenn Medeiros

    Pop music, New jack swing
    Glenn Alan Medeiros (born June 24, 1970) is an American singer and songwriter of Portuguese...  more
  • 10
    27
    9

    The Green

    The Green is a reggae band formed in 2009 on Oahu, Hawaii. Their sound blends roots reggae...  more
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    26
    8

    Yvonne Elliman

    Popular music, Ballad
    Yvonne Marianne Elliman (born December 29, 1951) is an American singer, songwriter, and...  more

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    20
    4

    Eddie Kamae

    Music of Hawaii
    Edward Leilani "Eddie" Kamae (August 4, 1927 – January 7, 2017) was one of the founding...  more
  • 13
    34
    20

    Bette Midler

    Adult contemporary music, Pop music
    Bette Midler (born December 1, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and...  more

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    23
    11

    Go Jimmy Go

    Ska, Reggae
    Go Jimmy Go is a ska, rocksteady, reggae and soul influenced band from Honolulu, Hawaii....  more

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  • 16
    21
    8

    Agnes Lum

    Agnes Nalani Lum (born May 21, 1956) is an American gravure idol, singer, actress, and bikini...  more
  • 17
    22
    9

    Razed in Black

    Electro-industrial, Gothic rock
    Razed in Black is a gothic electronic music act created by Romell Regulacion (vocals,...  more
  • 18
    19
    6

    Ooklah The Moc

    Roots reggae
    Ooklah The Moc is a band formed in 1997 playing roots reggae. Through the years and several...  more

    More 

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  • 19
    Ledward Kaapana (born August 25, 1948) is a Hawaiian musician, best known for playing in the...  more
  • 20
    Poncie Ponce (born Ponciano Hernandez; April 10, 1933 – July 19, 2013) was an American actor,...  more
  • 21
    20
    8

    Anuhea Jenkins

    Rylee Anuheakeʻalaokalokelani Jenkins, better known as Anuhea, is a Hawaiian contemporary folk...  more
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    15
    2

    Cecilio & Kapono

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    23
    12

    Genoa Keawe

    Pop music, Easy listening
    ‘Aunty’ Genoa Leilani Adolpho Keawe-Aiko (October 31, 1918 – February 25, 2008) was a Hawaiian...  more
  • 24
    22
    11

    BK3

    BK3 is the third solo album by rock guitarist Bruce Kulick. It was released by Twenty4 Records...  more
  • 25
    22
    11

    Hoku

    Pop music, Rock music
    Hoku Ho Clements (born June 10, 1981) is an American singer. She is best known for her 2000...  more