Some Hawaiian entertainers express disappointment over Carrere's Grammy win

Tia Carrere
Tia Carrere
Dennis Kamakahi
Dennis Kamakahi
Amy Hanaiali'i
Amy Hanaiali'i

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Not everyone is happy that Tia Carrere, perhaps more widely known as an actress, walked away with a Grammy Award for Hawaiian music Sunday. Critics say the album that captures the prestigious award should be representative of the music that comes from the islands.

Carrere's Los Angeles-based producer is standing by their work. Daniel Ho of "Daniel Ho Creations" says Carrere coming under attack for living on the mainland and not being Hawaiian is nothing new.

Several talented musicians from Hawaii got dressed up and attended the star-studded Grammy Awards over the weekend. But their excitement quickly faded when mainland-based Tia Carrere beat out four other nominees for Best Hawaiian Music Album.

"Of course, it was a disappointment. After all that hard work, and then you hear who the winner is," Dennis Kamakahi, Grammy nominee, said. "When is the real music of Hawaii going to be represented?"

Kamakahi was one of the artists nominated for "Amy Hanaiali'i and Slack Key Masters of Hawaii." He tweeted, "We've been robbed!!!" after the winner was announced.

"Nobody wanted to say anything," he said. "You need a voice and I'm not afraid to say something, you know."

Some critics say Carrere's album, "Huana ke Aloha," may have captured a lot of votes because of the actress' name recognition, and because her producer, Daniel Ho, is based in LA and can more easily mix and mingle with Academy voters.

"I think the only advantage I have from being here in Los Angeles is that I'm away from that kind of silliness," Ho responded. "I'm isolated and able to concentrate on my work."

Ho's record label has captured multiple Hawaiian music Grammys.

"What Daniel Ho is doing is becoming, in my opinion, very disrespectful toward the body of entertainers in Hawaii," Eric Gilliom, Hawaii entertainer, said. "Daniel Ho winning five times is really taking the wind out of the sails."

"I don't know why it's disrespectful to just make the best music I can," Ho responded.

Kamakahi says there are many genres in Hawaiian music, and that it's time for the Grammys to create additional categories.

"Unfortunately, we have that one prize that's going to define nationally and worldwide what Hawaiian music is," Kamakahi said. "Something has to be done to expand it."

Ho doesn't believe there would be enough submissions to support sub-categories for Hawaiian music. But Kamakahi says many artists would feel more comfortable if they were up against musicians in their own genre.

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