Hawaii 'diva' Melveen Leed, who always sings from the heart, to get international honor

(Image: Melveen Leed)
(Image: Melveen Leed)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Award-winning singer Melveen Leed calls her five decades in Hawaii's entertainment industry an "illustrious career."

And her many admirers agree.

On Saturday, Leed will receive the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pan Pacific Southeast Asian Women Association of Hawaii. The international organization recognizes accomplishments in art, entertainment and humanitarian work.

Leed is only the second person from Hawaii to be honored by the organization. (Performer Dick Jensen was the first.)

And the well-known Hawaii singer is honored by the recognition.

"I think this is the biggest award I've received," Leed said.

Award presenter Mary Tori Keegan said Leed has "reached out to everybody with love and a big open heart and entertained them through so many ways."

"She was the perfect person. The perfect one."

Leed broke onto the Hawaii music scene after being named Miss Molokai.

Her singing debut was as a contestant at the Miss Hawaii pageant in the 1960s. She remembers it as the first — and last — time she felt nervous about performing.

"I took a deep breath and when I went out it was like this was natural. I just sang. I got off and I wanted to cry. After that, duck soup!" she said.

Leed, 74, has recorded 25 albums, performed around the the world, and raised more than $1 million for various non-profits, including the American Cancer Society, Salvation Army, Red Cross and Arthritis Foundation.

Her motto in life: "If it's from the heart, it reaches the heart."

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