Kainani Kahaunaele wins big for 3rd album at 44th Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

Hawaii recording artist Kainani Kahaunaele was the big winner at Thursday night's Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. She spoke with Billy V from her hometown of Hilo.
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 11:09 AM HST|Updated: Oct. 8, 2021 at 11:48 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For Kainani Kahaunaele, the third album was the charm.

Kahaunaele, who was born and raised on Kauai and now a longtime Hilo resident, picked up seven awards in six categories for her album Waipunalei at the 44th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

The recording won Album of the Year, where Kahaunaele earned two Na Hoku awards as both artist and producer.

Kahaunaele also won for Song of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Hawaiian Music Album of the Year and Hawaiian Language Performance.

Hiapo K. Perreira and Kahaunaele also garnered a Hoku for the Haku Mele Award for the song “Ohaoha Kou Lei Pua I Ka Hikina.”

Lukela Keala also had a stellar night, winning Male Vocalist of the Year and Island Music Album of the Year for his eponymous solo album. He also received Hoku awards as lead vocalist of the group Ekolu, which won Group of the Year and Reggae Album of the Year.

Multiple Hoku award winners Iolani Kamauu and Natalie Ai Kamauu won three more Hoku awards for Single of the Year, Hawaiian Single of the Year and Music Video of the Year.

This was the second consecutive year that the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts had the awards ceremony prerecorded for broadcast due to COVID. Presenters and performers were recorded in shifts at the Hawaii Theatre nearly a month ago, and all participants had to be vaccinated and undergo a COVID test before being allowed in. However, winners were not revealed until the ceremony was aired on K5 and various digital platforms.

The show will be rebroadcast on Oct. 9 on KGMB and Oct. 30 on KHNL.

Hereʻs the full list of winners:

  • Album of the Year (Artist’s & Producer’s Award): Waipunalei by Kainani Kahaunaele (Māhuahua Music LLC) Kainani Kahaunaele, Producer
  • EP (“Extended Play”) of the Year: Where I Reside by Kalaʻe ( Kalaʻe)
  • Hawaiian EP (“Extended Play”) of the Year: “He Mele No Papa” by Kalani Miles (Mea Nui Records LLC)
  • Single of the Year: “Noelani” by Iolani & Natalie Ai Kamauu (Keko Records LLC)
  • Hawaiian Single of the Year: “My Sweet” by Iolani & Natalie Ai Kamauu (Keko Records LLC)
  • Christmas Single of the Year: “O Holy Night” by Kalani Peʻa (Peʻa Records & Entertainment)
  • Music Video of the Year: “Noelani” by Iolani & Natalie Ai Kamauu, (Keko Records LLC) Justyn Ah Chong, Video Director / Kapena DeLima, Music Producer
  • Hawaiian Music Video of the Year: “Worldwide #Jam4Maunakea - Ku Haʻaheo & Hawaiʻi Loa” Mitch Viernes, Video Director / Kelii Heath-Cruz, Music Producer
  • Instrumental Composition of the Year (Composer’s Award): “Brave” by Kris Fuchigami (Kris Fuchigami)
  • Song of the Year (Composer’s Award): “Waipunalei” by Kainani Kahaunaele (Māhuahua Music LLC)
  • Female Vocalist of the Year: Kainani Kahaunaele for Waipunalei (Māhuahua Music LLC)
  • Male Vocalist of the Year: Lukela Keala for Lukela Keala (Waiehu Records)
  • Group of the Year: Ekolu for 2020 (Waiehu Records)
  • Most Promising Artist(s) of the Year: Keilana for I Am (Zeo Music)
  • Alternative Album of the Year: Chroma (Vol. 1) by Sean Cleland (Sean Cleland Music LLC)
  • Anthology of the Year (Producer’s Award): Anthology Album by Tropical Knights (KDE Records) Kapena DeLima, Producer
  • Christmas Album of the Year: Kapena: A Kapena Family Christmas Special by Kapena (KDE Records)
  • Compilation Album of the Year (Producer’s Award): Lei Nāhonoapiʻilani: Nā Mele Hou (North Beach West Maui Benefit Fund) Zachary Alakaʻi Lum & Nicholas Kealiʻi Lum, Producers
  • Contemporary Album of the Year: Henry’s House by Henry Kapono (Kapono Records)
  • Contemporary Acoustic Album of the Year: First Dance by Kaleo Phillips (Maui Tribe Records)
  • Hawaiian Music Album of the Year: Waipunalei by Kainani Kahaunaele (Māhuahua Music LLC)
  • Hawaiian Slack Key Album of the Year: Far Away by Patrick Landeza (Addison Street)
  • Hip Hop Album of the Year: From Beneath Maunakea by Punahele (Punahele)
  • Instrumental Album of the Year: Queen Liliʻuokalani by The Mana Music Quartet (Mana Music Hawaiʻi)
  • Island Music Album of the Year: Lukela Keala by Lukela Keala (Waiehu Records)
  • Jazz Album of the Year: Your Refrain by Maggie Herron (Herron Song Records)
  • Metal Album of the Year: Poisoned Love by Storm (Tin Idol Productions)
  • R&B Album of the Year: I Am by Keilana (Zeo Music)
  • Reggae Album of the Year: 2020 by Ekolu (Waiehu Records)
  • Religious Album of the Year: Nā Halelū by Kenneth Makuakāne (Makuakane Music Music)
  • Rock Album of the Year: Diamond Head Road by Michael Piranha (Tubby Tunes Records)
  • ʻUkulele Album of the Year: ʻUkulele Life by Herb Ohta Jr. (Lele Music Productions)
  • Favorite Entertainer of the Year: Henry Kapono Kaʻaihue
  • International Album Special Recognition Award: Kaulana (TRIO) – Leolani
  • Haku Mele (Composer’s Award): Hiapo K. Perreira & Kainani Kahaunaele for “Ohaoha Kou Lei Pua I Ka Hikina”
  • Hawaiian Language Performance (Artist Award): Waipunalei by Kainani Kahaunaele (Māhuahua Music LLC)
  • Hawaiian Engineering Award: Michael Casil for Lei Makamae by Makamae Auwae (Soulforth Records)
  • General Engineering Award: Imua Garza, Nate Brown & Evan Khay for In The Wilderness by Rachel Morley (Zeo Music Worship)
  • Liner Notes Award: Uʻilani Tanigawa Lum & Zachary Alakaʻi Lum for Huliāmahi, Vol. 1 by Various Artists
  • Graphics Award: Elsa Senner for Sway by Tavana

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