Amy Hanaiali`i has undoubtedly established herself as Hawai`i's most respected and loved female vocalist, songwriter, composer and performer. She continues to be the top‐selling female vocalist in Hawai`i, and she has won the hearts of many with the resurrection of ha`i (falsetto). Her acceptance and success in a genre of music that was waning, confirmed that with the right elements you can introduce a new generation to musical styles that long seemed dormant. When Amy emerged, ha`i was not only once again discovered, but it was enhanced and given a new sound. Hanaiali`i is known worldwide for her unmatched vocal range, polished performances, classic charm, and infectious smile. She's traveled the world and back, received formal training in European classical music, jazz, blues, American standards and pop, and holds a B.A. in Fine Arts.
Combining these artistic styles and training along with her infectious smile and charm, make her a fluently diverse entertainer, and creates an immediate and profound connection with her audiences.
The artists for whom Amy has opened are legendary and include Carlos Santana in Germany, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Wayne Newton, Arlo Guthrie, The Beach Boys, Ernie Watts, Boz Scaggs, Earth, Wind and Fire, Sergio Mendes and Many more. She has toured extensively on the East and West Coasts, Germany, Japan, China and Tahiti, captivating and collecting new fans along the way. Amy is officially Hawai`i’s Music Ambassador, and as she travels the world, her music brings Hawaiian style to her audiences and carries with it the great culture and depth of the Hawaiian people and the Hawaiian experience.
Her success as a recording artist speaks for itself, and is evidenced by a multitude of awards and acknowledgments including three GRAMMY® nominations for Best Hawaiian Music Album. She has also earned fourteen prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawai`i's equivalent to the GRAMMY®), including, Female Vocalist of the Year, Hawaiian Album of the Year, Contemporary Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Group of the Year. Her second album, "Hawaiian Tradition" placed her on the World Billboard Charts, a first for an album written solely in the Hawaiian language. Pacific Business News also acknowledged Amy with their coveted "40 under 40" Business Person of the Year Award, recognizing not only her talent, but also her ability to market her fame for the sole enjoyment of her fans.
More recently, Hanaiali`i was honored by her peers and added one more notch to her belt at the 2008 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards with the Christmas Album of the Year award for A Hawaiian Christmas. And in 2009 Amy won the prestigious Contemporary Album of the Year award for `Aumakua. This award was clearly a statement by Hawai`i’s music community and by Amy’s fans that her music’s appeal is broadening and contains an even more varied depth.
Amy Hanaiali‘i is set to release her latest project entitled Amy Hanaiali`i: Friends & Family of Hawai`i. The album, to be released on August 25 2009, features 16 duets with 16 of the best male vocalists and musicians of Hawai`i. This is the 10th album of Hanaiali`i’s successful recording career. The album includes original duets with Hawaiian and Island music icons. One of the star features is a Van Morrison tune entitled Have I Told You Lately? Hanaiali`i sings a duet of the song with world famous music legend Willie Nelson, who calls Maui home for a part of the year. Additionally, she sings duets with some of Hawai`i’s most popular artists including Keali`i Reichel, Robert Cazimero, John Cruz, Henry Kapono, Nathan Aweau, FIJI, Sean Na`auao, Kawika Kahiapo and Darren Benitez. She is joined on other compositions by Hawaiian Legends Palani Vaughan, Martin Pahinui, Aaron Mahi, George Ku`o, and Dennis Kamakahi.
Amy selected a very special track to invite her multi‐talented brother Eric Gilliom to sing with her – James Taylor’s Shower the People. And she is very proud to include Hawai`i’s newest rising stars on this CD: Rebel Souljahz and the wonderfully talented Kaumakaiwa Kanaka`ole. The versatile Hanaiali`i sings in both English and Hawaiian – and in the unique style of each of her guest stars.
Given her genealogy, the present success of Hanaiali`i should come as no surprise. Hanaiali`i is the granddaughter of Jennie Napua Woodd, one of the original Royal Hawaiian Girls. Woodd's many credits include being the choreographer on all of the major Hawaiian motion pictures in the 1930s and 1940s while in New York City, Hollywood and Las Vegas, defining America's perception of Hawaiian music and dance at the height of its popularity. While performing at the Lexington Hotel in New York City, Jennie met Hanaiali`i‘s grandfather, Lloyd B. Gilliom, who played first trumpet with Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye and, occasionally played with Tommy Dorsey, and other big bands.
While Hanaiali`i received years of formal musical and theatrical training, it was her tutu
(grandmother), Jennie, who inspired her to continue on with Hawaiian music. Recognizing her natural vocal abilities, Tutu arranged for a meeting between the legendary Genoa Keawe and Hanaiali`i. It was Auntie Genoa that introduced her to the ha`i falsetto music style for which she is known today, and the rest, as they say, is history.
`Aumakua, which means “family guardian” in Hawaiian, is Hanaiali`i’s ninth album, and a true embodiment of her consummate talent, featuring 14 fresh compositions that, combined, will comprise one of the most beautiful albums to come from a Hawaiian artist. Her Hoku Awardwinning falsetto‐infused vocals offer a reverent assemblage of original songs and beloved, timehonored classics. In a sweet, melodious style that is all her own, Hanaiali`i honors her family’s `aumakua and her grandmother, revered entertainer Jennie Napua Woodd of Moloka`i, her own personal guardian.
Amy Hanaiali`i has come full circle back to her extensive roots in Hawai`i, with a new focus on tradition, culture and family. She lives on the Island of Moloka`i with her daughter Madeline (3), and her fiancée John Austin. In her “spare” time, Amy helps to run their shrimp farm – producing the best pure and natural shrimp in Hawai`i!