Open e-mail voting
gives music awards to
Thompson, Keahiwai

The winners


Thursday, April 10, 2003

» "The Best of Flyin Hawaiian: 15 Years of Hits," produced by Lester Gantan, was the winner in the Anthology category at the Hawaii Music Awards. A story on page D1 Monday incorrectly identified Native Blend as the winner.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

By John Berger

Norm "Just the Norm" Thompson, Keahiwai and Aloha Joe took home two awards apiece last night as Johnny Kai presented the Sixth Annual Hawaii Music Awards at Kapono's in the Aloha Tower Marketplace.

Thompson took top honors in the Male Vocalist and Reggae Album of the Year categories; Keahiwai won Group of the Year and Island Music Album of the Year; and Aloha Joe scored with the Radio Innovation Award and Compilation Album of the Year awards for "A Place Called Hawaii," which he produced and released in conjunction with Michael Cord's HanaOla/Cord International ohana.

Teenage falsetto star Raiatea Helm won the Female Vocalist award.

The results overall reflect the philosophy of Kai's awards, which he describes as Hawaii's equivalent to the national People's Choice Awards, as compared with the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, administered by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts. Voting for most categories of the Hokus is restricted to HARA members, who must have at least one recording credit in the local recording industry or work in an affiliated profession, and the criteria are generally modeled on those used by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in administrating the Grammys.

Category definitions and voting procedures for the Hawaii Music Awards have been in flux since Kai created his awards program in 1995, but voting has always been open to the public without restriction. This year it was by e-mail only, and Kai said that about 30,000 people from around the world participated on a one-vote-per-e-mail-address basis.

The difference in voting requirements has meant that many artists, producers and record labels who rarely if ever even make it to the final ballot at the Hoku Awards have been able to add the accolade "award winner" to their resumes, thanks to Kai.

The gap between the Hawaii Music Awards and the Hokus may be narrowing, however, as Keahiwai was a big Hoku winner last year, and Helm should be a major contender in this year's awards in May.

On the other hand, for artists such as the always personable Thompson, the label he records for and a majority of the other winners last night, Kai's awards continue to be their ticket to "award winner" status.


The winners

Governor's Fine Arts Award: Neva Rego
Mayor's Performing Arts Award: Royal Hawaiian Band, Aaron David Mahi, conductor
2003 Music Educators of the Year: Charley Regua (band), Mary Taylor (choir/piano), Catherine Payne (principal), all of Farrington High School
Entertainer of the Year: Society of Seven LV
Male Vocalist of the Year: Norm Thompson
Female Vocalist of the Year: Raiatea Helm
Group of the Year: Keahiwai
Engineer of the Year: Troy Gonzales (for "Simply Sale," by Konishiki)
Producer of the Year: Chris Jay & Laiku Soares (for "Take Me Home," by Aloha)
Loyal Garner Award: Brew Moon, KHUI 99.5, Kapono's and William G. Meyer III
Music Innovation Award: Aloha Radio Network/Aloha Joe
Top single: "O Ka Lei La'i," Keith & Carmen Haugen


Anthology: Native Blend
Adult Contemporary: "Coolest Drop of Rain," Daniel Ho
Compilation: "A Place Called Hawaii," compiled by Aloha Joe
Contemporary: "Something to Remember," Danny Couch
Country Music: Keith Scott & Friends, "Country Soul"
Blues: "Live Blues," Chance Gardner
Children's: "Let There Be Peace on Earth," Allison
Comedy: "Locally Disturbed," Augie Tulba
Classical: "Sweet Dreaming," Greg & Junko MacDonald
Folk: "Can't Sing Records," Larry Gallagher
Hip Hop: "Volume 3," B.E.T.
Island Music: "Satisfied," Keahiwai
Inspirational: "Trust Him," Jan Brenner
Instrumental: "Sunday Morning," Jake Shimabukuro
Latin Music: "Exotica Hawaii"
New Age: "After the Rain," El Lopez
Meditation: "Ocean," David Strattford
Paniolo: "Second Thoughts," Bradda Francis
Patriotic: "Lest We Forget," Patriots
Polynesian: "Pacific Soul," Pacific Soul
Pop: "Blue Album," Kalapana
Rap: "The Revolution" Tiki Entertainment
Reggae: "I Belong to You," Norm Thompson
Rhythm & Blues: "Fly Away," Lehua
Rock: "Fate Stepped In," Chance Gardner
Seasonal: "Maui Merry Christmas," Don Kauli'a
Ska: "Trying to Stand," Understanding Youth
Slack Key: "Aloha Kaikua'ana," by John Keawe
Traditional Hawaiian: "E Apo Mai," Nathan Aweau
World Music: "Shaka Jambe"

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