Born in Hawaii, Hoku is the seventh of former Hawaiian pop star Don Ho’s 10 children, but the first of Ho’s two children with Patricia Swallie Choy, also a former singer. Hoku is the only one of Ho’s offspring to have embarked into the music industry.
Hoku’s beginnings in the music industry can be traced to the days when she would appear on the stages with her dad, who became an international pop star in the 60’s with the song “Tiny Bubbles”.
At the age of 11, Hoku performed a solo rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” during one of her father’s shows, and she literally stole the spotlight from her father. Whitney has not only had a career of her own, but she has also played a role in helping other budding pop stars such as Christina Aguilera and Coco Lee breakthrough the industry. Christina and Coco were discovered by singing their own versions of Whitney’s songs, both being inspired by the diva herself.
Hoku, whose name is the Hawaiian translation of the word “star”, is well on her way to becoming a diva. Producer/songwriter Antonina Armato (who has worked with Mariah Carey and Vanessa Williams) was in the audience when Hoku delivered her show-stopping performance. Blown away by Hoku’s “pure” voice, Armato signed on as Hoku’s producer, and together they co-wrote four of the songs that appear on her debut album.
The Hawaiian star moved to California and began attending San Diego’s Loma Nazarene University. She had to put aside her studies after signing a record deal with Geffen Records.
A mere two months later, Hoku recorded her first single, “Another Dumb Blonde”, which is on the soundtrack for the movie Snow Day. When the video for “Another Dumb Blonde” aired for the first time on MTV’s Total Request Live, it became one of the Top 10 videos the next day.
Hoku was released on April 18 and since then, the singer shows no signs of abating. She recently appeared in a Tommy Hilfiger fashion show, along with already established singers Mary J. Blige, Mandy Moore and TLC.
A devout Pentecostal Christian, Hoku prefers to be considered “the girl next door” rather than have the sex symbol image of her bubble gum pop counterparts, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Although she embraces the same “girl power” attitude as her fellow pop stars, Hoku prefers to embrace the present and not worry about the future too much. Presently doing what she loves to do most, Hoku knows that if her popularity does decrease, she can always go back to singing with her legendary dad.
With a gold certified single ranking high on the Billboard Singles charts, a hit debut album and a slew of fans, chances are this star will not be joining her dad on stage any time soon.