Many female ukulele artists steal our hearts for their beautiful songs and fantastic performances. Among all of them, who are the most famous ukulele players in the U.S?
Here we bring you the list of the top female ukulele players that you surely fall in love with as soon as you listen to their music.
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Who Are The Best Female Ukulele Players In The U.S?
Let’s start with the ukulele legend - Genoa Keawe (October 31, 1918 – February 25, 2008); she is an icon in Hawaiian music and a mainstay of Hawaiian music for over 60 years.
Whenever Keawe performed, she captured all the hearts of both domestic and international audiences. Genoa Keawe’s music was so unique that it is still an inspiration for many ukulele players nowadays.
To recognize her contribution to Hawaii music, the University of Hawaii presented Genoa Keawe with an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Humane Letters) in 2005.
Now, let’s move on to a ukulele prodigy - Grace VanderWaal, born on January 15 in 2004.
You probably have heard about this talented girl who has been known for her distinctive vocals and usually accompanies herself with the ukulele in every performance.
Since VanderWaal was a little child, she has been fond of singing and writing up songs. During her teenage years, Grace learned to play the ukulele by herself. Moreover, VanderWaal recorded covers and original songs and published them on her channel - “Oh Never Mind It’s Just Me - Grace VanderWaal.”
She won America's Got Talent - season 11 (2016), singing the songs she composed, such as “I Don't Know My Name,” “Clay” when VanderWaal was only 12 years old.
Since the show, she has gained many awards for her beautiful songs and albums, including Radio Disney Music Awards - Best New Artist (2017), Billboard Women in Music - Rising Star Award (2017).
If you are a fan of the ukulele, you must have known Colbie Caillat - a famous pop singer and songwriter.
Debuted in 2007, she marked her name on the fans’ hearts with the wonderful album - “Coco,” including hit singles "Realize,” "Bubbly,” and "The Little Things.”
After that, Colbie Caillat Cooperated with Jason Mraz to make a duet - "Lucky" in 2008, released her second album “Breakthrough” in 2009, third album “All of you” in 2010, and the fourth album “Christmas in the Sand” in 2011.
Her songs have gone viral and brought back many achievements due to their beautiful melodies and touching lyrics, such as:
- BMI Pop Awards - Songwriter of the Year (2009)
- Grammy Awards - Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (2010) for "Lucky" (with Jason Mraz)
- BMI Pop Awards - Award-Winning Song (2016) for “Try”
Amanda Palmer’s an extraordinary female ukulele artist that might blow your mind from the first time you listen to her songs.
Some of her most fantastic albums are “Who Killed Amanda Palmer” (2008), “Amanda Palmer Performs the Popular Hits of Radiohead on Her Magical Ukulele” (2010), “Theatre Is Evil” (2012), and “There Will Be No Intermission” (2019).
Amanda Palmer’s one-of-the-kind music has brought her many awards, including:
- Best Female Vocalist in the WFNX/Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll (2005)
- No. 6 on the Best Solo artist list in The Guardian's Readers' Poll of 2008 (2008)
- Artist & Manager Awards - Pioneer Award (2012)
If there is a word to describe Ingrid Michaelson’s music, it would be “healing.” Her music touches the audiences’ nostalgic feelings and makes them feel cozy while listening.
Up to now, Ingrid Michaelson has released eight official albums: Be OK, Girls and Boys, Everybody, Lights Out, Human Again, It Doesn't Have to Make Sense, Songs for the Season, and Stranger Songs.
Hence, if you want a “chicken soup for the soul,” let’s listen to Ingrid Michaelson’s songs, and you’ll feel much better.
Read more: How to Choose the Best Tenor Ukulele?
Priscilla Ahn is well-known for her beautiful melodies and angel-sounding voice. She is also a popular singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.
During her career, Priscilla Ahn has produced many fantastic albums that bring you nostalgic feelings, such as “A Good Day” (2008), “When You Grow Up” (2011), “Home ~ My Song Diary” (2012), and so on.
Besides, she is also a vocalist and songwriter for “Dream” in “Bride Wars” (2009), "Find My Way Back Home" in “My Sister's Keeper” (2010), "Moon River” in “American Pastoral” (2016), and so many more.
The next talented ukulele player artist is Kate Micucci, a ukulele player, singer-songwriter, and comedian, actress, and voice actress.
If you’ve watched the comedy duo “Garfunkel and Oates,” you might have recognized that she was the lovely “Oates.” Also, you would have probably seen her in the films, such as “Raising Hope” or “The Big Bang Theory.”
How about her music?
We assure you that you will be deeply in love with her songs; some of Micucci’s popular songs are “The happy song,” “Mr. Moon,” “Like you.” These works are very powerful, as they will bring you lots of positive energy.
Another famous female ukulele player that surely blows your mind with her stunning performances is Molly Lewis (also known as Sweetafton23). Back in time, she captured the public attention by her ukulele covers of viral songs, such as “Toxic” (Britney Spears), “Poker Face” (Lady Gaga), “Tom Cruise Crazy” (Coulton), and so on.
Lewis’s cover of “Tom Cruise Crazy” earned the "Ukulele Video of the Year" at Ukulele Hunt (2007). The song also enticed Coulton’s attention. As a result, he invited her to perform with him, Paul, and Storm in Seattle (2008) and several times since then.
Molly Lewis also brought her fans many original songs such as "An Open Letter to Stephen Fry,” “MyHope,” and “Pantsuit Sasquatch.”
Read more: What is the Best Tenor Ukulele Under $200?
Speaking about ukulele players, we can’t help but mention Taimane Gardner - a talented Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso and composer who grips the audience's heart with her beautiful music.
She began to play the ukulele when she was only five years old. Moreover, Taimane Gardner’s talent was nurtured by the legendary music Don Ho and Jake Shimabukuro when she was a teenager.
Thanks to the training of these dedicated musicians, her talent has been developing day by day. Hence, Gardner became a well-known local musician on the Waikiki performance circuit as a teenage girl.
After that, she started to compose and released her albums, including “Loco Princess” (2005) and “Life – The Art & Beauty of Being Human (2008).”
Taimane Gardner also produced some solo projects, including “Ukulele Dance” (2012), “We Are Made of Stars” (2015), and “Elemental” (2018.)
Her elegant, warm music has brought her some nominations and awards, such as a nomination for the Ukulele Album of the Year at the 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards with the album “We Are Made of Stars.”
Another famous female ukulele artist from Hawaii is Brittni Paiva - a multi-winning instrumentalist.
When she was seven years old, Paiva received her first ukulele from her grandfather and started to play this instrument.
Since then, she has brought a whole new spirit to the instrument and the music. Brittni Paiva’s covers and original songs are so infectious as they deliver positive energy to those listening to them.
Due to the touching melodies and unique vocals, Paiva has gained many nominations and awards, including:
- Most Promising Artist of the Year (2005) for her first album “Brittni x 3.”
- Ukulele Album of the Year (2012) for her fifth album, “Tell U What.”
- Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (2012) for her fifth album, “Tell U What.”
Here is the list of the most famous female ukulele players in the US!
How many artists could you recognize or remember in this list? Have you listened to all those songs they played? Please let us know if we missed someone you feel deserves to be on the list! We hope you would share your thoughts with us because we always love to listen to you.