His name was given to him by his grandfather. He was told it meant ‘day of glory’. But to the contrary, Michael Kalaho’onani Keale came from humble beginnings. He grew up in Kailua, O‘ahu during the 1950's. His mother was raised in the cane fields of Kaeleku, Maui and his father, on the beaches of Waikiki. Though coming from very diverse backgrounds, Michael’s parents loved to entertain and had a passion for all types of music. This same passion they passed on to their children. Songs like "Baby Kalai", "God Bless My Daddy", and "Pua Carnation” were the fabric of Michael’s early life and reminds him of a unique time when life was simple and somewhat measured.
Another one of Michael’s early influences in music was his Uncle Wilfred “Moe” Keale. Moe started playing music in his teens and eventually became an accomplished actor and a Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning musician. Uncle Moe became a role model for Michael, his brother Bill, his cousins, Nalani, Walt Mix-Kealekupuna and Skippy and IZ Kamakawiwo’ole.
At the age of 56, Michael released his debut album Remember in July, 2010. Featuring Michael’s crooning, silken bass vocals, Remember received positive response from fans and critics for its mix of music from Hawai‘i’s past and present. Songs like “Ahulili”, and “Kamalani O Keaukaha”, as well as traditional English standards such as “Waikīkī” and “The Way You Look Tonight”, earned Michael two prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award Nominations in 2011 for “Island Album of the Year”, and “Most Promising Artist”.
Michael has entertained at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Marriott’s Moana Terrace in Waikiki. He has also shared stages with his cousins Iz and Skippy Kamakawiwo’ole, Uncle Moe Keale, Dennis Kamakahi, Melveen Leed, Martin Pahinui, Cyril Pahinui, and George Kuo, just to name a few. Michael continues to share his aloha, capturing the hearts of visitors and kama‘āina alike at the Kaua‘i Coast Resort’s Hukilau Lānai, and Hanalei’s Tahiti Nui Lounge.
His second album No Ka Beauty has been released in June 2015 and again earned three Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award Nominations.