The first celebration will be on O‘ahu at the Tom Moffatt Waikiki Shell on Saturday May 18.
The doors to the Waikiki Shell will open to the public at 5:00 p.m. with the service and celebration starting at 5:30 p.m.
The second celebration will be on Saturday, June 1 at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo, Hawai'i. Public visitation will begin at 12:00 noon, with the celebration starting at 1:30 p.m.
Skylark Rossetti, legendary Hawai’i broadcaster, passed away from complications from end-stage renal disease surrounded by family and friends on March 20, 2019. She was 65 years old. In addition to being part of the broadcast community, she consistently pushed the envelope in the promotion of Hawaii music, especially music in the Hawaiian Language, or ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i.
After graduating from the Kamehameha Schools in 1971, Skylark attended San Francisco City College. While in California, someone mentioned she should try a job in radio because of her collection of Hawaiian music. She started working at radio station KPOO in San Francisco, where she excelled. Upon returning home she worked at radio KNDI, continually working her way up and eventually running the station - something that was unheard of by a woman in the 1970s. While at KNDI, she became a voice for the young artists and groups of Hawai’i, including lifelong friends the Mākaha Sons of Ni‘ihau.
Skylark also worked with other legends in the broadcast community, including a young program director named Krash Kealoha, and a young hula dancer, entertainer, and actor named Kimo Kahoano. Together, they created the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards in 1978, to celebrate excellence in Hawai’i’s music industry.
Skylark not only hired many of today’s well-known broadcasters (or gave them their start), she mentored many in music, broadcast knowledge, and emcee duties, working with three generations of Hawaiian broadcast personnel. With her voice and her presence, she became one of the pillars in the Hawaiian music and broadcast industry. She emceed Ho‘ike night at the annual Merrie Monarch Festival, and she also worked the television broadcast of the Festival itself. She broadcast from the launching of Hokule’a, and she was one of the first on Kaho‘olawe in the protest days of the 1970s. She also advocated for and told the stories of many issues of Hawai’i and Hawaiians.
In radio, she stepped away from KCCN in 1986 to start a hybrid of Hawaiian and Top 40 music. In 1990, along with General Manager Michael Kelly and radio announcer Billy V, she put KCCN FM 100 on the air - the world‘s first radio station playing Hawai’i and Hawaiian music 24 hours a day on the FM dial. KCCN FM 100 would be the #1 station in Hawai’i within a year.
Rossetti moved to Hilo in 1992 and became part of the broadcast industry and community on Hawai’i Island with radio stations KWXX-FM and KAPA Hawaiian FM. She also worked with Economic Development and the County of Hawaii.
She was recognized as Outstanding Hawaiian Woman of the Year in 1984, Broadcaster of the Year in 1991, and won two Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, first in 1993 and then in 1996. In 2011, she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts.
Sky is survived by her long-time companion Kimo La’au, her children Imaka Lindsey, Kilohana Lindsey, and Makana Rossetti-Ota, and six grandchildren.
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