Ukulele Music: The Basics

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This song essentially re-ignited appreciation of the ukulele in American popular culture and also abroad. Recorded in one take at a mid-night session, it was released on the 1993 album Facing Future and subsequently became a worldwide hit, in part through licensing in numerous movies, television shows, and commercials. Kamakawiwo'ole (KA-ma-KA-vi-VO-oh-leh), who passed away at the age of 38 in 1997, is a hero of both Hawaiian music and the Hawaiian independence movement.

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Train - "Hey, Soul Sister"

In case you didn't turn on the radio or television during 2010, this ubiquitous hit by Train became the year's top-selling song on iTunes while reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. At 6x platinum, It remains the all-time highest-selling single to feature the ukulele as a lead instrument.

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Grace Vanderwaal - "I Don't Know My Name"

Middle school student Grace Vanderwaal charmed judges with a self-accompanied performance of an original song on the 11th season of America's Got Talent. Using the ukulele in each of her subsequent performances, she went on to become a finalist and winner. Since its debut the song has become a popular cover among ukulelists young and old.

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Uke3453 - "I'm Yours" (Jason Mraz)

Jason Mraz used a baritone ukulele on the original version, but this has become a popular song to learn on any kind of ukulele. This talented guy's performance was at one point the most-viewed ukulele performance on YouTube and remains among the most-viewed of all time.

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