Almost famous: Big Island girl on path to singing, entertainment stardom

  • HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald

    Meili Aspen Caputo of Hawaiian Paradise Park is an aspiring singer and has held several pageant titles.

When Meili Aspen Caputo was just a toddler, she’d rock out alongside contestants on “American Idol.”

“I started out singing in front of the TV a lot,” Meili said. “I was like 18 months old. ‘American Idol’ was on (at the time) and I’d sing with (contestant) Kelly Clarkson.”


Meili, who’s now 12 and lives with her family in Hawaiian Paradise Park, has been singing and performing ever since.

In 2016, her vocal skills earned her first place at the KBIG-FM Future Big Stars competition, said her mother, Astania Caputo. Meili earned third place at the same competition in 2017. She also won third place at the 2017 “Brown Bags to Stardom” state competition and was invited to join the “Brown Bags to Stardom” All-Stars, which allowed her to perform in China.

In February, Meili auditioned in Phoenix for “America’s Got Talent.” During the auditions, she got to be a “media correspondent” for the “Hollywood Connections” show and interview other talent.

She sang Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful” for the “America’s Got Talent” producers.

“It was a really hard song but I got the hang of it,” Meili said. “I remember (the producer during the audition) was grooving with the music.”

In May, Meili will be a media correspondent for “The Dawn Reese Show” and She also will interview red carpet stars at the International Christian Movie Festival in Florida.

Meili is a seventh-grader at Hawaii Technology Academy where she maintains a 4.0 grade-point average.

She also is a three-time state and national pageant title holder.

Her titles include National American Miss Jr. Pre-teen Hawaii 2015, Little Miss U.S. Pre-teen Hawaii 2016 and Junior Miss American Royalty USA — Hawaii 2017 and Lifetime Royalty Miss American Royalty USA, according to her mother.

Meili said she aspires to someday “be a famous singer and dancer” but she also wants to attend college and study forensics.

She said she hopes to be a role model for other young girls “so that they can try new things, too.”


“Get out of your comfort zone,” Meili advised. “Just try and take a chance and go forward toward your goal.”

Email Kirsten Johnson at

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