American Idol winner Just Sam says she’s back to sing in NYC subways

American Idol winner Just Sam says she’s back to sing in NYC subways


May 24, 2023 | 3:53

Singer Just Sam, who shot to fame after winning 2020’s ‘American Idol’, is back on New York’s subways.

The 24-year-old, who won ABC’s season 18 of the hit contest, said he was “super embarrassed” to let fans know he had started singing in public again after the major victory.

Sam, real name Samantha Diaz, shared several clips on Instagram of Ariana Grande singing “Almost Is Never Enough” at a subway station.

“In 2021, I was super embarrassed to get back on trains. I didn’t want people to know that I legitimately needed the money and I didn’t want people to know that it wasn’t optional,” wrote Diaz, who uses the pronouns them/them, in a since-deleted caption, according to The Sun.

Sam took to the streets again on the subway platforms three years after winning the blockbuster singing competition.

The singer, who uses the pronouns they/them, said he was “embarrassed” to tell fans he was performing again.

“I was disappointed in myself for sinking so low after winning ‘Idol’, but I had to take it easy and remind myself that I started my journey with ‘Idol’ at 20. Not even knowing anything about Hollywood or the music industry,” the singer said.

“Since then I have learned so much and been able to share my experiences with other artists in the hope that they don’t go through the same things as me when it comes to succeeding in this life,” they have added.

The Harlem-born singer won the first remote final in “Idol” history – the long-running contest took to the stage in 2020 for the pandemic.

After emerging victorious from the show just three years ago, Sam pocketed the coveted $250,000 prize as well as a record deal with Hollywood Records.

But in 2022, the singer abruptly left the label without a single album release under his belt.

“I make music,” Sam said on social media at the time. “I just can’t afford to release music, because mixing and mastering music is so expensive. And I invested in myself and ended up broke. It’s the truth.”

Despite winning the show just three years ago and pocketing a $250,000 prize, the singer said he had no choice but to return to the streets.

The Harlem-born singer won the first remote final in “Idol” history.
ABC via Getty Images

“It’s just difficult because I’m going out of pocket and I have bills to pay. And American Idol won’t pay my bills. Lionel Richie won’t pay my bills. Katy Perry won’t pay my bills. Luke Bryan is not going to pay my bills. I have to pay my rent. I have to make sure I eat every day, which is hard to do.

The singer noted that the uncertain times during the pandemic left them doubting what was to come, but added that they were “ready and waiting for anything”.

“Everyone wants to know what happened and why this or why that and I’ll answer those questions someday, but in the meantime I’ll say this,” Sam’s caption continued. to win, but I did it, I was so grateful and I know people feel like I let them down.”

Sam said they “felt like I was letting myself down and so was everyone else” but continues to believe “there’s more to come for me”.

“I know everything happens for a reason and I know that too will pass no matter what things may look like right now,” Sam added.

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