- Iam has won American Idol season 21.
- Iam is from Hawaii.
- Iam has released an original song.
Iam Tongi became an American Idol season 21 fan favorite right from the start. From his memorable audition to Hollywood Week to his Hawaii homecoming, Iam showed that he’s a force to be reckoned with in the competition. After the epic grand finale, Iam was crowned the winner of American Idol season 21.
So, who is Iam Tongi? The 18-year-old singer is tremendously talented. HollywoodLife has rounded up everything you need to know about the season 21 champion.
1. Iam won American Idol season 21.
Iam performed a touching and powerful rendition of “Monsters” by James Blunt in honor of his father during the season 21 premiere. The performance, which moved the judges to tears, has over 11 million views on YouTube. He later performed that same song with James during the season 21 finale.
Iam sailed through the competition and earned his spot in the top 2 alongside Megan Danielle. He performed his original song “I’ll Be Seeing You,” which is dedicated to his father, before he was crowned the winner of season 21. Ahead of the finale, HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Iam about his plans after Idol.
“I just want to play concerts and live performances because I really love performing live,” he told HollywoodLife. “It just feels good when I’m on that stage and the lights and I just close my eyes and get into that feel. When other people witness that and also can connect to it’s just crazy.”
2. Iam hails from Hawaii.
Iam is originally from Kahuka, Hawaii, which is located on the island of Oahu. He moved to Seattle 3 years ago after getting “priced out of paradise.” He was able to return to Hawaii for the top 26 performances and a hometown visit ahead of the finale.
3. Iam’s father recently passed away.
Iam’s father, Rodney, died a few months before his audition. Iam credits his father for getting him into music. After his audition aired, Iam posted an Instagram photo from his father’s graveside and wrote, “I got that golden ticket dad wish you were here.”
4. Iam is still in high school.
Iam is currently a senior in high school. He attends Decatur High School, which is located in Federal Way, Washington. The show’s official Facebook page shared Iam’s stellar audition and wrote, “Proud of this amazing Gator! Yitadee!!”
5. Iam has become a social media sensation.
Following his incredible audition, Iam’s social media numbers rose significantly. He now has over 200,000 followers on Instagram. He has over 336,000 followers on TikTok, and his videos have racked up more than 1.2 million likes.