‘American Idol’ Winner Just Sam Returns to Subway Singing for Money

After winning American Idol in 2020, Samantha “Just Sam” Diaz has returned to performing in New York City subways.

In a recent Instagram post, the 24-year-old singer opened up about her journey since taking the American Idol title, and expressed her initial embarrassment about returning to performing on the subway for money.

The video showed her singing Ariana Grande’s “Almost Is Never Enough” in a subway station.

In a since deleted-caption on the video, Diaz wrote: “Back in 2021, I was super embarrassed to be going back to the trains. I didn’t want people to know that I legit needed the money & I didn’t want people to know that it wasn’t optional.”

The Sun saved the caption before it was deleted, shedding light on Diaz’s financial struggles.

Diaz’s return to subway performances follows a string of health problems for the singer. As previously reported, in August 2022, she was hospitalized with an unknown illness, which she shared with her followers on Instagram.

Raised in Harlem, the aspiring artist got her start singing on subway trains. Her story was documented in the 2018 short film “Sam, Underground,” directed by Ladan Osman and Joe Penney. The film explored Diaz’s life, including her adoption by her grandmother and the limited contact she had with her birth mother.

In 2020, Diaz made headlines by winning the 18th season of American Idol, which had to adapt to virtual performances due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Her raw talent and emotional performances resonated with the judges and viewers alike, propelling her to victory.

News of Diaz’s return to subway singing comes around the same week that American Idol crowned its latest winner, Iam Tongi, for season 21.

‘American Idol’ Winner Just Sam Returns to Subway Singing for Money

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