I was just introduced to Iam Tongi a few days ago with all the flurry around him winning American Idol. He is the first Pacific Islander to win the coveted first-place position in its 21-season history. Meridian ran a little article from LDS Living highlighting him. Click here. Iam’s February 19th audition is the most-viewed video on the American Idol YouTube page, garnering over 17 million views. If you have not seen this emotional video, please give yourself a cry and watch this young Latter-day Saint talk about and show the love he has for his dad, who had just passed away months before the audition. Listen for when Lionel Richie says, “You know, when you love so deeply, you feel so deeply.” It’ll break your heart.
Iam, 18-years-old, is originally from Kahuku, Hawaii and is of Samoan and Tongan descent. He was born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii and now lives in the Seattle, Washington area. Iam has a pure, sweet, emotional island voice that moves his listeners. He truly is talented and is so worth giving a listen to.
I wanted to show you a prequel of all the fame that has now been heaped upon him for winning American Idol. He has a number of YouTube videos that are pure and beautiful, but I found this one below that is of him and his dad, Rodney, singing One More Day by Diamond Rio. It is so touching to see him and his dad singing together. Rodney always encouraged Iam to sing and develop his talent. I’m sure he is so proud of Iam in the spirit world.
Please take the time to hear this beautiful young man sing with his father (and keep watching for Iam as he begins recording with the big Hollywood labels).
JeanMay 26, 2023
I followed American Idol this year and was a huge fan of Iam Tongi. Besides having a smooth voice I could listen to forever, he brought such love to this contest. Iam mentioned how much he loved his friends and how hard it was for him when they had to leave the contest. I was so impressed when a fellow contestant, Oliver Stone, had a father who was in the hospital with a stroke during the contest. He reported that Iam talked with his father in the hospital. I've watched almost all the seasons of American Idol, but I've never seen a season like this one that showed such a love and friendship for each other.