The following is excerpted from LDS Living. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

Last night American Idol season 21 concluded with a historic winner: Latter-day Saint Iam Tongi became the youngest male ever to win the show.

Tongi, an 18-year-old high school student from Kahuku, Hawaii, won over the judges and audience from his very first audition. Since his audition was posted on YouTube three months ago, it has become the most viewed audition video of the season by a long shot, with more than 16 million video views. Tongi sang “Monsters” by James Blunt and dedicated the performance to his father, Rodney, who died a few months earlier.

“People thought I cry because I miss him, but it’s ’cause I hear him singing—I can hear his harmony,” Tongi told Idol producers. “I know he’s with me. Through my music he’ll always be with me.”

“You hit a nerve, and that’s what great storytellers do,” American Idol judge Katy Perry said. “That’s what great artists do, and your voice is just so magnificent.”

“I cannot handle your heart breaking about your dad,” judge Luke Bryan added. “Just seeing you missing your dad just sucks. Gosh, man, you just got a great voice. … You just did everything perfect, and I love you.”

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