After winning american idol in 2020, Samantha “Just Sam” Diaz began performing on New York City subways again.
In a recent Instagram post, the 24-year-old singer opened up about her journey since taking the american idol title, and expressed initial embarrassment at the idea of returning to perform on the subway for money.
The video showed her singing “Almost Is Never Enough” by Ariana Grande in a subway station.
In a since-deleted caption on the video, Diaz wrote, “In 2021 I was super embarrassed to be back on trains. I didn’t want people to know I legitimately needed the money and I didn’t want to let people know it was not optional.
THE Sun recorded the caption before it was deleted, highlighting Diaz’s financial struggles.
Diaz’s return to the subway follows a series of health issues 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 budding artist began singing on subway trains. His story was documented in the 2018 short “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 judges and viewers alike, propelling her to victory.
News of Diaz’s return to the subway comes the same week as american idol crowned its latest winner, Iam Tongi, for Season 21.
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