American Idol winner Just Sam has responded to fans who are ‘sad and confused’ over the fact that they started singing on the New York City subway again for money – three years after getting first place in the singing competition.
Just Sam, 24, who uses the pronouns them/them, was thrust into the limelight after wowing the judges – and millions of viewers – with his incredible voice during the eighteenth season of the ABC series.
Despite their success on the show, the aspiring musician – whose real name is Samantha Diaz – recently revealed she had to resort to ‘street playing for money’ but urged her followers to ‘to be patient’ with them and insisted that was ‘not the end of their story.’
“I know this makes a lot of people sad and a lot of people are confused that I’m starting to play for money again, but don’t worry,” they captioned a recent Instagram video that showed them playing on a train platform.
American Idol winner Just Sam has told ‘sad and confused’ fans that they started singing on the subway again for money – three years after winning the show
Just Sam, 24, who uses the pronouns them/them, was thrust into the spotlight after wowing the judges with his incredible voice on the eighteenth season of the ABC series
Despite their success on the show, the aspiring musician (seen left on the show and right recently) revealed he had to resort to ‘street beasting for money’
“This is only part of the story, not the end. I seriously trust God and know there will be more very soon.
But they urged their followers to ‘be patient’ with them and insisted this was ‘not the end of their story’.
The singer added that “a lot of people” have “showed them love” and “reached out a hand to support them on their journey” since they first revealed they were back in the street in May.
“In the meantime, I ask you all to be patient with me because God is not done with me yet,” they concluded.
Earlier this month, Sam spoke to TMZ about their struggle to succeed as an artist following their victory in May 2020.
They explained, “I thought, ‘This is it, my grandmother and I will never have the same difficulties again. But really, that wasn’t it.
The 24-year-old added that because they were crowned “at the start of COVID” it was “difficult” for them to find work.
‘Everything has been closed. People didn’t want to work directly in the studios right away. People were trying to figure out how to get back to what was going to be normal for us at that time,” they continued.
“It took me a few months before I even got into a studio, which sucked. I lived in a hotel.
“I know this makes a lot of people sad and a lot of people are confused that I’m going back to the streets for money, but please don’t worry,” they captioned a recent instagram
“This is only part of the story, not the end. I seriously trust God and know there is more to come very soon’
Earlier this month, Sam (seen on the show) explained to TMZ that because they were crowned “at the start of COVID”, it was “difficult” for them to find work
They also explained that they entered the competition with very little experience and knowledge about the industry, which made it even more difficult for them.
“I know now that I need to read more,” they said. “Contracts are serious business.
“I was just like, ‘OK, yeah’ and I was just signing things, and that’s not how it goes. You can’t move like that. It leaves you in sticky situations. It’s a something I learned.
They were initially signed to Hollywood Records after their win, but parted ways soon after.
On Instagram, they claimed they were forced to pay the label a large sum of money after they left in order to secure the rights to the songs they recorded – which they say left them “broken”.
They have since released five songs through independent digital music service DistroKid.
They recently launched a GoFundMe page, where they have raised $830 so far. They also revealed online that acclaimed producer Timbaland and popular rapper Lil Durk reached out to send their support.
In their GoFundMe bio, Just Sam admitted that they are often faced with people asking questions such as “What happened to you?” – which is not easy for them.
“Even though I am so grateful for my journey, I have faced harassment on social media, questions about my health, and even false accusations of addiction,” they wrote.
‘Everything has been stopped. People didn’t want to work directly in the studios right away,” they said. We see them on the show
They claimed they were forced to pay a large sum of money to Hollywood Records after parting ways with the label in order to secure the rights to the songs they recorded.
“The music industry just wasn’t ready to release a new artist during a global emergency.
“Everything was unfamiliar and scary, and my career started to fall through those cracks.
“I know everything happens for a reason and I know that too will pass no matter what things may look like right now,” they said on Instagram.
“I just want to make music that shows my skills, my heritage, my homosexuality and my sensitivity instead of the media focusing on poverty or family heartbreak. I just want to sing and my goal is to share new music with my fans.
In another social media post, Just Sam said they were excited about what was to come – and were nothing but proud of their journey.
“In 2021, I was super embarrassed to go back to trains. I didn’t want people to know that I legitimately needed the money and I didn’t want people to know that it wasn’t optional,” they explained.
“I was disappointed in myself for sinking so low after winning Idol, but I had to take it easy [myself] and remember I started my journey with Idol at 20, not even knowing anything about Hollywood or the music industry.
“Since then I have learned so much and been able to share my experiences with other artists in the hope that they don’t go through the same things as me when it comes to succeeding in this life.
“I didn’t expect to win but I did, I was so grateful and I know people feel like I let them down.
“I felt like I was letting myself down and letting everyone else down too. But I know there is more to come for me.
“I know everything happens for a reason and I know that too will pass no matter what things may look like right now.”