Hailing from Kahuku, Hawaii, Iam Tongi made history as the first person from Hawaii and the first Pacific Islander to win the star-finding tv show, American Idol.
Tongi’s soulful voice, aged beyond his 19 years coupled with his skillful performances on the ukulele, piano, and guitar, captivated audiences and judges alike starting from the first note of his deeply emotional audition where he dedicated a touching rendition of James Blunt's "Monsters' to his late father. The heartfelt performance garnered a standing ovation from judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan, quickly propelling Tongi to viral fame and amassing over 100 million views on YouTube making him the most viral artist in Idol history.
Being a large part of the Hawaiian, Samoan, and Tongan culture, Iam grew up surrounded by music where his natural born gifts became known prompting his father to spend a holiday paycheck on a guitar for the then 13-year-old. Iam then spent years performing for his family and at local events, carefully crafting his skills and vocal prowess. While still in high school, Iam’s family was “priced out of paradise” and found themselves moving to Federal Way, Washington. Always encouraging, Iam’s father constantly suggested the singer audition for American Idol, but it wasn’t until his father sadly passed from kidney failure that the young artist signed up for the show, a touching tribute to the most influential person in his life. Since his historic win, Iam’s artistry is flourishing with the release of his single "I'll Be Seeing You", (which reached No. 3 on Billboard's Digital Song Sales and No. 1 on Rock Digital Song Sales) and has been selling out shows across the US.