Just Sam, from NYC subway singer to ‘American Idol’ top 11

New York News
HARLEM, New York (WABC) — Just Sam has emerged as a favorite contestant in this season’s American Idol, and this week she hopes to crack the top 7!

So just who is Just Sam?

Just Sam is 20-year-old Samantha Diaz from New York City.

She explained how her show name came about during ‘American Idol: This is Me.’

“Growing up, I was kind of a tomboy. I would switch up my style a lot. In high school, they didn’t know which category to put me in. I wasn’t a girl, not a boy, but both. And I’m like Just Sam. You can’t tell them anything else. It sounds perfect, I think I’m going to use that as my stage name forever,” she said.

Just Sam is a proud member of the LBGT community.

Since middle school, she’s been singing in the subway.

Filmmakers Joe Penney and Ladan Osmon followed her life on the subway for a documentary titled ‘Sam Underground.’
Just Sam spent time in the New York City foster care system before being officially adopted by her grandmother.

Sam has been performing far from home since the pandemic quarantine began. She chose to stay in Los Angeles, far from her grandmother.

After earning a spot in the top 11, Just Sam performed a rendition of Bill Withers’ classic ‘Grandma’s Hands.’

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She told mentor Bobby Bones that she wanted to pay tribute to her grandmother back in Harlem.

We’ll find out if she will continue her journey this Sunday on American Idol.

Watch #IdolAtHome on Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on ABC 7!

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