Iam Tongi's Rise to Stardom on American Idol

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Iam Tongi was an unlikely winner on season 21 of American Idol. The 19-year old from Hawaii became the first person from the island state to win the singing competition. He also became the first Pacific Islander and the youngest winner since the show's inception in 2002. Tongi's laidback personality and soulful voice enamored him to viewers across America. His audition video became the most watched in the history of American Idol's YouTube channel. However, his rise to stardom was not without controversy. Some felt Tongi won solely on sympathy over the recent loss of his father. But the young singer proved his chops with solid performances week after week.

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Tongi's Musical Journey

Tongi first learned to play ukulele and piano as a child. At 13, his father gifted him a guitar which Tongi incorporated into most of his Idol performances. Music became a bonding experience between father and son. Tragically, Tongi's dad passed away just months before his first Idol audition. Still grieving, Tongi sang James Blunt's "Monsters" and dedicated it to his late father. The emotional performance earned Tongi a golden ticket to Hollywood.

In Hollywood Week, disaster struck when Tongi's guitar broke and he lost his voice. But he persevered, later saying the experience made him realize he could succeed with his voice alone. Tongi began to strategically feature island music on the show. His cover of Kolohe Kai's "Cool Down" during the finale showcased his Hawaiian roots. Tongi also released original singles like "Dreams" and "I'll Be Seeing You." The latter reached #3 on Billboard's Digital Song Sales chart.

After his victory, Tongi embarked on a tour with fellow contestant and friend Oliver Steele. He received a custom ukulele to commemorate his Idol journey. The young singer later reunited on stage with Kolohe Kai's Roman De Peralta to perform "Cool Down." Tongi also sang the national anthem at the 2023 Home Run Derby. Despite a minor gaffe with his baseball cap, Tongi took it in stride and continued gaining poise in the spotlight.

Throughout his rapid rise, Tongi has remained humble and true to his roots. He hopes to pave the way for more Pacific Islander artists to make it in mainstream music. Though faced with skeptics, Tongi has proven his talent and star power. His earnest personality and musical skill make him a worthy American Idol.

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Iam Tongi’s Rise to Stardom on American Idol. (2023, July 25). WritingBros. Retrieved May 19, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/iam-tongis-rise-to-stardom-on-american-idol/
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Iam Tongi’s Rise to Stardom on American Idol [Internet]. WritingBros. 2023 Jul 25 [cited 2024 May 19]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/iam-tongis-rise-to-stardom-on-american-idol/
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