Iam Tongi Takes Hit Single ‘Why Kiki’ To American Idol Stage

When Iam Tongi competed in the 2023 series of American Idol, he took the judges and audiences by storm. He impressed them all with his voice and musical ability on the guitar, making history by becoming the first person from Hawaii, as well as the first Pacific Islander, to win the show. After his big win, 19-year-old Iam went on tour and released multiple successful singles. In 2024, he made a return to the American Idol stage to perform his single ‘Why Kiki’.

The audience danced and sang along with Iam as he performed, clearly enjoying the winner’s return. His performance included the guitar-playing skills that helped him stand out during his time on the show. YouTube viewers also showered the performance with praise, one commenter describing him as “easily one of the best American Idol winners of all time.” After the performance, Iam explained that the song was a tribute to the place he grew up in.

Iam’s time competing on American Idol was an emotional journey. After failing to make it past the first stage when he auditioned the year prior, he was reluctant to audition again. However, convinced by his mother, he decided to attend. During his initial audition, he shared that his father had passed away a few months prior. At the series finale, Iam revealed that his late father had told him that he knew he would be successful in music, making the singer’s eventual win that much sweeter.

He then went on to gain an even more impressive level of success after his American Idol win. He released three singles in 2023 that managed to chart on four different US charts. Of course, one of these was ‘Why Kiki’. The song reached number one on the US Digital World Song Sales Chart. The music video for the single was also a great success, reaching over 5 million views, with fans leaving comments of support such as “No singer has made me smile like this!”

With Iam Tongi’s career charging forward, boasting three charting singles and an EP released since his time on American Idol, the musician is already making an impact within the industry. He is not only being recognized for his musicianship but also for increasing Polynesian people’s visibility in mainstream music. Congratulated for paving the way for other Polynesians to follow in his footsteps, fans will be wondering whether Iam will continue to represent his roots in the style of songs like ‘Why Kiki.’ With praise heaped on the original song and comments left asking for Iam to “keep ’em coming”, there is certainly an appetite for more of the same.

If you love talented musicians as much as we do, you’ll want to follow the gifted Iam Tongi. You can subscribe to his YouTube Channel to catch his latest performances and music videos. Also, be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram for updates on his current projects and personal life. For more in-depth details about Iam’s career and releases, his official website is the place to visit.

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