Just Sam Wins ‘American Idol,’ Drops “Rise Up” Cover
Season 18 of American Idol made for a wild viewing experience with contestants performing from the safety of their homes, while judges provided feedback remotely. If nothing else, it proved once and for all that the show must go on — COVID-19 crisis or not. Ultimately, Just Sam was crowned the winner on last night’s (May 17) finale and immediately inked a deal with Hollywood Records. The 21-year-old from Harlem, New York now releases her show-stopping cover of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” as her first official single.
“I’m EXTREMELY GRATEFUL & HAPPY to be the next [American Idol],” Just Sam wrote on Instagram. “This is more than a dream come true and I just want to thank you all so so much for voting for me and loving me and caring about me and just being so kind to me!! I love you all and I’m so happy right now words cant even explain!!! THANK YOU AMERICA!!!” How did she get that moniker? It turns out Sam was bullied in high school for dressing like a tomboy and the nickname stuck. Watch her nail “Rise Up” below.