- Full Name Samantha Diaz
- Nickname Just Sam
- Occupation Singer, Songwriter
- Nationality American
- Birthplace Harlem, New York, USA
- Birth Date Nov 23, 1998
- Age 24 Years, 6 Months
Just Sam | BiographyBecame the first gay winner in the 'American Idol's history
At age 20, Diaz auditioned for the ABC singing reality show 'American Idol' Season 18 on 14 October 2019 in Washington, D.C. She was chosen for the next round after singing 'Rise Up' by Andra Day. After surviving Hollywood Round and then making it from the Top 20 to Top 10, Top 7, and Top 5, she received enough votes to earn the title of 'American Idol' Season 18 on 17 May 2020.
Samantha Diaz, alias Just Sam, is the winner of American Idol Season 18.
Who Is Just Sam?
Samantha Diaz, better known by her stage name Just Sam, is an African-American singer-songwriter. She rose to fame after winning the 18th season of American Idol in 2020.
Early Life & Birthday
Samantha Diaz was born in Harlem, New York, on 23 November 1998. Following her mother's imprisonment, she spent time in foster care until her librarian grandmother, Elizabeth, adopted her when she was six years old.
Diaz knew at an early age that she had a passion for music. Later, she started to sing in the subway of New York City during her middle school to earn money and help her grandmother pay the bills. However, she ultimately discovered her passion for a versatile chanteuse.
As a child, Diaz was a tomboy, but she frequently changed her style growing up. Eventually, she took into her pseudonym, Just Sam, when her high school friends bullied her over her appearance.
"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 - it sounds perfect. I think I'm going to use that as my stage name forever,'" she said in one episode of American Idol.
At age 20, Diaz auditioned for the ABC singing reality show American Idol Season 18 on 14 October 2019 in Washington, D.C. She was chosen for the next round after singing 'Rise Up' by Andra Day. After surviving Hollywood Round and then making it from the Top 20 to Top 10, Top 7, and Top 5, she received enough votes to earn the title of American Idol Season 18 on 17 May 2020.
Coming Out As Gay
She came out publicly after winning the title of American Idol and became the first gay winner in the show's history. She came out as gay in a May 2020 interview with the New York Post. She stated she did not want to define herself based on her sexual orientation and initially identified as God's child.
Diaz was the subject of the 2018 documentary Sam, Underground, co-written and co-directed by Ladan Osman and Joe Penney.
What is Just Sam Doing Now?
After winning American Idol, Diaz signed a record deal with Hollywood Records/Industrial Media's 19 Recordings in May 2020.
On 13 March 2021, she released her first single titled 'Africando,' which she co-wrote with Los Angeles-based musical artist Cat Clark. Then, in August 2021, she took to Instagram to announce that her new track titled 'Change' would release in September, dedicating it to brothers, friends, and loved ones murdered in gun violence and gang violence. Her second single, 'Change,' was released on 28 September 2021.
In addition, on 28 April 2021, Diaz virtually performed the National Anthem at the New York Knicks game.