HONOLULU (KHON2) — Iam Tongi is taking the world by storm. This amazingly talented young man glides across stages with the humility of a venerated and seasoned musical veteran.
His confidence and angelic voice has created a major cult following in Hawaiʻi, too.
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Tongi’s journey began when he learned to love music through his relationship with his late father.
For weeks, viewers of Idol have learned of the life and love that Iam Tongi has had with his family as they have journeyed from living on the land of Hawaiʻi in Kahuku to needing to move to the United States mainland because too many local families are priced out of their homelands.
This is why on Tuesday, May 15, thousands descended on Oʻahu’s North Shore to celebrate his achievement and to let Iam Tongi know that we are all with him on this journey.
In case you missed it, the big story everyone was talking about on Tuesday was Hawaiʻi’s American Idol star, Iam Tongi. But, there are few on the islands who do not know who Iam Tongi is and what his journey has been.
And fans love him for it. Now, the Kahuku native is just days away from competing in the Idol finale to win the final showdown.
But it was his coveted homecoming visit that filled Oʻahu’s North Shore with fans who attended the homecoming parade and concert.
Iam tongi sang for the crowd with such passion and melodic tones that his fans, ʻohana and hānai were enraptured with his performance. Fans were heard screaming with every song he sang to them.
Amongst the songs sung on Tuesday were Sweet Lady of Waiāhole to his adoring crowd.
During the parade that led to the concert, Tongi was able to spend time with his school peers and reach out to the adoration that was present as he rode by.
Tongi arrived by trolley to Turtle Bay Resort for the concert.
Once he arrived at the concert grounds, he was greeted by thousands of fans who had made their way north; and, at some point, everyone was showered with gorgeous smelling plumeria petals donated by the Little Plumeria Farm.
He took the stage, performing several songs for about a half hour.
At one point, Iam Tongi was joined by other Hawaiʻi artists Jack Johnson and John Cruz who crooned alongside him to the delight of the crowd. He sang Banana Pancakes with Jack Johnson and Island Style with John Cruz and Paula Fuga.
Closing out the show was the Kahuku high school football team with this chicken-skin haka. The school is known for having created their very own haka that is performed for various reasons and events.