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'American Idol' Winner Just Sam Says She Went Broke While Paying Off Her Record Label

'American Idol' Winner Just Sam Says She Went Broke While Paying Off Her Record Label

Samantha Diaz, who goes by the stage name Just Sam, has revealed that she “ended up broke” after paying off her record label.

The 23-year-old singer won the 18th season of American Idol back in 2020. The season was forced to go virtual during the middle of the pandemic and all of Sam‘s live performances were done from her hotel room in Los Angeles.

Before going on the show, Sam was a subway singer in New York City and she has since gone back to singing in the subway.

Click inside to read what she said in a new interview…

“I thought it was gonna be easy, just go to the studio, record, put out music,” Sam said on her Instagram Stories. “And that’s not how the world works. That’s not how the industry works. It takes time, it takes money that I don’t have. It takes patience.”

“I have people who are helping me. I’m putting out music when I can and when it’s ready,” she said. “It’s just hard because I’m coming out of pocket and I have bills to pay. And American Idol is not going to pay my bills. Lionel Richie’s not going to pay my bills. Katy Perry’s not going to pay my bills. Luke Bryan is not going to pay my bills. I have to pay my rent. I have to make sure that I’m eating every day, which is hard to do.”

Sam signed a record deal with Hollywood Records after winning Idol in May 2020, but she parted ways with the label without ever releasing an album with them.

“I was not the one that pulled [my 'Rise Up performance'] down from iTunes, Hollywood Records did that,” Sam said. “I don’t know the logistics behind it. I don’t know the legal side of things. But I believe that when we parted ways, in order for them to keep 100% of the money that was made from ‘Rise Up,’ I think they had to pull it from streams so that I wouldn’t get a cut, which is smart. Smart move Hollywood.”

Sam says that she’s still making music, but she went broke while trying to pay for everything herself.

“I am making music,” she said. “I just cannot afford to release music, because mixing and mastering music costs a lot of money. And I invested in myself and ended up broke. That’s the truth. Not broke, broke – like I’m living. I have my own place.”

She added, “I’m not even going to tell you guys the amount of money that I had to pay after leaving the label to claim songs that I had already recorded. I’m recording all the time or making music all the time, writing every day, doing what I have to do to survive.”

“How can I put music before rent, I’d literally be back in the place that I was in before the show if I did that,” she said. “And I tried, I really genuinely did try to pay off my music, the way that the label suggested after we parted ways. I tried their way and it did not work. I’m doing it God’s way. I’m trusting the process.”

You can watch Sam‘s performance of “Rise Up” below.

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Photos: YouTube
Posted to: American Idol, Just Sam

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