Singer Just Sam, who rose to fame after winning “American Idol” in 2020, is back busking in NYC’s subways. 

The 24-year-old, who won ABC’s Season 18 of the hit competition, said they were “super embarrassed” to let fans know that they have resumed singing in public following the major win. 

Sam, whose real name is Samantha Diaz, shared several clips of singing Ariana Grande’s “Almost Is Never Enough” in a subway station on Instagram. 

“Back in 2021, I was super embarrassed to be going back to the trains. I didn’t want people to know that I legit needed the money & I didn’t want people to know that it wasn’t optional,” Diaz, who uses they/them pronouns, wrote in a since-deleted caption, according to The Sun. 

“I was disappointed in myself for allowing myself to fall so low after winning ‘Idol,’ but then I had to take it easy on me and remember that I started my journey with ‘Idol’ at 20 years old. Not even knowing anything about Hollywood or the music industry,” the singer said. 

“Since then, I have learned so much and I’ve been able to take my experiences and share them with other artists in hopes that they don’t experience the same things that I did when it comes to making it in this life,” they added. 

The Harlem-born singer won the first remote finale in “Idol” history — the long-running contest left the stage in 2020 to the pandemic. 

After emerging victorious on the show just three years ago, Sam pocketed the coveted $250,000 prize as well as a recording contract from Hollywood Records. 

But in 2022, the singer abruptly left the label without a single album release under their belt. 

“I am making music,” Sam said on social media at the time. “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.” 

“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.” 

The singer noted that the uncertain time during the pandemic left them doubtful of what was to come, but added that they were “ready and waiting for whatever it was.” 

“Everyone wants to know what happened and why this or why that & I will answer those questions someday, but in the meantime I’ll say this,” Sam’s caption continued. “I never expected to win, but I did, I was so grateful and I know that people are feeling like I let them down.” 

Sam said they “used to feel like I let myself and everyone down too” but continues to believe “that there’s more coming for me.” 

“I know that everything happens for a reason and I know that this too shall pass no matter what things may look like right now,” Sam added.  

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