William “Iam” Tongi, 2023 American Idol champion, is performing at the Hart Auditorium June 14 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

While currently living in Seattle, Tongi is originally from Kahuku, Hawaii. His music combines influences from his Tongan, Samoan and Irish ancestry.

Tongi’s greatest inspiration for his music, his father, Rodney Tongi, passed away just months before his first American Idol audition when Tongi was 18 years old. Tongi dedicated the performance to his father and brought the judges to tears.

Tongi is the most viral artist in American Idol history, with his audition gaining over 100 million views on YouTube, according to his official website.

Tongi has been practicing his musical skills since a young age, performing at local events and family celebrations.

“He’s got a remarkable voice,” said Center Stage Coordinator Dale Hillier. “Sings with his heart, I mean, more than his voice. It emanates from his heart, (and he) plays the guitar very well.”

After he was already scheduled to come to BYU-I, Hillier discovered Tongi is his daughters-in-law’s cousin and performed at their wedding.

Iam Tongi will be bringing a small band to perform alongside him at BYU-I.

Iam Tongi will be bringing a small band to perform alongside him at BYU-I. Photo credit: Gary Dotterweich via Flickr

“I got a live preshow and chatted with him some, really nice guy,” Hillier said.

Tongi released his most recent single, “Hope in the Ashes,” this year and released several original singles in 2024 and 2023.

Tickets may be purchased here, starting at $10.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Hillier said.