Joe Rogan is known for taking an interest in a variety of topics. Ranging from talks of outer space, aliens, comedy, social issues, and more, Joe seemingly loves to talk about them all. As such, we recently saw him delve into his love for music as well.
In a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, Joe and his guest, former rapper turned rising country music star, Jelly Roll, discussed music. Eventually, the topic shifted from Jelly’s journey in music to up-and-coming talents on reality TV shows. Notably, Joe points out a talented young performer from America’s Got Talent while Jelly brings to attention a singer called, Iam Tongi.
Listening to the young Hawaiian’s debut performance on American Idol 2023, the stand-up comedian and Jelly were brought to tears. Following the performance, Jelly says, “Choked up the whole time… I’m sorry I did that to us, man”. As such, Joe, who was also moved to tears, replied, “Holy sh*t is he good… that’s crazy. That’s authentic, you just can’t fake that. The power of music, man… gotta love it”.
For those unaware, Iam was one of the standout performers of American Idol 2023 and even made it to the final. Ever since his debut, the young Hawaiian garnered a lot of attention from fans worldwide. Thus, it is no surprise that Joe and Jelly Roll are discussing it as well. Notably, this is also one of the rare occasions that we have seen the former Taekwondo champion tear up.
Who is Iam Tongi, the kid who made Joe Rogan cry?
The latest singing sensation, Iam Tongi has become the new internet sweetheart. Tugging at the listener’s heartstrings, Tongi in fact has a rather tragic backstory. As he reveals, Tongi had recently lost his father, Rodney, someone he shared a very close bond with. Thus, Tongi’s story about his father really moved the judges.
Remembering his father, Tongi says, “For all my life, my dad told me that singing is the only thing that was meant for me. The main reason I do music is because of my dad. That is how we bonded, but since he’s passed away, things have been hard.”
As such, the high school student then sang “Monsters” by James Blunt, dedicating it to his late father.
Before the song, Tongi added how he could hear his father harmonizing with him with each song that he would sing. Naturally, as soon as the youngster begins singing, the melancholy of his voice and the heartbreaking lyrics of the song left every single judge teary-eyed. Notably, Luke Bryan, who had lost his brother and sister over the past few years, seemed to feel every single note.
Eventually, Iam continued to impress throughout the competition and was recently crowned the winner of American Idol 2023. Besting fellow contestants Colin Stough and Megan Danielle, Tongi showed incredible heart and talent. Thus, his affection and gratitude for his father have seen him overcome incredible odds and make a name for himself in the process.