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American Idol Winner Claims She Went 'Broke' Paying Record Company!

2020 American Idol Winner Left Broke By Show's Record Deal

Not quite the American dream she thought she was winning…

Samantha Diaz, who goes by the stage name Just Sam, thought her life would be set after winning American Idol in 2020, but she just revealed that she’s “broke” after being forced to pay off her record label!

The 23-year-old musician, who joined the show after singing in New York subways for cash, grew famous for her performances on the reality competition series. Unfortunately, her season was forced to go virtual during the pandemic, so she mostly performed from a hotel room in El Lay! Still, her voice was undeniable and landed her a record deal with Hollywood Records in May 2020.

Related: Kelly Clarkson Says Early American Idol Contestants Thought The Show Was ‘A Joke’!

Things have not turned out as well as she hoped, Sam opened up about in a candid Instagram Story post, saying:

“I thought it was gonna be easy, just go to the studio, record, put out music. 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.”

While she initially signed a record deal, she never ended up releasing an album before she decided to part ways with that team. It’s unclear why she ended the partnership. Now, she’s trying to bootstrap her career, adding:

“I have people who are helping me. I’m putting out music when I can and when it’s ready. 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.”

Sadly she has since gone back to performing in subways to keep up with her financial needs.

The singer’s song Rise Up, which she performed on the series (above), was recently removed from iTunes, in a move that has baffled fans — and herself — ever since. Addressing that issue, she noted:

“I was not the one that pulled [my Rise Up performance] down from iTunes, Hollywood Records did that. 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.”

Yikes. That is rough! We get that the label would want to make a clean break from their former artist, but doing that so she doesn’t make any money off of her performance?? That’s messed up.

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Diaz is keeping her head high and pushing through the challenges, insisting:

“I am making music. 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.”

What broke her wallet the most was having to pay her record label to gain ownership of the songs she had recorded while still under contract with them, she explained:

“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.”

Yeesh. We can’t imagine how frustrating this must all be for her! Clearly disappointed with the unfortunate turn of events, she concluded:

“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. 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.”

All she can do at this point… It’s so sad to hear she’s struggling so much after winning the competition and signing a record deal! Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF (below)!

[Image via American Idol/Idols Global/YouTube]

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Jan 28, 2022 12:10pm PDT