More than six months after their lives were forever changed on “American Idol,” season 21 winner Iam Tongi and runner-up Megan Danielle are back together. The pair have reunited in Tongi’s native Hawaii to prepare for and promote a reunion concert there on December 9, 2023.
Tongi, 19, and Danielle, 20, forged a bond as they rose the ranks on “Idol.” After a whirlwind trip to New York following May’s season finale and a group concert featuring multiple contestants in Nashville weeks later, the two singers went their separate ways to work on their music careers.
But now they’ve reunited to perform a concert in Honolulu, during which they’ll play their own sets and partner up on “some really special duets,” according to Danielle via Instagram. They even gave a preview of their harmonies on TV interviews promoting the concert.
Here’s what you need to know:
Iam Tongi Starts & Stops Duet with Megan Danielle on Live TV
Danielle and Tongi announced their plans to reunite just days before their surprise concert. On December 4, Danielle posted a concert poster on Instagram to share the news.
She wrote, “Aloha Hawai’i! 🌺 I am so excited that I am going to see my friend Iam Tongi again and join him at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu on December 9th. Each of us is going to play a set of our own music and we’re also going to perform some really special duets for you. ❤️”
In a separate video of herself talking about the upcoming event, she said it would be “so magical, so amazing.” Danielle, who lives near Atlanta, later posted in her Instagram Stories that she was flying with her mom to Hawaii.
On December 7, Danielle and Tongi appeared on Hawaii News Now to promote the concert also sang a duet of Larry Fleet’s “Where I Find God.” But at the start of the song, Tongi realized he hadn’t tuned his guitar to the key he preferred and the two laughed as he admitted he “messed up” and had to start over.
The “Idol” alums will perform at Blaisdell Arena. In addition to his concert with Danielle, Tongi announced on Instagram he’ll do two smaller concerts on December 12 and 13 in Maui featuring a “mystery guest that you guys all might be familiar with.”
Leaning on His Hawaiian Roots Continues to Be Important to Iam Tongi
Tongi grew up in Hawaii, but made headlines during his run on “American Idol” for sharing that his family had to leave when his dad got sick and they couldn’t afford to live there anymore. The Tongis moved to Washington state, where the young singer’s dad died of kidney failure in December 2021.
Tongi’s visited Nashville for songwriting sessions multiple times since his big win. In recent weeks, though, he has released multiple covers including an EP of Christmas classics, his own version of Morgan Wallen’s country hit “Sand in My Boots,” and a new cover of Blaze Foley’s “If I Could Only Fly.”
All of his tunes have a country twang with an island vibe, inspired by his Hawaiian roots, which he told People is the kind of sound he hopes people associate with him.
“I grew up on island music and I grew up on country music,” he said. “And my dad, he’s the one that really got me into it because my dad loved country music. My dad’s favorite singer was George Strait.”
“A lot of island songs are just redos of country music,” Tongi explained. “You’ve got Molo Try. He does a lot of country music but makes it reggae. You’ve got the Ka’au Crater Boys. They’re a classic Hawaiian band. A lot of their songs are just country songs but done with ukulele.”