WATCH: ‘Idol’ Champion Returns to Hometown in New Performance

"American Idol" Winner Noah Thompson

American Idol / YouTube "American Idol" Winner Noah Thompson

“Round and around and around and around we go.”

The newest “American Idol” winner Noah Thompson has been sharing covers of his favorite songs on YouTube long before his “Idol” journey began. Now that the show has finished airing and the fame has set in, the 20-year-old country singer is back in his home state of Kentucky, reconnecting with friends and family.

Although Country Now reports that Thompson is “not trying to be a pop-country artist,” the former construction worker released his country-fied recording of Rihanna’s pop hit “Stay” over the summer. Now, he’s recorded a new live performance of “Stay”, filmed in his hometown of Louisa, Kentucky at the ARC Warehouse – the same job site where Thompson worked when he auditioned for “American Idol”.

The “‘Stay’ (Jobsite Sessions)” recording, featuring Thompson’s friend Zach Hopkins on guitar, is out now on the Musical Moonshine Media YouTube page.

Noah Thompson – “Stay” (Jobsite Sessions)Noah Thompson and Zach Hopkins perform Rihanna’s “Stay” live at Noah’s old jobsite, the ARC warehouse in Louisa, Kentucky. — Directed by Zach Curry and Phill Barnett Cinematography by Sanford Weakley and Zach Curry Audio Engineering and Production by Phill Barnett — Like, share, & subscribe for more triple-distilled content!2022-09-23T21:18:00Z

Thompson ‘Not Born To Be Working’ on Construction Site 

His new “Stay” performance allowed Thompson to return to the Addiction Recovery Care site where he worked pre-”Idol”. It was his friend and co-worker Arthur who convinced Thompson to put himself out there and audition for “American Idol” in the first place. In his audition, Thompson discusses wanting to be a musician ever since he was a little kid, but that he “just never believed in myself.”

“He’s not born to be working with us, doing drywall or anything like that. He’s gifted,” Arthur said of his friend and then-coworker.

Thompson’s grandmother Karen remembers that Noah wanted to be a singer ever since he was little, but says he needed a push.

“He’s shy and not outgoing, so (appearing on television) was a lot,” she told Kentucky Today.

Luckily for Thompson, the stress of performing on live television each week is over, and now he gets to make his dream of singing a reality. He now gets to perform at venues all across his home state, including his hometown Louisa, Kentucky’s annual Septemberfest celebration.

How Has Thompson’s Relationship to the Rihanna Hit Changed?

In a recent interview with Taste of Country, Thompson shared that the Rihanna song has taken on new meaning for him.

“American Idol” fans will remember that Thompson first covered the 2013 single during the “Showstopper Round”, impressing the judges and viewers at home, allowing him to advance to the top 24.

“I like this idea,” judge Katy Perry said of the song choice.

“This isn’t a song that I would usually do,” Thompson said about wanting to show variety to the judges, “but it reminds me of being back home because it is a song me and my girlfriend, Angel, would sing together.”

Although rumors have circulated about a breakup between Thompson and Angel Dixon, his girlfriend and mother of his child Walker, the couple has not confirmed anything yet. Thompson has spoken out, however, to deny the dating rumors between him and his friend and ‘Idol’ runner-up HunterGirl.

Regardless of his relationship status, Thompson is still able to relate to “Stay”, telling Taste of Country, “Anybody can connect with that song, man…That’s just a beautifully written song. I love the lyrics of that song. It’s just very, deep and meaningful.”

Fans can listen to Thompson’s recording of “Stay”, available now on all major streaming platforms.

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