'One Day Tonight.' Kentucky's Noah Thompson wins 'American Idol' 2022. Here's what to know

For 20 long years, Kentucky watched and waited for a bluegrass state artist to be the winner of "American Idol"—and now, it's happened.

On Sunday, 20-year-old Noah Thompson, a simple construction worker from the small town of Louisa, Kentucky, won season 20 of the long-running vocal competition.

As she sang for the "American Idol" crown in the finale with fellow contestants Huntergirl and Leah Marlene,

Noah Thompson

Thompson first appeared on stage (and only for the second time in his life) wearing a suit when he performed "Stay" by Rihanna.

american idol finale

During the three-hour finale, Thompson also sang a powerful duet with music legend Melissa Etheridge, performed her debut single, "One Day Tonight," and sang a cover of the Bruce Springsteen hit "I'm on Fire."

"American Idol" has propelled previously unknown artists such as Kelly Clarkson (Season One) and Carrie Underwood (Season Four) to super stardom.

Thompson, who had no previous musical training or performance experience, was inspired to try out for the show by Arthur Johnson, a colleague and friend of Thompson's Louisa.

Since her first audition opposite "American Idol" judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, it's been quite a journey.

who won american idol 2022

Thompson's Homecoming was filmed by the producers of "American Idol" for the segment that appeared on Sunday's episode.