‘American Idol’s Noah Thompson Reflects on His Performance of ‘Stay’

by Samantha Whidden

After releasing his acoustic cover of Rihanna’s “Stay,” Noah Thompson opened up about singing the hit 2012 single and what it really means to the “American Idol” winner’s up-and-coming career.

While speaking to Country Now, Noah Thompson stated his friend Arthur, who notably encouraged him to audition for “American Idol,” pushed him into recording the rendition for the show. “Arthur just basically forced me to sing the song so we could send it in,” Thompson stated. “But I didn’t realize how it would be one of my biggest moments on the show doing that song.”

Noah Thompson recalled how he ended up shocking the “American Idol” judges with his song choice as well as his performance. “I guess nobody expects a kid with work boots and flannel to walk out and sing a Rihanna song,” he joked. 

Noah Thompson further explained that after winning “American Idol,” his record label approached him about recording “Stay” as a full country version. “I was over the moon about that,” he gushed. He also stated that he thought the idea was the coolest thing ever. “I think it was one of my biggest moments on the show and I feel like it was just so cool to put out a new song with it… My own version.”

Noah Thompson said that he has been commuting from his home in Kentucky to Nashville to write, record, and learn from established songwriters and artists. “I got to sit down with Josh Thompson and I found out that he was one of the writers on ‘Wasted On You’ for Morgan Wallen,” he shared. “So I was really excited about that. That was really cool for me.”

‘American Idol’ Winner Noah Thompson Says He Learned About the Process of Creating Songs With Other People 

As he continued to discuss the few things he has learned since winning “American Idol,” Noah Thompson shared the the was learning about the process of creating songs with other people. 

“The only thing I’ve ever done is I’ve sat in my bathroom at my house, my guitar, and that’s as far as songwriting has ever gone for me,” Noah Thompson revealed. He also observes other singers and songwriters as they write songs. 

“It took ‘em like 30 minutes,” Thompson said about working with Jimmy Robbins and others. But he was walking me through it, how it works, how they go through that. You guys are going back on an idea and whoever’s idea fits the title, then that’s what you go with.”

Noah Thompson went on to add that it is all “neat” to him to see how everything works out. “Cause I’ve never done it that way. So that was unique for me.”