Talent Recap

Chris Daughtry Says Singers Today Don’t Need Shows Like ‘American Idol’ to Hit Big

Chris Daughtry on 'The Kelly Clarkson Show'Photo by: Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal

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Chris Daughtry recently reflected on how the music landscape has changed since his time on the hit show in the mid-2000s. While careful not to dismiss the relevance of American Idol, Daughtry acknowledged that today’s aspiring singers have many more ways to break through and achieve fame outside of talent competition shows.


Chris Daughtry Says There Are Alternative Pathways in Today’s Music Scene

When asked if American Idol is now obsolete in the era of TikTok, where unknown talents can go viral much more easily, Daughtry walked a diplomatic line. He wouldn’t outright say American Idol is irrelevant now, but he did point out the obvious – there are other more accessible routes to stardom in 2024 compared to when he first auditioned in 2004.

“I’m not sure if there are less people going out for Idol now versus back then,” Daughtry said in a recent interview at LAX.

While he got his big breakthrough in American Idol and is clearly grateful for the opportunity, Daughtry acknowledged that aspiring musicians today have alternative pathways to achieve their dreams outside of traditional network talent shows.


Platforms like TikTok make it easier than ever for unknown talents to showcase their abilities, go viral, and get discovered by audiences around the world. This kind of grassroots exposure and fanbase building can help open doors and lead to record deals or other opportunities that previously required TV shows like American Idol to attain.

Daughtry pointed out the shifting dynamics between music and television, which back in his time were a perfect combination for fostering new pop stars on shows like American Idol. However, now in the age of social media, television may hold less influence in breaking new artists.

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Daughtry Unsure About American Idol‘s Relevancy Moving Forward

When asked directly about whether American Idol can still churn out hugely successful singers in 2024 as it did in the 2000s, Daughtry declined to make definitive claims either way.


While careful again not to completely dismiss the show that helped launch his career, Daughtry did appear skeptical of American Idol‘s ability to catapult aspiring stars to fame like it once could in its early years.

While noncommittal in his critique, Daughtry’s comments suggest the reality singing competition may struggle to reach the same heights in today’s saturated TV landscape.

Daughtry caught the right wave at the right time as reality competition shows were taking off in popularity. Now with changed dynamics, he acknowledges up-and-comers may be wise to consider all their options rather than pinning hopes solely on landing a breakout TV moment.

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