The 5 Most Successful ‘American Idol’ Contestants Of ALL TIME

American-Idol-Kelly-Clarkson-Carrie-Underwood-Jennifer-Hudson-Successful-Idol-ContestantsSamantha Agate | Talent Recap

Can you believe that American Idol is about to air Season 19? We have seen so many incredible contestants audition for the show in the hopes of becoming the next American Idol. Similarly, there have been quite a few success stories to come out of the show since its inception in 2002. Let’s take a deep dive into the five most successful contestants of all time.

5. Chris Daughtry

In 2006, Chris Daughtry was shockingly eliminated from the fifth season of American Idol. He formed his own band, Daughtry, later that year and released a debut album that topped the Billboard charts. It was one of the fastest-selling debut albums ever. Daughtry was nominated for four Grammy Awards after releasing five studio albums and a greatest hits compilation album. The band won four AMA’s and six Billboard Music Awards. Chris made his acting debut back in 2008 in an episode of CSI: NY. He voiced a character in Trollz in 2016.

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His song “Home” was previously used whenever a contestant would get eliminated from American Idol. In 2019, Chris competed on The Masked Singer as The Rottweiler. He finished the competition in second place. His estimated net worth is around $10 million and he is definitely known as one of the OG rockers to come out of the show.

4. Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson finished in seventh place on the third season of American Idol. Since her American Idol days, Jennifer has put out three studio albums, won a plethora of awards and shown that she is a fierce working mom. She was the first female coach to win The Voice UK with artist Mo Adeniran. Jennifer also served as a coach on the US version of The Voice.

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Jennifer has conquered the big screen with several movie roles. Her performance as Effie in Dreamgirls won her an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award in 2006. She also appeared in the Sex in the City movie and The Secret Life of Bees. She is a published author who went on to star in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple. Jennifer appeared in NBC’s Hairspray Live! in 2016 before starring in the movie Cats in 2019. Her estimated net worth is around $25 million.

3. Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert finished in second place on the eighth season of American Idol in 2009. He was noticed by Queen’s lead guitarist, Brian May during his time on the show which eventually led to Adam touring with the band in 2014. Since then, Adam has been part of the Queen revival and has released some very successful original music throughout the years. His debut album For Your Entertainment reached number 3 on the US Billboard 200 charts.

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American Idol brought him back as a mentor to give contestants advice and pointers in the past. His second album Trespassing reached number 1 in the Billboard 200. Adam even had a small role in the Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody movie. He continues to tour with Queen and play gigs. Queen is one of the best-selling artists of all time, and becoming the lead singer of this collaboration is no easy feat. It is estimated that Adam has a net worth of $30 million.

2. Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood was just 21 when she won the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. She went on to release her first single “Inside Your Heaven” which debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. This was just the start of her becoming a chart-topping success with her original music. Her first album, Some Hearts, became the best-selling album of 2006. All six of her albums have had major success. Her second album, Carnival Ride and her third album Play On topped the Billboard 200. Her fourth album Blown Away topped the country albums chart and swept most categories at the CMT Awards in 2012.

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Carrie has won seven Grammy’s and 14 ACM Awards. She is the first woman to ever receive the Entertainer of the Year Award twice. Carrie has won 15 AMAs and made history by winning Favorite Country Album for every single one of the studio albums she released. She has also hosted the CMA Awards for 12 years. Just when you thought she couldn’t get any more successful, Carrie released her first book, Find Your Path. It makes sense why her estimated net worth is around $200 million.

1. Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson has become one of the biggest names in the music industry in the past two decades. The Texan first rose to fame when she won the first season of American Idol back in 2002. Kelly has sold over 25 million albums worldwide after her time on American Idol. She has also won three Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards. After conquering the Billboard charts for nearly two decades, Kelly set her sights on hosting her own talk show. The Kelly Clarkson Show is a daytime talk show that allows Kelly to connect with real people through humor, heartfelt stories and discover emerging new talent. It has won three Emmy Awards including Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host and is currently in its second season.

She balanced all of this with coaching The Voice starting in season 14. She won the show with artist Brynn Cartelli in season 14, again with artist Chevel Shepherd in season 15 and once again with Jake Hoot in Season 17. Kelly was the first female coach to win multiple seasons. Kelly has an estimated net worth of $45 million but truly paved the way for American Idol contestants to go on and do huge things.

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Do you agree with our rankings of the five most successful American Idol contestants of all time?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is a contributor and host for Talent Recap on YouTube with a previous byline at The Blast. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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