Where Are All The 17 ‘American Idol’ Winners Now?

american idol kelly clarkson where are they nowMriganka Chawla | Talent Recap

The new season of American Idol is starting next month, and we’ll soon have a new artist to add to the list of winners. The show has been on since 2002, with 17 seasons and a host of amazing talent.

But where are those winners now? Some of them you might be pretty familiar with, but you could be wondering about a few others. Let’s take a look at all of the winners’ journeys since their time on American Idol.

Kelly Clarkson

The first American Idol winner has gone on to have a flourishing career, releasing several albums and winning three Grammys. She’s also gotten married, had two kids, and released a children’s book. She’s been a coach on The Voice for the past four seasons, and she recently started hosting her own talk show called The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Ruben Studdard

Ruben beat Clay Aiken for the title of Season 2 champion. He’s since released seven studio albums, and is known for his single “Sorry for 2004.” His most recent album, Ruben Sings Luther, features covers of Luther Vandross songs. Ruben has been nominated for a Grammy, and made his Broadway debut with Clay Aiken for a Christmas show in 2018.

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Fantasia Barrino

Fantasia’s debut single “Believe” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She’s since released several albums, including last year’s Sketchbook. In 2006, she starred in a TV movie about her life. She also appeared on Broadway as Celie in The Color Purple.

Carrie Underwood

Since winning Idol in 2005, Carrie has gone on to become a country music superstar. She’s won seven Grammys, released six albums, and appeared as Maria in 2013’s live TV production of The Sound of Music. She also married NHL player Mike Fisher, with whom she has two sons. And don’t forget her gigs hosting the CMA Awards with Brad Paisley!

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Taylor Hicks

Since winning Idol, Taylor has released three albums and appeared on Broadway in Grease. In 2011, he opened a restaurant called ORE Drink and Dine in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. He’s also had a residency at Bally’s in Las Vegas, and hosts a food show called State Plate.

Jordin Sparks

Jordin was just 17 years old when she won Season 6 of American Idol. Since then, she’s been known for songs like “No Air” and “Battlefield.” She’s released three studio albums, and appeared on Broadway in In the Heights and Waitress. She married Dana Isaiah in 2017, and gave birth to a son the next year.

David Cook

David broke records the week after his Idol win, with 11 songs debuting on the Billboard Hot 100. He’s since released several albums, headlined tours, and even appeared in a 2018 Broadway production of Kinky Boots. He married Racheal Stump in 2015.

Kris Allen

After winning Idol, Kris’s self-titled album debuted at No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard 200. The next year, he did charity work in Haiti with the United Nations Foundation after the 2010 earthquake. Kris has since released a few more albums, including a Christmas album in 2016. In 2017, he formed a band called The Dames. He has three kids with wife Katy O’Connell.

Lee DeWyze

Lee’s coronation song on American Idol Season 9 of American Idol was a cover of U2’s “Beautiful Day.” He won the 2010 Teen Choice Award for Male Reality/Variety Star. He’s since released several albums, most recently 2018’s Paranoia. Lee has also formed the Lee DeWyze Band.

Scotty McCreery

Scotty won American Idol at age 17. His 2011 debut studio album Clear as Day was certified platinum in the U.S. He’s since released three more albums, including a Christmas album in 2012. He also won Best New Artist at the ACM Awards in 2012. In 2018, Scotty appeared on Celebrity Family Feud and won $25,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Phillip Phillips

Phillip’s coronation song “Home” is the best-selling American Idol song of all time. It was used in NBC’s coverage of the Olympics, and has also been featured in commercials and television. Phillip has released three albums, most recently 2018’s Collateral. The same year, he toured with singer Gavin DeGraw. 

Candice Glover

The availability of Candice’s debut album Music Speaks and single “I Am Beautiful” for pre-order immediately after she won American Idol was a first for the show. So far, Music Speaks her only album, although she has since released the singles “Break Me” and “My Mistake.” In 2017, she appeared in the TV series Underground.

Caleb Johnson

Less than three months after winning Season 13 of American Idol, Caleb released his debut album Testify. That’s the fastest an Idol winner has released an album. In 2018, Caleb toured with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra singing “Three Kings & I.” In 2019, he released a new album with his band The Ramblin’ Saints.

Nick Fradiani

Since his win in 2015, Nick has released an album called Hurricane and an EP called Where We Left Off. You might also know him as the lead singer of Beach Avenue. Nick has also appeared on stage in a national tour of A Bronx Tale.

Trent Harmon

Trent won Season 15 of American Idol, which was the show’s last year on Fox. He released the album You Got ‘Em All in 2018, after his self-titled EP in 2016. In 2019, Harmon parted ways with Big Machine Records, the company he was signed under after winning Idol.

Maddie Poppe

Maddie won the first season of American Idol to air on ABC. In 2019, about a year after winning, she released her debut album Whirlwind. She’s had some disagreements with Idol since her win, due to the show’s failure to promote her music. Last year, Maddie toured with Ingrid Michaelson.

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Laine Hardy

The most recent American Idol winner took the top prize last year. It was his second season on the show, and he made an amazing comeback. His coronation song “Flame” was released after his win, and last year he set off on 13-date tour around the country. We’re still waiting for news about when to expect his first album.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jill O'Rourke
Jill O'Rourke

Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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