American Idol Winners, Where Are They Now?


once upon a time American Idol was a

cultural phenomenon though its ratings

have sputtered in recent years the

earliest incarnations of the show

launched dozens of careers with varying

levels of success while many of the

show's winners struggled to negotiate

with American idols restrictive record

contracts others broke free and found

massive popularity as solo artists from

country singers to pop stars we're

answering the question where are

American Idol winners now Ruben Studdard

was the season 2 winner narrowly beating

Clay Aiken for the top prize as a singer

stuttered performs American R&B pop and

gospel music while on the show in 2003

he performed a rendition of Leon Russell

and Bonnie Bramlett superstar for which

he later received a Grammy Award

nomination for since being crowned

winner on the competition back in 2003

he's gone on to release multiple albums

most of which have been successful

Studdard released his debut album after

winning the competition on December 30

2003 titled soulful it was a commercial

hit selling over 417 thousand units

during the first week of release and

debuting at number one on the Billboard

200 chart it was later certified

platinum while Studdard is most well

known for his music career the American

talent has also ventured into acting

including television and stage work in

2008 he starred in the 30th anniversary

revival tour of ain't misbehavin as Fats

Waller the production later spawned a

Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater

album but since his heyday Studdard

hasn't been very active he was featured

on The Biggest Loser in 2013 before

releasing an album in 2014 that found

commercially the record only sold 6,000

copies and Studdard was promptly dropped

from his label along with American Idol

alum Taylor Hicks Candice Glover

auditioned twice unsuccessfully to get

onto American Idol before finally

getting her big break in 2013 with her

wings she immediately joined the

powerhouse vocal Pantheon which already

included superstars Kelly Clarkson

Fantasia and Carrie Underwood all

previously crowned winners of the

popular television singing competition

and with all the major music industry

machinery and new acts could ever dream

of including a plum recording contract

levers seem to have the world at her

feet but from the start Glover had

issues with her American Idol sanction

record label they didn't trust her to

right around songs and paired her with

restrictive songs Smith's

frustrated with the result lovers 2014

debut album only sold 65

copies she returned to Idol for the

series finale on April 7 2016 she

performed with all the returning alumni

to open the show singing one voice later

she performed joy to the world with

Melinda Doolittle though she's released

a handful of videos and singles in the

years since her debut it seems like

Glover is mostly frustrated with the

music business as a whole she recently

announced that she's going back to

college to become a counselor after

receiving huge waves of negativity she

hopes to help children improve their

lives the man with one name won the

competition in 2012 and was an immediate

commercial success his single home went

on to be the highest selling song in

American Idol history the Georgia native

is a classic rock lover he grew up

mainly listening to 60s and 70s music

like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin then

as I got older I found damien rice and

dave matthews and john butler this is

what really set it off for me in terms

of finding my voice as a musician he's

described his music as jazz and rock

alternative sound after a successful

tour opening for matchbox 20 in a pair

of critically acclaimed albums Phillips

entered the legal purgatory ultimately

suing Simon Cowell's management company

to be released from his contract

Phillips career has gone into neutral

after he decided he needed to get out of

his recording management and

merchandising contract with 19

entertainment and filed suit to try to

win his freedom and start anew with a

different record company while the two

sides did the legal dance Phillips was

prevented from releasing new music the

case eventually was settled out of court

this cleared the way for Phillips to

sign a new label deal with Interscope

Records and released collateral an album

he had started work on more than two

years ago with a massive tour behind his

2018 album and his songs licensed by the

NFL NBC and others

it looks like Phillip Phillips is back

on the path to fame and glory Scott

McCreary is a country singer who won the

tenth season of American Idol in 2011

his debut studio album clear as day was

released in October 2011 and was

certified platinum in the United States

the album includes the top 20 country

songs I love you this big and the

trouble with girls McCreery released the

Christmas album Christmas with Scott

McCreary in October 2012 and it's been

certified gold but there's something

that distinguishes McCreary from other

American Idol champions he was only 17

years old when he won the competition

McCreary struggled to shed his good boy

image both because he was so young and a

devout Christian regarding his beliefs

he says my faith is a huge part of what

I do but I'm

human being and I like to have fun

that's everybody I don't think anyone is

one thing or another

after five years we're in McCreary was

radio silent he returned in 2018 in a

big way his album seasons change scored

him his first number one hit and sold

roughly 100,000 units in the first year

go riding every song on the album

McCreary made it clear he's back with a

vengeance newly married in only 25 years

old the future's looking bright for this

American Idol alum this Arkansas native

was the winner of the eighth season of

American Idol in 2009 Chris Allen had

been pursuing music fervently since he

was in college even recording in self

producing an album with his friends he

was thrilled to become a finalist on

American Idol but received minimal

screen time in his first few episodes

but all that changed once he had a

chance to play guitar and keyboards in

the company himself everyone could see

that Allen was naturally talented and

had an amazing voice to back it up in

the seven years since mr. Allen one he

has tried to please fans while staying

true to himself a journey both for joy

and pain he released four solid pop

albums two impressive sales and fans

delight and toured across the world but

a 2012 car crash left mr. Allen with a

shattered wrist he wondered if he would

ever play guitar again while still in

the cast he ignored doctor's orders and

re learned to play that same year he and

his wife welcomed their first child into

the world his 2016 album letting you win

was meant to be a comeback album but

only had modest sales

he's been largely silent since then

announcing an Tony 18 that he would

rejoin the American Idol touring group

in the 11 years since David Cook won

American Idol in 2008 he stayed

extremely busy Cooke originally did not

plan to try out for the show he went to

the auditions in Omaha Nebraska

initially to support his younger brother

and then prompted by his mother and

brother when a show producer noticed him

David auditioned himself he performed

Bon Jovi's living on a prayer for his

audition wowing the judges with his

husky voice and impressive tone since

winning the competition Cooke has

released five studio albums and toured

heavily while he never quite broke

through into massive stardom his albums

did respectably well and in 2018 he

announced both a new EP and his debut on

Broadway based on the 2005 film about a

struggling English shoe factory owner

who finds an unlikely Savior and friend

in a drag queen kinky boots has been a

hit since its Broadway debut in 2013 the

production won several Tony's including

Best Musical and Best Original Score for

Cyndi Lauper and has welcomed a string


I'll rock and pop stars in the Charlie

Price role including panic at the disco

frontman Brendon Urie

and the current lead sister sisters

frontman Jake shears cook has

participated in two separate productions

of musical and received rave reviews for

his performance Jordin Sparks is

indisputably one of the biggest stars to

come out of American Idol

she's been successful across different

disciplines including singing and acting

she rose to fame in 2007 after winning

the sixth season of American Idol at age

17 becoming the youngest winner in the

series history her self-titled debut

studio album released later that year

was certified platinum and has sold over

2 million copies worldwide the album

spawned the Billboard Hot 100 top 10

singles tattoo and no air the latter a

collaboration with Chris Brown is

currently the third highest selling

single by any American Idol contestant

selling over three million digital

copies in the United States the song

earned sparks her first Grammy Award

nomination for Best Pop Collaboration

with vocals though she's only released

three studio albums each one was a

massive success and she is supplemented

this work with an acting career

appearing in shows like CSI Big Time

Rush and fashion police in the last few

years she has shied from the spotlight

sparks lost for family members in the

course of a few days and was grieving

for most of a year she came out of her

preclusion to announce that she was

married with a child on the way

since then Sparks has been singularly

focused on her family Taylor Hicks was

fully committed to music long before he

joined the ranks of American Idol the

Alabama native released two independent

albums and toured across the American

South for years when he finally decided

to audition in Las Vegas in 2006 after

winning American Idol he signed a

lucrative endorsement deal with Ford

Motors his self-titled major label debut

was certified platinum and sold more

than 700,000 copies but Hicks had a sad

sophomore release 2009 to the distance

it only sold 50,000 copies and marked

the end of his major label career though

it has been 10 years since his last

album release Hicks is barely recorded a

song instead he's pivoted to television

Caixa's the host of Insp food shows

state play in which he reviews

restaurants in a fun family-friendly way

seemingly Hicks has turned his back on

music but since he's still working in

the entertainment world he seems happy

enough the show is in its fourth season

and airs on Amazon Prime State plate

features food from all over the country

that has served in a farm-to-table


Hicks debuted in his starring role as

Charlie Anderson in the sarin Bay

Playhouse production of the 1974

Broadway musical Shenandoah in March

2019 though he's no longer recording

albums he still found a way to keep

music in his life Carrie Underwood has

remained in the spotlight since winning

American Idol in 2005 so her whereabouts

should not come as a huge surprise her

debut single inside your heaven is the

only country song to debut at number one

on the US Billboard Hot 100 her debut

album some hearts was released in 2005

bolstered by the huge crossover success

of the singles jesus take the wheel in

before he cheats it became the

best-selling solo female debut album in

country music history the fastest

selling debut country album in nielsen

soundscan history and the best-selling

country album of the last 16 years

Underwood won three Grammy Awards for

the album including Best New Artist

since then she sold sixteen point three

million albums made her place on the

Hollywood Walk of Fame and won countless

awards the 36 year-old mother of two has

plenty of money in a claim so recently

she's been concentrating on her family

life she recently revealed that she and

her husband are expecting another boy

they're moving into a bigger house and

focusing on being good parents rather

than chasing further stardom of course

Kelly Clarkson is the biggest star to

come from American Idols ranks and her

2004 album breakaway has sold more than

the rest of the winners combined

Clarkson has sold over 25 million albums

and 45 million singles worldwide

she's had three number-one hits 11 in

the top ten and twenty seven songs in

the Hot 100 Billboard charts her

accolades include three Grammy Awards

three MTV Video Music Awards four

American Music Awards and two Academy of

Country Music Awards she has released

music continuously over the last two

decades and has eight studio albums in

total she also has a huge presence in

movies and television starring in from

Justin to Kelly in 2003 and featuring

performances on Sabrina the Teenage

Witch and king of a hill among many

others in 2019 Clarkson announced that

she would be focusing on her debut talk

show the Kelly Clarkson show the program

is intended to be a lead-in to the Ellen

DeGeneres Show and is looking to appeal

to a similar demographic it's scheduled

to premiere in September 2019 replacing

Steve Harvey's upon his talk show though

she isn't focusing on music Clarkson is

doing very well for herself