Kelly Clarkson vs. Carrie Underwood: Which Best-Selling ‘Idol’ is the Better Celeb?


Kelly Clarkson is back on top. The original Idol has just surpassed fellow American Idol winner Carrie Underwood for the spot as the top-selling winner of the Fox talent series. Her single, “Stronger” has officially sold 1,000 more copies than Underwood’s previous title holder “Before He Cheats,” according to Nielsen SoundScan, via The Hollywood Reporter. Clarkson’s single sold 3,510,000 while Underwood’s hit reached 3,509,000. (It’s okay Carrie, those sales will still make that cheatin’ ex of yours green with envy.)

But now that Clarkson is once again Queen of the Idol alums on the charts, we couldn’t help but wonder, is she the Idol Queen in the eyes of the media (and in our hearts)? We pitted the two peppy singers against each other in a battle of pop culture clout. And as Ryan Seacrest would say: Dim the lights, here we go!

Top Single

Kelly: “Stronger,” 3,510,000 copies sold

Carrie: “Before He Cheats,” 3,509,000 copies sold

As we said, Clarkson is clearly the winner here. Numbers don’t lie, but they are ridiculously close. If Clarkson doesn’t keep it up, an upset could be in her future. Get to work, ladies!

Winner: Kelly

Album Sales

Kelly: 11,219,000

Carrie: 12,472,000

Clarkson may rule the singles charts, but when it comes to making the long term commitment of buying an artist’s entire album, Underwood’s got her fans on the hook. Perhaps after making an impact with “Stronger” Clarkson can pull ahead, but for now she’s playing second fiddle to Miss Underwood.

Winner: Carrie

Famous Boyfriends

Kelly: David Hodges (of Evanescence), Graham Colton (The Graham Colton Band), Brandon Blackstock (Reba McEntire’s Stepson)

Carrie: Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys Quarterback), Chase Crawford (Gossip Girl Star), Mike Fisher (the NHL hockey player is now her husband)

Nice effort, Clarkson, but Underwood played the field a little better. She’s got two big name pro athletes in her little black book (one of whom finally put a ring on it – bonus points!) and she’s got TV star and part-time elf, Crawford. Clarkson definitely showed up, but Underwood’s batting 1000.

Winner: Carrie

Star-Caliber Wardrobe

Kelly: She’s rocked the same set of hairdos since she wisely retired her Idol-era koolaid streaks; she often opts for figure-obscuring short dresses on the red carpet and flowy tanks and blouses in her casual wear; when she gets glam right, she usually does so with safe choices and flattering colors. Translation: She wears a lot of black.

Carrie: Sparkles. So many sparkles. She too has had the same do for years, but her effortless blonde waves are country music gold. Literally.

Underwood has not been plagued with the same weight struggles as Clarkson has dealt with, but body image aside, Underwood simply finds clothes that fit her shape better than Clarkson does (with a few sophomore-cheerleader-at-a-Texas-prom dress faux pas aside.) While Underwood may want to ask her stylist to cool it on the sparkly dresses here and there, Clarkson needs to find herself a stylist who dresses her shape to highlight her best features instead of trying to mask her body. Every shape is beautiful, it’s all about finding the right fit, and Clarkson simply hasn’t found it yet. 

Winner: Carrie

Side Projects

Kelly: Celeb judge/contestant on Duets on ABC; Owns a ranch in Texas for Unwanted Animals; March of Dimes Ambassador; Supports various charities such as Save The Music, STOMP Out Bullying, and UNICEF.

Carrie: Various guest-starring roles on TV; Voted “World’s Sexiest Vegetarian” by PETA; Once saved an injured dog on the side of the road and found it a home; supports various charities including the Human Society of the United States and Stand Up 2 Cancer.

We’re not about to compare Underwood’s various charities to Clarkson’s various charities. Who are we to say music in schools is more important than saving adorable little puppies and kitties? It’s all wonderful as far as we’re concerned. Underwood took the time to save a destitute puppy on the side of the road, Clarkson gives destitute animals a home. Even. Clarkson serves as an ambassador for March of Dimes, Underwood records singles and makes appearances for her various charities. Even. Both singers have made incredibly average appearances on television. Even. Damn, that was the only real comparison we had going for us. How does anyone “win” charity, anyway?

Winner: Tie

Celeb News Scandals

Kelly: Supported Ron Paul, was accused of being anti-gay; Rumored to be a lesbian; Accused of losing weight for her boyfriend; Indonesian billboard used her image to sell cigarettes.

Carrie: Unfounded claims of nude photos (just like every hot celeb out there); Various relationship rumors.

Underwood is basically scandal-free. She keeps to herself, tries to stay out of tabloids unless she’s got herself a new beau, but now that she’s married, that’s no longer an issue. Clarkson, however, is a passive recipient of scandal with the exception of the Ron Paul debacle. Clarkson tweeted her support of the candidate, therefore opening herself up to questions about her political beliefs. All other scandals, however, are issues pressed upon her by outside parties. She just barely squeaks ahead of Underwood this time.

Winner: Kelly


Kelly: 2 Grammys, 6 Grammy Nominations, 70 total awards, 98 nominations

Carrie: 5 Grammys, 9 Grammy Nominations, 116 total awards, 173 nominations

Math doesn’t lie, folks. And neither do Grammys. Underwood is a clear winner on this one.

Winner: Carrie

So who’s the better celebrity? With a score of 5.5 to Clarkson’s 2.5, Underwood is the better celeb, but don’t worry Kelly, you will still be our go-to girl for breakup anthems!

Ding, ding, ding: Carrie for the win!

Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.