21 ‘American Idol’ Stars: Where Are They Now?

1
Kelly Clarkson - Season 1 Winner
Kelly Clarkson, American Idol
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We bow down to the OG American Idol. Approximately 13 years after her win, Kelly’s career is still going strong. She released her seventh album, Piece by Piece, in March, and is heading out on tour in July. She’s also happily married to Reba McEntire’s stepson and they have the cutest little daughter, River Rose.

2
Carrie Underwood - Season 4 Winner
Carrie Underwood, American Idol
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Carrie’s the most successful country artist to come out of American Idol, not to mention the biggest Idol earner of all time with a net worth of over $110 million. She released a greatest hits album in December, gave birth to a baby boy in February and she will be performing at the 2015 CMT Music Awards in June.

3
Jordin Sparks - Season 6 Winner
Jordin Sparks, American Idol
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At age 17, Jordin became the youngest American Idol winner in the series’ history. Her third studio album Right Here, Right Now is scheduled for release this summer. After a messy breakup with Jason Derulo last year, Jordin recently confirmed she’s dating rapper Sage the Gemini.

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4
Adam Lambert - Season 8 Runner-Up
Adam Lambert, American Idol
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Adam was the runner-up on season of Idol, but many thought he should have won. Adam had a hit song with “Whataya Want From Me,” toured with the band Queen, and is releasing his third studio album, The Original High on June 12. Its lead single, “Ghost Town,” was released last month.

5
Justin Guarini - Season 1 Runner-Up
Justin Guarini
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After losing to Kelly on the first season of Idol, Justin has had a bunch of different gigs. He was a guest host on the TV Guide Network and appeared on Broadway in shows like American Idiot, Romeo and Juliet and Wicked. He most recently starred in a couple of Diet Dr. Pepper commercials as “Lil’ Sweet.”

6
Chris Daughtry - Season 5 Fourth Place
Chris Daughtry, American Idol
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He finished fourth on the fifth season of Idol, but was immediately given a record deal and formed the band Daughtry. He’s now the third most successful Idol contestant in terms of album sales, behind Kelly and Carrie.

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7
Jennifer Hudson - Season 3 Seventh Place
Jennifer Hudson, American Idol
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Jennifer didn’t even place in the top 5 on Idol, but she went on to become the only Idol alum to win an Oscar. She nabbed Academy gold for her role in Dreamgirls. Her third studio album, JHUD, was released last year and this year, she guest-starred on an episode on Empire.

8
Taylor Hicks - Season 5 Winner
Taylor Hicks, American Idol
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You probably remember Taylor as the prematurely grey-haired winner of Idol’s fifth season. He went on to perform with the national tour of Grease and became the first Idol winner to secure a long-term residency in Las Vegas, from 2012 to 2013.

9
Kris Allen - Season 8 Winner
Kris Allen, American Idol
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This cutie beat Adam for the title on Idol’s season eight. His 2009 debut single “Live Like We’re Dying” went platinum, but none of his other songs had quite the same success. He released his third album, Horizons, last year without much fanfare. He also does a lot of humanitarian work.

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10
Ruben Studdard - Season 2 Winner
Ruben Studdard, American Idol
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The “Velvet Teddy Bear” beat out Clay Aiken to win season 2 of Idol. His last album, Unconditional Love, was released in 2014. He also appeared on the 15th season of The Biggest Loser.

11
Clay Aiken - Season 2 Runner-Up
Clay Aiken, American Idol
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Clay has gone on quite a journey since losing to Ruben Studdard on season 2 of Idol. He competed on the fifth season of The Celebrity Apprentice, performed in Broadway’s Spamalot, served as a UNICEF ambassador for nine years, and ran for Congress in 2014 (he lost).

12
Fantasia Barrino - Season 3 Winner
Fantasia Barrino, American Idol
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Remember when Fantasia sang “Summertime” on the third season of Idol and we basically all knew she was gonna win? She’s put out four albums, starred in The Color Purple on Broadway and wrote a memoir that then became a Lifetime movie that she starred in. Last year, she was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

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13
David Cook - Season 7 Winner
David Cook, American Idol
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David won Idol’s seventh season and while his songs climbed the charts post-Idol, his success has since waned. The last studio album he released was in 2011, but he currently has a new album up for pre-order on PledgeMusic.

14
David Archuleta - Season 7 Runner-Up
David Archuleta, American Idol
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At age 16, David was one of the youngest contestants on the seventh season of Idol. He was runner-up to David Cook. According to his website, he’s been busy writing music for a new album set to come out this year. And he does a ton of charity work.

15
Lee DeWyze - Season 9 Winner
Lee DeWyze, American Idol
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The oft-forgotten ninth season winner has stayed pretty low-key since his victory. His last album, Frames, was released in 2013, but his song “Blackbird Song” was used on an episode of The Walking Dead last year…so that’s kind of cool.

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16
Kellie Pickler - Season 5 Sixth Place
Kellie Pickler, American Idol
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Kelly came in sixth place on the fifth season of Idol, but she managed to have a more successful career than some winners. She released four country albums and won Dancing with the Stars in 2013. And she just released a new song, called “Feeling Tonight.”

17
Bo Bice - Season 4 Runner-Up
Bo Bice, American Idol
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The long-haired rocker runner-up in season four had some minor success after the show, and as of 2014 he was the lead singer of the touring version of Blood, Sweat & Tears. But also he CUT HIS HAIR OMG.

18
Sanjaya - Season 6 Seventh Place
Sanjaya, American Idol
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Sanjaya was inexplicably a finalist on the sixth season of Idol, despite being…well, terrible. In 2009, he appeared on season two of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. And in 2014, he apparently quit his job as a bartender to continue pursuing music. Good luck, buddy.

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19
Scotty McCreery - Season 10 Winner
Scotty McCreery, American Idol
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The country singer with the unexpectedly deep voice won the 10th season of Idol. He’s planning to release a new single within the next month or two, and he’s touring this summer with Rascal Flatts.

20
Katharine McPhee - Season 5 Runner-Up
Katherine McPhee, American Idol
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After coming in 2nd place on season 5 of Idol, Katharine opted for the acting route. She’s had lead roles on the NBC series Smash and CBS’ Scorpion.

21
Blake Lewis - Season 6 Runner-Up
Blake Lewis, American Idol
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Blake was beat-boxing runner-up to Jordin on season six, and he literally JUST released a new album called Portrait of a Chameleon. He has a few tour dates in June and July too.

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