SEASON 20 of American Idol comes to an end on May 22, 2022 and one lucky person will be the winner.
Let’s take a look at the idols of yesteryear…
Who are the past winners of American Idol?
Kelly Clarkson (2002)
Kelly Clarkson rose to fame in 2002 after winning the first season of American Idol when she was 20 years old.
She has since made a career in music, film, publishing and television.
She has released seven albums under RCA Records and achieved commercial success with hits such as Miss Independent, Heartbeat Song and My Life Wuck Without You.
Kelly was a guest judge on The Voice, and has also written several children’s books and narrated the amazing animated film Trolls.
Ruben Studdard (2003)
Reuben Studdard became famous for his incredible R&B and gospel performances on American Idol 2003.
Studdard was nominated for a 2003 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for Superstar Recording and has since released seven studio albums.
He also tried his hand at acting, playing Fats Waller in a national tour revival of Ain’t Misbehavin.’
Fantasy Barrino (2004)
In 2007, Fantasia won American Idol.
She was only 19 years old when she defeated runner-up Diana DeGarmo in a singing competition, becoming the youngest person to win American Idol at the time.
The singer has released albums Free Yourself, Fantasia, Back to Me, Side Effects of You, The Definition of…, Christmas After Midnight and Sketchbook.
Carrie Underwood (2005)
Carrie Underwood is a singer-songwriter who rose to fame after winning American Idol and releasing her multi-platinum debut album Some Hearts the same year.
She became one of the best-selling artists in country music.
Underwood has received numerous Grammy, Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards.
She is not. 1 country hits include Last Name and All-American Girl.
Taylor Hicks (2006)
At the age of 29, Hicks became the oldest contestant to win American Idol in 2006.
Following his win, Hicks’ debut single Do I Make You Proud debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
He released two albums and hosted the original INSP series State Plate.
His single Six Strings and Diamond Rings was released in 2017.
Jordin Sparks (2007)
Jordin Sparks won American Idol in its sixth season and became the show’s youngest winner at the age of 17.
Jordyn edged out runner-up Blake Lewis and third-place finisher Melinda Doolittle as she became the winner.
Her self-titled debut studio album was certified platinum and contained her top ten singles Tattoo and No Air.
She has since released a total of four albums: Jordin Sparks (2007), Battlefield (2009), Right Here Right Now (2015) and Cider & Hennessy (2020).
David Cook (2008)
David Cook won the seventh season of Idol, beating David Archuleta in second place.
After winning the show, he released his debut single, The Time of My Life, which went platinum.
After initial success, Cook became an independent artist and began making more pop music.
Chris Allen (2009)
Chris Allen faced Adam Lambert in the tense finale of American Idol in 2009.
Allen eventually won, but there was too much controversy – some even suspected that the contest had been rigged.
Since then, Allen has released six albums, but in 2013 he was involved in a car accident that broke his wrist, meaning he had to re-learn how to play the guitar.
Lee DeWise (2010)
Lee DeWise won the ninth season of American Idol at the age of 23.
After winning the show, he released his debut album, which peaked at number 19 on the Billboard 200.
His song about a blackbird was featured in the fourth season of the popular AMC drama The Walking Dead.
Since then, he has released five studio albums.
Scotty McCreary (2011)
Scotty McCreery won American Idol when he was only 17 years old.
His debut album Clear As Day was certified platinum upon release in October 2011.
He has since released four more studio albums and written his own book, Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream, which details his rise to fame.
Philip Phillips (2012)
Philip Phillips made history when his single Home became the best-selling song in American Idol history.
It was chosen as the theme for NBC’s Olympic coverage.
Since appearing on the show, the star has released three studio albums and even appeared on an episode of Hawaii Five-0.
Candice Glover (2013)
Candice Glover became the first female winner since Jordin Sparks in 2007.
Her debut R&B album Music Speaks was released in 2014 but was not a hit.
Glover has performed at various corporate and professional sporting events and performed on Broadway in a production of Home for the Holidays.
Caleb Johnson (2014)
Less than three months after winning American Idol, Caleb Johnson released his debut album, Testify. It was the fastest result in the history of the show.
The album reached its peak. #24 on the Billboard 200.
In 2019, Johnson went on tour with the church rock band Caleb Johnson and the Ramblin’ Saints.
Nick Fradiani (2015)
Nick Fradiani won American Idol with his track Beautiful Life, which later became the official anthem of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
In August 2016, Fradiani released his debut album Hurricane.
He later released the acoustic album Scared in 2018.
Trent Harmon (2016)
After winning the fifteenth season of American Idol, country singer Trent Harmon signed with Big Machine Records.
He released his debut album You Got ‘Em All in 2018.
A year later, the singer parted ways with Big Machine Records and released a new track, She’s My Heaven, in 2021.
Maddie Poppe (2018)
Folk singer Maddie Poppe has won the 16th season of American Idol.
She beat runners-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Gabby Barrett. In a shock twist, Hutchinson revealed that he and Poppe dated during the results show.
In 2019, she released her first studio album, Whirlwind, through Hollywood Records.
Lane Hardy (2019)
Layne Hardy first auditioned for American Idol in 2018 but did not make it past the top 50.
He tried out the following year and won the competition, defeating Alejandro Aranda and Madison Van Denburg.
The singer spoils fans with virtual concerts, as he cannot go on tour due to the pandemic.
Just Sam (2020)
The 20-year-old New Yorker defeated Arthur Gunn in the season finale.
In 2021, she released her single Africando.
Chase Beckham (2021)
California native Chace Beckham won the 19th season of American Idol in May 2021.
At the age of 24, Chace Beckham auditioned for the nineteenth season of American Idol in Los Angeles.
After working for American Idol, Chace Beckham moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue his music career.
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