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Article Teaser: Before her appearance on American Idol, no one knew of Kelly Clarkson and her musical gift. But since claiming the title of the first American Idol, Clarkson has even surpassed that label, and has become an established voice in the music industry. But the question that many people have is: From Clarkson, Underwood, Studdard, Hicks, and Fantasia, where are they all now?

Keep reading below...

American Idol Contestants Where Are They Now?

Copyright (c) 2007-2017

Before her appearance on American Idol, no one knew of Kelly Clarkson and her musical gift. But since claiming the title of the first American Idol, Clarkson has even surpassed that label, and has become an established voice in the music industry. But the question that many people have is: From Clarkson, Underwood, Studdard, Hicks, and Fantasia, where are they all now?

While the last four were also voted American Idol, following in Clarkson's footsteps, Clarkson has clearly set the bar very high for the winners who follow behind her, by achieving immense success and living up to the title perhaps more than any of the others. Clarkson's second album titled, "Breakaway" was a sensation, staying in the top 20 of the Billboard 200 during its first year of release. Her second album also received a Grammy nomination.

Other season one finalists who carried on the spark generated from their appearance on American Idol, Nikki McKibbin and Ryan Starr both starred in the realm of reality TV by taking part in Battle of the Network Reality Stars, and The Surreal Life.

Tamyra Gray went on to appear on numerous TV shows, and also starred in a film, The Gospel, and in a Broadway musical, Bombay Dreams.

Season one runner-up Justin Guarini has had no entertainment success, post-Idol. RCA dropped Guarini as a result of poor album sales. Guarini is a great example of success not being guaranteed as a result of an appearance on Idol.

The second season of American Idol ended with Ruben Studdard being named American Idol 2, over Clay Aiken. Although Aiken didn't walk away with the title, he secured more albums sales and more fame in comparison to Studdard.

Aiken's first single went platinum and debuted at number one. Of his two albums, his Christmas album debuted at number four, while his debut album entered the charts at number one. Aiken is currently on his fourth solo tour; his second this year, and he also serves as a UNICEF ambassador.

Studdard, the big loveable teddy bear, released two records after his Idol win, which had tremendous sales, in-fact beating out Clarkson's first-week sales. His second record, "I Need an Angel," was a gospel album that topped the gospel charts and went gold. Since then, not much else has come out of Studdard.

Season three winner, Fantasia Barrino, who now goes just by "Fantasia." released her first album that went platinum and received four Grammy's, an Idol record. Before that, her first single, "I Believe," hit number one, and was the number one-selling Billboard single of the year in addition to being Billboard's number one-selling R&B/hip-hop single. Fantasia also toured as the opening act for rap superstar Kanye West.

Season three's runner-up Diana DeGarmo, had her single debut at number two and eventually it hit number one. Her album, however, has sold fewer than 200,000 copies.

Jennifer Hudson may have the most to brag about, as she landed the lead role in the film adaptation of Dreamgirls, for which she just won an Oscar.

Carrie Underwood, the winner of American Idol 4, saw her first album reach number one. Underwood had a huge fan base that allowed her to pick up the Idol win. Her first album, "Some Hearts," debuted at number two, with more copies sold than either Fantasia or Kelly Clarkson had sold in their first weeks. Her album went platinum a month later and had sold almost 1.5 million copies, helping her earn three Billboard music awards.

Taylor Hicks, who became the second man to take the title, won season four. Hicks signed with 19 Recordings Limited and Arista Records. His debut album sold 298,000 copies in its first week of release, making it the second best of any Idol winner, barely edging out the debut of Kelly Clarkson, whose 'Thankful' sold 297,000 copies. The best debut album belongs to Ruben Studdard, which sold 417,000 copies.

By and large, American Idol has helped propel many musicians into superstardom, and a handful have cemented themselves as legitimate contenders in the cut-throat music industry. The staying power and long term success of some of the singers is yet to be determined, but if initial album sales are to be trusted, then these stars should continue to exhibit excellent talent and marketability for many years to come.


About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Trent Lampe writes about entertainment and its impact on the world. Hands down, American Idol has been one of the most profitable and influential shows on television. Some pundits and commentators reflect that American Idol is bringing out the worst America has to offer, while others say that it reflects the best of America. Who is right? American Idol Unauthorized is an uncensored view into the world of American Idol behind the cameras. Is American Idol good clean fun, or just dirty, backroom politics? You be the judge. Buy the DVD today: http://www.idolunauthorized.com and discover the truth for yourself.

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