List of American Idols Winners

A list of American Idol winners includes singers who have shot to super-stardom and singers who have receded back into relative obscurity. Winning the American Idol talent show has proven since 2002 to be helpful to a singer's career, but not a guarantee of success.

American Idol Winners

  • Kelly Clarkson was the first person to win American Idol in 2002. Her first album, Thankful, went double platinum and her second album, Breakaway, went platinum six times. The pop-singing Clarkson has won two Grammy awards in her short career.
  • Ruben Studdard won the second American Idol in 2003. The soul singer's first album, Soulful, went platinum once. His following albums have not made any noticeable impact, though he was nominated for one Grammy, which he did not win.
  • Fantasia Barrino is the gritty-voiced singer who won the third American Idol in 2004. Her first single debuted at number one on Billboard charts and she has been nominated for four Grammy awards, though she has no wins. She also wrote an autobiography about her life and struggles that became a TV movie.
  • Carrie Underwood won the fourth American Idol in 2005 with her strong country singing. Her first album, Some Hearts, was such a success that she won several Grammy and American Music awards. Her second album, Carnival Ride, also rocked the charts.
  • Taylor Hicks won the fifth season of American Idol in 2006 with his soulful but quirky presence. At 29 years old, he is the oldest winner in the show's history. He has also sold the least number of albums of any show winner, though his first album, Taylor Hicks, did go platinum once.
  • Jordin Sparks won the sixth season of American Idol in 2007 with her spirited pop and R&B singing. At 17 when she won the competition, she is the youngest Idol in the show's history. Her first album, Jordin Sparks, had a descent response and won her an American Music Award. She was also nominated for a Grammy, but did not win. 
  • David Cook won the seventh season of American Idol in 2008. The rock singer's first album, David Cook, went platinum once. His album broke Billboard records when he had 11 songs debut on the Top 100 List in a single week. He is only second to The Beatles, who had 14 songs debut on the list in a single week in 1964.
  • Kris Allen was the surprise winner for the eighth season of American Idol in 2009. He shocked show judges and audiences when he was voted number one over expected winner Adam Lambert.

American Idol Losers
While the list of contestants who have not won American Idol is huge, a few select people have gone on to prove that winning the contest isn't everything. Clay Aiken, the runner-up in Season two, has released a popular album, written a New York Times best selling book and had a lead in the popular Broadway production of Spamalot. Jennifer Hudson, one of the Top 12 in season three, went on to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the 2006 film musical Dreamgirls. 2005 competitor Constantine Maroulis has found success-and a Tony Award nomination-on Broadway with a leading role in the musical Rock of Ages, while 2006 contestant Chris Daughtry has found huge critical and commercial success with his band, the aptly titled Daughtry.

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