For years, American Idol has been a very popular television show for all 15 seasons that it was on the air. During this time, there were a variety of judges. The most famous were one of the creators and the judge with the reputation of being the meanest of the group, Simon Cowell. During its time, it helped to create pretty good careers for many musicians who would have been otherwise unknown. Some of the contestants on the show have managed to have very successful careers, making a great deal of money. Some were the winners of the competition and some of the highest earners didn’t win the competition and were still signed by music labels anyways. Below is a list of the five richest American Idol winners of all time.
5. Chris Daughtry – Net Worth $8.5 Million
Chris Daughtry was on season 5 of American Idol. He didn’t win the competition, however. He ended up being a 4th place finalist. Chris has had a passion for music since he was 16 years old, which is the reason why he decided to compete on the show. After he was eliminated, he was signed with RCA Records and he released his debut album under the band name, Daughtry, just a few months later. Immediately after his album was released, his album topped the charts. He even earned a Grammy nomination for the single, It’s Not Over. The other popular songs on his album were Home, Over You, and Gone. After his band’s first album became such a huge hit, he collaborated with Sevendust, Chad Kroeger, Slash, Theory of a Deadman, Carlos Santana, Vince Gill, and Brad Arnold. After their first album, Daughtry went on to release three more. Leave This Town was released in 2009, Break the Spell was released in 2011, and Baptized was released in 2013. He even tried his hand at acting and had a guest role on CSI: NY, Studio City, The Passion: Live, and Troliz. He currently has a net worth of $8.5 million.
4. Jordin Sparks – Net Worth $10 Million
Jordin Sparks was on season 5 of American Idol and she got on stage for the first time with no formal vocal training. Since she was a toddler, she had natural talent. She ended up being the winner of American Idol and was the youngest winner in the show’s history. Shortly after her victory, when she was 17, she released her debut album. She released the single, No Air, featuring Chris Brown. It became the best-selling single ever by an American Idol contestant. After her first album became so successful, she went on to release three others. Battlefield in 2009 and Right Here Right Now in 2015. Not only did she headline her own tour in 2010, she also did two American Idol tours in 2007 and 2008. She was also the opening act for several successful tours such as the Jonas Brothers in 2009 and Britney Spears also in 2009. Jordin was nominated for 11 prestigious awards and she won 9. She played herself and characters on several television shows, she starred in 6 films and worked on Broadway in 2010. Jordin has a net worth of $10 million.
3. Jennifer Hudson – Net Worth $18 Million
Jennifer Hudson appeared on season 3 of American Idol and although she didn’t win, she was one of the finalists. After American Idol, she released three albums. Her self-titled album was released in 2008, followed by I Remember Me in 2011, and JHUD in 2014. Jennifer found most of her success in film when she was cast as Effie White in Dreamgirls. After Dreamgirls, she landed the role of Louise in Sex and the City and her career took off from there. Since her American Idol win, she has landed plenty of television and film roles. So far in her career, she has been nominated for 37 awards and she won an outstanding 38 awards. Jennifer struggled with her weight for years, but after becoming the spokeswoman for Jenny Craig, she lost quite a bit of weight and she looks fantastic. Through all her fame and good fortune, Jennifer also suffered a major tragedy. Her sister’s husband, William Balfour, killed her mother, her brother, and her nephew. She says that it was the most difficult experience of her life. After the tragedy, she was there for her sister who lost her son and she created a foundation dedicated to domestic violence in the name of her mother, her brother, and her nephew. Balfour was arrested, charged, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Jennifer says that the sentence was a relief, however, nothing would ever bring her family back, which made the new of his sentence bittersweet. Jennifer has a net worth of $18 million.
2. Kelly Clarkson – $25 Million
Kelly was the very first winner of American Idol. In just a few months after her winning, she became an internationally acclaimed singer. She is the only American Idol Contestant ranked first in the UK and the U.S. Through the course of her career, she has sold over 10.02 million albums in the United States and over 20 million albums worldwide. After her first self-titled album was released in 2003, she went on to release Breakaway in 2004, My December in 2007, All I Ever Wanted in 2009, Stronger in 2011, Wrapped in Red in 2013, and Piece By Piece in 2015. In total, she headlined 7 tours. Over the years, she has appeared as herself as well as characters on television shows. Kelly has a net worth of $25 million.
1. Carrie Underwood – $45 Million
Since Carrie appeared on season 4 of American Idol, she has become the princess of country music. Since her time on American Idol, she released several hit records including Some Hearts in 2005, Carnival Ride in 2007, Play On in 2009, Blown Away in 2012, and Storyteller in 2015. She also headlined five tours. In just 12 months, she performed in 83 concerts. Throughout her career, Carrie has won numerous music and video awards. She was also the subject of an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music. Carrie is the most successful of all the American Idol contestants, and she has a net worth of over $45 million.
American Idol has created some amazing superstars. The runners up for the most successful former contestants include Kellie Pickler, Adam Lambert, Fantasia Barrino, Katherine McPhee, and David Cook.