Here's What The “American Idol” Winners Look Like Now


Kelly Clarkson, Season 1

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Since Idol in 2002: Lol, where to begin. Kelly Clarkson, OUR FIRST EVER AMERICAN IDOL WINNER, basically became a superstar instantly and forever (never forget From Justin to Kelly). 16 freakin’ years later, she’s released eight studio albums, headlined eight tours, and been nominated for 14 Grammys (and won three of them). Oh, and now she’s one of the coaches on The Voice. Full circle, baby.


Ruben Studdard, Season 2

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Since Idol in 2003: After beating Clay Aiken, Studdard went on to release seven studio albums, a buttload of singles, and win a Teen Choice Award as well as three Billboard Music Awards. This holiday season Studdard and Aiken are reuniting on Broadway for “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show.” (Lol, wow, I’m out of breath.)


Fantasia Barrino, Season 3

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Since Idol in 2004: Two years after her win (the season Jennifer Hudson came in 7th place), Fantasia was nominated for three Grammy Awards for her debut album. (Since then, she’s been nominated for a total of 12 Grammys, one of which she won.) In 2006, she played herself in an autobiographical Lifetime movie called Life Is Not a Fairy Tale, and in 2007 she starred as Celie in The Color Purple on Broadway. Oh, and last year she came out with a Christmas album!


Carrie Underwood, Season 4

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Since Idol in 2005: You obviously know that she dug her key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive, but she’s also released six studio albums (many of which went Platinum and Gold) and 27 singles. She’s also won — get ready for this — seven Grammy Awards, 10 Billboard Music Awards, and 18 CMT Music Awards (among a bajillion other awards). Oh, and 2013 was a big year for her because that’s when she starred in The Sound of Music Live! AND debuted the NFL’s new opening theme song for NBC Sunday Night Football.


Taylor Hicks, Season 5

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Since Idol in 2006: Within a year of winning (against Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, and Chris Daughtry), Hicks wrote a memoir with a title almost as long as Ruben and Clay’s reunion show: Heart Full of Soul: An Inspirational Memoir About Finding Your Voice and Finding Your Way. Since then, he starred as Teen Angel in Broadway’s Grease, and from 2012 to 2014 he had his own residency in Las Vegas!


Jordin Sparks, Season 6

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Since Idol in 2007: Not only was she the youngest winner in the series’ history, but she immediately went on to release two Billboard Hot 100 top-ten singles: “Tattoo” and “No Air.” Outside of studio releases, Sparks has starred on Broadway (Nina Rosario in In The Heights), on TV (episodes of The Suite Life on Deck and Big Time Rush), and in movies (she made her film debut in Sparkle). She also came out with her own Wet Seal clothing line back in 2008!


David Cook, Season 7

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Since Idol in 2008: Like most of the other winners, Cook spent years releasing albums and going on tour post-American Idol. But more recently, he’s starred as Charlie Price on Broadway’s Kinky Boots.


Kris Allen, Season 8

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Since Idol: Allen, who beat Adam Lambert in the finale, continues to release a number of albums and singles (many of which have reached the charts), and also spends a lot of his time doing various humanitarian work.


Lee DeWyze, Season 9

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Since Idol in 2010: DeWyze, who had a music career prior to winning the show, has so far released seven albums and nine singles (you might remember one of his most popular, “Beautiful Day,” which was a cover of U2’s song).


Scotty McCreery, Season 10

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Since Idol in 2011: McCreery, who I affectionately refer to as “The Mad Magazine Guy in real life and with a shockingly deep voice,” has so far released four studio albums, one of which went Platinum and another that went Gold. Oh, and this year he was on Celebrity Family Feud, in case you wanted to know.


Phillip Phillips, Season 11

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Since Idol in 2012: Phillips is probably most known for having the same first name as his last name — just kidding, he’s probably most known for singing “Home,” which is one of the Top 5 best-selling songs from an American Idol singer. (It’s seriously up there with Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” and Clarkson’s “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger).” I mean who doesn’t remember the US Women’s Gymnastics team using it as their song during the 2012 Olympics?!)

On top of that, he’s released three studio albums, headlined seven tours, and opened for three others (Matchbox Twenty, John Mayer, and Goo Goo Dolls). And then this year he guest starred in an episode of Hawaii Five-0!


Candice Glover, Season 12

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Since Idol in 2013: Glover, who auditioned three times for the show before eventually winning, has so far released one studio album and three singles. She’s currently the Music Coordinator for the Savannah College of Art and Design ensemble group, Honey Bees.


Caleb Johnson, Season 13

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Since Idol in 2014: So far, Johnson has released two albums and five singles. Late this year, he came out with a music video for his new song “Born and Raised,” which is a preview for his upcoming Caleb Johnson & The Ramlin’ Saints album “Born From Southern Ground.”


Nick Fradiani, Season 14

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Since Idol in 2015: A year after his win, Fradiani released his album “Hurricane,” and then in 2017 he released his EP “Where We Left Off.” He’s currently on his Father and Son Christmas Tour with, you guessed it, his dad!


Trent Harmon, Season 15

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Since Idol in 2016: So far, Harmon as released a self-titled EP and his debut album “You Got ‘Em All.”


Maddie Poppe, Season 16

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Well, those are two photos of Poppe from 2018 because the reboot of American Idol on ABC literally premiered this year ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

To wrap it up, here’s a gif of baby Kelly Clarkson winning: