The Top 10 American Idol Contestants of All Time

The Top 10 American Idol Contestants of All Time

No other talent show in American history has had the same staying power or cultural impact as American Idol. First hitting our screens in 2002, the show has produced some of the most successful and well-known recording artists in the world.

In its 15 seasons, American Idol has had some truly talented contestants. To compile this list, we looked at the contestants’ post-Idol careers, overall success, likeability, and of course, their vocal prowess. Here are the 10 best American Idol contestants of all time.

10. Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken first appeared on American Idol in its second season. He was an instant fan favorite with his quirky personality and powerful voice. Aiken went on to have a very successful career, selling over 5 million albums and even starring on Broadway.

Clay Aiken

9. Kelly Clarkson

The first-ever American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson has had an incredible career. She is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with over 25 million albums sold worldwide. Clarkson has also won 3 Grammy Awards and been nominated for countless others.

Kelly Clarkson

8. Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood won the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. She has since gone on to become one of the biggest stars in country music. Underwood has won 7 Grammy Awards and sold over 65 million records. She is also one of the highest-grossing touring artists in the world.

Carrie Underwood

7. David Cook

David Cook was the winner of the seventh season of American Idol. He has had a very successful career, with his debut album going platinum and his follow-up album reaching gold status. Cook has also had 4 top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

David Cook

6. Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson is a multi-talented performer who first rose to fame on American Idol. She went on to star in the hugely successful film Dreamgirls, for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Hudson has also released 3 studio albums, with her most recent one reaching the top 10 on the Billboard 200.

Jennifer Hudson

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5. Katharine McPhee

Katharine McPhee first appeared on American Idol in its fifth season. She quickly became a fan favorite and finished in second place. McPhee has since had a very successful career, releasing 4 albums and starring on the hit TV show Smash.

Katharine McPhee

4. Ruben Studdard

Ruben Studdard was the winner of the second season of American Idol. He has had a very successful career, releasing 4 albums and even appearing on Broadway. Studdard has also been a successfulweight loss spokesman, losing over 100 pounds.

Ruben Studdard

3. Chris Daughtry

Chris Daughtry first appeared on American Idol in its fifth season. He quickly became a front-runner and finished in fourth place. Daughtry has gone on to have a very successful career, selling over 8 million records and having 4 number one hits on the Billboard rock charts.

Chris Daughtry

2. Fantasia Barrino

Fantasia Barrino was the winner of the third season of American Idol. She has had an incredible career, selling over 4 million albums and winning 2 Grammy Awards. Barrino has also starred in her own Broadway musical and had a successful reality TV show.

Fantasia Barrino

1. Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert first appeared on American Idol in its eighth season. He quickly became a fan favorite with his powerful voice and magnetic personality. Lambert has gone on to have a hugely successful career, selling over 3 million albums and having 4 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Adam Lambert

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