Throughout the 15 incredible seasons of “American Idol,” we saw a plethora of laughably bad contestants, a lot of mediocre ones, and of course, the real “idols.” Fifteen people went home as winners, basking in love and fame, but what happened to them next?
Here’s what some of the American Idols have been up to lately!
1. Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson must be one of the most accomplished singers in the world and becoming an Idol back in 2002 definitely helped her become famous. Not only did Kelly released a banger album, “Thankful,” she also starred in a comedy — “From Justin to Kelly.” Years later, the singer won two Grammy awards and then some. These days Clarkson hosts a talk-show called “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”
2. Fantasia Barrino
Can you imagine winning the “American Idol” at 19? That’s like winning the lottery but, you know, using your amazing voice. That’s exactly what happened to Fantasia Barrino. Now she has numerous albums in her library and made quite a few appearances on TV shows like “American Dreams” and “The Simpsons.” In 2010, the singer started her own reality TV show “Fantasia for Real” on VH1, but it was a total bust. After struggling for two seasons, the show was canceled, and Fantasia focused on making music again.
3. Carrie Underwood
After an amazing finale of the 2005 “Idol,” Carrie started climbing the global music charts until she reached the tippy-top in 2014-2015. That’s when our star became the top-earning “Idol.” Throughout her career, Carrie won 7 Grammy Awards and several less prestigious accolades. And then the infamous accident happened. Even though she broke her wrist and scarred her face in that freak tumble, Underwood did not give up and is still performing in the US.
4. Taylor Hicks
Two years after Taylor’s amazing victory in “American Idol,” he broke off his ties with the recording label. Or maybe they broke it off with him. Either way, Hicks started working on his own things in addition to making appearances in Broadway productions. Taylor’s last album was released in 2017, but he still likes to sing live at a restaurant he co-owns with his friend.
5. Jordin Sparks
It was quite surreal to watch a 17-year-old high-school student from Glendale win big on national television. After releasing two of her most iconic albums — Tattoo and Battlefield — Jordin decided to dip her toes into acting, which only resulted in a couple of projects like “Sparkle,” where she appeared side-by-side with Whitney Houston. These days Jordin still hasn’t given up on her music career. At least not after that fiasco with the cooking show.
6. Scotty McCreery
Here’s yet another 17-year-old winner of the singing contest — Scotty McCreery. Aside from being a platinum record holder, this guy is also a writer. Scotty’s book — “Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream” — was all about his journey to stardom both on- and off-stage. Sadly, it never became a bestseller. After that, he focused on his music career again.
7. Candice Glover
Candice broke a long streak of male winners with her remarkable performance on “American Idol.” After becoming a star overnight, she started working on her first album, which dropped in 2014, but Glover admitted it was poorly mastered and rushed. But 2017 was the most fun year in a while for Glover, as she got to tour around the country with fellow winners of various talent shows like “AGT,” “The Voice,” and more.
8. Trent Harmon
And lastly, there’s Trent Harmon, who was the final 15th winner of the competition. That’s of course, before the show was “rebooted”. As most of the winners did, he released a single titled “Falling,” right after his smashing victory. Two years later, we got to listen to Trent’s first full album — “You Got ‘Em All,” and the fans were waiting for the second album to drop in 2020, but, you know, stuff happened.