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Who Is the Richest American Idol? Exploring the Wealth of Contestants

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Who Is the Richest American Idol? Exploring the Wealth of Contestants

Last updated on: October 18, 2023

When we think about American Idol, we remember the show where talented people sang, got advice and sometimes won. But what happens after they win? They become big stars! These singers aren’t just famous; they’re rich too. We’re going to talk about the winners who made lots of money after their time on American Idol. From hit songs to big awards, these folks have done it all. So, let’s explore the stories and money of the most successful and richest American Idol winners. We’ll find out who’s the richest among these talented folks.

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Contestants Name Net Worth
Carrie Underwood $140 million
Kelly Clarkson $45 million
Adam Lambert $35 million
Jennifer Hudson $30 million
Katharine McPhee $14 million
Chris Daughtry $8 million
Jordin Sparks $8 million
Kellie Pickler $4 million
Scotty McCreery $4 million
David Cook $2 million
Ruben Studdard $3 million
Mandisa $3 million
Josh Gracin $2 million
David Archuleta $1.5 million
James Durbin $1.5 million
Kris Allen $3.5 million
Phillip Phillips $1.5 million
Haley Reinhart $1.5 million
Ace Young $1 million
Diana DeGarmo $1.5 million
Bo Bice $1.5 million
Fantasia Barrino $1 million
Taylor Hicks $1 million
Tamyra Gray $1 million
Ace Young $1 million
Lauren Alaina $800,000
Constantine Maroulis $750,000
Justin Guarini $700,000
Crystal Bowersox $600,000
Blake Lewis $600,000
William Hung $600,000
Danny Gokey $600,000
Kimberley Locke $500,000

 

Β 1. Carrie Underwood

  • Net worth: $140 million
  • Season 4 winner
  • Eight Grammy wins
  • 66 million records sold worldwide
  • 14 No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart
  • Owns activewear line “Calia by Carrie Underwood”

Carrie Underwood won the fourth season of American Idol, catapulting her to country music stardom. She’s one of the wealthiest country music stars, with a net worth of $140 million.

Her career includes eight Grammy wins and 14 No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Apart from music, Underwood launched her own activewear line called Calia by Carrie Underwood. She continues to shine with her Las Vegas residency, “Carrie Underwood: Reflection.”

2. Kelly Clarkson

  • Net worth: $45 million
  • Season 1 winner
  • Three No. 1 singles on the charts
  • Judge on “The Voice” (Season 23)
  • Host of “The Kelly Clarkson Show”
  • Released latest album “When Christmas Comes Around…” in 2021

Kelly Clarkson, the inaugural American Idol winner, boasts a net worth of $45 million.

Her successful music career includes chart-topping hits like “A Moment Like This” and “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You).”

Beyond music, she’s a judge on The Voice and hosts her own daytime talk show, “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

She’s released multiple albums and remains a prominent figure in the music and television industry.

3. Adam Lambert

  • Net worth: $35 million
  • Season 8 runner-up
  • Grammy-nominated for “Whataya Want From Me”
  • Released No. 1 album “Trespassing”
  • Worked with Queen
  • Contributed to the 2023 film documentary “Mad About The Boy – The Noel Coward Story”

Adam Lambert, the runner-up of American Idol Season 8, has a net worth of $35 million. His debut album, “For Your Entertainment,” earned a Grammy nomination.

He’s not only a singer but also a versatile artist who has contributed to film documentaries and performed with Queen.

4. Jennifer Hudson

  • Net worth: $30 million
  • Season 3 seventh-place finisher
  • Academy Award for “Dreamgirls”
  • Two Grammy wins
  • Three top 10 albums on the Billboard Hot 200 chart
  • Host of “The Jennifer Hudson Show” in 2022

Jennifer Hudson finished in seventh place on Season 3 of American Idol. She rebounded to earn an Academy Award for “Dreamgirls” and won two Grammys. Three of her albums have reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. She’s also a judge on The Voice and hosts “The Jennifer Hudson Show.”

5. Katharine McPhee

  • Net worth: $14 million
  • Season 5 runner-up
  • Released six albums
  • Acted in TV and film, including “Smash” and “Scorpion”
  • Starred in the Netflix series “Country Comfort”
  • Jewelry line “KMF Jewelry”

Katharine McPhee secured the runner-up spot in Season 5 and has since had a flourishing career. With a net worth of $14 million, she has released six albums and appeared in various television shows and movies, including “Scorpion” and “Smash.” McPhee, alongside her husband David Foster, even launched a holiday album, “Christmas Songs.”

6. Jordin Sparks

  • Net worth: $8 million
  • Season 6 winner
  • Debut single “No Air” sold 4 million digital copies
  • Released three full albums
  • Acted in films like “A Christmas Treasure”
  • Upcoming role in “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete”

Jordin Sparks won Season 6 at the age of 17, becoming the youngest winner in American Idol history. Her debut single, “No Air,” sold millions of digital copies. She’s released three full albums, enjoyed three top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and ventured into acting with appearances in movies and television shows.

7. Chris Daughtry

  • Net worth: $8 million
  • Season 5 fourth-place finisher
  • Formed the band Daughtry
  • Fastest-selling rock album with debut self-titled album
  • Four Grammy nominations
  • The most recent album “Dearly Beloved” in 2021
  • TV and voice acting roles

Chris Daughtry, who finished fourth in Season 5, transitioned into a successful rock music career with his band Daughtry. Their self-titled debut album set a record as the fastest-selling rock album in Soundscan history. With a net worth of $8 million, Daughtry’s band has been nominated for four Grammys and achieved platinum and gold status with multiple albums.

8. Elliott Yamin

  • Net worth: $6 million
  • Season 5 third-place finisher
  • Released seven albums
  • Performed with the funk band Philthy
  • Joined the Special EFX Allstars tour in 2022

Elliott Yamin, the Season 5 third-place finisher, shifted from a pharmacy counter clerk to a famous singer. He has released seven albums and even joined the Special EFX Allstars tour. His journey from humble beginnings to musical success has earned him a net worth of $6 million.

9. Kellie Pickler

  • Net worth: $4 million
  • Season 5 fifth-place finisher
  • Released four albums
  • Won “Dancing With the Stars”
  • Voiced an animated character in the “VeggieTales” movie
  • Starred in “Pickler & Ben” on CMT
  • Acted in TV movies like “The Mistletoe Secret” and “Wedding at Graceland”

Kellie Pickler placed fifth on Season 5, and despite not making it to the finals, she has built a diverse career. She’s released four albums, won “Dancing With the Stars,” voiced an animated character in the “VeggieTales” movie, hosted a CMT reality series, and starred in various TV movies, including “The Mistletoe Secret” and “Wedding at Graceland.” Kellie Pickler’s net worth stands at $4 million.

10. Clay Aiken

  • Net worth: $4 million
  • Season 2 runner-up
  • Ran for Congress in 2014 and 2022
  • Continued singing and acting careers
  • Voice actor in the animated movie “Trollz”

Clay Aiken, the runner-up in Season 2, initially pursued singing for a decade after the show. Later, he made a shift into politics, running for Congress in 2014 and 2022. While his political endeavors didn’t lead to a win, his American Idol fame and multiple pursuits have contributed to a net worth of $4 million.

11. Scotty McCreery

  • Net worth: $4 million
  • Season 10 winner
  • Platinum-certified debut album “Clear as Day”
  • Nine songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart
  • The executive producer of the Hallmark movie “Five More Minutes: Moments Like These”

Scotty McCreery, the winner of Season 10, has had a successful career in country music. His debut album, “Clear as Day,” achieved platinum status. With songs like “Damn Straight,” McCreery continues to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100. He’s also ventured into television movies, including “Five More Minutes: Moments Like These,” where he served as an executive producer.

12. Kris Allen

  • Net worth: $3.5 million
  • Season 8 winner
  • Released five pop-heavy albums
  • Overcame a car accident in 2012 to continue his music career
  • Debuted latest album “10” in 2019

Kris Allen won Season 8 by beating Adam Lambert. Despite a car accident in 2012 that briefly interrupted his musical career, he bounced back. Allen learned to play the guitar again and released his fifth album, “Letting You In.” Additionally, he put out a Christmas album and released his most recent album, “10,” in 2019.

13. Ruben Studdard

  • Net worth: $3 million
  • Season 2 winner
  • Released seven albums
  • Toured with Clay Aiken in 2023 to mark the 20th anniversary of their “Idol” appearances

Ruben Studdard, known as “The Velvet Teddy Bear,” won the second season of American Idol, edging out Clay Aiken. Studdard has released seven albums, including “Ruben Sings Luther,” a tribute to Luther Vandross, in 2018. He is set to tour with Clay Aiken to mark the 20th anniversary of their Idol appearances.

14. Mandisa

  • Net worth: $3 million
  • Season 5 ninth-place finisher
  • Overcame mocking by Simon Cowell about her weight
  • Five Grammy nominations, one win
  • Released the album “Overcomer: The Greatest Hits” in 2020
  • Released the book “Out of the Dark” in 2022

Mandisa finished in ninth place during Season 5 of American Idol and faced weight-related mocking from judge Simon Cowell. Nevertheless, she persevered, earning five Grammy nominations and winning once since her time on the show. Mandisa’s latest album, “Overcomer: The Greatest Hits,” was released in 2020, and she has also ventured into writing with her book “Out of the Dark.”

15. David Cook

  • Net worth: $2 million
  • Season 7 winner
  • Released three full albums
  • Starred in Broadway’s “Kinky Boots” in 2018
  • Debuted a new single “TABOS” in April 2022

David Cook, the winner of Season 7, has released three full albums and his latest EP, “The Looking Glass,” in April 2021. He briefly starred in Broadway’s “Kinky Boots” in 2018 and debuted a new single, “TABOS,” in April 2022.

16. Josh Gracin

  • Net worth: $2 million
  • Season 2 fourth-place finisher
  • Military service after Idol
  • Certified gold debut album
  • Announced triple album in 2023
  • Released the single “You’re On Fire” in February

Josh Gracin, a U.S. Marine, placed fourth in Season 2. He continued to make music even after completing his military service. In 2017, he released a six-track EP, “Nothin’ Like Us, Pt. 1,” and announced a return to writing music and producing a triple album in 2023, with the first single, “You’re On Fire,” released in February.

17. David Archuleta

  • Net worth: $1.5 million
  • Season 7 runner-up
  • Debut single “Crush” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart
  • Debut self-titled album certified gold
  • Pursued acting in addition to music
  • Released album “Therapy Sessions” in 2020

David Archuleta advanced to the Season 7 finale at just 16 years old, ultimately becoming the runner-up. His debut single, “Crush,” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and his self-titled debut album was certified gold. Archuleta has continued to pursue music and acting, releasing his latest album, “Therapy Sessions,” in 2020.

18. Phillip Phillips

  • Net worth: $1.5 million
  • Season 11 winner
  • Sued American Idol’s production company
  • Released third album “Collateral” in 2018
  • Debuted latest single “Love Like That” in 2022

Phillip Phillips, the Season 11 winner, overcame contract disputes to release his third album, “Collateral,” in 2018. His latest single, “Love Like That,” debuted in 2022.

19. Haley Reinhart

  • Net worth: $1.5 million
  • Season 10 third-place finisher
  • Debut album “Listen Up!” reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart
  • Hit single “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in 2015
  • The latest album “Lo-Fi Soul” released in 2019
  • Released the single “Roll the Dice” in 2021

Haley Reinhart finished third on Season 10 and released her debut album, “Listen Up!” in 2012. Her single “Can’t Help Falling in Love” reached No. 11 on Spotify’s global viral chart, amassing over 57 million streams on the platform. Reinhart’s latest album, “Lo-Fi Soul,” came out in 2019, followed by the single “Roll the Dice” in 2021.

20. James Durbin

  • Net worth: $1.5 million
  • Season 10 fourth-place finisher
  • Toured with major musical acts
  • Replaced Seann Nicols as lead singer of Quiet Riot
  • Released “The Beast Awakens” in 2021
  • Early 2023 tour schedule in Northern California

James Durbin, who placed fourth on the 10th season, continued to tour alongside major musical acts. In 2017, he replaced Seann Nicols as the lead singer of Quiet Riot, leaving the band two years later. Durbin released “The Beast Awakens” in 2021 and has a busy tour schedule for early 2023.

21. Diana DeGarmo

  • Net worth: $1.2 million
  • Season 3 runner-up
  • Broadway and television acting roles
  • Grammy-nominated for “American Idol Season 3: Greatest Soul Classics”
  • New single “Forever Young” was released in January 2023
  • The upcoming film “Kicking Ashley”

Diana DeGarmo, the runner-up of Season 3, leveraged her Idol exposure to launch a successful singing and acting career. Her single “Dreams” reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. DeGarmo starred on Broadway in “Hairspray” (2006) and “Hair” (2010). She also released an EP, “Gemini,” in September 2017 and an album of the same name in 2019.

22. Bo Bice

  • Net worth: $1.2 million
  • Season 4 runner-up
  • Southern rock musician
  • Released eight studio albums
  • 2021 single “The Rock of My Soul”

Bo Bice, who lost to Carrie Underwood during Season 4, continued his music career by releasing four albums. He was the lead singer for Blood Sweat & Tears from 2013 to 2018 and appeared in commercials for Moe’s Southwest Grill and Ford Motor Co.

23. Jessica Sanchez

  • Net worth: $1 million
  • Season 11 runner-up
  • Filipina-Mexican heritage
  • Worked on solo music and collaborations
  • Performed at the National Memorial Day Concert
  • Released single “Us” in 2021

24. LaToya London

  • Net worth: $1 million
  • Season 3 fourth-place finisher
  • Appeared in Broadway’s “The Color Purple”
  • Music collaborations
  • Gospel album “Music for the Soul” released in 2020
  • Set to appear in the upcoming movie “Chapel of Love”

25. Pia Toscano

  • Net worth: $650,000
  • Season 10 ninth-place finisher
  • Debut single “This Time”
  • Appeared on “Dancing With the Stars”
  • Part of the music group “The X Factors”
  • New music released in 2022

26. Ace Young

  • Net worth: $600,000
  • Season 5 seventh-place finisher
  • Worked on songwriting and acting
  • Appeared on Broadway in “Grease”
  • Co-wrote the No. 1 country hit “It’s Not Over” for Daughtry

Ace Young, who placed seventh on Season 5 of American Idol, transitioned from a singing career to becoming a successful songwriter. He earned a Grammy nomination for writing the song “It’s Not Over” for fellow Idol alum Chris Daughtry. Young also appeared on Broadway in “Grease” (2008-2009) and “Hair” (2010). In 2021, he married Diana DeGarmo, who was the runner-up in Season 3.

27. Lee DeWyze

  • Net worth: $500,000
  • Season 9 winner
  • Four studio albums
  • Started his own independent label “Shanachie”
  • Released single “Stone” in 2022
  • Announced 2023 tour dates

28. Anwar Robinson

  • Net worth: $400,000
  • Season 4 seventh-place finisher
  • Released music, including “All Is Fair” in 2015
  • Taught music in New Jersey schools
  • Created the “Real Love Movement” to empower artists

29. Justin Guarini

  • Net worth: $700,000
  • Season 1 runner-up
  • Released two albums
  • Acted in “American Idiot” and “Wicked” on Broadway
  • “Lil’ Sweet” in Diet Dr. Pepper commercials
  • Author of “Audition Secrets”

30. Crystal Bowersox

  • Net worth: $500,000
  • Season 9 runner-up
  • Performed with Joe Cocker and Alanis Morissette
  • Released the album “Hitch Hiker” in 2022
  • Started a tour in March

Folk-rock singer Crystal Bowersox was the runner-up on Season 9 of American Idol. Since then, she has performed with musical greats like Joe Cocker, Harry Connick Jr., and Alanis Morrissette. Bowersox released the album “Hitch Hiker” in 2022 and began a tour in March.

In a journey that started with dreams of becoming America’s next singing sensation, these American Idol contestants have come a long way, showcasing their incredible talents and resilience. From Grammy-winning artists and multi-platinum superstars to those who found success in other creative endeavors, the legacy of American Idol lives on through their inspiring stories.

As we celebrate the diverse paths these talented individuals have paved, it’s a testament to the impact this iconic show has had on the entertainment industry. American Idol remains a remarkable platform for aspiring artists, proving that stardom can be achieved, no matter where your journey began. The music world is richer for its contributions, and as the contestants continue to shine, we look forward to the next generation of idols and the remarkable journeys that lie ahead.

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