American Idol Winners: Season 1-9 (Photos)

May 30, 2010

The number of American Idol winners that really have gone on to have huge success aren’t many. In fact, many of the runner-ups and/or other contestants have reaped more rewards than those who took the title. So what are the winners up to now? How has the reality show changed their lives? Read more and see photos of the American Idol winners from seasons one through nine here.

Simon Cowell

American Idol winners from season’s past are probably some of the most recognizable faces in the music industry. As they went through weeks of grueling competition and were both criticized and praised by the Idol judges, they received the ultimate title and already thousands of fans. But while only a couple of the Idol winners went on to achieve international superstar status and sold millions of records, not all of the winners were so lucky.

Check out the winners from the winners of the hit reality show that you the people chose to rock the music industry.

lee dewyze

Season Nine winner: Lee DeWyze

DeWyze went on to (barely) defeat Crystal Bowersox in the season nine finale of Idol. A paint salesman from Chicago, DeWyze left the job he’s worked at for the past six years to take a chance on a music career. With a bit of encouragement from a friend, DeWyze tried out for the hit reality show in Chicago. As one of thirteen from the Windy City to move onto the excruciating competition for Hollywood week, DeWyze pulled through week after week for the win. Since his win, Lee has signed a record deal with 19 Entertainment and RCA Records. An album date release has yet to be announced.

kris allen 1 2

Season Eight Winner: Kris Allen

Allen defeated glam rocker Adam Lambert in the season eight finale of Idol. The Conway, Arkansas native was a quiet competitor in the season that predicted Lambert as a surefire win. However, it was after his acoustic performance of Kanye West’s hit Heartless that had Allen as the new front runner. After winning Idol, Kris released his debut album under the Jive Records label. Despite a fairly strong single (Live Like We’re Dying) which reached #18 on the Billboard charts. Unfortunately as a #11 Billboard debut, his album was the lowest debut by any Idol winner previously.

david cook

Season Seven: David Cook

Even though he was only there to support his brother during the American Idol tryout, Cook decided to give the reality show a shot. Luckily for him, he made it to the finals where he competed against teen singer David Archuleta. Cook had a record breaking week of May 25th, 2008. Beating out Miley Cyrus, Cook had eleven charting songs on the Hot 100 and the most since The Beatles had 14 songs on the charts of 1964. Quite a feat for an American Idol winner or any artist for that matter!

Currently, Cook is working on his second album, with a yet to be announced release date.

jordin sparks
Season Six: Jordin Sparks

Sparks defeated Blake Lewis in the season six finale of American Idol with a record breaking 74 million votes in her favor. At 17 years of age, Glendale, Arizona native Jordin was also the youngest winner of the hit reality show. With the signing of a record deal with Jive Records, Sparks has had great success. Not only has she had five consecutive top 20 hits and three nonconsecutive top 10 hits, she has been on tour as an opening act for Beyonce, Britney Spears, Jesse McCartney and the Jonas Brothers. Jordin has been nominated for and has won numerous awards including two BET Awards, one Teen Choice award, an American Music award and a People’s Choice award. In 2009, she was nominated for a Grammy award for her collaboration with Chris Brown on the song “No Air”.

taylor hicks
Season Five: Taylor Hicks

Hicks defeated Katherina McPhee in the season five finale of American Idol. Contrary to belief, Hicks had great success after winning Idol and after signing a recording contract with 19 Recordings Limited/Arista Records. But it was a bumpy road. After Hicks’ new track “Do I Make You Proud” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, he released a memoir on his life that paid him a cool $750,000. But it was shortly after that he was dropped from Arista Records
and set his sights on Broadway. In 2008, Hicks was cast as Teen Angel in the Broadway hit Grease. It wasn’t until 2009 that Hicks released his second album on his own label Modern Whomp Records.

carrie underwood
Season Four: Carrie Underwood

Underwood defeated Bo Bice in the season four finale of American Idol. The small town girl from Checotah, Oklahoma has went on to become one of the most successful Idol winners in the history of the reality show. After three successful albums and 68 awards including seven Grammy awards, the star of Underwood continues to shine. Carrie is currently on tour in support of her Play On album, a headlining tour that has sold out stadiums nationwide.

fantasia barrino
Season Three: Fantasia Barrino

Barrino went on to defeat Diana DeGarmo in the season three finale of American Idol. A notable feat is that Fantasia was the first recording artist ever to land a debut number one on the Billboard Charts with a debut single. Her debut album Free Yourself earned her 4 Grammy nominations, while her follow up album Fantasia reached gold status. It was after her second album (which received three Grammy nominations) that Barrino accepted the lead role of Celie in the Broadway musical The Color Purple. Currently, Fantasia is finishing up her third album which is set to release in July of 2010. Her reality show which debuted on VH1 called Fantasia for Real is said to have been picked up for a second season.

ruben studdard
Season Two: Ruben Studdard

Studdard defeated Clay Aiken in the season two finale of American Idol. Since his Idol win in 2003, Ruben has released four albums and one Grammy nomination for his single Superstar. He also appeared in several televison shows showing off his acting skills on 8 Simple Rules, Life on a Stick, All of Us, and Eve to name a few notables. Recently Ruben got married and lost over 80 pounds.

kelly clarkson 1 2 3
Season One: Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson defeated Justin Guarini in the first season finale of American Idol. Clarkson is still the most successful American Idol to date. After releasing four albums and receiving numerous awards (including four Grammys) and selling millions of albums worldwide, Kelly continues to be who other Idol contestants strive to be like. Currently, Kelly is working on her fifth studio album and hopes of a late 2010 release date.

The American Idol winners from season 1-9 have done quite well for themselves. But now that Simon Cowell is leaving after the 2010 season, will it be the end of Idol and the creation of overnight superstars?

Photos: Tony Clark/Nikki Nelson/Adriana M. Barraza/C.M. Wiggins/

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3 Responses to “American Idol Winners: Season 1-9 (Photos)”

  1. 1
    black hat Says:

    Nice post man. Thanks

  2. 2
    jonathan Says:

    kelly clarkson is the most beautiful contestant in the idol!!!huuuuoooo!!!!

  3. 3
    bernece davila Says:

    Hey american idol people were is cloe the famous ssinger?