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From ‘American Idol’ To Millionaires, 30 Ranked Contestants

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American Idol premiered in 2002 and has captivated the audience ever since. This show has it all, amazing talents, unbelievable true stories, hilariously auditions, captivating audiences, and epic performances. But when it comes to grand finales, no one can predict the winner.

Moreover, this show showed how winning is not necessarily a good thing. Actually, many ‘losers’ re on top of their game today. So, let’s take a look at the American Idol stars who have found the most success after the show.

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30. Tamyra Gray

Estimated net worth: $1 million

Although Tamyra Gray was forth on the show’s first season, that didn’t stop her to become a megastar. She played on Broadway and even TV show Boston Public.

Tamyra has only one album, released in 2004, named The Dreamer. The most popular song from that album was ‘You Thought Wrong’, which she performed with another American Idol sweetheart, Kelly Clarkson.

29. Ace Young

Estimated net worth: $1 million

Ace finished his appearance in American Idol as seventh, but he didn’t let him stop him. He even published an album. Until today, it didn’t make it to the Billboard Top 100. But, Ace continues with his musical path.

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At the time, Ace is a successful songwriter, and he had a few successful appearances on various Broadway plays.

28. Jason Castro

Estimated net worth: $1.3 million

People get to know Jason Castro on American Idol’s seventh season. For Jason, Idol was a step to success. His version of Cohen’s song “Hallelujah,” pushed him to the spotlight.

Since he first appeared on Americal Idol, he published three albums. Two made it to the Billboard Top 200. In 2014, he said goodbye to his recognizable deadlocks.

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27. Melinda Doolittle

Estimated net worth: $1.5 million

Melinda amazed fans in the sixth season of American Idol, overcoming her fears and even ending third in the finale. Cowell was her biggest fan and even said that she was supposed to win.

From that famous finale, Melinda published one full-length album, Coming Back to You, which ended 58 on the US charts. Melinda released a memoir called, Beyond Me: Finding Your Way to Life’s Next Level, about her experience on American Idol. At the moment she is busy hosting the show Reality Check.

26. James Durbin

Estimated net worth: $1.5 million

James finished the 10th season of American Idol winning fourth place/ However, he did well. He realized several solo albums and had toured with big names in the business, such as Evanescence.

In 2017, James stepped in for Seann Nicols, as a lead singer of the heavy metal group Quiet Riot. Although his albums are not sold as well as other American Idol alumni, he did manage to build up a nice net worth for a short time.

25. Kimberley Locke

Estimated net worth: $1.5 million

From first performance, it was clear that Locke is here to stay. Since she ended third on season three of American Idol she stayed in the entertainment business – both in front of the camera and behind.

Kimberly released the first album, One Love, in 2004 and appeared in various TV shows, including Celebrity Fit Club. In the meantime, she got a degree in Business Administration and founded the entertainment company I AM Entertainment. In her free time, she works as a vocal and life coach.

24. Haley Reinhart

Estimated net worth: $1.5 million

Since she placed third on the 10th season of the famous musical show, Haley Reinhart continued to conquer the world of music. So far, she is more into quality than quantity. Interestignly, she deliberately stays outside of the commercial success.

In 2017, she recorded an album with vintage instruments to achieve that ‘retro’ feel. She also started her voice acting career. She ‘played’ in Netflix’s animated show F is for Family.

23. Diana DeGarmo

Estimated net worth: $1.5 million

Before she tried her luck with American Idol in season three, Diana appeared on the NBC’s show. Diana was a finalist on the talent show named, America’s Most Talented Kid. That was just one year before American Idol.

She recorded the song “Reachin’ for Heaven” heard in the film Ice Princess, produced by Disney. Currently, next to her music work, she works as a successful theater actress as well.

22. Bo Bice

Estimated net worth: $2 million

In season for all came down to Carrie Underwood and Bo Bice. Unfortunately, Bo lost. However, it seems that he is done well for himself. So far, he published three studio albums. The first album, The Real Thing, ended at number 3 on the Billboard 200.

Bice also joined the legendary rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears. They remained together for five years. He also appeared on several TV shows, including American Chopper.

21. Josh Gracin

Estimated net worth: $2 million

This former US marine used American Idol to develop a lucrative singing career. He took fourth place in the second season, but he got massive exposure in return.

From then, he released three albums. The first album went gold, and the feature hit “Nothin’ to Lose.” Gracin had a difficult period of fighting depression. Luckily, he overcomes that dark period and continued making great music.

20. Taylor Hicks

Estimated net worth: $2 million

Season five winner, Taylor Hicks, didn’t have an easy time after American Idol. His first album ended as number 2 on the Billboard charts. However, that album was the worst-selling album from an American Idol winner ever. So, the label dropped him.

That, at the moment, failure didn’t stop him. He released another album, The Distance, which peaked at number 58 on the Billboard chart. Furthermore, he toured for Grease (Broadway show), playing the role of ‘Teen Angel’. At the time, he hosts the show State Plate. This show features food from all over the country.

19. Mandisa

Estimated net worth: $3 million

Mandisa Hundley had to deal with ‘mean judge’ during her American Idol experience. Simon constantly rags her about her weight. She finished in ninth place, and ended forgiving Simon and hugging him on the show.

Mandisa decided to use the pain she lived on the show and put it into the music. That’s how her debut album was born – True Beauty. Mandisa’s album ended 43rd on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top Christian Albums. At the moment she is one of the most popular Christian artists and contemporary gospel singers.

18. Ruben Studdard

Estimated net worth: $3 million

Ruben Studdardstole the heart of the audience in the first minute. This loved “The Velvet Teddybear” had enormous success on American Idol and off the famous show. Ruben has platinum and gold records, as well as a great acting career on Broadway.

He appeared in a couple of television shows and even a movie, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. His latest album is a tribute to Luther Vandross, legendary soul singer.

17. Kris Allen

Estimated net worth: $3.5 million

Kris Allen was an artist with a clear goal – to become the star. He already had one published album before he started his Ameican Idol journey. Allen won the American Idol in the eight seasons.

Since then, he released four more albums. He also dedicated a lot of his time to philanthropic efforts. He even wen ton several missionary trips. During one of those trips, he got infected with a rare form of hepatitis that nearly killed him. He is a strong supporter of school music programs.

16. Kimberly Caldwell

Estimated net worth: $4 million

Kimberly finished seventh on season two of American Idol. She only released one album on April 19, 2011. That was eight years after her first public appearance on Idol. Sadly, her album wasn’t a financial success and even received poor reviews from critics.

But outside of the music world, Kimberly built quite an impressive career. She appeared in several movies and TV shows. Also, she works as a correspondent on Fox News’ 54321 extreme sports program. She even hosted P. Diddy’s Starmaker on MTV and Best Ink on the Oxygen network.

15. Scotty McCreery

Estimated net worth: $4 million

Boyish charm and powerful voice are what made McCreery so popular in season 10 of American Idol. Moreover, these powerful traits lead him to the victory of the show.

Scotty continued his success once the show was over with his debut record Clear as Day and his sophomore release Christmas with Scotty McCreery. Interestingly, Scott is a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox and even published his own major league blog in 2013.

14. Phillip Phillips

Estimated net worth: $5 million

Phillip Phillips – the catchiest name in the history of American Idol. Besides, he had the catchiest song, becuase his song ‘Home’ from his debut album The World from the Side of the Moon is the best selling single from any contestant in the American Idol’s history.

Phillip hit commercial success with his first album. He was the only American Idol winner that Simon Cowell liked. He is focused on his career in music nowadays, but you can see him in movies here and there.

13. David Cook

Estimated net worth: $5 million

David Cook is the Idol’s winner from season seven. His first album was a huge success. It even went platinum and hit several Billboard records. At the same time, he had 11 singles on the Hot 100. Also, he broke the record for most debut songs on he Hot Digital Singles in just one week, with 14 entries.

Ever since he received his first guitar at the age of 13 he knew that he wants to be a musician. Practise and hard work really pay off. At the moment, David is busy touring the world.

12. David Archuleta

Estimated net worth: $5 million

Before American Idol, Archuleta tried to win the show Star Search, and get the title of Junior Grand Champion. However, he lost and even competed with Alexandréa Lushington, who he competed again in the American Idol.

David had enormous success with his debut and best-selling album. After that, David put a lot of his time and energy into philanthropy. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He even recorded a song for the film Meet the Mormons. Also, he has completed a missionary trip to Chile.

11. Kellie Pickler

Estimated net worth: $5 million

Kellie lost American Idol, but it didn’t stop her from winning Dancing with the Stars. Also, her debut album went gold.

Kellie is also the host of Pickler and Ben, a lifestyle daytime TV show on CMT. She also starred on the reality TV program, I Love Kellie Pickler.

10. Fantasia

Estimated net worth: $5 million

Barrino won the third season of American Idol, and from there she hit commercial success, with numerous successful albums. She even attracts the admiration of her idol, famous soul singer Patti LaBelle. She called her “Baby Patti LaBelle.”

Fantasia overcomes a tragic childhood and functional illiteracy to become one of the most successful American Idol stars. Her albums are still well sold, compared to here Idol peers.

9. Elliot Yamin

Estimated net worth: $6 million

Elliot is, according to Simon Cowell, ‘the best male vocalist’ ever on American Idol. Even Stevie Wonder, to Elliot, that he should only be in the music business. Although he has amazing singing skills, his Achilles hell are his dance skills and stage presence. Therefore, he ended third in the season.

After the show, Elliot managed to have a lasting career in music and even released nine albums. A diabetic himself, Elliot has dedicated plenty of effort and money to raise awareness on the deadly ailment.

8. Clay Aiken

Estimated net worth: $7 million

American Idol changed Aiken’s life. Moreover, he went through a massive transformation in the second season of the show. Although he took the second place, it didn’t stop him from having an amazing post-Idol career.

His first album, Measure of a Man, went double platinum. He had a TV appearance on the TV show The Office and Law and Order: SVU. He even ran for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional seat in 2014. He lost the election.

7. Katharine McPhee

Estimated net worth: $8 million

Katherine took second place on season five of the show. She was so close to winning, but she lost from Taylor Hicks. However, missing ion the title didn’t stop her from building her empire. That same year she released debut record on RCA records. It hit number 2 on the Billboard charts.

McPhee has income from different sources, including acting. She is mainly active on TV shows. Her role as Karen Cartwright on the NBC show Smash

6. Chris Daughtry

Estimated net worth: $10 million

American Idol shoed the world one thing – losing can be a blessing in disguise. No one knows is as Chris Daughtry does. He ended show’s fifth season being fourth. But that didn’t stop him.

Chris released the self-titled debut record and it was the fastest-selling debut rock record in history. Chris was visibly shocked when he didn’t take the 1st place in the show. Luckily, RCA Records immediately offered him a contract. His shows and albums continue to sell. Not bad for fourth place.

5. Jordin Sparks

Estimated net worth: $10 million

Jordin Sparks is the youngest winner of American Idol. She is also the only Americal Idol winner that had five singles debut on the top 20 of the Billboard Top 100.

Her current net worth is around $10 million. She got to that number through record sales and acting primarily. She also earned nicely from endorsements, she was supported by Avon and Wet Seal clothing. She is also a passionate philanthropist.

4. Jennifer Hudson

Estimated net worth: $20 million

It was clear from the first audition that Hudson is here to stay. Although she was placed seventh on season three, she had nothing but success in her career. Her first two albums went gold and nailed the role of Effie White in Dreamgirls.

Next to her music career, Jennifer made her money through acting as well. Furthermore, he was also a spokesperson for Weight Watchers. She was also seen as a coach on The Voice.

3. Adam Lambert

Estimated net worth: $20 million

When Adam Lambert lost to Kris Allen everyone was upset. Fans wanted him to win. As if they knew that Lambert is born to be a star. They were right.

His first album went platinum in three different countries. Also, he became the first openly gay singer to top the US Billboard Top 200.

2. Kelly Clarkson

Estimated net worth: $28 million

Kelly Clarkson will forever be known as the winner of the first season of American Idol. In addition, she is one of the most successful contestants ever. Her first single was the biggest jump up the Billboard charts in history. That record was originally set by The Beatles.

She took a bold step with her second album when she separated from her American Idol image and created a more rock and roll sound. She even hired a new talent manages. Surprisingly, the new strategy paid off. This album featured some of her most popular songs, including ‘Because of You’. Kelly built her net worth from singing, acting, coaching on The Voice, and being a successful children’s author.

1. Carrie Underwood

Estimated net worth: $85 million

After Carrie won season four of American Idol her career skyrocketed. At the time, Carrie was the only female artist to release four country music albums that came to number one. So far, she won 11 Billboard Music Awards, seven Grammy’s, 13 American Music Awards, and more.

Of course, she sold so far 65 million records worldwide. Carrie earns $500,000 per show.

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