6 Surprisingly Successful 'Idol' Contestants

After a very impressive 14 season run, it's official: The next season of American Idol will be the last. This news has been such a long time coming that it seems obvious Ryan Seacrest is somewhere, sighing in relief. And although over the past 13 years, Idol has churned out a few true superstars like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson, plenty of artists have kicked off pretty successful careers after being on the show, even if they didn't win. The show might not be the direct ticket to stardom that it advertises itself to be anymore, but it's definitely an awesome jumping off point for anyone who wants to break into the music industry. And even though we might not hear from them as often as "Since U Been Gone" is still on the radio, there are plenty of contestants who became surprisingly successful after American Idol .

An end to the show was inevitable as the ratings have recently hit all time lows, but it's still kind of sad to say goodbye to a show that has become an institution of American television. RIP, American Idol. It was awesome while it lasted, but you just don't have Adam Levine like The Voice does.

Besides, Idol is never really dead — especially not as long as these successful contestants keep kicking musical butt.

Jordin Sparks


After winning the show in Season 6 when she was only 17, Sparks went on to become the only contestant ever to have her first four singles reach the top 20 on the Billboard charts — yep, that's something that not even Clarkson or Underwood has accomplished. She didn't just limit herself to music, either. In 2012, she even starred in her first movie, Sparkle.

Phillip Phillips

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Phillips won Season 11 in 2012, and his singles have been all over the radio ever since, especially "Home," which has been used in every commercial ever. Last year, he released his second album, which debuted at number seven.

Adam Lambert

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Lambert was a pretty big deal when he became the runner-up on Season 7 of Idol. Why? Because believe it or not, he made some major history. Lambert was the first openly gay male to have an album debut at number one on the Billboard charts, which is obviously huge. He also had a recurring role in the fifth season of Glee, where Lambert played Starchild.

Katharine McPhee

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McPhee might not have won American Idol, but her first album debuted at number two — and she went on to star in the short-lived NBC musical show, Smash.

Kellie Pickler

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Although Pickler hasn't released an album since 2013, she's been pretty successful — she toured with Taylor Swift, competed on Dancing With The Stars, and I still listen to the single she co-wrote with Swift, "Best Days Of Your Life." Download it. Seriously, it's the perfect revenge song.

Chris Daughtry

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Daughtry didn't win American Idol, but he did form a band very appropriately called Daughtry that isn't doing too shabby. He even managed to nab several Grammy nominations, and to this day he's constantly on the radio, which is definitely a very good sign for his career.

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