Wednesday, 16 January 2008

American Idol Winners : Did They All Find Success?

Have you been keeping up with the many accomplishments of American Idol winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Hicks? Find out what the American Idol winners are doing now!

American Idol Winners

Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson will go down in history as the first winner of American Idol. But that's not the accomplishment that has defined this singer's amazing career.

  • Kelly's first single, "A Moment Like This," set a record when it went from number 52 to number one on the Billboard singles chart in one week.

  • Kelly Clarkson's first album, Thankful, debuted at number one on the Billboard album chart, selling 297,000 copies in its first week. It was certified double platinum.
  • Kelly recorded songs for the soundtracks of movies including Love Actually.

  • Her second album, Breakaway, went five times platinum by 2006. The album boasted hit singles including "Since You've Been Gone," and "Breakaway."

  • Kelly won countless awards, including Grammy awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album.
  • Kelly's videos have been well-received on MTV, often reaching number one on the network's TRL video countdown.

Did you know?

  • Kelly was 20 years old when she tried out for Idol.
  • Kelly is from Burleson, Texas.
  • Before Idol, Kelly worked as a cocktail waitress.

Ruben Studdard

Ruben Studdard was dubbed the Velvet Teddy Bear during season two of American Idol. But was he smooth enough to launch a successful music career after Idol?

  • Ruben's first album, Soulful, debut at number one on the Billboard album chart, selling 400,000 copies.

  • The album's first single, "Sorry for 2004," peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

  • When the album hit stores, critics were buzzing about the fact that Clay Aiken, the singer Ruben beat on American Idol, was selling more records than the Velvet Teddy Bear.

  • Ruben was nominated for his first Grammy in 2003, for his vocal performance of the song "Superstar."

  • Ruben released a Gospel album in 2004. It sold 96,000 copies in its first week. That number was good enough to send it to number one on the Gospel charts.

  • According to his website, Ruben has sold more than 2 million albums in the United States.

  • Ruben released the R&B album The Return is Fall, 2006. That album peaked at number 8 on the Billboard album chart.

  • In his personal life, Ruben has become a vegetarian. The overweight star has also taken steps to lose weight.

Did you know?

  • Ruben was 25 years old when he tried out for American Idol.

  • He is from Birmingham, Alabama.

  • Ruben was a voice major at Alabama A&M University.

Fantasia Barrino

Season three winner Fantasia Barrino was a young, struggling single mom when she tried out for American Idol. How has her life changed?

  • Fantasia's first single "I Believe" debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. According to Billboard, she was the first new artist in history to debut a single at number one.

  • Fantasia's first album, Free Yourself, peaked at number three on The Billboard Charts. The album included singles such as Baby Mama, which only made it number 60 on the Hot 100 singles chart.

  • In 2005, Fantasia released the book, Life Is Not a Fairytale, which revealed Fantasia's struggles as a single teen mother and high school dropout. She also revealed that she was functional illiterate.

  • In 2006, Fantasia starred in a TV movie based on Life Is Not a Fairytale.

  • Fantasia released her second, self-titled album in December, 2006. It received praise from critics, but debuted at number 19 on the Billboard album chart.

Did you know?

  • Fantasia is from High Point, North Carolina.
  • Fantasia as 19 years old when she tried out for American Idol
  • Fantasia has a daughter named Zion.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood was the first American Idol winner to release a country album. Did country music fans welcome her with open arms?

  • Carrie's first song, "Inside Your Heaven," debuted as the best-selling song in the country. 170,000 copies were sold during the single's first week in stores.

  • Carrie's first album, which included the singles "Jesus Take The Wheel" and "Some Hearts," has gone five times platinum.

  • Carrie landed advertising deals with Hershey's and Sketchers after winning on Idol.

  • Carrie won the best female vocalist award at the 2006 CMA Awards, beating artists including Faith Hill.

  • Her other honors include winning the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award at the 2006 American Music Awards.

  • Carrie was selected was one of People magazine's Most Beautiful People of 2006.

  • In a PETA poll, she was voted the world's sexiest vegetarian.

  • Carrie completed her college degree after winning Idol.

Did you know?

  • Carrie was 21 years old when she tried out for American Idol.

  • Carrie is from the small town Checotah, OK.

  • Carrie plays guitar and piano.

Taylor Hicks

Who would have thought silver-haired Soul Patroler Taylor Hicks would win American Idol? Did he succeed though he didn't seem to fit in with today's pop stars?

  • Since winning American Idol, Taylor has made countless appearances around the country and on popular TV shows.

  • People magazine named Taylor America's Most Eligible Bachelor in 2006.

  • Meanwhile, Taylor's American Idol single "Do I Make You Proud" peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

  • But "Takin' It To The Streets," which would be the first single from his debut album, peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

  • Despite the poor sales of his first single, Taylor's self-titled album debut at number two on The Billboard 200 album chart, selling 298,000 copies. But by it's fourth week on the charts, the album had dropped to number 47.

  • Fans took notice that Chris Daughtry, who finished fifth on American Idol, was outselling Taylor.

  • Taylor was set to kick off a nationwide tour in Winter, 2007.

Did You Know?

  • Taylor was 29 years old when he tried out for American Idol.
  • Taylor is from Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Taylor performed in nightclubs and small venues before auditioning for Idol.
  • Taylor flew to Las Vegas to audition for American Idol.

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