'American Idol' winners through the years
BY RITA SHERROW World Television Editor
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
5/24/11 at 12:30 PM
"American Idol" kicks off its 10th season Wednesday. Here's a look at the past winners, and where they are now.
2002: Season one winner - Kelly Clarkson has toured uber-successfully worldwide as a solo act and is still performing to sold-out houses as a rock star. She has reportedly sold 36 million singles and 23 million albums around the world.
2003: Ruben Studdard, “the Velvet Teddy Bear,” has recorded four studio albums, starred in the 30th anniversary production of the musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” and toured last summer with the season two second-place finisher Clay Aiken.
2004: Fantasia Monique Barrino has had a rough personal life and has found her professional life to be a roller coaster. She has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards and had her own reality show on VH1 “Fantasia for Real.” Last August, she was accused of being the other woman in a divorce case and, according to her manager, took “an overdose of aspirin and a sleep aid” in a suicide attempt. She has released three studio albums.
2005: Checotah’s Carrie Marie Underwood has racked up more than 70 major awards and is a multi-platinum selling country artist in addition to her hosting duties for the Country Music Awards, singing award-nominated songs for popular films, guest appearances on network TV and acting alongside Dennis Quaid in the new 2011 film “Soul Surfer.” Oh, and she married her favorite hockey player, Mike Fisher, last June.
2006: Birmingham’s Taylor Hicks won the fifth season and, according to popeater.com, has released two studio albums and is playing Teen Angel in the touring production of “Grease.”
2007: Season six winner Jordin Sparks won at age 17, opened for both The Jonas Brothers and Britney Spears’ Circus” tour, earned numerous awards and nominations and has sold more than 9 million singles. Last year, she debuted on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning musical “In the Heights” and is reportedly working on new songs with John Legend.
2008: Former Tulsan David Cook is looking forward to the release of his new album and is reportedly planning another tour. He’s won Teen Choice Awards, The New Music Awards and Nashville Music Awards and has made numerous public and television appearances. He missed joining the other “American Idol” winners performing a farewell tribute to Simon Cowell on the 2010 season finale of “Idol” because of a charity event in Kansas City. He’s still working for charity and will be return May 1 for his third year in the Annual Race for Hope in Washington, DC. The event “helps raise awareness and funding to benefit the brain tumor community.” Cook’s brother Adam lost his battle with brain cancer in May 2009.
2009: Kris Allen, an Arkansas native, was the first married contestant to win the contest. He’s since gone out on a solo tour and opened for the likes of Keith Urban, OneRepublic, Maroon 5, Barenaked Ladies and Daughtry, also an “AI” alumnus.
2010: Lee DeWyze released his first post-“Idol” album last November and he has two earlier independent albums out. He was the headliner on the “American Idol LIVE Tour” last year.
Oklahoma "American Idols" Carrie Underwood and David Cook.