Forbes ranks Top-Earning ‘Idols’ ; the elite three: Underwood, Clarkson and Daughtry

The Top-Earning ‘Idols’

Forbes’ rankings of the top-earning American Idol alums are based on earnings from album sales, concerts, endorsements and other income for the year from June 1, 2009, through May 2010.

No. 1: Carrie Underwood

$13 million

The Muskogee, Okla.-born country pop singer has won four Grammys, 14 Billboard Music Awards and five American Music Awards. She’s also sold 9.6 million albums.

No. 2: Kelly Clarkson

$11.7 million

Idol’s first winner has sold 10.6 million albums (along with 16.1 million digital tracks, according to Nielsen SoundScan). Her latest single, “Already Gone,” hit No. 3 on Billboard charts. Currently touring in New Zealand, she’ll play the Lilith Fair music festival this month. Clarkson, 28, is now working on her fifth album.

No. 3: Chris Daughtry

$10.2 million

After playing with a series of bar bands traveling around North Carolina, Daughtry made it to Idol’s final four in the fifth season. Since leaving the show he has sold 5.7 million copies of his two albums: a Grammy-nominated self-titled debut in 2006 and Leave This Town, released last year. Followers on Twitter: 159,000.

No. 4: Kellie Pickler

$7.6 million

Pickler was one of the hardest-working Idol alums this past year, with a 100-date concert schedule. The season five finalist has sold 1.3 million records, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

No. 5: Jordin Sparks

$3.7 million

Entering Idol competition at age 17, Sparks was the youngest winner in the show’s history. The season six winner broke out with “No Air,” a duet with R&B vocalist Chris Brown. She has toured with Alicia Keyes and the Jonas Brothers. Sparks’ second album, Battlefield, debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard charts.

No. 6: Jennifer Hudson

$3.5 million

Hudson ranks lower this year due to slowing album sales and a light touring schedule, yet she remains one of the most successful Idol alums. She placed just seventh in the third season but went on to win an Oscar in 2006 for her role in Dreamgirls. Her 2008 self-titled album, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, has sold over 750,000 copies. Earlier this year she signed on as the latest spokeswoman for Weight Watchers.

No. 7: David Cook

$2.8 million

Three years ago, David Cook was tending bar in Tulsa, Okla. After winning Idol’s seventh season title in 2008, his first single, “The Time of My Life,” debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Hot 100, followed by a debut album, David Cook, which went platinum. He continues a lucrative endorsement deal with Skechers shoes.

No. 8: David Archuleta

$2.2 million

Defeated in the seventh season by David Cook, Archuleta went on to release a self-titled album on Jive records that reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts. He has played more than 100 live shows since Idol. Twitter followers: 372,000.

No. 9: Clay Aiken

$2 million

The Raleigh, N.C., native maintains a loyal following six years after finishing second on Idol. He has sold 4 million albums and penned a New York Times bestselling memoir. Aiken recently finished a run in Broadway’s “Spamalot.”

No. 10: Kris Allen

$1.7 million

The Arkansas native gained traction with Idol fans with his acoustic version of Kanye West’s “Heartless.” He engineered a stunning upset over Adam Lambert last year. He signed with Jive Records and released a self-titled album that reached No. 11 on the Billboard 200. He’s been performing in Las Vegas and touring nationally.

Original story appears on

Summer Tour 09: American Idol in Kris Allen Land in Little Rock, AR


Little Rock, AR – FOX16 Top Stories of the day — American Idol Finalists: Allison Iraheta, Scott MacIntyre, Michael Sarver and winner Kris Allen talk to FOX16. Kris dishes they’re “watching a lot of ‘Family Guy'” and Michael Sarver says there’s a lot of junk food eating in the bus that Allison Iraheta calls “party bus.”




Idol fans flock to North Little Rock

American Idol 8 Tour Rehearsal: “Don’t Stop Believing” By Journey

The Idols run through their finale song at their rehearsal space before hitting the road- the classic Journey Song: “Don’t Stop Believing.” The American Idol Summer Live Tour kicks off in Portland, OR at the Rose Garden on July 5.

Sorry we’re not watching. Not paying to see Michael Sarver, Scott McIntyre and Lil Rounds mess up sing. Lil showed so much promise in the auditions and was an early favorite but she never delivered. Too bad. We think she really lost a lot of her fans- including us.

We want to see Alexis Grace!! We’ll pay to watch her perform anytime.

Kris Allen Signs Record Deal

After winning American Idol in the most shocking finale in the show’s history, Kris Allen has inked a record deal with 19 Entertainment and Jive Records.

“Kris won the hearts of millions of Americans with his soulful voice, good looks and gracious demeanor,” Simon Fuller, Idol’s creator and executive producer and CEO of 19 Entertainment, said in a statement. “However, it is his passion for music and love of performing that will make sure Kris stands the test of time and makes American Idol proud.”

“As exciting as the last few months have been, I’m really looking forward to what is next,” Allen said. “I’m very grateful to be working with Simon Fuller and his team at 19 Entertainment, along with Barry Weiss and Jive Records on my debut album. Everyone’s been asking me what it’s going to sound like. It will be very similar to what you heard from me on the show — definitely in the pop/rock genre. I can’t wait to get started!”

Up next, Kris and the rest of Idol’s top 10 are preparing for the upcoming 50-city American Idol 2009 Summer Tour, which kicks off on July 5 in Portland, Ore.

Allen’s debut album is due in the fall.



Kris Allen Calls Adam Lambert & Drake LaBry a ‘Cool Combination’

By Lorenzo Benet and Jenny Sundel

Although he’s encouraged people to keep speculating about his sexuality, Adam Lambert now says, “all your questions will be answered” in an upcoming issue of Rolling Stone.

“Finally,” he said at the 11th Annual Young Hollywood Awards Sunday in Santa Monica, where he was named artist of the year. “Once and for all” he’ll speak directly about the topic.

But the winner of American Idol, Kris Allen, 23, is already speaking out in support of his good friend and runner-up, praising Lambert for his openness.

“I think he’s happier that he can be himself and it’s nice,” Allen says of Lambert, 27, stepping out with his friend Drake LaBry. “Adam is who he is and he’s not afraid. I support him in whatever he does.”

Allen, back in Los Angeles Sunday to sing the national anthem at game 2 of the Lakers-Magic NBA championship series, says that he has met LaBry, and, “he’s a really nice guy.”

adam_lambert_drake_labryAllen calls Lambert and LaBry’s friendship a “cool combination,” because they’re so different. “Drake’s from Louisiana and Adam is from L.A.,” he says. “But they click well and they’re really nice together.”

Enjoying the Spotlight

Meanwhile, Allen looked relaxed an hour before singing the national anthem, which he executed to perfection, drawing a huge ovation from the Staples Center crowd, which included Rihanna, Diddy, Simon Baker and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Allen’s wife Katherine joined him at the game, which the Lakers won, and she has been with him for the past couple of weeks. “[Winning Idol] has completely changed our lives,” Allen says. “She is happy to be here and supporting me and she is just as excited as I am.”

And the couple have even more good news to share, as Allen has officially inked a record deal with 19 Recordings and Jive Records.

“I’m really looking forward to what is next,” Allen said in a statement about the deal. “I’m very grateful to be working with Simon Fuller and his team at 19 Entertainment, along with Barry Weiss and Jive Records on my debut album. Everyone’s been asking me what it’s going to sound like. It will be very similar to what you heard from me on the show – definitely in the pop/rock genre. I can’t wait to get started!”

With his debut album due in the fall, Allen – along with Lambert and the rest of season 8’s top 10 – is gearing up for the Idols Live Tour, which opens July 5 in Portland, Ore.

But Allen says his wife won’t be following him on the road. “She’s going to come to a couple of shows,” he says, “but then she is going to go home and hang out with friends and family.”


Original post at

Kris Allen’s Thoughts on Idol and the Future

American Idol Kris Allen charmed viewers all season long with his guy-next-door appeal and ability to rework popular songs into new works of art. On a press call soon after his win, Kris opened up about life as a newlywed, the winning song, and his future album.

Kris’ first audition was a very scary experience for him. He drove to the stadium and waited for 14 hours because he was in one of the last groups to audition. He was so sick that day that he couldn’t talk, and remained silent for the 14 hours. Something you many not have known is that Kris auditioned for American Idol with his brother. He said to his brother while they were waiting for their turn, “I really hope you get through because there’s no way I’m getting through.” Kris thought his audition was okay, but he was really surprised he was put through to the next round.

Kris married his high school sweetheart, Katy, just 8 months ago. It’s been a wild ride since he’s been involved with Idol throughout the length of their marriage, but they have a strong foundation from being together so many years. Katy has talked about quitting her job now that Kris is the American Idol, but she wouldn’t work for Kris. She has her own interests which include acting and charity work. Kris will support his wife with her endeavors the way she supported him throughout his Idol journey.

After Kris was crowned the American Idol of Season 8, he said “Adam deserved this.” Kris explained on the call that he thought Adam deserved it just as much as he did, and that Adam “was the most … read more

Original post

5/23 American Idol Dominates Itunes Top 100 Downloads Chart, Kris Allen’s “No Boundaries” in No.1 Spot

24 of the current Top 100 iTunes downloads is from American Idol Season 8. If we add past American Idol contestants, that is another 7 – 31 pop tracks total in the iTunes chart.  David Cook, Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler and Jordin Sparks singles are among included.

As of May 23, 2009 Kris Allen’s single “No Boundaries” is number one on the iTunes downloads chart beating finale rival Adam Lambert’s own version of the same song currently in number 16 spot.

“No Boundaries” is an original song written by Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, along with Cathy Dennis and Mitch Allan. When the song was first heard on the American Idol finale, Simon wasn’t impressed and laughed on the lyrics of the song. Most bloggers followed suit and called it among the worst songs ever written for Idol. With a strong lead in the iTunes chart, who is laughing now?

Overall, Kris Allen’s 12 American Idol performances is in the Top 100 with 4 songs in the top 20. Adam Lambert on the other hand has only 9 songs in the chart with “Mad World” at its highest in number 6 spot. Interestingly, only one of Danny Gokey’s songs is in the charts; “You are so Beautiful” currently in number 75.

These numbers of course changes from week to week yet no matter what most people say about how American Idol’s popularity and spark is dying beats the charts in contrast.  American Idol still clearly dominates the pop charts and that says a lot to a 6 year old reality television show.


Kris Allen Official Website Goes Live

You can create your own profile, upload photos and videos to your personal page, blog, send Kris messages, find friends in your area and so much more! Kris will be checking the site, interacting with fans, and listening to your suggestions to make the site the best it can be!

Be sure to check the site out for the latest:

– News & Events
– Personal blogs and vlogs from Kris
– Video clips, music videos
– Streaming audio
– Photo galleries
– Multimedia extras
– Exclusive content