Check It Out, Dawg: 45 American Idol Contestants Who Cashed Out Big Time After Being On The ShowBy Aakash M
American Idol came out in June 2002, and it took no time for it to become one of the most-watched TV shows in America. It is a cultural sensation, and it’s also a show that kickstarted the singing careers of many big-time artists. American Idol is also the platform that many up-and-coming artists use to showcase their talents and win the hearts of their fanbase. To this day, almost all of those fans have been loyal to those singers. While most of these American Idol Alums won the competition, you will be surprised to know the amount of money other finalists also make. Considering that, they’re winners as well! So, let’s see some of the wealthiest American Idol contestants who graced the show with their presence.
1. Allison Iraheta
Allison Iraheta is a singer who finished fourth in the eighth season of American Idol(2009). She was also a very young performer, as she was 17 during that time. Today, Allison is proud to have a net worth of $400,000.
After finishing fourth in the show, she released Just Like You, which was her debut album. She also went on to become the frontwoman for the band Halo Circus. In 2020, she joined the band Fuhm. Later, the band released their first single, Send Out the Clown.
2. Laine Hardy
Laine Hardy is a singer who was also the winner of one of the most recent American Idol seasons. He was the winner of the seventeenth season of the show (2019). As of today, Laine has a net worth of $500,000.
After he won the seventeenth season of Idol, Laine released his first single named Flame in 2019. After that, he also had some TV performances in 2020. He was on The Bachelor, and he also released his first album back in September 2021.
3. Lee DeWyze
Most of you must recognize that face. Lee DeWyze is a singer-songwriter who was also the winner of the ninth season of American Idol (2010). Before Idol, he has had a solo career. As of today, Lee has a net worth of $500,000.
He also had a successful solo career after the Idol, and he married Joanna Walsh. Lee DeWyze still continues to tour, and he is a well-established singer-songwriter. His track Blackbirds Song was also featured on The Walking Dead. We are impressed by his continued success.
4. Blake Lewis
Blake Lewis is a musician, singer, and actor who finished second in the sixth season of American Idol (2007). He was the one with outstanding beatboxing and singing skills that took us all for a ride. Blake Lewis has a net worth of $600,000.
Blake never left the music industry after Idol. He created The Private Group with producer KJ Sawka. It is an EDM-funk-pop-infused fantastic song. Blake found a lot of success in recording and touring as a solo act after the Idol.
5. William Hung
William Hung had auditioned for the third season of American Idol, but it was an unsuccessful one, making him one of the seasons unfortunate jokes. However, that didn’t stop him. As of today, he is a motivational speaker who also has a net worth of $600,000.
Although he couldn’t qualify for the show, he was a huge pop culture success. He appeared on many commercials after Idol. He also made movies. In 2011, he left that side to become a technical crime analyst for the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
6. Justin Guarini
Justin Guarini is a man who needs no introduction, as he was the runner-up of the first season of American Idol (2002). He is also a singer, musician, actor, host, and record producer. Justin Guarini has a net worth of $700,000.
Since Idol, Justin has found a lot of his success in broadway shows. He has starred in Broadway shows like Romeo and Juliet, Wicked, and American Idiot. Currently, Guarini works in a musical theater at Pace University. He also is a mentor for aspiring actors.
7. Constantine Maroulis
Constantine Maroulis is an actor and rock singer who finished in sixth place in the fourth season of the show American Idol. Everybody who watched that season can agree that his voice is impressive. He has a $750,000 net worth.
Since the Idol, things had been difficult for Constantine Maroulis, but he found his way. Now, Constantine has a successful career in entertainment, and he has released many records. He is also the host of the Constantine Maroulis Show on WABC radio.
8. Lauren Alaina
Lauren Alaina is a singer, songwriter, and actress who finished second in the tenth season of the show American Idol. She starred on the show at the tender age of 15. As of today, she has a net worth of $800,000.
She continues to enjoy her success as an actress, author, and of course, a country artist. Lauren is 27, and she recently released her third album Sitting Pretty on Top of the World. In 2021, Lauren released a book that she wrote on personal growth titled Getting Good at Being You.
9. Lindsey Cardinale
Do you know Lindsey Cardinale? She is an American country singer and university student who was also a participant in the fourth season of American Idol in 2005. She finished twelfth in the competition. As of today, Lindsey Cardinale has a $950,000 net worth.
Music wasn’t the only industry for Lindsey, as she had many other passions. Although she occasionally sings, Lindsey is a rodeo rider and a mom. She’s won many competitions, and she was also a part of the World Series of Team Roping in Texas.
10. Crystal Bowersox
To the surprise of many, Crystal Bowersox was the runner-up of the ninth season of the show. She is a singer-songwriter who was also the first female finalist of the show in three years. Today, she has a net worth of $1 million.
After the show, she released her debut album, Farmer’s Daughter. After that, she released her second album, All That For This, which was released in 2013. She still makes music, and she released Hitchhiker, which was her latest album, on the first day of 2022.
11. Caleb Johnson
Caleb Johnson is a singer who was also the winner of the thirteenth season of American Idol (2014). He was the frontman for a band before appearing on the show. As of today, Caleb has a net worth of $1 million.
After Idol, Caleb went on to record his debut album Testify. Later on, he also created his own label and released Born From Southern Ground, which features elements that are more in line with his musical interests. Recently, he lent his voice to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
12. Candice Glover
Candice Glover is an R&B singer and actress. She was the winner of the twelfth season of American Idol (2013). As of today, Candice Glover has a net worth of $1 million. What’s different about her is that she won the Idol on her third try!
Things were a bit slow for her career since she also took a few years off after the show. However, in 2017, she started her outstanding broadway career by showcasing her vocal skills. She still tours the world and performs.
13. Frenchie Davis
Frenchie Davis is a fantastic singer who was a contestant in the second season of American Idol. Unfortunately, she had to be disqualified from the show for specific reasons. But that didn’t stop her. Today, she has a $1 million net worth.
Before being disqualified, she was on the way to becoming one of the finalists on the show. After the Idol, she went on to compete on The Voice, where she came fifth. She has also had a highly successful Broadway career.
14. Nick Fradiani
Until now, we mainly saw contestants who weren’t so recent. Although this one isn’t the newest, he is newer than what we have seen. Nick Fradiani was the winner of the fourteenth season of the show. He has a $1 million net worth.
He had a pretty busy schedule after winning the show. Nick represented American Idol in various TV spots in the year after that, and at the same time, he was also working on a new album. Later on, he worked on many more projects of his own.
15. Taylor Hicks
How many of you remember the singer Taylor Hicks from American Idol. Let us jog your memory. He was the winner of the fifth season of American Idol (2006). As of today, Taylor Hicks has a net worth of $1 million.
Since the Idol, he toured with live American Idol shows, just like many other winners of the show. Despite all that, Taylor still found time to release the song Do I Make You Proud, which topped the Billboard charts upon its release.
16. Ace Young
Ace Young didn’t win Idol, but he was a contestant everybody remembers. Young was one of the top seven contestants in the fifth season of American Idol (2006). As of today, Ace Young has a net worth of $1 million.
Although he didn’t quite make it to the finals, he had a lot of success after the show. He continued with his performances, songwriting, and touring. Ace has spent a lot of his time in musicals, out of which some of the most notable ones are Hair and Grease.
17. Tamyra Gray
Tamyra Gray is a highly successful actress, singer, and songwriter, who was also one of the participants of the first season of American Idol. She finished in fourth place in the show. Today, she has a net worth of $1 million.
Since the Idol, she has stayed considerably busy. Tamyra appeared as a guest star on many shows from 2003 and 2006, including Ghost Whisperer and Boston Public. She has also acted in movies like Rachel Getting Married. She is married to Sam Watters.
18. Melinda Dolittle
Melinda Dolittle is a singer who finished as a third-place finalist in the sixth season of American Idol (2007). She impressed everybody with her voice on the show. As of today, Melinda has a net worth of around $1.5 million.
She’s a natural performer, and she continues to perform to this day. She’s famous for singing national symphonies. Melinda has even performed at the United States Air Force. She also wrote an autobiography called Beyond Me: Finding Your Way to Life’s Next Level.
19. James Durbin
James Durbin is a singer and guitarist who finished fourth in the tenth season of American Idol (2011). He was quite a famous contestant on the show, and as of today, James Durbin has a net worth of $1.5 million.
Right after the show, Durbin produced two more albums, and he also raised funds for a third album released in 2016. He has a wife and two children, who are often featured in his songs. You can also see their pictures on his social media handles.
20. Kimberly Locke
Kimberly Locke is a known singer-songwriter who finished in third place in the second season of American Idol (2003). As of today, Kimberly Locke has a net worth of $1.5 million. Since her third-place finish, Locke has been busy.
She still continues to sing, and she has released many singles and complete records. Kimberly has also found an enormous amount of success as a host, as she guest-hosted many programs. She was also a Jenny Craig and Lane Bryant spokesperson.
21. Haley Reinhart
Haley Reinhart finished third place in the tenth season of American Idol (2011). Today, she’s a singer, songwriter, and actress. She has acted on both TV and films, and she has also played voice roles. Haley has a $1.5 million net worth.
Ever since the Idol, she has been pretty busy, as she released four studio albums. She tours regularly, and she still collaborates with Casey Abrams, a fellow American Idol contestant. Haley was also the first American Idol contestant to perform at Lollapalooza.
22. Diana DeGarmo
Diana DeGarmo is a singer-songwriter and actress who was the runner-up of the third season of American Idol (2004). She was one of the youngest contestants on the show, as she was only 16 at that time. She has a $1.5 million net worth.
Since Idol, she continues to perform. She also went into acting, where she started with musical theater. Diana has seen some significant success with many of her broadway projects. She also landed a role in The Young and the Restless soap opera.
23. Bo Bice
Bo Bice is a singer and musician who finished second in the fourth season of American Idol (2005), which Carrie Underwood won. He had released a solo album and a few band albums before American Idol. He has a $1.5 million net worth.
Bo Bice continued releasing music after Idol. He released his album The Real Thing right after the show, which was pretty successful. Later, Bo Bice started his own record label and released two more albums. He was also the lead singer of the band Blood, Sweat & Tears.
24. Josh Gracin
Josh Gracin is an American country music singer who finished fourth in the second season of American Idol (2003). He was also a former member of the US Marine Corps. Josh Gracin has a net worth of about $2 million.
After completing the show, he completed his service in the US Marine Corps. Although he was famous by then, he served till he was honorably discharged. He continues to sing, write and release music, perform live, and go on tours.
25. Ruben Studdard
Every American Idol fan must be aware of Ruben Studdard and his fantastic voice. He’s a singer and actor who was the winner of the second season of American Idol (2003). As of this day, Ruben Studdard has a $3 million net worth.
Since the Idol, he has had a pretty successful singing and acting career. He has produced quite a few albums, and he has also got a Grammy nomination for one of those. Ruben has also appeared as a guest on various TV shows.
Do you remember Mandisa from the fifth season of American Idol? She finished as one of the top 9 contestants in the competition. As of today, Mandisa has a net worth of $3 million. Mandisa went through a lot in life.
She overcame many things, from Simon Cowell’s comments on her weight to a fight against food addiction, depression, and the loss of a best friend. Today, she is a Grammy award-winning artist who goes on frequent gospel and Christian music circuit tours.
27. Kris Allen
Kris Allen is a musician and singer-songwriter who was the winner of the eighth season of American Idol in 2009. He had also self-released an album in 2007 named Brand New Shoes. Kris Allen has a net worth of $3.5 million.
Since his win, Kris has had a pretty busy schedule. He has made many appearances and sang many coronation songs that consistently do well on pop charts. He frequently tours the world, and one of his tours was with fellow alum David Cook. Kris is also a philanthropist.
28. Philip Phillips
Philip Phillips is a famous musician and singer-songwriter who was the winner of the eleventh season of American Idol in 2012. He is the singer of Home, the best-selling song in American history. He has an outstanding $3.5 million net worth.
Since winning the Idol, his career has taken off to great heights. Philip still tours and often performs two of his biggest hits, ‘Home‘ and ‘Gone, Gone, Gone.’ He has more than a million digital sales and streams on Spotify and Pandora.
29. Clay Aiken
Clay Aiken is a widely renowned TV personality and singer. Aiken was the runner-up of the second season of American Idol (2003). Today, Clay Aiken has a net worth of $4 million. Apart from being a TV personality and actor, he’s also an activist and political candidate.
Since the Idol, he’s a Broadway star who also tours regularly. Aiken is also a political advocate. He ran for Congress, and he hosts the political podcast ‘How the Heck…’ Aiken is also a UNICEF ambassador. He continues to be very busy.
30. Kimberly Caldwell
Kimberly Caldwell finished in the top 7 in the second season of the American Idol. She has a $4 million net worth. Apart from being an immensely talented singer, Kimberly Caldwell is also known for being an actress and a TV host.
American Idol was more like a launching platform for Kimberly. She has hosted several shows, and she has also had guest roles on many TV shows. Also, she’s a regular on one of the most famous TV shows, The Steve Harvey Show.
31. Scotty McCreery
Scotty McCreery is a country music singer who was also the winner of the tenth season of American Idol (2011). That’s the reason why this face looks so familiar. As of today, Scotty McCreery has a $4 million net worth.
Since winning the Idol, he has released various highly successful albums. Back in September 2021, he released his fifth studio album. Many of his songs have topped the Billboard charts, that too, without any record label behind him. His debut album went platinum.
Fantasia is an R&B singer who finished as the winner of the third season of American Idol (2004). She rose to fame, as her win in the third season gave her a lot of national recognition. She has a $4 million net worth.
Before the Idol, she went through a lot of things. She also had a lot of ups and downs after the show, as she was struggling with mental health problems. But, she still released many chart-topping albums, won a Grammy, starred in shows, and rose above all the issues.
33. Todrick Hall
Todrick Hall was one of the top 16 participants in the ninth season of American Idol (2010). He gained massive attention from the show, and today, Todrick is a singer, songwriter, choreographer, and also a YouTuber. Hall has a net worth of $4 million.
Since his participation in the Idol, he became a choreographer, and he was also a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Although he released four albums, he has remained in the reality TV scene by participating in shows like The Masked Singer and Celebrity Big Brother.
34. David Cook
Many of you must already know the rock singer-songwriter David Cook. He was also the winner of the seventh season of American Idol (2008). As of today, David Cook has a net worth of $5 million. He also formed a high school band that released three studios and four live albums.
Since winning the Idol, he has produced various hit songs. He also set many Billboard records, with 11 songs debuting on the Billboard 100. Before David Cook, Miley Cyrus was the holder of this record. David also signed an endorsement deal with Skechers.
35. David Archuleta
David Archuleta was also among the youngest performers on the show. He was only 17 when he finished second in the seventh season of American Idol. Had he won, he would’ve tied with Jordin Sparks. He has a $5 million net worth.
He still creates music regularly. His latest album came out in 2020, which was also his eighth album. Archuleta also continues to tour and perform live regularly. He released quite a few singles after the album, hinting that another album is underway.
36. Elliot Yamin
Elliot Yamin is an American singer who finished third in the fifth season of the American Idol (2006). As of today, Elliot Yamin has a net worth of $6 million. He still wows people with his voice, just like he used to in the Idol.
Since finishing third in the fifth season, Elliot has released many studio albums. He also does live performances and tours across the USA. He is a diabetic, which is also why he has been highly involved in spreading awareness and treatment for the condition.
37. Lauren Daigle
Lauren Daigle is different from the contestants we saw above because she didn’t win the Idol or make it to the top places. But, she participated twice, in season 9 (2011) and season 10 (2012). She has a $6 million net worth.
Since her participation, she has had success as a contemporary Christian music singer-songwriter. Her songs have made it to the top of Billboard’s Christian albums. Her album Look Up Child became one of the highest-charting Christian albums on the Billboard 200 till this day.
38. Kellie Pickler
Kellie Pickler is an authentic country music singer-songwriter who was one of the top 6 contestants in the fifth season of American Idol (2006). Her voice is splendid. As of today, Kellie Pickler has a net worth of $7 million.
Kellie is one of the performers who used the Idol as a platform to build an incredible career for herself. She still writes and creates music. She is also a TV personality, as she has hosted talk shows. Lastly, Kelly has a vast social media fanbase.
39. Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks is the winner of the sixth season of American Idol (2007). What’s fascinating is that she was also the youngest winner of the show, since she was only 17 during her victory. She has an $8 million net worth.
She still holds the record for being the youngest winner in American Idol history. After the Idol, her music career took off pretty well, which isn’t a huge surprise. She has a million album sales under her name, making her one of the most successful artists to grace the show.
40. Chris Daughtry
Chris Daughtry was one such contestant that everybody thought would win the Idol. That’s why his elimination looked unexpected to those who watched the show. Daughtry was one of the top four contestants of the show’s fifth season. He has an $8 million net worth.
Although his elimination was a shock for us, and even for him, his success after the show is definitely not a shock. He is the lead singer of the rock band, Daughtry, also named after him. The band sold a million albums just within its first five weeks.
41. Katherine McPhee
Katherine McPhee participated in the fifth season of American Idol in 2006. She finished in second place. As of today, Katherine is a highly successful singer-songwriter with a net worth of around $14 million. She’s also a successful actress.
Although she has released five studio albums since post-American Idol, she has found much of her success in acting. She has been an integral part of many hit shows, like Scorpion on CBS. She also played the lead role for four months on Waitress; the hit Broadway show.
42. Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer didn’t win or finish second, unlike the contestants we saw above. In fact, she was one of the top 7 contestants of the third season of American Idol (2004). Although she didn’t make it to the finals, she’s a successful singer and actress with a $25 million net worth.
After being eliminated, Jennifer played the role of Effie White in the outstanding film Dreamgirls, which had one Academy Award nomination. She has also won an Oscar, two Grammys, a Daytime Emmy, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
43. Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert was the runner of the eighth season of American Idol in 2009. Well, that was back then. Today, Adam Lambert is one of the most successful and dynamic singer-songwriters, and he has a net worth of $30 million.
Since finishing at second-place in the Idol, he has found a lot of success in his personal albums, since he has sold more than 3 million albums and 5 million singles globally. Lambert has also collaborated with the legendary band Queen for many world tours.
44. Kelly Clarkson
Everybody who started watching American Idol from the first season knows very well about the one and only Kelly Clarkson. She was the winner of the first season of the show. As of today, Kelly has a net worth of $45 million.
Since winning the first Idol, she hasn’t stopped. She has released hits after hits, and she has also been a judge on The Voice, another reality TV singing show. Recently, she started The Kelly Clarkson Show, which she also hosts.
45. Carrie Underwood
We’d never go without mentioning Carrie Underwood. For those who don’t know her, she was the winner of the fourth season of American Idol (2005). Today, Carrie Underwood has an astounding net worth of $140 million.
Since winning the Idol, she has been a really famous superstar. She still creates fantastic music, and she’s also the current singer of the NFL theme song every Sunday. Apart from that, she has a clothing line and a fitness app.