“American Idol” is responsible for some of the best, and worst performances when it comes to singing. The show has featured some of the most hilarious bad auditions ever seen, but also has some of the most competitive showdowns in the genre. And once the actual competition starts, things get really serious.
Many singers who won the title of “American Idol” have gone on to create incredible careers for themselves. We’ve tracked their progress and ranked them as the most financially successful finalists from the show. One thing is for sure; they all have some of the most inspiring stories of hard work, dedication, and eventual payoff. Take a look at the wealthiest “American Idol” participants who started off on the show.
Ruben Studdard - $3 Million
Ruben Studdard, also known as “The Velvet Teddy Bear,” was one of the most unique and charismatic candidates in "American Idol" history. The soul singer and entertainer did extremely well for himself after the show ended. He released multiple platinum and gold records and even developed his own successful theater and acting career on Broadway.
Studdard’s accomplishments don’t stop there, as the talented singer also managed to appear in various films and TV shows, including the popular Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. While he’s not nearly as popular today as back in his "American Idol" prime, Studdard enjoys a healthy income and a growing base of dedicated fans that love him and his music.
Danny Gokey - $600,000
Although Danny Gokey ended up in third place on "American Idol", he still managed to take the spotlight and make a moderately successful singing career for himself. The singer made both the judges and fans cry with his incredibly tragic story about his wife’s passing. After the show, Gokey was nominated for an American Country Music Award and a Grammy.
Since then, Gokey has signed on with Capitol Christian Music Group and continues releasing mostly Christian-oriented music. He’s still very much active as a singer, and his songs regularly reach millions of views on YouTube. The singer ended up receiving another Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.
Fantasia - $5 Million
This list could not be complete without the wonderful Fantasia, who ended up winning the third season of "American Idol" by a longshot. The beautiful and talented singer is admired by many and even garnered respect from her idol. She was called “Baby Patti LaBelle” by her mentor and iconic soul singer, Patti LaBelle, a title which she proudly carries to this day.
Fantasia is one of the most inspirational success stories to ever come through "American Idol", as she had to claw her way from a tragic childhood and functional illiteracy to reach her position. The singer is a multi-platinum artist and continues to star on the Billboard 200 chart many years after her initial marketing boost from appearing on the popular reality show.
William Hung - $600,000
Although William Hung was taken out before even passing the auditions of "American Idol," his hilarious cover of Ricky Martin’s hit “She Bangs” ended up going viral. The young singer began getting approached by various record companies who wanted to ride the wave of his popularity and happily obliged them with an album that reached 34 on the U.S. charts.
William Hung definitely rode on some unfortunate Asian stereotypes to reach his level of fame and success at the time. He has since retired from music and is currently a crime analyst for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Luckily, the hilarious singer managed to grab a cool half a million dollars on his way out the door and left quite a legacy on YouTube.
Jordin Brianna Sparks - $10 Million
You knew we’d eventually get to Jordin Sparks, the award-winning singer who secured first place on the sixth season of "American Idol." What makes this talented musician so unique, is that she was the youngest winner in the show’s history, achieving her victory before she was even eighteen. After her win, Sparks released an album that sold over two million copies.
Jordin Brianna Sparks went on to release several best-selling singles. Her most successful song was “No Air,” which she recorded with Chris Brown. The single ended up becoming the third highest-selling single by any "American Idol" contestant, with over three million digital copies sold in the United States alone. Did we tell you she even won a Grammy?
Chris Daughtry - $10 Million
Although Chris Daughtry came quite short of winning the fifth season of "American Idol" (he ended up in fourth place), he used this opportunity to become one of the most successful ones to come from the famous reality TV show. With a net worth of $10 million, this man’s career is nothing short of a miracle, as he managed to surpass even the season’s winner.
Immediately after his appearance on "American Idol," Chris Daughtry was approached by RCA Records, who saw a lot of potential in the singer. He has since founded a band called Daughtry, and their self-titled album ended up becoming the fastest-selling debut rock record in history. This is probably the most successful fourth-place post-competition win of all time.
Mandisa - $3 Million
Let’s start with the obvious, Mandisa was treated quite terribly by Simon Cowell during her run in "American Idol’s" tough competition. She ended up reaching ninth place, but not without being constantly criticized for her weight by the tough music producer. Instead of being mad and losing motivation, this only caused the singer to become even more bold.
By the end of the show, the beautiful Mandisa gave Cowell a very undeserved hug and wished him the best. She used her exposure from the show to launch a debut album, which put her at number one on the Top Christian Albums chart. Since then, Mandisa has used her love and positive message to become one of the most popular gospel singers in the U.S. today.
Lee DeWyze - $500,000
Lee DeWyze started out as a promising performer on the ninth season of "American Idol" and ended up winning the entire show. From there, he went on to have a solo career. While DeWyze has lost most of his popularity over the years, he still releases albums every few years or so. His most recent one, "Paranoia," was released in early 2018 to moderate success.
What made this "American Idol" winner so unique, was his inspiring transformation from a shy singer to quite the jaw-dropper. Although he hasn’t enjoyed massive stardom like many other winners of the show, Lee DeWyze seems to be doing alright for himself. His most famous song since then has been the “Blackbird Song,” which went viral for about a week.
Sanjaya Malakar - $300,000
Throughout his time on "American Idol's" sixth season, Sanjaya Malara was quite a controversial figure and even had his very own beef with judge Simon Cowell. The star finished the show in seventh place after being voted off by the judges, despite having quite a bit of public support thanks to his relatability, easy-going nature, and fantastic singing abilities.
After his time with "American Idol," the singer went on to appear in various TV shows. He recently appeared on the second season of the reality television show "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!," and ended up placing fifth. After his peak in 2007, Malakar faded out of public awareness, but not before being ranked third on Time's 100 Most Influential People of the Year.
Scotty McCreery - $4 Million
In the tenth season of "Idol," the main guy was Scotty McCreery. The young singer basically blew over the competition with his inspirational voice and charming personality. He won the season and just kept going.
Since his win on "American Idol," McCreery went on to release several albums which went platinum and gold. He’s also quite a big fan of baseball and used his status as a celebrity to score the first pitch at a White Sox game. The talented singer's albums and media fame helped him achieve a net worth of just over $4 million, and the rest of the future looks extremely bright for this young star.
Kris Allen - $3.5 Million
Kris Allen is proof that grit, determination, and courage can truly make a difference when it comes to becoming famous. The singer and guitarist was quite active even before appearing on "American Idol," which prepared him for his incredible win on the show’s eighth season. After this, Allen released a self-titled album that reached eleventh place on the Billboard 200.
Since his appearance on the show, Kris Allen decided to focus on two things: making great music and helping improve the planet. Regarding his music career, the singer has released four albums that have all been moderately successful. His humanitarian ventures have been a mixed endeavor, as he once contracted a rare form of hepatitis during a mission that nearly killed him.
Kelly Clarkson - $28 Million
The success of Kelly Clarkson after winning "American Idol’s" first season is nearly unparalleled, turning her into one of the best-known and most beloved singers in the entire world. The singer has built herself a net worth of almost $30 million thanks to having millions of very dedicated fans.
Clarkson’s debut single started off in the top 100, but quickly jumped to number one, making it the single largest popularity leap for a song in music history (a record she took away from The Beatles). The singer took a huge risk on her second album and went for a more rock-oriented direction, which ended up paying off, as it became her most successful album to date.
Clay Aiken - $7 Million
Clay Aiken is one of the most successful "American Idol" “losers” of all time. The singer brilliantly used his exposure to launch an extremely successful musical career, while also pursuing Broadway performances and even attempting a run in United States politics. Despite starting out as a shy and geeky contestant, he’s now known as an extremely outspoken celebrity.
Aiken has had multiple albums go platinum, played in various hit TV shows such as "The Office" and "Law and Order: SVU," and almost became a North Carolina congressman. His daring ventures, entertaining personality, and huge talent helped him build a net worth of around $7 million. Aiken has since become an established public personality and definitely plans to stay that way.
Josh Gracin - $2 Million
Josh Gracin is an extremely rare case of a U.S. Marine who decided to turn into a full-time singer, and it seems that his discipline and hard work really paid off. The singer appeared on the second season of "American Idol," reaching fourth place just after mega stars Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, and Kimberley Locke. This was all he needed to launch his career.
Since his appearance on the show, Gracin has released three studio albums. The first one ended up going gold and even featured an amazing single, “Nothin’ to Lose,” which hit number one in the charts. Since then, the singer has been touring and recording music all across the United States. He also received a lot of praise for sharing his difficult struggles with depression.
Taylor Hicks - $2 Million
Let’s just say that Taylor Hicks didn’t have the smoothest of launches after winning the fifth season of "American Idol." The veteran singer was immediately signed with a label, but his self-titled debut album underperformed and only reached second place at the time. This caused the label to drop him and put the rest of his career in a big question mark.
Luckily, the "American Idol" winner decided that he was not going to give up and continued on his own way. His next album was aptly called 'The Distance," and ended up peaking at number 58 on the Billboard chart. Hicks enjoyed a moderate amount of success ever since, both in his singing career and in various other entertainment and artistic ventures.
Nick Fradiani - $1 Million
Nick Fradiani is one of the recent winners of "American Idol," finishing first in the 2015 season of the popular singing show. Unfortunately, his well-deserved victory did not materialize into a commercially successful musical debut. His first and only album only sold around 5,000 copies, which is extremely low considering the amount of press he received.
Regardless of his initial commercial performance, Nick Fradiani has become a millionaire at this point, and will forever be the 2015 winner of "American Idol." It’s definitely not too late for the singer to have his first hit. Sometimes it just takes a while to really hit a chord with fans. We’ll have to see how his musical career comes along, but we’re quite optimistic about it!
Katharine McPhee - $8 Million
Katharine McPhee almost finished first place in the fifth season of "American Idol," and only narrowly lost to Taylor Hicks in the finale. This didn’t stop her from pursuing a successful career in both music and entertainment. Her debut album ended up becoming a best-selling self-titled album and ironically reached second place on the Billboard charts as well.
McPhee used her newfound fame and fortune to pursue a career in acting as well. She has appeared in a few successful TV shows since, with the most notable role being Karen Cartwright on the NBC show, "Smash." The singer and actress has since married 16-time Grammy award-winning Canadian musician, David Foster, who is worth about $80 million himself.
Bo Bice - $2 Million
Bo Bice almost became the winner of "American Idol's" fourth season, but lost by a hair to Carrie Underwood, who went on to become a massively popular singer. Although he failed to secure the victory, that doesn’t mean the singer didn’t do exceptionally well on his own. One of his albums, "The Real Thing," ended up reaching number three on the charts and went gold.
Outside of his singing career, Bice used his fame to position himself as a small-time TV actor as well. He appeared in a couple of shows, including a highly entertaining episode of "American Chopper" that included a musical motorcycle. The singer has accomplished much in his career, from becoming the lead singer of "Blood, Sweat & Tears" to securing a net worth of over $2,000,000.
Brittany Kerr - $60 Million
Kerr was eliminated quite early in the show, and never really got a chance to get the media attention and publicity she wanted. What makes her different, however, is that the singer is quite possibly richer than the first thirty contestants on our list combined. You see, she’s married to country star Jason Aldean, who has a net worth of over $60 Million.
Regardless of whatever professional choices she may take in her singing career, let’s just say that Kerr has secured herself financially. During auditions, she managed to showcase her charm and abilities and even got both Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson practically drooling over her. Still, you need the singing abilities to back it up, and apparently, this one didn’t.
Kimberley Locke - $1.5 Million
Kimberley Locke is quite a serious entertainment personality. Since her appearance on "American Idol," this larger-than-life singer has built several successful ventures. She basically used the attention to star in other shows, become a successful life and vocal coach, and even launch her first album, "One Love," back in 2004.
This ambitious lady didn’t settle for her TV and radio fame and decided to go back to Belmont University and get a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management. Since then, Locke started her own entertainment company, "I AM Entertainment," and has been working daily on making her many dreams a reality. Her net worth is just over $1.5 million.
Jason Castro - $1.3 Million
Nobody thought that a folk singer who looked like Bob Marley would end up almost winning "American Idol," but that’s exactly what Jason Castro did on the show’s seventh season. The singer became a viral icon after he covered Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah,” in the style of Jeff Buckley. The single sold like mad and jumped him to first place in the iTunes music chart.
Castro definitely enjoyed the free publicity, as producers literally had to take the song down because it was selling too well. Since his appearance in the show, the singer no longer wears his unique dreadlocks but is still releasing albums. He did pretty well for himself and currently has a net worth of around $1.3 million. Quite impressive for a thirty-two-year-old!
Ace Young - $1 Million
Rock singer Ace Young finished seventh on the fifth season of "American Idol," but that didn’t stop him from amassing a net worth of over a million dollars. The singer is highly talented at using social media to promote himself, which helped him stay relevant long after his appearance on the show. Despite a weak first album, Young is still a very active musician.
One of Young’s biggest strengths is his songwriting abilities, and he definitely showed it with his Grammy-nominated hit “It’s Not Over.” The song was recorded by Chris Daughtry’s band, Daughtry, and became extremely popular at the time. The young singer is also a veteran of the theater and regularly appears in Broadway musicals such as "Grease" and "Hair."
Justin Guarini - $700,000
Everyone can remember the great singing voice, charming personality, and unbeatable smile of Justin Guarini. It’s been many years since his appearance on the first season of "American Idol," where the singer was beaten by Kelly Clarkson in the finals. Simon was extremely impressed by the singer, to the point of fawning over his singing abilities and talents.
The singer performed extremely well on a technical level but wasn’t as popular among consumers as he was with the judges. Even getting a recommendation from Oprah wasn’t enough to boost his career once the buzz faded. Since then, Guarini has mostly focused on acting on Broadway, as well as appearing in a string of Dr. Pepper commercials.
Lauren Alaina - $800,000
Lauren Alaina was the runner-up in "American Idol’s" 10th season against Scotty McCreery. This didn’t stop the young singer from getting signed with Mercury Nashville/Interscope Records and releasing her first two albums. She did relatively well, and both albums ended up reaching second and third places on the U.S. Country charts.
Aliana has been quite active since her debut on "American Idol." While her fame never reached the levels that McCreery did, she managed to develop a successful country music career. Since then, the country singer has been touring across the United States and performing live in front of large crowds that love her music and style.
Jennifer Hudson - $20 Million
You’d think that the top of our list would be filled with the show’s winners, but as you can tell, sometimes losing the battle doesn’t mean you’ve lost the war. Jennifer Hudson is one of the best stories of a dropout from "American Idol" reaching fame and glory, as she ended up in seventh place on the show’s third season, and we all know where that ended up.
The singer didn’t let any defeat stop her and went on to become a successful singer and actress. Her first two albums went gold, and she even had a chance to play as Effie White in "Dreamgirls." Hudson’s many ventures include being a coach on "The Voice," and even becoming a spokesperson for "Weight Watchers." She’s currently worth over $20 million.
Blake Lewis - $600,000
Blake Lewis almost managed to win the sixth season of "American Idol," but ended up coming just short of a victory. He ultimately lost to Jordin Sparks, who went on to have a much more successful singing career. Still, the singer debuted at number 10 on the U.S. chart with his debut album, "Audio Day Dream," so things weren’t all bad for the second-place contestant.
Unfortunately, things began fizzling out on the professional side once Lewis left "American Idol" and was out of the spotlight. His next few albums didn’t fare nearly as well, and it doesn’t seem like he will be making a comeback. It’s quite a shame too since the singer has one of the most inspiring and heartwarming backstories of all "American Idol" contestants.
David Archuleta - $5 Million
David Archuleta had an interesting history with reality TV shows and ended up almost winning the title of Junior Grand Champion on "Star Search." He decided to try his luck again on the seventh season of "American Idol" and ended up finishing in second place, again. Funnily enough, the singer actually got to compete with Alexandréa Lushington in both TV shows.
Since then, his debut album also reached second place, which seems to be a consistent pattern among his ventures. The singer has also spent considerable time and resources on philanthropy. He is a devout Christian and recently completed a missionary trip to Chile. Archuleta is doing quite well, and even did a song for the 2014 film, "Meet the Mormons."
Kellie Pickler - $5 Million
Kellie Pickler picked herself right back up after her crushing loss in "American Idol," and went straight into "Dancing with the Stars," where she ended up taking the show and winning. This doesn’t mean that the artist failed in her musical ventures, as her debut album quickly went gold after its release. It even produced three top 20 singles, which is very impressive!
Since then, the young performer got to host her own show called "Pickler and Ben," a lifestyle and beauty daytime TV show on CMT. She even became the star of her very own reality TV show, titled "I Love Kellie Pickler." With so many successful entertainment ventures, it’s no surprise that Pickler managed to secure herself a comfortable net worth of $5 million.
David Cook - $5 Million
David Cook is practically a mainstream figure at this point, thanks to his excellent pop music and fame from winning season seven of "American Idol." Once he was on his own, the singer released a debut album that went platinum and managed to break several Billboard records. His album included eleven songs, and almost all of them appeared on the charts at the time.
Since then, this "American Idol" winner continues releasing albums and maintaining his status as a successful pop singer. He regularly tours around the world to roaring fans, proving that hard work and a fantastic attitude can really go far in life. Cook’s ventures have helped him amass a well-deserved net worth of $5 million, which continues to grow by the day.
Elliot Yamin - $6 Million
There’s no singer on our list with as many recommendations and admiring comments as Elliot Yamin. The singer appeared on "American Idol," and was referred to by Simon Cowell as quite possibly “the best male vocalist” he’s ever heard on the show. This is no surprise, seeing as even legendary singer Stevie Wonder told Yamin he should “definitely pursue a career in music.”
Despite having one of the best voices in the show, Yamin’s lacking stage presence and terrible dancing abilities ended up costing him third place on the show. This didn’t stop him from building a successful singing career, with nine successful albums already in the bag. The singer is a known diabetic and donates a lot of money and time to help with related causes.
Haley Reinhart - $1.5 Million
Many fans of "American Idol" saw a bit of Amy Winehouse in Haley Reinhart, the popular competitor who reached third place on the show’s tenth season. Since the show ended, the bold singer has released four albums, each with its own unique artistic direction. She never aimed for commercial success and instead focused on art, which is part of the reason for her financial success.
In 2017, the young singer took the next artistic step in her career and recorded an album using analog recording equipment. This made the album sound very retro, almost like it was recorded sometime during the ‘60s. Reinhart also uses her wonderful vocal abilities as a voice-over actress, and appears regularly on Netflix’s animated show, "F is for Family."
Caleb Johnson - $1 Million
Caleb Johnson ended up becoming the thirteenth winner in "American Idol" history. The young singer embodies rock and definitely doesn’t fall into the mainstream when it comes to his style of music. After his great win, the singer debuted his first official album and did relatively well. The rock n’ roll sweetie has sold almost 30,000 copies to date.
All of the media coverage and album sales have helped the young singer build a net worth of over a million dollars. His musical career is still fresh out of the gates, as Johnson is less than thirty years old at this time. Unfortunately, the "American Idol" winner has been largely inactive in recent years. His last official album came out more than four years ago, so only time will tell.
Diana DeGarmo - $1.5 Million
Diana DeGarmo used her talents to appear in the spotlight for a long time before her appearance on "American Idol." The young singer was always an entertainment personality, and even got to the finals of NBC’s talent show, "America’s Most Talented Kid," many years prior. She didn’t end up winning "American Idol," but that didn’t stop her from developing a successful career.
After her appearance on the reality show, the singer was approached by Disney and ended up recording a song for their 2005 film, "Ice Princess." Outside of music, DeGarmo is also a talented theater performer and often appears in Broadway musicals. Her greatest theater accomplishment is arguably starring as Dorothy in the first national tour production of Oz.
Adam Lambert - $20 Million
One of the more dramatic and upsetting moments in "American Idol’s" history was Adam Lambert’s defeat to Kris Allen. Fans were expecting the former to take the victory but ended up quite disappointed and angry. At the end of the day though, what really ends up mattering is what the fans want, which is why Lambert is worth almost six times more than the man who defeated him way back when.
The gay singer’s rise to stardom after his upsetting defeat is almost legendary at this point. The singer saw his debut album, "For Your Entertainment," going platinum in three different countries. After releasing his sophomore album "Trespassing," Adam Lambert ended up becoming the first openly gay singer to reach the top of the US Billboard Top 200.
Kimberly Caldwell - $4 Million
Kimberly Caldwell is so famous at this point that many people don’t even remember that she appeared in the second season of "American Idol." The aspiring singer placed seventh on the show and quickly pivoted from music into other entertainment ventures. She did try to release an album eight years later, but it backfired both critically and commercially.
Since then, the young entertainer chose to focus mostly on acting and sportscasting. She appeared in many films and TV shows and even became a correspondent on Fox News’ "54321 Extreme Sports" program. Caldwell also hosted P. Diddy’s "Starmaker" on MTV and "Best Ink" on the Oxygen network. It appears she’s not going anywhere anytime soon!
Tamyra Gray - $1 Million
Tamyra Gray managed to claw her way up to fourth place in "American Idol’s" first-ever season. The popular singer has definitely built a large base of fans for herself over the years, and she has the net worth to prove it. She even got a chance to appear on Broadway and the TV show Boston Public.
So far, Tamyra Gray has only released one album in 2004 titled "The Dreamer." While she received much less coverage than her fellow "Idol" winners, the singer still sold over 100,000 copies. The singer even got a chance to record a single with Kelly Clarkson, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Her net worth is estimated at just over one million dollars.
Constantine Maroulis - $750,000
Constantine Maroulis’s flamboyant personality and over-the-top singing helped him get to 75th place on the U.S. charts after he parted ways with "American Idol." The singer reached sixth place in the show’s fourth season and has continued to perform with various rock bands ever since. As a singer and Broadway actor, he’s really got the stuff for the stage life.
Maroulis can often be found in rock festivals, where he instantly gets recognized by loving fans. The singer was one of the first "American Idol" contestants to really bring the Rock genre to its mainstream extremes. Since his departure, the singer has also appeared in a few TV shows, such as "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" and "Madame Secretary."
Melinda Doolittle - $1.5 Million
Whenever a new season of "American Idol" starts, the first thing we hope for is a singer like Melinda Doolittle to show up. This sweet vocalist had to overcome much of her shy nature throughout the show and found herself winning third place at the finale. Simon Cowell was so impressed by her performance that he claims she should have been that year’s winner.
The singer has since released only one major album titled "Coming Back to You" which reached 58 on the U.S. charts. She has since written a memoir documenting her journey in "American Idol" called "Beyond Me: Finding Your Way to Life’s Next Level." The singer also hosts a show called "Reality Check," which recaps the events of "American Idol" on TVline.com
Carrie Underwood - $200 Million
With seven Grammys, 11 Billboard Music Awards, 13 American Music Awards, and many more awards and accolades, there’s no doubt that Carrie Underwood is by far the most successful "American Idol" contestant of all time. She won the fourth season of the show and went on to become the first woman in history to release four number-one country albums.
The singer kept focusing on her music and eventually reached more than 65 million record sales worldwide. She’s currently worth over $200 million, making her richer than most of the judges on the reality show she’s won. At just thirty-six years old, Carrie Underwood is just beginning the second phase of her career.
James Durbin - $1.5 Million
Many people recall the name of James Durbin, as he was one of the most discussed competitors in season ten of "American Idol." The singer has since released several solo albums that were quite successful. He even had the chance to tour with some of the biggest names in rock and metal, including Evanescence, Buckcherry, and Drowning Pool.
In 2017, James Durbin joined the heavy metal band Quiet Riot. He has been touring and releasing albums with them ever since. This young metal vocalist and guitarist seems to have a long and fantastic career in front of him. By now, Durbin has a steady base of fans that grows by the day and managed to amass a net worth of just over $1.5 million. Nice!
Phillip Phillips - $5 Million
Many people struggled to understand how someone could actually be called Phillip Phillips but completely forgot about it when the young musician opened his mouth and started to sing. He used his newfound fame and public interest to launch a debut album called "The World from the Side of the Moon," which featured the best-selling single in the entire show’s history.
After his first successful album release, Phillips continued developing his career as a musician. He is credited as being the only "American Idol" winner that Simon Cowell liked after he had left the show in 2010. Although the singer had a couple of acting gigs, he focuses primarily on his musical career and does a fantastic job at it.
Pia Toscano - $650,000
When Pia Toscano was eliminated from the tenth season, all of the judges were shocked. Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler all expressed their disappointment over the results. But it seems that all that support has served her well in her career over the years. Pia has been working hard on her music and even performed as a backup singer for J.Lo in 2014.
She has released three singles and done collaborations with various artists. She even has co-writing credit with singer Aubrey O'Day. In 2022, she released her debut album, "I'm Good," an endeavor that was a long time coming.
Candice Glover - $1 Million
The 12th season winner, Candice Glover has found her slice of success. Getting there, however, has not been easy, in fact, Glover had to audition three times to simply get on the show before she took home the title of "American Idol." Since the release of her debut album Music Speaks in 2014 she has had more projects lined up.
In 2015 she was featured on the "Love No Fear," a single by Chad Black. Glover was also cast in a new gospel musical called "The Love Shack." While she hasn't been so active when it comes to staying relevant, it's just a matter of time before Glover bursts back onto the scene.
Cassadee Pope - $5 Million
Cassadee Pope has garnered a fair amount of success since her win in the show's third season. So much so that the record label Republic Nashville took her and produced her album "Frame by Frame." The season 3 winner of “The Voice” has gone forward with a moderate amount of success after her big win.
Republic Nashville signed her on and she released the album “Frame by Frame” with the label in 2013. Her popularity has grown since touring with Darius Rucker, Dirks Bentley, and Tim McGraw. She has plans to continue with her touring in the upcoming year but we don’t know who she’ll be with yet.
Danielle Bradbery - $500,000
At just 17 years old Danielle Bradbery got up on stage and blew listeners away, Blake Shelton in particular. Shelton picked her to mentor and under his tutelage, she honed that young voice of hers. Bradbery landed a record deal with Big Machine Records in the summer of 2013 and released "Heart of Dixie," her first single.
Just a few months after, she released her debut album. The songbird's career skyrocketed after then when her song "My Day" was the featured theme song for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, making her the symbol of the games. Bradbery also has an upcoming single titled "Friend Zone" that is due for release in August.
Jordan Smith - $2 Million
When Jordan Smith caught Adam Levine's attention, it was smooth sailing from then. Judges, viewers, and critics alike praised his impeccable voice control very early on in the show. He's been somewhat of a national icon ever since.
Since his win in 2009, he has even gone to reappear on the show as a special guest star, performing a track from his Christmas album "Tis the Season." The singer has also been frequenting national events and ball games, blowing folks away with his perfect pitch. In 2022, Smith performed his song "Sparrow" on "American Song Contest," finishing in third place in the Grand Final after representing Kentucky.
Josh Kaufman - $5 Million
The team Usher winner was Josh Kaufman of season 6. Since his success on "The Voice," Kaufman has led a pretty solid career, even while steering to staying close to his hometown of Indiana where he can be with his family.
The singer has also been branching out to more colorful roles such has Broadway plays where he appeared in a "Pippin" performance. Kaufman is still currently at work on his first full-length album. Over the last decade or so, Kaufman has become a really prolific music producer, having credits on albums by the likes of Muzz, Cassandra Jenkins, Bob Weir, and This Is the Kit, to name a few.
Sawyer Fredericks - $2.5 Million
In season 8 of "The Voice," the 16-year-old singer Sawyer Fredericks bumped Daniella Bradbery off the list as the youngest contestant to ever win the show. Teaming up with Pharell boosted his career, instantly earning him some well-deserved recognition and a contract with Republic Records.
As of now, Fredericks is working on his first album while touring the nation doing live performances between recording sessions. The young singer has been quickly climbing up in the folk genre. His most recent album, titled "Flowers for You," was released in May 2020. And in 2022, Fredericks announced on Instagram that he is bisexual.
Chris Blue - $600,000
Chris Blue's audition song "The Tracks of My Tears" from the Miracles in season 12 won the hearts of the listeners and most importantly, Alicia Keys. The singer who began his career in church gospel has been toured sporadically over years both solo and with his siblings under the band name "Blues Brothers."
Blue has toured internationally too in countries such as England, Jamaica, The Virgin Islands, and The Bahamas. Truth be told, Blue hasn't been so busy in the recording studio or in front of audiences since 2017. However, his personal life has been going well as he has been with his fiance Stephanie Dunkley since 2014.
Brynn Cartelli - $100,000
Move over Sawyer, Brynn Anne Cartelli is now officially the youngest contestant on The Voice, winning at just 15 years old. The Massachusetts-born singer won the 14th season of the show in 2018 and is already in for a promising career.
During the season's run, she was picked up by Kelly Clarkson who tirelessly trained for her finale songs "Don't Dream It's Over" (Crowded House), "Skyfall" (Adele), and her original song "Walk My Way." No doubt she delivered. Over the last few years, Cartelli has released plenty of singles, including "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." And her debut EP, "Based on a True Story," came out in May 2021.
Alisan Porter - $500,000
Alisan Porter returned to the spotlight and her to her fans when she appeared on the tenth season of The Voice. The former child star of the hit 90s film "Curly Sue" shocked audiences with her breathtaking voice and was picked by Christina Aguilera as her coach. Porter also made history as the first to win under the tutelage of a female coach giving Aguilera her first victory as a coach.
In addition to her vocal success, Alisan has appeared in a string of TV shows and films but, of course, her most memorable role will always be her 1991 classic, Curly Sue alongside Jim Belushi.
Maelyn Jarmon - $350,000
In case you didn't know, Maelyn Jarom is deaf in one ear but still has perfect pitch. Season 16 winner, the most recent got her eardrum damaged during a procedure some years ago. Jarmon's luck has certainly changed since and when John Legend was chosen to be her mentor, she felt that it was a dream come true.
The Texas native belted the Leonard Cohen classic, "Hallelujah," Unforgettable by Nat King Cole, and her original song, "Wait for You" for her final songs. Since the win was only a last year, time will tell whether or not she will endure.
Javier Colon - $1.8 Million
Winner of The Voice's very first season in 2011, Javier Colon and his smooth "acoustic soul" stole the hearts of millions of audiences. Colon was a part of EmcQ and The Derek Trucks Band before he hit big as a solo artist. Before The Voice, he was also signed to Capitol Records between 2002 and 2006 under the stage name "Javier."
He was Adam Levine's first pick to mentor. According to the singer, their partnership on the show was the start of a great friendship. The two chat a few times a week on social media.
Tessanne Chin - $200,000
Jamaican soul artist Tessanne Chin grooved her way into the top spot on the fifth season of The Voice. The show's original favorite coach, Adam Levin took the reigns on this one nurturing her tirelessly while she prepared for her winning songs "Love Can Move Mountains" (Celine Dion), "Hold On, I'm A Comin" (Sam & Dave), "Tumbling Down" (Tessanne Chin).
Her competition was not easy either. She beat Jacquie Lee of Team Christina and her breathtaking performance of "I Have Nothing" by the incomparable Whitney Houston. Unfortunately, Chin hasn't released any music since her single "Fire," which came out in 2015.
Chloe Kohanski - $100,000
When season 13 came along, the veteran coaches were joined by singing legend Jennifer Hudson as the new addition to the team. Just as well she was there to save the day because Chloe Kohanski was dropped by Miley Cyrus before she took home the winning title.
After the Miley drama, Chloe was met with welcoming arms from both Blake Shelton and Jennifer Hudson. Of course, she chose the latter and the two stole the show. Sadly, Kohanski's career has taken a bit of a standstill, as her last released piece of music was the single "Cosmic," which came out in 2020.
Chevel Shepherd - $250,000
Another teen success, Chevel Shepherd was the winner of season 15, taking the crowing title at just 16 years old. Her God Bless America performance was simply a no-brainer. As a young talent, she couldn't have reached where she did without the help of Kelly Clarkson, who won the previous season, making her the second coach, after Blake Shelton to win consecutively.
Just as well she wasn't with Kelsea Ballerini. No one seemed to impress her. Shepherd's career went to a new stratosphere in 2021 when she released her long-awaited debut album "Everybody's Got a Story." In 2022, she had an acting role in the film "Vengeance."
Craig Wayne Boyd - $5 Million
Season 7 saw Craig Wayne Boyd take the winning title. At this point, it's hard to tell who is the real talent in the show. The contestant or the four-time winning coach, Blake Shelton who season after season gets his mentees to win.
Shelton might have some magical dust stored away, but Boyd is still a super talent that killed it with his original track "My Baby's Got a Smile on Her Face." The song, which was released back in 2014 reached the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Country Billboard chart.
Jermaine Paul - $1 Million
Jermaine Paul was the winner in the early days of The Voice, the second season to be exact. After winning the big prize, under the amazing tutelage of Blake Shelton (that would be his first successful protege), Paul's rendition of R. Kelly's “I Believe I Can Fly” reached No. 83 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
While Paul has had a steady since career since his win on the show, he also enjoyed some success prior to that. The singer was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Duet with Alicia Keys on the song “Diary” and for “If This World Were Mine,” from the 2005 Luther Vandross tribute album, "So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross."
Sundance Head - $5 Million
The season 11 winner was the extremely talented Sundance Head, who happens to be the son of the popular singer Roy Head. He has had his fair share of singing contests. Not only was season 11 his second appearance on the show but he appeared in season 6 of "American Idol."
Back then he was eliminated just a week before the top 12 selection. Thankfully he came back with a bang and thanks to the trusted coaches, took home the gold. His winning song "Darlin' Don't Go" landed him a deal with Dean Dillon's Wildcatter Records in 2018.
Dia Frampton - $2 Million
While we could have included season 17 winner, Jake Hoot on this list, we would be remiss not to list the second runner-up from the first season, Dia Frampton. Her career has been pretty good in retrospect, even if she didn't quite claim the winning title. Her biggest success was, of course, shortly post The Voice where she released her debut album, "Red" in December 2011.
The album reached the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers list. After a bit of a hiatus, Frampton released another hit album, Bruises in March 2017. The album reached the No. 14 spot on the Heatseekers list.