“American Idol” just kicked off season 18 on ABC. That got us wondering which of the first 17 winners of this reality competition series has been the most successful. While some of the previous champs have been one-hit wonders (we’re looking at you Nick Fradiani), others have had staying power. Take a tour of our photo gallery above to see all the “American Idol” winners ranked from worst to best.
The first “American Idol” winner, Kelly Clarkson, is still going strong almost two decades later. She just launched her own talk show and is a huge hit as a judge on the NBC talent show “The Voice.” Clarkson has racked up millions in record sales from her eight albums and still tours extensively.
However, even Kelly’s success pales when compared to Carrie Underwood. This season 4 winner of “American Idol” released six studio albums and won seven Grammy Awards, 8 CMA Awards, 10 Billboard Music Awards and 12 ACM Awards.
Will any of the more recent winners ever match this track record? What do you think of the reboot of “American Idol” on ABC? Are you a fan of the three judges: country superstar Luke Bryan, pop princess Katy Perry and singer/songwriter Lionel Richie? And are you happy that Ryan Seacrest is still hosting? Sound off in our comments section below.