American Idol winners: From Kelly Clarkson to Chayce Beckham, full list of past champions

SEASON 20 of American Idol is coming to an end on May 22, 2022, and one lucky artist will be crowned the winner.

Let's take a look at the previous years' Idols…

Who are the past American Idol winners?

Kelly Clarkson (2002)

Kelly Clarkson rose to fame in 2002 after winning the first season of American Idol when she was 20-years-old.

She has since enjoyed a career in music, film, publishing, and television.

She has released seven albums under RCA Records and enjoyed commercial success with hits such as Miss Independent, Heartbeat Song, and My Life Would Suck Without You.

Kelly had a guest judge stint on The Voice, as well as authored several children's books, and lent her voice to smash animated movie, Trolls.

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Ruben Studdard (2003)

Ruben Studdard shot to fame for his incredible R&B and gospel performances on American Idol 2003.

Studdard received a Grammy Award nomination in 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his recording of Superstar – and has since released seven studio albums.

He has also tried his hand at acting, starring as Fats Waller in a national tour revival of Ain't Misbehavin.'

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Fantasia Barrino (2004)

Fantasia memorably won American Idol in 2007Credit: Getty

Fantasia memorably won American Idol in 2007.

She was just 19-years-old when she defeated second place contestant Diana DeGarmo on the singing competition, the youngest person to win American Idol at the time.

The singer went on to release the albums Free Yourself, Fantasia, Back to Me, Side Effects of You, The Definition of…, Christmas After Midnight and Sketchbook.

Carrie Underwood (2005)

Carrie Underwood is a singer-songwriter who shot to fame after winning American Idol and releasing her multi-platinum debut album Some Hearts in the same year.

She has gone on to become one of the top-selling acts in country music.

Underwood has won numerous Grammy, Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards.

Her no. 1 country hits include Last Name and All-American Girl.

Taylor Hicks (2006)

At age 29, Hicks became the oldest contestant to win American Idol in 2006.

Following his win, Hicks' debut single Do I Make You Proud debuted on the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

He has released two albums and has hosted the INSP original series State Plate.

His single Six Strings and Diamond Rings was released in 2017.

Jordin Sparks (2007)

Jordin Sparks won American Idol during its sixth season and became the show's youngest winner at just 17.

Jordin beat out runner-up Blake Lewis and third place winner Melinda Doolittle as she was crowned the winner.

Her self-titled debut studio album went platinum and contained her top-ten singles Tattoo and No Air.

Since then, she has released a total of four albums: Jordin Sparks (2007), Battlefield (2009), Right Here Right Now (2015) and Cider & Hennessy (2020).

David Cook (2008)

David Cook won the seventh season of Idol, beating David Archuleta, the runner-up. 

After winning the show, he released his debut single The Time of My Life, which went platinum.

After initial success, Cook became an independent artist and started creating more pop-style music.

Kris Allen (2009)

Kris Allen was pitted against Adam Lambert in American Idol's tight 2009 final.

Allen ultimately triumphed but too much controversy – some even suspected the competition of being rigged.

Allen has put out six albums since but was in a car accident that shattered his wrist in 2013, meaning he had to relearn to play the guitar.

Lee DeWyze (2010)

Lee DeWyze was the season-nine winner of American Idol, at age 23.

After winning the show, he released his debut album, which peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard 200.

His Blackbird Song was featured in season four of AMC's hit drama The Walking Dead.

He has since released five studio albums.

Scotty McCreery (2011)

Scotty McCreery won American Idol at just 17 years old.

His debut album, Clear As Day, went platinum upon its release in October 2011.

He has since released four more studio albums and has penned his own book, Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream, which detailed his rise to stardom.

Phillip Phillips (2012)

Phillip Phillips made history when his single Home became the best-selling song in American Idol history.

It was picked the theme for NBC's Olympics coverage.

The star has released three studio albums since appearing on the show and has even appeared in an episode of Hawaii Five-0.

Candice Glover (2013)

Candice Glover became the first female winner since Jordin Sparks in 2007.

Her debut R&B album, Music Speaks was released in 2014, but didn't produce a hit single.

Glover has performed at various corporate and professional sporting events and has taken to Broadway in a production of Home for the Holidays.

Caleb Johnson (2014)

Less than three months after winning American Idol, Caleb Johnson released his debut album, Testify. It was the fastest turnaround record in the show's history.

The album peaked at no. 24 on the Billboard 200 charts.

In 2019, Johnson went on tour as part of the church-rock band Caleb Johnson and the Ramblin' Saints.

Nick Fradiani (2015)

Nick Fradiani won American Idol with his track Beautiful Life, which later became the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup official anthem.

In August 2016, Fradiani released his debut album, Hurricane.

He later released an acoustic album Scared in 2018.

Trent Harmon (2016)

After winning the fifteenth season of American Idol, country singer Trent Harmon landed a deal with Big Machine Records.

He released his debut album You Got 'Em All in 2018.

A year later, the singer split with Big Machine Records and released a new track, She’s My Heaven, in 2021.

Maddie Poppe (2018)

Folk singer Maddie Poppe was the season 16 winner of American Idol.

She beat runners-up, Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Gabby Barrett. In a shock twist, Hutchinson revealed that he and Poppe were dating during the results show.

She released her first studio album, Whirlwind, with Hollywood Records in 2019.

Laine Hardy (2019)

Laine Hardy first auditioned for American Idol in 2018 but didn't get past the top 50.

He tried out the next year, and won the competition – beating Alejandro Aranda and Madison VanDenburg.

The singer has been treating fans to virtual concerts, since he was unable to go on his tour due to the pandemic.

Just Sam (2020)

The 20-year-old New Yorker beat out Arthur Gunn during the season finale.

In 2021, she released her single Africando.

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Chayce Beckham (2021)

A California native, Chayce Beckham, won season 19 of American Idol in May of 2021.

At the age of 24, Chayce Beckham auditioned for the nineteenth season of American Idol in Los Angeles.

Following his tenure on American Idol, Chayce Beckham moved to Nashville, Tennessee to further pursue his music career.

Noah Thompson (2022)

Noah Thompson was the season 20 winner of American Idol.

The former construction worker beat runner-up HunterGirl as well as Leah Marlene who landed in third place.

The singer became emotional after his name was read as the winner.

"My heart is beating out of my chest," he said. "This is crazy."

Almost 16million votes came in for the vote as a three-hour season finale aired on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

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