Another year has gone by, and so has another American Idol cycle (which will be coming to an end after its 15th season in 2016, but we won't delve into that). This is my 3rd ranking of AI winners. This time around, the basis from the rankings will be based on what the winners have done from 2014 to present.
14) Taylor Hicks (down 1 - 13th) S5
Nothing really new to report on Taylor Hicks. He still has his Las Vegas residency at Paris Las Vegas.
13) Lee Dewyze (down 3 - 10th) S9
Singles: "Blackbird Song" (Walking Dead Soundtrack) - 2014
- 2nd most viral spotify song of the week. Charted: #29 Pop Digital Songs
Besides that song for The Walking Dead soundtrack last year, Lee hasn't done a whole lot recently.
12) Caleb Johnson (down 1 - 11th) S13
Discography: "Testify" (2014)
Charted: #24 BB200, #9 Rock. Sales: 11K
Singles: "As Long As You Love Me" ('14)
Charted: #41 Hot Rock. Sales: 10K
"Only One" ('14)
"Fighting Gravity" (2015)
Caleb has done the best he can to promote on his own, as he pretty much didn't get any help from his label. That included using money out of his own pocket for music videos.
11) Ruben Studdard (up 1 - 12th)
Discography: "Unconditional Love" (2014)
Charted: #46 BB200, #11 R&B. Sales: 6K
Singles: "Meant To Be" ('14)
It was revealed that Ruben lost 119lbs on The Biggest Loser (Feb 2014). He prepared a '14 tour with Lalah Hathaway, and is working on his 5th album with R.Kelly.
10) Candice Glover (down 3 - 7th) S12
Discography: "Music Speaks" (2014)
Charted: #14 BB200, #3 R&B
Promotional Single: "Passenger" ('14)
She was also featured on Chadd Black's single "Love No Fear" (Feb. 2015). Things have been going pretty slowly for Glover.
9) David Cook (even - 9th) S7
Singles: "Wait For Me"
In 2014, Cook co-penned David Nail's "Kiss You Tonight". He signed a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music. He's working on his 4th album, and is releasing it through pledgemusic.
8) Kris Allen (even - 8th) S8
Discography: "Horizons" (2014)
Charted: #80 BB200, #10 Independent Albums. Sales: 4K (1st week?)
Compilation Albums: "Songs For Shelter Me" ('14)
"Nashville Indie 'Xmas Spotlight" ('14)
"Nashville Indie Spotlight 2015" (2015)
Singles: "Prove It To You" ft/ Lenachka (2014)
"Baby It Ain't 'Xmas Without You"
Soundtrack: "Valley Inn"
Kris also provided songs for the soundtracks of Arrow & Vampire Diaries, with "Lost". While Kris hasn't had anything really big come out recently, he's certainly been hard at work.
7) Jordin Sparks (down 1 - 6th) S6
Discography: "Bye Felicia" (mixtape) (2014)
"Right Here, Right Now" (To be released - 2015)
Singles: "Double Tap" ft/ 2Chainz ('15)
Awards: 2014 BMI Pop Awards: won - Songwriter (The Way - Ariana Grande)
TV: E! News (Guest Host - '14)/ Fashion Police (Guest Host)/ Evolution Of...Jordin Sparks/The View (Guest Host)/ AMAs (red carpet co-host)/ Wild N' Out (Guest Host - '15)/ Ru'Paul's Drag Race (Guest Judge)
Movie: "Left Behind" ('14)/ "The Grace Of Jack"
Jordin left RCA for a subsidiary of Sony Records. While I won't delve into her personal life, she has been through a lot over the last year. Hopefully she can put it behind her with her upcoming album release.
6) Nick Fradiani (new) S14
Singles: (Before American Idol) "Coming Your Way" (2014). Sales: 6K
"Feel The Beat" ('14)
Solo Single: "Beautiful Life" (2015)
Nick previously appeared with his band Beach Avenue on America's Got Talent over the summer of 2014. His coronation single "Beautiful Life" will be the 2015 Women's World Cup anthem for FOX. After a fairly lackluster pair of AI cycle winners, hopes are high with Nick (as shown with this ranking), especially considering he'll be advised by Big Machine's Scott Borchetta.
5) Fantasia Barrino (even - 5th) S3
Movie: "Tobacco Valley" (2016)
Awards: 2014 Grammy's: Nom - Best Urban Contemp. Album ("Side Effects Of You")
- Best R&B Song ("Without Me" ft/ Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliot)
- Best Traditional R&B Performance ("Get It Right")
2014 Black Reel Awards: Nom - Outstanding Original or Adapted Song ("In The Middle Of The Night" from Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' )
Fantasia closed the "After Midnight" show ('14). In 2014 she was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. She appeared on Dave Koz's 'Xmas album. She also teamed with Michelle Williams on "If We Had Your Eyes". Things have been going well for the Season 3 winner as she's been tackling musical theatre as well as her own music.
4) Scotty McCreery (even - 4th) S10
Tour: Riot Tour (w/ Rascal Flatts & RaeLynn) (2015)
Headline: See You Tonight Tour (w/ Danielle Bradbury) (2014)
Awards: 2014 Inspirational Country Music Awards: Nom - Mainstream Country Male Artist
Singles: "Feelin' It" ('14)
Charted: #16 Country/ #10 Country Airplay/ #84 BB Hot 100. Sales: 293K
3) Phillip Phillips (even - 3rd) S11
Discography: "Behind The Light" (2014)
Charted: #7 BB200. Sales: 123K
Singles: "Raging Fire"
Charted: #58 BB200/ #7 Adult Top 40/ #13 Adult Contemp. Sales: 293K
"Unpack Your Heart"
Charted: #33 Adult Top 40
The Season 11 winner toured with O.A.R for the summer of 2014. Phillips recently filed a lawsuit against 19 Recordings, so it will be interesting to see how that situation plays out.
2) Kelly Clarkson (even - 2nd) S1
Discography: "Piece By Piece" (2015)
Charted: #1 BB200. Sales: 153K as of April '15
Singles: "Heartbreak Song" ('15)
Charted: #21 BB Hot 100/ #2 Adult Contemp/ #6 Adult Top 40/ #1 Hot Dance Club/ #19 Mainstream Top 40
Charted: #50 Pop Digital
Tour: 2015 Piece By Piece (w/ Pentatonix)
TV: "Nashville" (2014)
Awards: 2014 Grammy's: Nom - Best Country duo/group ("Don't Rush" w/Vince Gill)
Kelly mentored during the 14th season of American Idol. She performed during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards and the season finale of the 8th season of The Voice. She also debuted a line of greeting cards with "American Greetings". Her latest album was released back in March, so we'll see how it plays out over the next year.
1) Carrie Underwood (even -1st) S4
TV: "Nashville" (2014)
Discography: "Greatest Hits: Decade #1" ('14)
Charted: #1 Country/ #4 BB200. Sales: 332.5K (certified Gold)
Singles: "Something In The Water"
Charted: #1 Country/ #3 Country Airplay/ #24 BB Hot 100/ #1 Hot Christian Songs. (certified platinum)
"Little Toy Guns" ('15)
Charted: #10 Country/ #7 Country Airplay/ #64 BB Hot 100
Guest Single: "Somethin' Bad" w/ Miranda Lambert
Charted: #1 Country/ #7 Country Airplay/ #19 BB Hot 100 (certified platinum)
Promotional Single: "Keep Us Safe" ('14)
Charted: #36 Country
Awards: 2014 ACMs: Nom - Female Vocalist of the year
- Video of the year ("Two Black Cadillacs")
2014 AMAs: Nom - Favorite Female Country Artist
2014 BBMAs: Nom - Milestone Award
2014 CMTs: Won - Video of the year ("See You Again")
Nom - Female video of the year
2014 People's Choice: Nom - Favorite country artist
2014 Teen Choice: Nom - Choice female country artist
2015 ACMs: Nom - Video of the year ("Somethin' Bad")
- Vocal event of the year ("Somethin' Bad")
- female vocalist of the year
2015 BBMAs: Won - Top christian song ("Something In the Water")
2015 CMTs (pending as of this writing)
Nom - Video of the year ("Something In The Water"/"Somethin' Bad")
- Female video of the year ("Something In The Water/ "Little Toy Guns")
- Collaborative video of the year ("Somethin' Bad")
2015 Grammy's: Won - Best Country solo performance ("Something In The Water")
Nom - Best country duo/group performance ("Somethin' Bad")
2015 People's Choice: Won - Favorite female country artist
Carrie also was awarded by the ACMs with the Gene Weed Achievement Award ('14). She made a deal with Nicole by OPI for a line of nail lacquers. In 2015 she launched a fitness clothing line. Carrie's also been featured recently on albums by Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Michael W. Smith and the Swon Brothers. Carrie and her husband Mike Fisher also welcomed a son in the new year (Congratulations).
So there you have it. There wasn't any real movement among the top 5 from the last rankings. We'll see if Kelly will be able to get back to the #1 slot after her latest album release. Being that next year will be the last AI cycle (for now at least), we'll have only 1 more debut winner, so we'll see you then.