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Success After American Idol - Idol Alumni Rise to the Top

Updated on August 1, 2017
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Lena Kovadlo is a writer for various content sharing websites. She's an author of 10 books and helps other authors publish their books.

Some might think that not winning American Idol means failure but that is definitely not true. Former American Idol contestants who have not made it to the finale or even the top 3 have broken into the music business, landed successful record deals, and sold millions of albums world-wide. Some even broke into acting, which proved to be a big success. Two of the most successful American Idol alumni who have not made it to the finale or the Top 3 are Chris Daughtry and Jennifer Hudson.

Chris Daughtry

Chris Daughtry was a fourth place finalist on the fifth season of American Idol. Since being eliminated from the show he has put together a band called Daughtry, with himself on lead vocals and guitar, landed a record deal with RCA records, and released two rock albums, Daughtry and Leave This Town, both of which debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts. Daughtry became the fastest selling debut rock album in Soundscan history. It has gone 4x platinum in the United States and 2x platinum in Canada, with US sales going over 4.6 million copies. Leave This Town has gone platinum in the United States and Canada, with US sales going over 1 million copies. The sales for both albums are still going strong.

On top of these achievements Chris Daughtry and his band Daughtry won a number of awards.

2007 American Music Awards: Breakthrough Artist, Best Adult Contemporary Artist, Best Pop/Rock Album

2008 American Music Awards: Favorite Band, Duo or Group – Pop/Rock

People's Choice Awards: Best Rock Song for their single “Home”

2007 Billboard Music Awards: Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Artists – Duo/Group (Pop), Top New Artist, Top Comprehensive Artist, Hot 100 Artists – Duo/Group, Hot Adult 40 Artist

2007 World Music Awards: Worlds Best Selling Rock Group of 2007, Worlds Best Selling New Artist of 2007

Daughtry was also nominated for four Grammy Awards in 2008: Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Recently Daughtry released two more albums Break The Spell in 2011 and Baptized in 2013, both of which did extremely well on the charts.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson was the seventh place finalist on the third season of American Idol. Since being eliminated from the show she has not only conquered the music scene but the movie scene as well.

Jennifer Hudson made her film debut as Effie White in the 2006 Dreamgirls starring alongside such greats as Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and Beyonce. This movie role landed Jennifer Hudson an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress, and a Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress: Drama – Dreamgirls. But these are only a few of the awards that Jennifer won for her role as Effie White; the total amount of awards she has won amount to around twenty-eight awards.

Two years after making her acting debut, Jennifer Hudson made her music debut by landing and releasing her self-titled debut album, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 charts, was certified gold by the RIAA, and sold over 1 million copies worldwide. The release of this debut album landed Jennifer Hudson four Grammy Award nominations, one of which was in the Best R&B Album category, which she won. She also won three 2009 NAACP Awards for Outstanding New Artist, Outstanding Album, and Outstanding Duo or Group (for her duet with American Idol’s season three winner Fantasia Barrino).

Besides recording her debut album, Jennifer Hudson has also recorded songs for the Dreamgirls soundtrack, which peaked at number one on the US Billboard 200 Chart, and has sold over a million copies. The Dreamgirls soundtrack has also peaked at number one on the US Billboard Top Soundtracks and US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Charts.

Recently Jennifer Hudson has released two more albums - I Remember Me in 2011 and JHud in 2014 - and starred in movies like The Secret Life of Bees and Winnie Mandela.

© 2010 Lena Kovadlo


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    • lovebuglena profile image

      Lena Kovadlo 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      Thanks Regis. American Idol is my favorite show.

    • rauffray profile image

      rauffray 6 years ago from BC, Canada

      This is not in my "realm" but I do appreciate that you share the information and thus keep me "in the loop." Thanks, Lena. :)