Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Other 'Idol' Alums Beat the Odds and Achieve Superstardom

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Carrie Underwood

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Carrie Underwood

A name synonymous with "American Idol" will forever be Kelly Clarkson. The Season 1 winner of the popular talent show remains one of the most successful "American Idol" contestants. She has released multiple albums and her talent has grown exponentially through the years. When it comes to fame after "American Idol" it appears to be hit or miss. Here is a look at some other successful "American Idol" contestants that achieved success after their run on the show ended.

Carrie Underwood

After Kelly won Season 1 of "American Idol" something strange happened. Many of the winners of "American Idol" were no longer seeing significant fame. They would have a hit or two then fizzle out. Then along came Carrie Underwood, and the mold was broken. The "Just a Dream" singer has released multiple albums and gracefully toes the line between contemporary and country. The ever-classy Underwood has gained much success after "Idol" and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson is the only "American Idol" contestant to win a Grammy award. The "American Idol" alum is a prime example of how not winning the competition can actually help your career. Jennifer Hudson gained serious notoriety in 2006 for her role in "Dreamgirls." The "Sex and the City" star won a Grammy award for best R&B album in 2009 for her self-titled album.

Chris Daughtry

One of the biggest upsets on the "Idol" stage was when Chris Daughtry was voted off, ending his run on the show at fourth place. The rocker went on to earn success with his band Daughtry and their multiple albums have received significant praise. The "Crawling Back to You" singer was a highly unlikely participant for "American Idol" but he was able to successfully launch a career from the exposure he gained from the talent competition.

The "American Idol" machine has produced some major stars. Some were winners of the competition while others gained the exposure needed to use the show as a launching pad to super stardom. While it is unclear how long "American Idol" will continue to scout the country for the best and brightest music talent, it is clear that you don't have to win the competition in order to make it in the music industry.

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