Kris Allen, the new American Idol for 2009, has something big to look forward to: a big paycheck! Here is Forbes' compilation of Top Earning American Idol Alumni in the past year, computed by Forbes' through earnings from album sales, concerts, merchandising and other income sources.
No. 1: Carrie Underwood (Season 4 winner) - $14 million
No. 2: Jennifer Hudson (Season 2 contestant) - $5 million
No. 3: Kelly Clarkson (Season 1 winner) - $4.2 million
No. 4: Jordin Sparks (Season 6 winner) - $3.1 million
No. 5: Kellie Pickler (Season 4 contestant) - $2.3 million
No. 6: Clay Aiken (Season 1 runner-up) - $2.2 million
No. 7: Chris Daughtry (Season 5 contestant) - $2 million
No. 8: David Cook (Season 7 winner) - $2 million
No. 9: David Archuleta (Season 7 runner-up) - $1.3 million
No. 10: Taylor Hicks (Season 5 winner) - $300,000
Some observations: Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard? Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino? What happened to their careers? Hmm. How about other runners-up Bo Bice, that beatboxing guy (what's his name?) and Katharine McPhee?
But even though some did not make it big, the numbers above still show how this show can be a fairy god mother to all aspiring superstars. :p
Forbes' List of Top Earning Idol Alumni