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American Idol Winners List

American Idol Winners List: Their Singing Stunned the World

Till today, 13 talented singers have been crowned American Idol, not to forget those who lost in previous rounds but were excellent singers too. This reality series has become the most sought platform for budding singers, who believe in charming the world with their singing talents. This article has the complete American Idol winners list, along with some important details about each season.
Ratnashri Dutta
American Idol is one of the most popular reality TV shows in the history of the United States.
American Idol is a reality TV show that searches for the best solo singer all over the country. This program was aired for the first time on the 11th of June, 2002. Since then, it has been on the #1 spot (according to the Nielsen ratings) for 6 consecutive years. Every year, American Idol organizes auditions across the nation, and after many close-fought difficult rounds, a winner is chosen in the grand finale. Through telephone and SMS voting, the audience as well as the judges select the best singer among all the contestants, and that person is crowned as the American Idol. Of course, the participants have to go through some very tough times, trying to be the best of the rest, and not to forget accepting failures and tolerating the 'sarcastic' comments from some of the judges.
Whoever participates in American Idol, and more so the winners, get tremendous publicity. Not only the winners, even those who never make it to the top get some sort of publicity and have a huge number of fans following them. The show is the perfect platform to showcase one's singing talents and go on to make it big in the music industry. Here are the American Idol winners by season.
Season I (2002)
Host: Ryan Seacrest, Brian Dunkleman
Judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell
Started on: June 11, 2002
Finalists: Justin Guarini, Nikki McKibbin, Tamyra Gray, R.J. Helton, Christina Christian, Ryan Starr, A.J. Gil, Jim Verraros, EJay Day.
Venue: Kodak Theatre
Ended on: September 4, 2002
Winner: Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson was born on April 24, 1982, in Fort Worth, Texas. She will always be remembered as the first ever American Idol winner. She lifted the coveted award on September 4, 2002.

Kelly was never relegated to the dreaded bottom three throughout the season, and won the finals securing 58% of the votes. Her debut single 'A Moment Like This" went to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100, and recorded the biggest jump to the number one position ever.
Season II (2003)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell
Started on: January 21, 2003
Finalists: Clay Aiken, Kimberley Locke, Josh Gracin, Trenyce Cobbins, Carmen Rasmusen, Kimberly Caldwell, Rickey Smith, Julia DeMato, Corey Clark, Charles Grigsby, Vanessa Olivarez.
Venue: Gibson Amphitheatre
Ended on: May 21, 2003
Winner: Ruben Studdard

Ruben Studdard was born on September 12, 1978, in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, In the show, he was nicknamed 'Velvet Teddy Bear" by the judges. He was also well-known for his shirts that had the print '205" on them, which stood for Birmingham, his hometown's area code.

He defeated Clay Aiken in the finals by a margin of 134,000 votes. Ruben went on to make 4 studio albums after winning this award, and has sold close to 2.5 million copies till date.
Season III (2004)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell
Started on: January 19, 2004
Finalists: Diana DeGarmo, Jasmine Trias, LaToya London, George Huff, John Stevens, Jennifer Hudson, Jon Peter Lewis, Camile Velasco, Amy Adams, Matthew Rogers, Leah LaBelle.
Venue: Kodak Theatre
Ended on: May 26, 2004
Winner: Fantasia Barrino

Fantasia Barrino was born on June 30, 1984, in High Point, North Carolina. She defeated Diana DeGarmo by 1.3 million votes in the finals.

Her first single 'I Believe" debuted at the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Her debut album 'Free Yourself" was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2006.
Season IV (2005)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell
Started on: January 18, 2005
Finalists: Bo Bice, Vonzell Solomon, Anthony Fedorov, Scott Savol, Constantine Maroulis, Anwar Robinson, Nadia Turner, Jessica Sierra, Mikalah Gordon, Lindsey Cardinale.
Venue: Kodak Theatre
Ended on: May 25, 2005
Winner: Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood was born on March 10, 1983, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. During the 2005 season, her die-hard fans came to be known as 'Carrie's Care Bears'.

She defeated Bo Bice in the grand finale. Simon Cowell had predicted that she would become the most successful Idol winner ever. After winning American Idol, she has gone on to win 6 Grammy Awards, besides numerous Billboard Music Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, and American Music Awards.
Season V (2006)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell
Started on: January 17, 2006
Finalists: Katharine McPhee, Efraym Yamin, Christopher Daughtry, Paris Bennett, Kellie Pickler, Brett Young, William Covington, Mandisa Hundley, Lisa Tucker, Kevin Covais, Melissa McGhee.
Venue: Kodak Theatre
Ended on: May 24, 2006
Winner: Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks was born on October 7, 1976, in Birmingham, Alabama. Not once in the entire show was Hicks's in the bottom three zone, thus making him the first male to achieve the seat and win the show. Though, on numerous occasions he received harsh comments from the judges, especially Cowell. He defeated Katharine McPhee to win the award.

Also called 'Soul Patrol', later, he went on to release two albums. He is associated with acts such as Little Memphis Blues Orchestra.
Season VI (2007)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell
Started on: January 16, 2007
Finalists: Blake Lewis, Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha Jones, Christopher Richardson, Joel Stacey, Sanjaya Malaka, Haley Scarnato, Gina Glocksen, Charles Sligh, Stephanie Edwards, Brandon Rogers.
Venue: Kodak Theatre
Ended on: May 23, 2007
Winner: Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks was born on December 22, 1989, in Phoenix, Arizona. At the age of just 17, she became to youngest Idol winner, and the 6th, in the year 2007. She defeated Blake Lewis in the finals and won with a new record of 74 million votes. All this, after being rejected in the Los Angeles auditions, only to win later in Arizona and get into the show.

After winning the award, she has been on tours with Alicia Keys and Jesse McCartney. Her self-titled debut album has sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
Season VII (2008)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell
Started on: January 15, 2008
Finalists: David Archuleta, Syesha Mercado, Jason Castro, Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook, Michael Johns, Ramiele Malubay, Chikezie Eze, Amanda Overmyer, David Hernandez.
Venue: Nokia Theatre
Ended on: May 21, 2008
Winner: David Cook

David Cook was born on December 20, 1982, in Houston, Texas. He received 56% of the votes in the finals, which amounted to a difference of 12 million votes, and defeated an equally worthy contestant, David Archuleta. He came to American Idol and won it, despite facing several problems in his personal life.

After the award, Cook had also been on The Declaration tour. He has released three albums, one of them before coming on the show.
Season VIII (2009)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi
Started on: January 14, 2009
Finalists: Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Allison Iraheta, Matt Giraud, Anoop Desai, Scott MacIntyre, Megan Joy, Michael Sarver, Alexis Grace, Jorge Núñez, Jasmine Murray.
Venue: Nokia Theatre
Ended on: May 20, 2009
Winner: Kris Allen

Kris Allen was born on June 21, 1985, in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Before competing in Idol, Kris had released an album titled 'Brand New Shoes'. During most of the competition he was considered to be an underdog, but after defeating Adam Lambert, Kris became the first married individual to win American Idol. This season was also the first time 100 million votes had been caste during the finale.

He is not just into singing, but also plays the guitar and viola very well. Post Idol, he has released two major albums.
Season IX (2010)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres
Started on: January 12, 2010
Finalists: Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, Michael Lynche, Aaron Kelly, Siobhan Magnus, Tim Urban, Katie Stevens, Andrew Garcia, Didi Benami, Paige Miles, Lacey Brown.
Venue: Nokia Theatre
Ended on: May 26, 2010
Winner: Lee DeWyze

Lee DeWyze was born on April 2, 1986, in Mount Prospect, Illinois. He had his own band called the DeWyze Band prior to Idol, and had already released 2 albums. He was also working as a paint salesman prior to auditioning for American Idol. He defeated Crystal Bowersox in the finale.

After winning the Idol he never looked back. He sang the national anthem for the Games 2 of the 2010 NBA Finals in June.
Season X (2011)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler
Started on: January 19, 2011
Finalists: Lauren Alaina, Haley Reinhart, James Durbin, Jacob Lusk, Casey Abrams, Stefano Langone, Paul McDonald, Pia Toscano, Naima Adedapo, Thia Megia, Karen Rodriguez, Ashthon Jones.
Venue: Nokia Theatre
Ended on: May 25, 2011
Winner: Scotty McCreery

Scotty McCreery was born on October 9, 1993, in Raleigh, North Carolina. This 18-year old country singer performed popular country songs for judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson, and won everyone over with his charm and teenage disposition. The 2011 season finale brought in a whopping 122 million+ votes, proving how popular this reality show had become. After he won, he sang his coronation song, his original 'I Love You This Big'.

His debut album 'Clear as Day' was certified platinum in the United States, and he has released two more albums after that.
Season XI (2012)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler
Started on: January 18, 2012
Finalists: Jessica Sanchez, Joshua Ledet, Hollie Cavanagh, Skylar Laine, Elise Testone, Colton Dixon, DeAndre Brackensick, Heejun Han, Erika Van PeltShannon Magrane, Jermaine Jones, Jeremy Rosado.
Venue: Nokia Theatre
Ended on: May 23, 2012
Winner: Phillip Phillips

Phillip Phillips was born on September 20, 1990, in Albany, Georgia. In the finale of season 11, a record number of 132 million votes declared Phillip Phillips the new American Idol of the nation. This 21-year old started playing music when he was just 14, and also auditioned unsuccessfully for America's Got Talent.

His journey through the finale was not easy; he was plagued by kidney problems and even thought of quitting the show due to the pain. Nevertheless, he has released two albums, post Idol.
Season XII (2013)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban
Started on: January 16, 2013
Finalists: Kree Harrison, Angie Miller, Amber Holcomb, Janelle Arthur, Lazaro Arbos, Burnell Taylor, Devin Velez, Paul Jolley, Curtis Finch, Jr.
Venue: Nokia Theatre
Ended on: May 16, 2013
Winner: Candice Glover

Candice Glover was born on November 22, 1989, in Beaufort, South Carolina. She was eliminated in the group stage in season 11. When she returned for season 12, she said, "I thought they were going to get sick of seeing my face."

She was the first winner to have auditioned three times before coming on a live show. She released her debut album 'Music Speaks' in February 2014.
Season XIII (2014)
Host: Ryan Seacrest
Judges: Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, Harry Connick, Jr.
Started on: January 15, 2014
Finalists: Jena Irene, Alex Preston, Jessica Meuse, Sam Woolf, CJ Harris, Dexter Roberts, Malaya Watson, Majesty Rose, MK Nobilette, Ben Briley, Emily Piriz, Kristen O'Connor.
Venue: Nokia Theatre
Ended on: May 21, 2014
Winner: Caleb Johnson

Caleb Johnson was born on April 23, 1991, in Johnson City, Tennessee. He is the latest entry on to this list, winning the last edition that was held this year. Caleb had auditioned without success in 2011 and 2012, but perseverance and hard work paid off, and he went on to win the 2014 season.

He is the lead singer of Elijah Hooker who have put out an album in 2013, and the only hard rock and heavy metal singer to ever have won American Idol till date.
American Idol XIV will premiere on Fox network on January 14, 2015. The host and judges are expected to remain the same as 2014, but we will get to witness a whole new lot of singing talent from all across the country.