The upcoming season premiering January 6th will be the show's last
"American Idol" has hosted some interesting characters over the years and it was announced earlier this year that FOX has pulled the plug, making this the 15th and final season. Take a look back at all of the stars who have graced the Idol stage.
Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson has had an amazing career post-"Idol." She's sold over 20 million albums worldwide & taken home 3 Grammy Awards. She married Brandon Blackstock (Reba McEntire's step-son) and the couple welcomed their first child in 2014!
After Season 1 and appearing in the movie From Justin to Kelly (along side fellow "Idol" alum Kelly Clarkson), Justin Guarini released a few studio albums. He has also made some theater appearances through the years. Recently, he stirred up some controversy when he penned an open letter about poverty - saying he skipped meals so he could afford to feed his children, but then took it back claiming everyone was "missing the point."
Season 2's Clay Aiken has released multiple albums after "Idol." He also appeared on Broadway in "Monty Python's Spamalot." He ran for Congress as a democrat in North Carolina but was unfortunately defeated.
Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino will be guest starring on Broadway in the new musical After Midnight starting in February. She recently addressed & denied "suicidal thoughts" rumors after a break up with her baby daddy over a year ago.
Season 4 finalist Jennifer Hudson has an an incredibly successful music career post-"Idol." She is also a Weight Watchers spokesperson, looking better than ever. Over the holidays this year, she made headlines when she bought her assistant a house! She was also honored with the "Favorite Humanitarian" award at the most recent People's Choice Awards, and continues to make amazing music.
Season 4 winner Carrie Underwood has been making it big in the country world. She won CMT Arist of the Year in 2010 & 2012 and snagged awards for her "Blown Away" music video in 2013 (ACA's & CMT Awards). She recently played Maria in "The Sound of Music Live." She will also be performing at the very first iHeartRadio Country Festival!
Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks performed on Broadway in 2008 and on a national tour in 2009 in "Grease." He's also released a few albums post-"Idol" and recently performed at the 2014 BCS National Championship party and was featured on ESPN 2 for the BCS Megacast.
Since "Idol" Season 5, Katharine McPhee released a few albums as well as made appearances on several TV shows and movies, including The House Bunny. She is currently filming an upcoming TV movie In My Dreams.
Season 5 contestant Kellie Pickler has had a great career in country music since the show. She released her fourth studio album just last year. Kellie recently spent Christmas with the troops in Afghanistan, and has been working with the USO since 2007. She was also on "Dancing with the Stars," and crowned the Season 16 champion in May 2013!
Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks has released 2 albums since her "Idol" days. She released a single "Skipping A Beat" in 2013 but is frustrated with her label because of a delay on her album. She has also been dating Jason Derulo for a few years!
Season 6 finalist Sanjaya Malakar has made many TV guest appearances since "Idol" and appeared on season two of the reality television show "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" He also was recently spotted performing at the First Avenue L subway station in New York City.
Since season 7 of "Idol," David Archuleta has released several albums - his most recent being No Matter How Far, which came out last year (March 2013). In 2012, he went on a Mormon mission (LDS) in Chile.
Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert released a few albums post-"Idol" and has been featured in episodes of "Glee." Adam also recently headlined with Queen at the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival, and co-wrote & featured on Avicii's song "Lay Me Down."
Season 8 Winner Kris Allen has released two albums since the show. He recently became a father this past July to his son Oliver with his wife of five years, Katy. Kris is now starting to record his third album!
Runner-up of season 10 Lauren Alaina now has a flourishing country music career! She toured with both Jason Aldean and Sugarland in 2012. She also graduated from high school this past May (2013), and in November 2013 she debuted a new song, "Same Day, Different Bottle" - a very personal song about her father's alcoholism.
Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery is making big moves with his country music career now. Aside from having toured with Brad Paisley and releasing albums, he enrolled himself in college at NC State! He recently took home the title for Breakthrough Artist at the 2013 ACAs. The star will begin his "See You Tonight Tour" Jan 10th.
Photo: Getty Images/Katherine Tyler for iHeartRadio
Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips has had a successful music career since his "Idol" days. He went on tour with John Mayer, and his latest album The World from the Side of the Moon went certified platinum in 2013!
Season 12 Winner Candice Glover released her second single "Cried" this past December. She was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding New Artist," and her new album Music Speaks is set to be released in February.
Who can forget about William Hung?! In 2011 he landed a gig as a statistical analyst for the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, replacing recording studios and songwriting with crime scenes and data-crunching.