American Idol Stars – Then and Now

Kelly Clarkson - Then (2002)
Kelly Clarkson - Then (2002)
Kelly Clarkson won our hearts and the very first American Idol. Beating out Justin Guarini to be America's first Idol. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
Kelly Clarkson - Now
Kelly Clarkson - Now
Kelly is still performing and still making records. Her newest one comes out in September. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
Ruben Studdard - Then (2003)
Ruben Studdard - Then (2003)
The second winner of American Idol, Studdard's win was the closest Idol has ever seen, beating Clay Aiken by just 134,000 of the 24 million votes cast. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Ruben Studdard - Now
Ruben Studdard - Now
Studdard is still recording and has an album scheduled to come out this fall. His soulful voice has brought him back numerous times to sing on the show that gave him his break. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for GMA)
Clay Aiken - Then (2003)
Clay Aiken - Then (2003)
A fan favorite, Clay Aiken lost to Ruben Studdard in season 2 of Idol, but it didn't stop him from debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 with "Measure of a Man" (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Clay Aiken - Now
Clay Aiken - Now
Aiken was last seen signing the National Anthem at the NHL All-Star game in his home town of Raleigh, North Carolina. Clay hasn't released a record of original songs since 2006. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Josh Gracin - Then (2003)
Josh Gracin - Then (2003)
The ex-Marine won the hearts of Americans as he belted out powerful country tunes every week, eventually making the top 5 on the second season of the show. Some say his unwillingness to break away from the country sound hurt his chances. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Josh Gracin - Now
Josh Gracin - Now
Josh Gracin is now getting ready to release his 3rd album called "Redemption" and he happened to stop into the Lite FM offices a bit ago and give us a little sample.
William Hung - Then (2004)
William Hung - Then (2004)
Okay so William Hung didn't make it to the Finals of American Idol, actually he didn't even make it out of the auditions. But his performance of "She Bangs" by Rikki Martin was so inspiring he appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and released 3 albums.(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
William Hung - Now (2009)
William Hung - Now (2009)
We couldn't find a picture of William Hung any more recently than 2009. He popped up in Las Vegas at a celebrity poker event. No word if he is still pursuing a career in music. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Jennifer Hudson - Then (2004)
Jennifer Hudson - Then (2004)
Jennifer Hudson was eliminated relatively early from the 3rd season of American Idol only making it to the top 7. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Jennifer Hudson - Now
Jennifer Hudson - Now
What hasn't Jennifer Hudson done since being kicked off American Idol? She won an Oscar, a Grammy and has sung the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Carrie Underwood - Then (2005)
Carrie Underwood - Then (2005)
Carrie Underwood caught everyone's eye from the first song she sang at the Idol auditions, and she spurred that all the way to the top winning the 4th season of American Idol. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Carrie Underwood - Now
Carrie Underwood - Now
The most successful Idol winner ever, Underwood has dominated Country Music ever since she won the 4th season of the show. She also has power over the NHL, as her husband (Mike Fischer) asked to be traded from Ottawa to Nashville to be closer to his wife. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Chris Daughtry - Then (2006)
Chris Daughtry - Then (2006)
Chris Daughtry's rocking voice and perfection of Fuel's "Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" helped push him into the final four of the 5th season of Idol. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Chris Daughtry - Now
Chris Daughtry - Now
Daughtry is now one of the most popular pop/rock bands in the country and he continues to put out #1 records. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images For Entertainment Weekly)
Taylor Hicks - Then (2006)
Taylor Hicks - Then (2006)
He didn't look like he fit under the 28 year old age limit, but the southern soul and extremely fun but somewhat awkward performances from Taylor Hicks, led him to victory in Season 5 of American Idol. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Taylor Hicks - Now
Taylor Hicks - Now
Hicks hasn't added any gray hair (not that he could) but he's been fairly successful since winning Idol. Most recently he toured with the Broadway show "Grease" around the country. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images for Maxim)
Kellie Pickler - Then (2006)
Kellie Pickler - Then (2006)
The blond petite 19 year old country girl tried to become the next Carrie Underwood, but fell short on Season 5 making it to the top 6 on the show. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
Kellie Pickler - Now
Kellie Pickler - Now
Pickler, not long after being eliminated, headed for Nashville and scored a recording contract and has been putting out albums and she is heavily involved with a number of charities (The above picture is from a celebrity fashion show for charity in New York City earlier this year). (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Bucky Covington - Then (2006)
Bucky Covington - Then (2006)
Bucky Covington adds to the list of successful artists from Season 5 of Idol. He only made it to the Top 8 before being eliminated. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Bucky Covington - Now
Bucky Covington - Now
Bucky is still touring and releasing songs that are charting on the country charts. He's had two top 10 songs and 3 in the top 15, but hasn't done much since 2008. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
Jordin Sparks - Then (2007)
Jordin Sparks - Then (2007)
The winner of the 6th season of American Idol, she became the youngest ever winner of the show at just 17 years of age. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
Jordin Sparks - Now
Jordin Sparks - Now
Jordin Sparks is doing everything just 4 years after taking the Idol crown. She is releasing records still of course (Her 3rd studio album is in the works), but she also has a clothing line, she's done some acting and last year she was in the Broadway hit "In the Heights" (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
David Cook - Then (2008)
David Cook - Then (2008)
David Cook wasn't even going to audition for the 7th season of American Idol. Good thing he did, because he went on to win. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
David Cook - Now
David Cook - Now
Cook just released his second album "This Loud Morning" in June and is currently out promoting the album. Maybe he'll swing by Dallas some time. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Kris Allen - Then (2009)
Kris Allen - Then (2009)
Kris Allen surprised many not only when he covered Kanye West's "Heartless" but when he beat out powerful singer Adam Lambert to take the season 8 title. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
Kris Allen - Now
Kris Allen - Now
Allen is still appearing places (The Pro Bowl in January) but hasn't released an album since his self titled post Idol debut in 2009. He is the first Idol winner not to have an album go Gold. (Photo by Stephen Cohen/Getty Images for Longines)
Adam Lambert - Then (2009)
Adam Lambert - Then (2009)
The somewhat controversial singer wowed the Judges and America during season 8 of Idol with some of the most elaborate and most theatrical performances the show had ever seen. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Adam Lambert - Now
Adam Lambert - Now
Still very much in the public eye, Lambert spent most of 2010 touring with the "Glam Nation Tour" and currently working on his second album which will be released in the fall. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Larry Platt - Then & Now
Larry Platt - Then & Now
Let's be honest we didn't find much on what General Larry Platt is doing now, but his performance of "Pants on the Ground" during the 9th Season auditions of Idol was one of the most memorable the show has ever had. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Lee DeWyze - Then (2010)
Lee DeWyze - Then (2010)
The winner of the 9th season DeWyze never even sniffed elimination, never once being in the bottom two. (Larry Platt got robbed!) of Idol Lee D(Photo by Paul Warner/Getty Images)
Lee DeWyze - Now
Lee DeWyze - Now
Over a whole year later Lee looks very similar to how he looked during season 9. Lee's debut album "Live It Up" was met with underwhelming sales but he just finished up his first headlining tour last month. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Rolling Stone)
Scotty McCreery - Then & Now
Scotty McCreery - Then & Now
Let's face it, Scotty just finished up the American Idol Live Tour to help celebrate his Season 10 win of Idol. His first single "I Love You This Big" was released last week with his first albun getting ready to come out later this year. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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