The 10 most recent winners and their most iconic songs
Since June 2002, American Idol has been the biggest goal of many singers who want a chance to become a superstar. Over its 19 seasons, the show introduced America to some incredibly talented contestants who have become household names in the music industry.
Each winner can be tied to a hit single, but some of the singles released changed the world of pop, rock, R&B and more after they hit mainstream.
ten Season 10 – Scotty McCreery – “I Love You So Big”
McCreery is the first country artist and the youngest man of all genres to see his debut album reach # 1 on the Top 200 Billboard charts, which included the crowning song, “I Love You This Big.”
The song peaked after its release, and it continued to peak in the country charts along with his other musical endeavors. The result of Season 10 also led McCreery to win numerous accolades, such as Best New Artist and Best Country Album at the Billboard Music Awards.
9 Season 11 – Phillip Phillips – “Home”
“Home” is the best-selling song in American Idol story, which became a viral hit for the singer. Phillips won Season 11 and has been active in the industry ever since, including an appearance in Hawaii Five-O, a concert of the national anthem for the World Series and numerous charitable efforts through his music.
He has released three albums since becoming the champion, but this single continues to make him a household name.
8 Season 12 – Candice Glover – “I’m Beautiful”
Glover auditioned three times for the series before eventually winning Season 12, which was well worth it. His single “I Am Beautiful”, from the finale, reached 6th place on the US Heat charts, 33rd on the US R&B charts and 93rd on the US charts in 2013.
It continued to expand into different areas of the music industry, such as Broadway, television, and movies.
7 Season 13 – Caleb Johnson – “As long as you love me”
The rock singer was able to reach 41st place in the US Rock charts with his single “As Long As You Love Me”. The Season 13 champ had a short-lived solo career, releasing his debut album a few weeks after his victory, before moving on to Caleb Johnson & The Ramblin Saints.
Johnson has since released more music with his band and solo, in addition to starting his own label, Big Johnson Records.
6 Season 14 – Nick Fradiani – “Beautiful Life”
Starting out as the lead singer of his own pop / rock group, Fradiani was able to prove his skills as the winner of Season 14.
He is the first winner of the show from the Northeastern United States, and his single “Beautiful Life”, from his album Hurricane, has reached major charts, including 24th place on the US Adult Pop chart and 22nd on the US Digital chart.
5 Season 15 – Trent Harmon – “There’s a Girl”
After nearly quitting the show due to a mono diagnosis, Harmon managed to do pretty well and land the American Idol spot for Season 15.
The solo country singer turned heads with his single, “There’s A Girl,” which ended up reaching No. 27 on the US Country charts and No. 18 on US Country Airplay. He was able to rake in $ 69,000 in sales from the single, which was featured on his self-titled Extended Play album.
4 Season 16 – Maddie Poppe – “Going Going Gone”
Poppe won Season 16 with her crowning single, “Going Going Gone”, ranking 13th on the US digital charts. She went on to release two studio albums, in addition to a Christmas album, after winning the iconic show.
Poppe is proud to be a multi-instrumentalist, gifted with guitar, piano and ukulele. She continues to tour with other artists and as a solo artist, most recently in her hometown of Iowa to promote her Acoustic Vacation album.
3 Season 17 – Laine Hardy – “Flame”
The winner of season 17 was able to rank 8th on the US digital charts with his single “Flame”, which was also his. American Idol coronation song.
Hardy has continued to make a name for himself in the country / rock genre since his time at Idol, including the release of many other singles after her 2016 debut album, “In The Bayou”.
2 Season 18 – Just Sam – “Rise Up”
The Season 18 winner has had an interesting season, with the COVID-19 pandemic preventing her from continuing to perform in front of a live studio audience.
However, she managed to win the contest with her portrayal of “Rise Up”. While this song is considered a cover and not an original single, it was her official single as a solo artist that put it on the map.
1 Season 19 – Chayce Beckham – “23”
Beckham’s career may have just started, but he’s causing a stir in the music industry. The Apple Valley native released his single, “23,” from the Season 19 finale, which immediately topped the country charts, in addition to the pop charts.
The contagious single helped him win the show, and this was only the start of his singing career.
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