The American Idol machine appears to be running down but the alumni of the show continue to do well. Forbes.com published a list of which past performers earned the most in the year 2012. Granted some of the bigger stars had some down time in the last year but it is an interesting list. The description is from the site:
1. Kelly Clarkson ($8 Million):
More than a decade after winning Season One, the original Idol reigns supreme. Clarkson’s résumé continues to grow: she earned gold certification for new album Stronger, added a role as a mentor on The Voice, launched a lucrative tour and sang—live—at President Obama’s inauguration. Look for her to earn even more next year, as many of her recent concerts fell just outside our scoring period
2. Carrie Underwood ($5 Million -Tie):
Arguably Idol’s most successful alum, Underwood released her new album Blown Away toward the end of our scoring period, but generated enough sales to claim her share of the second spot on the list. The record went on to sell 1.2 million copies (just shy of the total for Justin Bieber’s Believe). With a nightly concert gross in excess of $400,000, she’ll likely soar even higher on the strength of a tour set to run through at least early summer.
2. Daughtry ($5 Million - Tie):
Chris Daughtry’s eponymous rock act’s latest album, Break the Spell, has sold over 400,000 copies since its 2011 debut. The group continues to tour heavily, pulling in six-figure grosses along the way—enough to capture a second place tie on our list
4. Scotty McGreery ($4 Million):
Season Ten’s winner received a $250,000 record deal as teenager—and blew expectations out of the water with his debut, Clear As Day, which shipped over 1 million units. McCreery quickly took advantage by hitting the road last year, opening for Brad Paisley along with the Band Perry. Look for another album later this year.
5. Jennifer Hudson ($3 Million):
Though she didn’t actually win Idol, the Season Three contestant continues her rise. With a Dreamgirls role and two gold albums under her belt, Hudson earned terrific reviews for her performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” at last year’s Grammys. She also added to her coffers with a Weight Watchers endorsement deal and fitness memoir I Got This.
6. Jordin Sparks ($2 Million):
After opening for New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys on the road, the “Battlefield” singer appeared in Sparkle alongside Whitney Houston. But with no new album in our scoring period, Sparks clocks in a bit lower than last year’s $3 million. Look for a bigger year in 2013 with Sparks’ Reebok endorsement deal and new movie projects.
7. Adam Lambert ($1.5 Million):
Extensive touring pushed this fan-favorite toward the top of last year’s list with $6 million in earnings. Lambert played fewer shows this time around, taking off to record new album Trespassing, which was released after the end of our scoring period (and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts with 78,000 copies sold its first week). Look for him to finish higher on next year’s list, thanks to that album and a new tour.
8. Katherine McPhee ($1.1 Million-Tie):
Rather than focus entirely on music, McPhee has developed a flourishing acting career. She makes the list again this year, thanks to roles in the hit NBC show Smash and the film You May Not Kiss The Bride.
8. Kellie Pickler ($1.1 Million-Tie):
Though she only finished in sixth place on Season Five of Idol, Pickler has parlayed a middling finish into a lucrative career. Her latest album, 100 Proof, sold a respectable 27,000 in its first week, and she continues to pull in cash on the road.
10. David Archuleta ($1 Million-Tie):
Season Seven’s runner-up is still tops in the eyes of many fans. In addition to modeling for Bench, he enjoyed some success with two albums in 2012—Begin and Forevermore (exclusively in the Philippines)—and will spend the next two years on hiatus while he works in Chile as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
10. David Cook ($1 Million-Tie):
Season Seven’s winner makes the list thanks to a co-headlining tour with Gavin DeGraw and the moderate success of his second album, This Loud Morning, which sold 46,000 copies its opening week.