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‘American Idol’ Winners: Where Are They Now (Seasons 1 – 16)?

Season 17 of “American Idol” ended on May 19. Will the new winner enjoy more success than the 2018 champion, Maddie Poppe? After all, she didn’t even get a chance to perform on this year’s finale despite releasing her first album, “Whirlwind,” just two days prior. What a contrast to the early days of the show, when the previous season’s winner was always showcased on the episode that unveiled the new winner of the franchise.

This Emmy-winning reality competition series began in 2002, For more than a decade, it was a ratings powerhouse with many of those winners enjoying some success. The first-ever champ, Kelly Clarkson, has won three Grammys and turned her fame into a string of hit records and an ongoing gig as a judge on the competition, NBC’s’ “The Voice.” And season 4 winner Carrie Underwood has done even better, having sold upwards of records and won a shelf load of music awards.

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