American Idol: 10 Years On The Charts

Carrie Underwood American Idol 2012 performance

American Idol turned 10 yesterday and in honor of its anniversary, we thought it would be cool to share some Idol statistics.

Billboard assembled those statistics and some of the most interesting facts from the past 11 seasons include:

  • There have been 345 No. 1 songs from American Idol alumni
  • Those hits are from 29 Idol finalists and one Idol non-finalist (William Hung – seriously).
  • All 11 winners have had at least one No. 1 song on Billboard

American Idol No. 1 songs by contestant 

  • Kelly Clarkson 73
  • Carrie Underwood 62
  • Chris Daughtry (Daughtry) 38
  • Fantasia 31
  • Ruben Studdard 16
  • Jennifer Hudson 15
  • Mandisa 15
  • Clay Aiken 12
  • Adam Lambert 9
  • David Cook 8
  • Kimberley Locke 8
  • Scotty McCreery 7
  • Josh Gracin 7
  • Jordin Sparks 7
  • Kris Allen 4
  • David Archuleta 4
  • Kellie Pickler 4
  • Elliott Yamin 4
  • Taylor Hicks 3
  • American Idol Finalists 2
  • Bo Bice 2
  • Jason Castro 2
  • Bucky Covington 2
  • Blake Lewis 2
  • Chris Sligh 2
  • Paris Bennett 1
  • Diana DeGarmo 1
  • Lee DeWyze 1
  • Tamyra Gray 1
  • Phillip Phillips 1
  • William Hung 1

Top 10 longest-running No. 1 songs

  • 41 weeks: “Some Hearts,” Carrie Underwood (2008) Top Country Catalog Albums
  • 35 weeks: “Inside Your Heaven,” Carrie Underwood (2005) Hot Country Singles Sales
  • 28 weeks: “Breakaway,” Kelly Clarkson (2005) Adult Contemporary Audience
  • 27 weeks: “Some Hearts,” Carrie Underwood (2005) Top Country Albums
  • 24 weeks: “Live Like We’re Dying,” Kris Allen (2010) Christian Digital Songs
  • 24 weeks: “Live Like We’re Dying,” Kris Allen (2010) Christian/Gospel Digital Songs
  • 21 weeks: “Breakaway,” Kelly Clarkson (2005) Adult Contemporary
  • 15 weeks: “The Time of My Life,” David Cook (2008) Adult Contemporary
  • 14 weeks: “Daughtry,” Daughtry (2006) Top Rock Albums
  • 14 weeks: “Daughtry,” Daughtry (2008) Top Hard Rock Albums

American Idols Who Have Charted on the Billboard Charts: 
Season one: (five)

  • Kelly Clarkson
  • Justin Guarini
  • Tamyra Gray
  • RJ Helton
  • Jim Verraros

Season two: (five)

  • Ruben Studdard
  • Clay Aiken
  • Kimberley Locke
  • Josh Gracin
  • Kimberly Caldwell

Season three: (eight)

  • Fantasia
  • Diana DeGarmo
  • Jasmine Trias
  • La Toya London
  • George Huff
  • John Stevens
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Leah LaBelle

Season four: (four)

  • Carrie Underwood
  • Bo Bice
  • Constantine Maroulis
  • Mario Vazquez

Season five: (nine)

  • Taylor Hicks
  • Katharine McPhee
  • Elliott Yamin
  • Chris Daughtry
  • Paris Bennett
  • Kellie Pickler
  • Ace Young
  • Bucky Covington
  • Mandisa

Season six: (seven)

  • Jordin Sparks
  • Blake Lewis
  • Melinda Doolittle
  • LaKisha Jones
  • Chris Richardson
  • Phil Stacey
  • Chris Sligh

Season seven: (seven)

  • David Cook
  • David Archuleta
  • Jason Castro
  • Brooke White
  • Carly Smithson (We Are The Fallen)
  • Michael Johns
  • Kristy Lee Cook

Season eight (six)

  • Kris Allen
  • Adam Lambert
  • Danny Gokey
  • Allison Iraheta
  • Matt Giraud
  • Michael Sarver

Season nine (four)

  • Lee DeWyze
  • Crystal Bowersox
  • Casey James
  • Michael Lynche

Season 10 (seven)

  • Scotty McCreery
  • Lauren Alaina
  • Haley Reinhart
  • James Durbin
  • Casey Abrams
  • Paul McDonald (The Grand Magnolias)
  • Pia Toscano

Season 11 (two so far)
Phillip Phillips
Jessica Sanchez




    • Crystal Bowersox was promising…she was interviewed recently on local Ohio TV ans said she had no interest in becoming a celeb and now shw is very thankful she didn’t win…she’s happy keeping it small, just enough to live on.

      • Yep, Crystal was promising. I just watched a youtube of her. That girl really can sing.

    • It was…….After the fiasco with Adam in season 8 a lot of fans(even on this site) dropped off…….Of course there are a lot of new bloggers but most of them waste my time especially this season with all the nastiness.   People should just support their idols no matter who wins.

      • i STILL don’t get all the nastiness this season.  IT’S JUST A TV SHOW, FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD!!!!  there was no reason for the racial and ethinc slurs that permeated the season.  in the interim, a bunch of kids just got the big break they were waiting for and can hopefully fulfill their dreams.  as for us, we got our ADAM out of idol.  need i say more??

      • This season has to be the worst for the nastiness. I admit..I’ve lost it and bitten back.

      • PR63…….I’m so done with this season….This group is so bad.  You are right we have our Adam and for that I thank AI…….This group just don’t get it.  Your favorite does not have to win to be successful.  Support your favorite and get over it………We did and we love and support Adam……Have a wonderful summer.  Till next season………..

      • have a super and profitable summer if you hit the casinos (how can you not??)  we’ll be in atlantic city at least three times this summer and knowing me i doubt if i’ll be getting much sun.  in the interim, enjoy intelligent tv like “hell’s kitchen” and reruns of “ghost hunters”.  the best show comes back in september, ‘sons of anarchy”.  and of course enjoy listening to “trespassing”.

    • I didn’t see 1, 2, or 3.  Of the one’s I saw I agree though.  Season 9 had Siobhan, Crystal, & Di Di who I thought were good.  The rest were a bunch of tomato cans.  There were a couple of good girls in the top 24 too, but am forgetting their names.  They didn’t  make it through though. 

      Then the top 12, I thought for sure the first 3 or 4 eliminated would be guys.  No such luck.  Di Di came in 10th I think.  That meant 2 good performances & the rest pray & hope for something decent.  Yea, a brutal year. 

  1. them stats are not too shabby.  idol has given us a lot of talent we would ordinarily not know about without the show to give them that push. can you imagine a world without adam, carrie, jennifer, and kelly??  great performers and great music

      • without a doubt.  and also katherine mcphee who was absolutely smashing in “smash”.

      • interesting question.  i think in the later seasons the show pushed the talent, as in this last season.  in the earlier seasons the novelty was still there.  i watch the show to see the emerging talent to add to my record collection.  there’s always one who outshines the others

      • for sure the show pushed talents, but definitely majority of the “winning idol” talents did not push the show, hence, after the defeat of mcphee and daughtry, people like me started to just take ai with a grain of salt, until last may when i boycotted altogether to watch the finale, not knowing that there were 8 million plus other people who felt downtrod by jessica’s impending defeat.

      • And just as interesting…can anyone explain Willian Hung?
        I still like to watch his audition, but I don’t understand his record sales.

      • The talent carries the show……All the pushing does is turns the voters off.   Just ask Joshua Ledet…..I think he would have done better if they would have stopped standing for his every performance.
        Last season, they knocked Haley and she ended in third.  Voters don’t like to be told who to vote for or not to vote for.  JMHO

  2. I forgot to include Jason Castro and Bucky Covington on my list of favorites. 

    It’s interesting that more than 50% of the No. 1 songs from AI are from only 3 artists and one of those three didn’t even win the competition. 

    Don’t really care for Carrie, Kelly C. or Kellie P.

    If your name aint Reba or Martina I really don’t care for you as a female country singer.

    We’ll have to wait and see what Lauren and Skylar come out with. 

    • Kelly isn’t really country.  I like boht Kelly and Carrie.  I used to like Reba but now she thinks she is all that. Martina has some pipes.

      • Well IMO Reba is “ALL THAT” and a bag of chips. This made me go back and watch the duet of Skylar and Reba again on the finale. 

        Skylar starts off near Steven Tyler, pointing at him and singing the words, “No good, two timing lies coming out of your mouth.” 

        I wonder if this is a reference to Steven saying that they had “put a shine on her voice and enhanced it over the top” the week before she was eliminated? Gotta wonder about that…LOL

    • it means that winning a competition doesn’t give you the right to necessarily succeed in real life. it’s like graduating valedictorian from a military school and yet you’re not really that good in the actual fight, as it were.

      it also reflects on the ineptness of the voters or the voting system, wherein the good one loses and the bad wins (in general). the good ones who’ve lost in AI really bad were: Jennifer H, Katharine M, Chris D, David Archuleta, Adam L, Crystal B, Pia T, and just recently, Jessica Sanchez and Joshua Ledet. the ai tptb i guess saw the handwriting on the wall, if you will, after katharine mcphee & chris daughtry became more famous than taylor, and yet ai never budged until season 11 when it became obvious that 8 million people boycotted the finale due to ai’s and the judges’ gratuitous and unfair evaluation of jessica’s performances. hence, the need for ai revamp.

      • Carlos5118

         “graduating valedictorian from a military school and yet you’re not really that good in the actual fight, as it were.”

        What school and which year did you do this Carlos Smarlos?

        “the judges’ gratuitous and unfair evaluation of jessica’s performances”
        The judges worshipped Jess and tried to make her winner, but the public spoke the truth and Phillip earned the AI winner position. Get over it Carloser.

    • I love country all the way,
      so I like Carrie and Kellie
      but the one with the set of pipes and her voice is so great
      is sugarlands Jennifer Nettles
      she is awesome
      I hope Skyler does well
      looking forward to getting her CD
      loved her energy and singing

  3. I’m just wondering, does having a no.1 song equate to money-making ability as well?
    For example, Jennifer Hudson and Mandisa have the same number of hits, yet I can’t even remember who is Mandisa. R.Studdard, for example, seems to be the opening act in concerts while Clay Aiken is the featured singer in concerts. I went to a concert (David Foster’s) featuring a female singer in 2011 and Studdard was the no.2 singer opening the concert. The featured singer was the last performer (2 more singers performed after Studdard).
    IMO, if artists will simply depend on recordings, they will not make enough money to support a family (how much will an artist get out of a $1.29 download after deducting the iTunes fee and the other parties cut, a few cents–seriously?). The singers have to go on tours to make real money and be able to carry the concert on their own. That or they can be in movies or a regular TV show. I think the real test is longevity–how long they will be able to stay in the limelight after American Idol. Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson certainly know how to remain in the limelight. They must have brilliant managers.
    May I digress, how about Jennifer Hudson as one of the judges (to replace Randy) and Carrie Underwood (to replace JLo since JLo said she is not coming back). This will give us two female judges and one male judge.

    • Oh yes, please pack the judges with divas as if you haven’t learned anthing from JLO advertising

  4. What a wonderful legacy Idol has left for all of us to enjoy. It seems only yesterday that  I was 10, crying with my family as Kelly won it all…
    Wow. I hope Idol stays for many, many more seasons to come!

  5. There will quite a few more added from this last season also
    besides, Jessica and Phillip
    Hollie will chart something if not a few
    Skyler will have many songs if she gets the right agent
    Joshua will have hits
    I think Deandre may
    wish them all luck
    love the talent on IDOL better than any other show

  6. Phillip will break all the past records….

    If Jess works really hard and keeps singing at anything that is offered to her, maybe she can tie William Hung’s sales.

    • he’s already broken the record of the number of kidney stones removed. a lot of stones and yet he still survived the competition. no need to butter him up lordcalvin. it makes you and phil defensive and threatened by jessica’s prowess. OK?

      • Yes, it takes lots of bravery to face the embarrasement of doing the same national anthem gig over and over again because that;s the only work you can find.

  7. lordcalvinreklein below, what school did you graduate from that it’s so hard for you to grasp the essence of my comments about winning vis-a-vis living in reality? but oh, dude, your highness, i enjoy every inch and iota of the tiny lil hint you are trying to express from your tiny weeny mind, albeit sarcastic and yet acidic to the tongue that betrays the kind of ill breeding you got from the dregs of whichever underdog elemental dusts you were created from.

    • I got my undergrad degree from Cambridge and my grad degree from Oxford.

      • lordcalvinreklein, what year? and what degree? my mother works in cambridge; i can let her verify your credentials. my wife teaches in oxford; i can let her find out your credentials too. i’m surprised you don’t write as a schooled brit would. 

      • east end of london… aight dude, no wonder why you “behave” like that. but you are who you are, and pardon me if i won’t stoop anymore to your level of idiosyncrasy, so if you would, i’d like to inhibit myself from replying to any of your comments so as not to degrade myself. bye…  

  8. I’m missing something with this chart.  I didn’t know Kelly even had 73 songs out.  Yet this is saying she had 73 #1 songs?   I’m sure the list is right & I’m missing something.  I’m just not sure what I’m not getting.

  9. Nice to see David Archuleta there – he’s my favorite. Even though he’s on his 2-year church mission now, he has an album BEGIN. being released Aug 7 (mostly covers of well-known inspirational pop songs). It’s one of 2 albums he recorded in the 10 weeks before his mission after spending 4 weeks of that being filmed in Nandito Ako.   He left us such beautiful stuff for while he’s gone.  BTW he’s  DavidArchie on twitter and his manager has to update it while he’s gone but she includes bits from his emails. I recommend if you care about any Idol, follow them on twitter and visit their official site or fan sites often so you’ll know about tours and albums.  You can’t always count on promo to let you know.

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