Where Are They Now? – American Idol Winners – Part 2

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My November 13, 2019 post gave an update on the first 9 winners of American Idol. Here is the update on the winners from Seasons 10 through 19.

Season 10 – Scotty McCreery – Country music singer, McCreery was only 17 years old when he won. He has released 4 studio albums, 3 of which topped the Country Albums chart, and 1 of which was certified platinum. He has had 3 top 10 singles in the country charts, with Five More Minutes reaching #1 in 2017 and This is It reaching #1 in 2018 on the Country Airplay chart. Five More Minutes is the first song to reach #1 with an artist who was not signed to a recording contract – McCreery released the song after his record company dropped him. In 2019, he is touring, performing in Europe, headlining venues in North America and performing in larger venues in support of Old Dominion’s 2019 tour.

Season 11 – Phillip Phillips – Folk rock singer, Phillips has released 3 studio album since his win. Phillips performed the song Home on the final performance night that season, and it was released as a single the following day. He also sang it when his win was announced, and it became the best selling coronation song in Idol history. It reached #1 on 3 Billboard charts (Adult Alternative, Adult Contemporary and Adult Top 40), and it peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 chart. His followup single, Gone, Gone, Gone, also topped the Adult Alternative and Adult Contemporary charts. In 2018, he had a role in an episode of Hawaii 5-0, and he is touring in smaller venues in North America.

Season 12 – Candace Glover – R&B singer, she auditioned 3 times before being cast on the live show. She was cut in Season 9 when Simon said that she would be nothing more than a lounge singer, and she was cut in Season 11 when she forgot the lyrics to the song she was singing during her audition. She has released one studio album since her win, and her coronation single I Am Beautiful reached #93 on the Hot 100 and #33 on the R&B chart. Only 1 other single has charted – Cried reached #16 on the R&B chart in 2013. A second album was due out in 2016, but it has not yet been released. Other than a small role as a singer in a Hallmark Christmas film and a Christmas Holiday show on Broadway, Glover has not been active in the music industry.

Season 13 – Caleb Johnson – Hard rock singer, he auditioned for Season 10 and 11 (making it to the top 42), and finally made it to the show in Season 13. He released a studio album soon after his win – titled Testify, it only sold 11,000 copies in its debut week, the lowest total for a debut week of any Idol winner. He started working independently on a second album, but except for 2 singles in 2016, nothing has been released. He has toured as a singer for Meatloaf, and in 2018 he performed with The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He re-emerged in 2019 with a blues rock album as part of a rock band called Caleb Johnson and the Ramblin’ Saints – an album was released in June, and the group occasionally performs shows.

Season 14 – Nick Fradiani – Pop singer, before he was on Idol, he was a member of a northeast regional band called Beach Avenue, winning a Battle of the Bands competition, releasing 2 EPs and competing on America’s Got Talent. As a solo artist, he released 1 studio album after his win on Idolit barely charted, and his winning song, Beautiful Life, peaked at #93 on the Hot 100. In 2017, he released an EP, Where We Left Off. He plays occasional shows at smaller venues, and he is performing in the 2019-2020 North America tour of the Broadway musical A Bronx Tale. 

Season 15 – Trent Harmon – Country singer, he released an independent EP prior to his season on Idol, and 1 studio album after his win. His coronation song, Falling, reached #27 on the Hot Country Songs chart, as did the first single from his studio album. In May 2019, he parted ways with his record company. You can buy Trent Harmon tee shirts and caps on line, but that’s about all there is for Harmon.

Season 16 – Maddie Poppe – Indie pop/folk singer, she self released an album after high school, and she auditioned for The Voice, though none of the judges chose her, so she was eliminated. Two years after high school graduation, she won Idol. She released her first studio album, Whirlwind, in May 2019, and a couple of singles charted on the Adult Top 40 chart. She has been touring since the release of her album, and she has a couple of concerts scheduled in December 2019, if you want to see her perform (Las Vegas and St. Louis).

Season 17 – Laine Hardy – Country/Pop singer, Hardy won in May 2019, at the age of 18. His coronation song, Flame, was released as a single, peaking at #8 on the Digital Songs chart. While the song is pop rock, Hardy doesn’t consider it representative of his style, which is country. He started his first tour in November 2019 – 13 dates, playing at small nightclubs.

Season 18 – Just Sam – R&B singer Samantha Diaz distanced herself from American Idol soon after winning Season 18, deleting nearly every reference on her Instagram account. She was unsigned by a record label. She collaborated with Faith Becnel on a Christmas single that was released independently, and she released an indie single titled Africando in 2021. She recently posted a video of her singing on subway trains, which is how she began her singing career.

Season 19 – Chayce Beckham – Country singer, he won the crown in May 2021. After his win, he moved to Nashville, and released his first single, 23. He is working on an album.

American Idol certainly has lost its luster from the earlier seasons – I hope that some budding star will be discovered. Watch Phillip Phillip’s performance of Home – honestly, this is the only song that I knew from these artists. You’ve heard it too – it’s been used in commercials for American Family Insurance, Mazda, Walmart, and others. And, it’s a good one!




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