It’s about time for the season 18 premiere of ‘American Idol’! Ahead of the first episode on Feb. 16, we’re looking back at the past 17 winners and what they’re up to now.
Season 18 of American Idol is here! Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie are returning to their judges chairs, and the show premieres on Feb. 16. In just a few months, a brand new winner will be named! That person will join just 17 other people who are lucky enough to hold that elite title. American Idol became an immediate sensation when it first debuted in 2002, and Kelly Clarkson quickly became a superstar after winning the inaugural season. She has since become an international star, and has released several albums that’ve all fallen in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd spots on the Billboard charts. Kelly has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards and won three.
If you don’t think of Kelly when you think of American Idol winners, chances are, you probably think of Carrie Underwood. Carrie has become one of the most well-known singers in country music since she won the show’s fourth season in 2005, and she has released six albums in the years since her victory. Her most recent album, Cry Pretty, came out in 2018. Throughout her career so far, Carrie has taken home seven Grammy Awards, nine CMA Awards and 14 ACM Awards. She was inducted into the historic Grand Ole Opry in 2008, as well.
The most recent winner of American Idol was Laine Hardy, who won season 17 in 2019. Since the show, Laine has been working on his music, and hasn’t rushed to release anything. Sometimes, the best things take time, so we don’t blame him for wanting to get things just right before putting out his first album!
Of course, some other winners of the show aren’t as well-known as these stars, but you might be surprised to learn what some of them have been up to in the years since they were crowned champions! Click through the gallery above to see what all the American Idol winners are up to now!