No surprise here: Carrie Underwood was by far the biggest “Idol” earner, according to Forbes, drawing $20 million from May 2010 to May 2011.
Tied for second: Daughtry ($6 million) and Adam Lambert ($6 million.) Daughtry had a moderate follow-up album but pocketed a decent amount of cash from touring. Lambert earned much of his cash from his world-wide tour.
No. 4: Fantasia pulled in $4 million from her reality show and her new album and tour.
And here’s a surprise at No. 5: Jordin Sparks earned $3 million. Honestly, I have no idea how they got their figure. Her album has not done well at all, with no hit singles and she’s not a big concert draw.
No. 6: Kelly Clarkson: $2.5 million. She got some more radio airplay from a few hits but didn’t tour that much.
Jennifer Hudson, at No. 7, also barely toured and earned $2 million based on her new album. She has a film coming up starring as Winnie Mandela. I expect her earnings estimates will go up significantly this coming year.
No. 8: Kellie Pickler drew $1.8 million, primarily from touring. She had no new album to promote but has one coming up soon.
No. 9: Clay Aiken brought in $1.5 million, mostly from touring and a new album.
No. 10 (tie): Kat McPhee earned $1 million. She stars in NBC’s “Smash” next year.
No. 10 (tie) David Archuleta also brought in $1 million. He had a memoir and a second album that didn’t do particularly well.
No. 10 (tie): David Cook tied for 10th with $1 million. He also brought in some bucks from past singles and a modest amount of touring. His new album just came out.
Forbes said Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox and Season Two champ Ruben Studdard just missed the chart.
- Pia Toscano is being pimped heavily by the Powers That Be, despite her ninth place finish. It’s easy to say she’s being promoted more heavily than anybody who has finished in ninth before. She even has a single “This Time,” which she sings on tour. It’s not getting much radio airplay yet.
Check out this promo that aired on Fox this week:
The other ninth place finishers over the years:
Season 1: Jim Verraros
Season 2: Corey Clark
Season 3: Camile Velasco
Season 4: Nikko Smith
Season 5: Mandisa
Season 6: Gina Glocksen
Season 7: Ramiele Malubay
Season 8: Megan Joy
Season 9: Andrew Garcia/Katie Stevens (save created a situation where both kind of finished eighth/ninth)