Carrie Underwood named "American Idol's" top earner
Checotah native and Season 4 champion Carrie Underwood is now officially “American Idol”’s top earner, surpassing season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson.
In the new issue of the Hollywood Reporter, which features a 21-page package celebrating “Idol”’s 10th anniversary, the trade publication breaks down the show’s most successful graduates.
Last year, Clarkson reigned supreme on Billboard’s Top 24 “Idols” tally, with 10,600,000 albums and 15,900,000 digital tracks sold since 2002.
But as of May 16, Underwood’s album sales topped 12,296,000 and she’s moved more than 18,482,000 digital tracks since winning Season 4, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Clarkson boasts 10,674,000 in album sales, and digital track sales of 17,254,000, according to the trade publication.
Underwood has spent a healthy chunk of the last two years on the road, most recently with last year’s 115-plus-date “Play On” tour.
The trade publication notes that Clarkson’s international presence is stronger than Underwood’s, who as a country artist plays mostly to U.S. and Canadian audiences. (Although Clarkson also has courted country fans in the past year with her hit duet with country star Jason Aldean, “Don’t You Wanna Stay.”)
But Clarkson has spent much of 2010 and 2011 working on her forthcoming fifth album – or spending rather than earning. To compare, Clarkson’s tour revenues since her win hover around $32,000,000, reports the trade pub, while Underwood has pulled in twice that amount since 2006, or upwards of $66,000,000.
Further cementing Underwood’s place at the top of the “Idol” heap is her recent foray into film. Underwood was cast for a supporting role in April’s inspirational biopic “Soul Surfer,” which grossed $39.5 million at the box office, and scored a guest spot on the popular sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”
Season 7 winner and former Tulsan David Cook ranks No. 9 on HR’s top 10 “Idols” list, with album sales of 1,324,000 and digital track sales of 4,196,000. He is following his platinum-selling debut with June 28’s “This Loud Morning,” tours regularly and scored an endorsement deal with Skechers.
Cook will perform Tuesday on the two-night Season 10 “Idol” finale. Southern singers Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina will compete for the title at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday on Fox.
To find out the other “Idols” on this year’s top earners list, click here.
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