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What Happened to All the Contestants on 'American Idol'?

Redbook Logo By Alisa Wolfson of Redbook | Slide 1 of 41: Since debuting in 2002 with original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson, American Idol has crowned talented singers from its robust 17 season-long run. From platinum artists like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood to Fantasia Barrino, many of the winners have gone on to release hit albums and chart-topping singles. But several fan favorites, and some of the most successful artists post-Idol, like Adam Lambert, Daughtry, and Jennifer Hudson, came in second, fourth and even seventh place in the competition. Today, those who have taken the top spots and those who were voted off before getting their big break have become worldwide superstars, passionate philanthropists, and political hopefuls. Here’s what the most popular contestants are doing after debuting on the Idol stage.

Since debuting in 2002 with original judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson, American Idol has crowned talented singers from its robust 17 season-long run. From platinum artists like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood to Fantasia Barrino, many of the winners have gone on to release hit albums and chart-topping singles. But several fan favorites, and some of the most successful artists post-Idol, like Adam Lambert, Daughtry, and Jennifer Hudson, came in second, fourth and even seventh place in the competition. Today, those who have taken the top spots and those who were voted off before getting their big break have become worldwide superstars, passionate philanthropists, and political hopefuls. Here’s what the most popular contestants are doing after debuting on the Idol stage.

© Kevin Winter - Getty Images

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