"American Idol" just started its final season, looking for one more winner to add to its roster — its 15th, for those keeping track. But while we wait for that to work itself out, let's focus on the past winners — and even those that didn't make it all the way. Who among the score of "American Idol" vets has gone on to be the top earner of the bunch? This might come as a shock, but it's a runner-up.
Adam Lambert, who came up short next to Kris Allen in Season 8, is getting the last laugh now, out-earning any other former contestant, including Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson and country favorite Carrie Underwood.According to Forbes, 33-year-oldLambert pulled in a cool $10 million in 2015. Not too shabby. Of course, touring the world as the front-man for Queen doesn't hurt.
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“Adam used the launching pad of 'American Idol' very well to have a successful recording career,” co-manager Martin Kirkup — who is obviously not at all biased — tells the magazine. “I think the main part of his career still lies ahead of him.”
Not that the other alums have anything to complain about. Underwood made $8 million in 2015, Chris Daughtry pulled in $6 million and Kelly Clarkson made a cool $4 million.
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick