Phillip Phillips faces life after 'American Idol' win
Published Thursday, May 24, 2012 11:33AM EDT
Twenty-one-year-old Phillip Phillips shed tears of joy on Wednesday night after he was named the winner of "American Idol."
"I hate crying, but I'll probably cry some more. It feels good at times," Phillips told People magazine after the show.
However, after those joyful tears fade Phillips will be faced with the cold, hard reality of life after "American Idol."
Since its TV debut in 2002, the reality franchise based on the UK show "Pop Idol" has crowned 11 winners, including Phillips. Some winners, such as Carrie Underwood, have transcended their reality TV origins to build lasting careers in the industry. Others have not been so lucky.
Phillips coronation song and debut single "Home," revealed a big, bold voice that should fare well in the future with fans and critics. But it won't be easy to top the accomplishments of these previous "Idol" winners.
Kelly Clarkson captured the world's hearts in 2002 when she became the inaugural winner of "American Idol." Since then, Clarkson, 30, has sold 10.6 million albums and 15.9 million tracks. Esquire magazine also named the two-time Grammy winner the best voice in the history of pop music. Clarkson's big, dynamic soprano voice continues to shine in tours and recordings.
Since winning the fourth season of "American Idol" in 2005, 29-year-old Carrie Underwood has scooped up multiple Grammy Awards and married Nashville Predators hockey star Mike Fisher. The beautiful blonde from Checotah, Oklahoma has also become "American Idol's" top-selling winner. As of May 2011, Underwood has sold 12.4 million album copies and 19 million digital tracks. Her latest album, "Blown Away," topped the North American charts after its release on May 1, 2012.
After her victory on the sixth season of "American Idol," Jordin Sparks sold more than two million copies world wide with her platinum, self-titled album in 2007. The twenty-two-year-old from Glendale, Arizona also pushed her career into new territory in 2010, making her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning music, "In the Heights." Sparks has even turned her attention to Hollywood, and is set to make her film debut later this summer in "Sparkle," opposite the late Whitney Houston.
David Cook became a household name in 2008 after winning the seventh season of "American Idol." Since then, the boisterous signer from Blue Springs, Missouri has sold more than 1.3 million albums and 3.9 million tracks. His post-"Idol" album, "David Cook," went platinum in 2008. Cook has since built on that success with the release of his second studio album in 2010, "The Loud Morning."