For a while, there was no greater prize on TV than the title of the next
FULL COVERAGE: Saying farewell to 'American Idol'
Although seemingly everyone remembers the first "Idol" winner,
As we collectively prepare to bid adieu to
Clay Aiken (2003 "Idol" alum): Aiken came in second place to Ruben Studdard in the show's second season. His first post-"Idol" album, "Measure of a Man" went double platinum. He's since released five other full-length albums. Aiken also starred on Broadway in a production of "Monty Python's Spamalot." In 2014, he was the Democratic candidate for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District but lost.
Jennifer Hudson (2004 "Idol" alum): The affectionately nicknamed J-Hud finished in seventh place in the show's third season. But she went on to star in the film "Dreamgirls," for which she won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and an NAACP
Adam Lambert (2009 "Idol" alum): The theatrical Lambert was runner-up to Kris Allen in the show's eighth season, but his flair for stage presence paid off after the show ended. His first album, released in 2009, went gold. He's released three albums total, and in 2012 he announced he was embarking on a world tour with the surviving members of Queen, replacing singer Freddie Mercury. That successful tour spawned another one with Queen, which is going across Europe.
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