Top 5 Most Successful ‘American Idols’ of All-Time (PHOTOS)

By Celebrity News Wire on January 16, 2013

Kelly Clarkson and Jordin Sparks Clay Aiken Jordin Sparks Chris Daughtry Carrie Underwood Kelly Clarkson

With American Idol season 12 kicking off, the search begins for the next big star.

While taking the crown on the FOX singing competition can certainly be a singer’s breakout moment, a win doesn’t necessarily spell success.

After each Idol season adjourns, victors venture into the wider world of in the music industry, some making quite a splash — like chart-blazing inaugural champ Kelly Clarkson — while others simply sink.

Sometimes, even as title holders lose that Idol lunar pull as runner-ups — like season two’s second-best Clay Aiken or seventh-place finisher Jennifer Hudson — stand the test of time.

So as the FOX jaugernaut prepares to premiere — revealing a revamped judge’s panel, with pop diva Mariah Carey, raptress Nicki Minaj and country star Keith Urban joining Idol veteran Randy Jackson — it feels only fitting to look back at all the Idol alums who have made a mark on music.

Who has been the most successful Idol of all-time? Take a gander at the gallery, above, to find out who holds the honor.

Then weigh in: Who is your favorite Idol? Explain why in the comments, below.

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