6 ‘American Idol’ Winners and Contestants Who Won Grammys

In 2006, Kelly Clarkson became the first winner of American Idol to win a Grammy Award. Along with Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, and Jordin Sparks are the only other American Idol winners to win a Grammy, while season two winner Ruben Studdard, season eight runner-up Adam Lambert, and other winners and contestants throughout the seasons have received plenty of nominations.

Studdard picked up a Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his recording of “Superstar” in 2003. Adam Lambert, runner-up to winner Kris Allen, also picked up a Grammy nomination in 2011 for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Whataya Want From Me.”

Even though season five winner Taylor Hicks hasn’t been nominated yet, he did appear on Jimmy Fallon‘s 2012 album Blow Your Pants Off, which won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album in 2013.

Videos by American Songwriter

Singer Kelly Clarkson poses with her Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Female Pop Vocal Performace awards in the press room at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 8, 2006, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Chris Daughtry, who came in fourth place during season five was nominated for four Grammys for his 2006 debut Daughtry, while season six winner Sparks picked up two nods—one in 2009 for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for “No Air” with Chris Brown and again in 2024 for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for collaboration with For King & Country on “Love Me Like I Am.”

[RELATED: 3 of the Most Show-Stopping Performances in ‘American Idol’ History]

Danny Gokey, who made it to third place in season eight, also picked up three nominations in the Christian categories.

Since American Idol has bred some of the biggest, award-winning artists, here’s a look at six of its alums who won Grammys.

Kelly Clarkson

The first winner of American Idol, Clarkson won three Grammys and received 15 nominations since winning the inaugural season in 2002. By 2004, Clarkson picked up her first Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for “Miss Independent.” Just two years later, Clarkson became the first Idol alum to win a Grammy Award winning two for Best Pop Vocal Album for her second album Breakaway, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her hit “Since U Been Gone.”

Clarkson picked up another Grammy in 2011 for Best Pop Vocal Album for her album Stronger.

Read our 2023 Cover Story with Kelly Clarkson HERE.

Carrie Underwood

Season four champ Carrie Underwood is the past Idol grad with the most Grammy Award wins and nominations. Underwood has won eight Grammys and has received 16 nominations, picking up her first awards in 2006 for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Jesus, Take the Wheel” from her 2005 debut Some Hearts, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Her Some Hearts single “Before He Cheats” also won Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2008.

A year later, Underwood picked up another Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Last Name,” from her second album Carnival Ride, and again in 2010 for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for her duet with Randy Travis on his 1987 song “I Told You So.”

[RELATED: 4 Songs You Didn’t Know Carrie Underwood Wrote For Other Artists]

Underwood also won the Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance for “Blown Away,” the title track of her fourth album, in 2013, and topped the same category in 2015 for “Something in the Water.” In 2022, Underwood picked up another Grammy for Best Roots Gospel Album for her 2021 release My Savior.

Fantasia Barrino

After her season three win, Fantasia Barrino’s career was on fire. In 2007, she recorded a duet with Aretha Franklin, “Put You Up on Game,” then released two albums, Back to Me (2010) and Side Effects of You (2013), which both went to No. 2 on the Billboard 200.

Barrino’s Back to Me single “Bittersweet” earned her a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 2011.


During season five of American Idol in 2006, Mandisa Hundley came in ninth place but continued releasing music long after the competition, from her 2007 debut True Beauty to her sixth album Out of the Dark in 2017, which addressed her struggles with depression. Mandisa also released a memoir of the same name in 2022.

[RELATED: Watch the Late Mandisa’s ‘American Idol’ Audition That Had Judges “Fallin’” Over Themselves]

Mandisa, who died on April 24, 2024, at age 47, also picked up five Grammy nominations throughout her career and won Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for her fifth release Overcomer, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart, but she never attended the 2014 ceremony.

Jennifer Hudson

Even though Jennifer Hudson barely made it into the top five of the competition—placing seventh during the third of Idol before being voted off—she went on to reach EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status in 2022 when she picked up a Tony Award as a producer for Best Musical Tony for A Strange Loop.

After releasing her self-titled debut in 2008, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, Hudson earned three Grammy nominations: Best R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Spotlight,” and Best R&B Duo/Group Performance for “I’m His Only Woman,” featuring Idol winner Fantasia Barrino.

When Hudson’s debut earned her a Grammy in 2009 for Best R&B Album, one of her idols, Whitney Houston, presented the award to her. Hudson picked up her second Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album for The Color Purple in 2017.

Tori Kelly

During the ninth season of American Idol, Tori Kelly was cut before she reached the top 24, but that didn’t stop her from going on to win a Grammy. After receiving her first nomination for Best New Artist in 2016, Kelly won two Grammys in 2019 for her second studio album Hiding Place, winning Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Performance/Song for “Never Alone.”

Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Randy Travis

Randy Travis Seemingly Teases New Music With the Most Exciting 16 Seconds in Modern Country Music History