Kelly Clarkson leads a (surprising group of) American Idol alumni in radio airplay

Among American Idol alumni, first-season winner Kelly Clarkson has had the most radio airplay over the past seven years, from 2002 to 2009. That’s not surprising, considering she’s one of the few true idols to come form the show.

Every winner is on the list with the exception of Kris Allen (whose record was just released, so it’s not unsurprising he’s not yet on the same list as people who’ve had multiple records over many years) and Taylor Hicks (who’s Taylor Hicks). But a few others may be surprising, like season two’s Josh Gracin, who came in fourth place and hasn’t exactly been generating headlines, but he’s gotten more airplay than two winners, David Cook and Ruben Studdard.

Here are the top 10, according to Mediabase, as compiled by The New York Daily News:

  1. Kelly Clarkson (season one winner): 3,786,731
  2. Daughtry (season five finalist): 2,012,389
  3. Carrie Underwood (season four winner): 1,675,041
  4. Jordin Sparks (season six winner): 1,042,670
  5. Fantasia (season three winner): 604,006
  6. Josh Gracin (season two finalist): 479,204
  7. David Cook (season seven winner), 464,435
  8. Ruben Studdard (season two winner): 346,366
  9. Elliott Yamin (season five finalist): 340,339
  10. Jennifer Hudson (season three finalist): 296,150
‘American Idol’ big on radio too: Which contestants got the most play? [New York Daily News]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.