'American Idol' highlighted talent in North Carolina
Posted April 6, 2016 6:41 p.m. EDT
Updated July 12, 2018 2:13 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina is known for being the home of Krispy Kreme Donuts and Pepsi, but America Idol has recently shined a light on talent from the Tar Heel State, providing the show with the most winners from any state.
At just 17 years old, Garner native Scotty McCreery won season 10 of "American Idol". Since then, he's released three No. 1 albums, selling more than 2.6 million albums total.
The now 22-year-old also has a book, "Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream,” that’s scheduled to be released soon.
High Point's Fantasia Barrino took the title in season three. She ranks 5th in album sales among "American Idol" contestants with 3.5 million albums sold.
Barrino has performed on Broadway and in a Lifetime TV movie based on her life. The NC native has also won numerous awards since being crowned "American Idol," including a Grammy.
Caleb Johnson—an Asheville native—was crowned the show’s winner in season 13. His first album after the show sold 26,000 copies.
Johnson recently released a new single called "Holding On".
Former YMCA camp counselor and Raleigh native Clay Aiken finished second in season 2. He ranks 4th in album sales among "American Idol" alumni, selling more than 5 million.
Aiken appeared on Broadway and reached the finals on Celebrity Apprentice. He turned to politics in 2014 with a run for Congress. Aiken is currently a political commentator on CNN.
Chris Daughtry finished 4th in season five; he tops all other "American Idol" non-winners in album sales, selling more than 9 million copies.
Daughtry most recently portrayed Judas in the live broadcast of “The Passion” on Fox.
Albemarle's Kellie Pickler finished two spots behind Daughtry, coming in sixth place in the show’s 5th season.
Pickler sold more than 2 million albums. She and her husband currently have a reality show, “I love Kellie Pickler,” which was recently renewed for a second season.