The 5 best-selling American Idol artists are not all winners of the competition. This may not be surprising since some winners have vanished into obscurity, while other "American Idol" alumni who did not win have gone on to have successful musical careers. Regardless of winning or coming up short, here is the list of best selling "American Idol."
- Carrie Underwood– The season four winner has been the queen of record sales among top selling "American Idol" artists. Her three albums have totaled over 11 million copies sold. Her first album, "Some Hearts," was seven times platinum. Her next two albums, "Carnival Ride" and "Play On," both went platinum and reached number one on the sales chart.
- Kelly Clarkson– It is only fitting that the original winner be amongst the best selling "American Idol" singers. Clarkson is a shade behind Underwood in album sales with approximately 10.5 million copies sold. Her second album, "Breakaway," was her biggest hit, selling over six million.
- Chris Daughtry– Just because he didn't win doesn't mean he can't be among the top selling American Idols. The fourth place finisher of season five went on to form a band, Daughtry, which has sold 5.5 million copies of their two albums. Their self titled debut was four times platinum.
- Clay Aiken– Aiken is one of the show's most memorable contestants, and although he was the runner-up, is also one of the best selling American Idols. Over the course of five albums, Aiken has sold nearly five million copies.
- Rubben Studdard– Although beating Aiken on the show, Studdard is behind in record sales. The season two winner has sold approximately 2.5 million copies of his five albums. Still, he comes in fifth on the best selling "American Idol" artists list.