Forbes has published its list of the 2010 Top Earners for the past year. Would you like to guess who was #1?
1. CARRIE UNDERWOOD ($20 million) Buoyed by 83 concert dates in 12 months, the Season Four winner made as much as the rest of the TOP 5 IDOL EARNERS COMBINED. GO CARRIE! Here's the rest of the list: 2. DAUGHTRY ($6 million, tie) Though he only finished fourth in Season Five, Chris Daughtry ’s eponymous band earned big with 53 dates in support of album Leave This Town. 3. ADAM LAMBERT ($6 million, tie) Lambert was edged by Kris Allen in Season Eight, but he easily out-earned his rival thanks largely to 116 shows around the world in 12 months. Go Adam! 4. FANTASIA ($4 million) Season Three’s champ cashed in on new album Back to Me and 38 shows; will star in film Mahalia! later this year. I think as long as you "tour" and do live shows, your number increase significantly... 5. JORDIN SPARKS ($3 million) The youngest winner in the show’s history, Sparks debuted at age 17 and broke out with “No Air,” a duet with Chris Brown that has sold 4 million digital copies to date – making it the best-selling single ever by any American Idol contestant. Jordin has always done well because of her singles...Great job Jordin! 6. KELLY CLARKSON ($2.5 million) The first-ever American Idol continues to be a household name, though Clarkson’s earnings dipped from last year’s tour-fueled $11.7 million. Look for a comeback: her fifth album is set for release this fall. 7. JENNIFER HUDSON ($2 million) Hudson’s yearly take is a bit low due to a paucity of tour dates, but she remains one of Idol’s greatest successes, winning an Oscar in 2006 for her role in Dreamgirls. She recently signed on as spokeswoman for Weight Watchers. 8. KELLIE PICKLER ($1.8 million) With nearly 80 shows in the past 12 months, mostly as a supporting act or co-headliner, Pickler is one of the hardest-working Idol alums. 9. CLAY AIKEN ($1.5 million) The Raleigh, N.C., native has sold over 4 million albums, penned a New York Times bestselling memoir and starred in Broadway’s “Spamalot” in the wake of his second-place finish in Season Two; new album Tried and True hit stores last year. Considering Clay hasn't had an album in a while, it's still pretty impressive. 10. KATHARINE MCPHEE ($1 million, tie) In addition to releasing three albums, the Season Five runner-up has co-starred in series The House Bunny and is set to co-star in NBC’s Smash. Now that Kat will be in "Smash," hopefully her numbers will rise next year. 10. DAVID ARCHULETA ($1 million, tie) Defeated in Season Seven by David Cook, Archuleta went on to release a self-titled album on Jive records that reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts. His memoir, Chords of Strength, debuted last June. 10. DAVID COOK ($1 million, tie) Cook has come a long way from tending bar in Tulsa, Okla. four years ago. After winning Season Seven, debut album David Cook went platinum. He also boasts an endorsement deal with Sketchers; his second album, This Loud Morning, was released in June. Near Misses Recent contestants Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox and Season Two champ Ruben Studdard narrowly missed the list this year. Methodology These numbers are based on estimated pretax income earned from May 2010 to May 2011, before subtracting agent and manager fees. The totals were compiled with the help of data from Pollstar, RIAA and others, as well as extensive interviews with industry insiders including managers, concert promoters, publicists, agents and, in some cases, the musicians themselves. For more on the business of music, check out Zack’s Jay-Z biography, Empire State of Mind. Source