TOP TEN: Vital Idols

Saving the best for last.

Saving the best for last.

It’s end of the Idol as we know it, and we feel fine about reminiscing and playing our favorite songs from the artists that were a part of one of the most successful television shows of all-time. For 15 seasons now on FOX, beginning in June 2002, we’ve watched new talent emerge on stage and dialed our little hearts out (and texted and clicked a few buttons on the web) to see if our pick was going to move onto the next round of competition and, eventually, win the prize of being crowned the nation’s idol. Like any program, an eventual decrease in ratings and, in this case, slumping record sales from winners, began to defeat the purpose of it. It shouldn’t be a surprise that its latest season will be its last (at least, for now.) Still, you can’t devalue the program for what it did in its heyday. It was a giant and one that will be remembered forever.

While the show’s last premiere begins tonight at 8PM Eastern on FOX, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and find out which American Idol finalists ranked as the top ten from the archives of Adam’s Top 40. (These results may change, obviously, as a few contestants remain on my listing as of last week.) Since September 2002, when the first song from a finalist made my chart, 27 performers from the show have landed at least one top 40 single on my chart, and they’re responsible for 88 top 40 singles in total (with more to come, I’d hope.) That’s a whole lot of top 40 property over hundreds of weeks in the last 13+ years. So, who’s my top Idol finalist when it comes all those weekly points? Check it out below.

Biggest hits are determined by year-end point totals. Singles marked with a ** represent those entries that garnered an act’s top point total, but not the highest peak in the top 40.

Lee DeWyze
Season: Nine, winner
Top 40 hits: 1
Top 10 hits: 1
Biggest hit: “Sweet Serendipity” (#5, 2011)

David Archuleta
Season: Seven, second place
Top 40 hits: 2
Top 10 hits: 1
Biggest hit: “Crush” (#5, 2008)

Bo Bice
Season: Four, second place
Top 40 hits: 1
Top 10 hits: 1
Biggest hit: “The Real Thing” (#1 for three weeks, 2006)

Elliott Yamin
Season: Five, third place
Top 40 hits: 4
Top 10 hits: 1
Biggest hit: “Wait For You” (#5, 2007)

Clay Aiken
Season: Two, second place
Top 40 hits: 5
Top 10 hits: 2
Biggest hit: “Invisible” (#5 for two weeks, 2003)

Phillip Phillips
Season: Twelve, winner
Top 40 hits: 4
Top 10 hits: 3
Top 5 hits: 3
Number ones: 0
Biggest hit: “Gone, Gone, Gone” (#2 for two weeks, 2013)

Adam Lambert
Season: Eight, second place
Top 40 hits: 6
Top 10 hits: 4
Top 5 hits: 1
Number ones: 1
Biggest hit: “Whataya Want From Me” (#1 for two weeks, 2010)

David Cook
Season: Seven, winner
Top 40 hits: 5
Top 10 hits: 3
Top 5 hits: 3
Number ones: 2
Biggest hit: “Light On” (#1 for five weeks, 2008/2009)

Chris Daughtry
Season: Five, fourth place
Top 40 hits: 13
Top 10 hits: 8
Top 5 hits: 5
Number ones: 2
Biggest hit: “It’s Not Over” (#5 for five weeks**, 2007)

Singles charted:
“It’s Not Over” (#5)
“Over You” (#9)
“Feels Like Tonight” (#11)
“What About Now” (#3)
“No Surprise” (#1 for two weeks)
“Life After You” (#5)
“September” (#7)
“Photograph” (Santana featuring Chris Daughtry) (#17)
“Crawling Back To You” (#1 for two weeks)
“Outta My Head” (#26)
“Start Of Something Good” (#29)
“Waiting For Superman” (#6)
“Battleships” (#29)

Kelly Clarkson
Season: One, winner
Top 40 hits: 25
Top 10 hits: 18
Top 5 hits: 11
Number ones: 3
Biggest overall hit: “Don’t You Wanna Stay” (Jason Aldean featuring Kelly Clarkson) (#1 for four weeks)
Biggest main-credited hit: “Because Of You” (#1 for three weeks, 2005)

Singles charted:
“A Moment Like This” (#2)
“Miss Independent” (#3)
“Low” (#22)
“The Trouble With Love Is” (#4)
“Breakaway” (#3)
“Since U Been Gone” (#7)
“Behind These Hazel Eyes” (#1 for four weeks)
“Because Of You” (#1 for three weeks)
“Gone” (#11)
“Walk Away” (#7)
“Never Again” (#15)
“My Life Would Suck Without You” (#2)
“I Do Not Hook Up” (#11)
“Already Gone” (#2)
“All I Ever Wanted” (#28)
“Don’t You Wanna Stay” (Jason Aldean featuring Kelly Clarkson) (#1 for four weeks)
“Mr. Know It All” (#3)
“Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (#2)
“Dark Side” (#16)
“Catch My Breath” (#9)
“People Like Us” (#6)
“Underneath The Tree” (#12)
“Heartbeat Song” (#9)
“Invincible” (#7)
“Piece By Piece” (#12+)

Remember to watch tonight’s premiere of American Idol as a part of its two-night premiere at 8PM Eastern on FOX. Follow PGTC by clicking the tab below, or click the “Get Social!” page to find us on social media.

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Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Personal Charts, Retro

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