American Idol winners by state: Find out which states have had the most Idol champs!

There's three winners who are from North Carolina. Find out if there are any contestants from your home state!
(ABC/Eric McCandless)
(ABC/Eric McCandless) /

American Idol is definitely one of the most popular singing competition shows that we have, and it's helped make some very talented winners known and established singers. I mean, there's even some contestants who didn't win their respective seasons, but have become famous anyway. I'm looking at you Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson!

But this post is going to focus on the winners. Where those finalists are from and which hometown they represent is a big part of their Idol journey and one of the reasons we become invested. You want to cheer on the contestant who's from the same place you are! And so below, we've listed all 21 American Idol winners by state as we wait for the highly-anticipated American Idol 2024 to see who will take the No. 22 spot!

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Ruben Studdard

Alabama brought us not one, but two American Idol winners! The first was Ruben Studdard, the second winner of the competition series who won season 2 in 2003. The singer was 25 years old at the time, and is from Birmingham, Alabama. Clay Aiken came in as his runner-up. In the finale, he sang "A House is Not a Home," "Imagine," and "Flying Without Wings."

Taylor Hicks

Taylor Hicks is also from the southern state and from the same city. Birmingham brought us two great stars! The artist won American Idol season 5 in 2006, beating Katharine McPhee. The 29-year-old at the time took the win thanks to his performances of "Living for the City," "Levon," and "Do I Make You Proud."

Jordin Sparks
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Jordin Sparks

Jordin Sparks was one of my personal favorite contestants ever on American Idol, and it really wasn't surprising that she won season 6! The powerful singer was only 17 during her season in 2007. She and Scotty McCreery are the youngest American Idol winners. The Glendale, Arizona native faced Blake Lewis in the finals, singing "Fighter," "A Broken Wing," and "This Is My Now." Could we see Sparks become an American Idol judge? She's certainly interested after news came out that the 2024 season will be Katy Perry's final one.

Kris Allen
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Kris Allen

Season 8 winner Kris Allen is from Conway, Arkansas. In 2009, the former contestant from Conway, Arkansas was 23 years old. Allen is definitely talented, and it was a close call between him and runner-up Adam Lambert. I personally also love Lambert, and so impressed that he's touring with Queen! Allen took home the win with "Ain't No Sunshine," "What's Going On," and "No Boundaries."

Chayce Beckham
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Chayce Bechkham

Apple Valley, California brought us Chayce Beckham! He was one of the more recent contestants on American Idol, taking part in season 19 in 2021. Willie Spence came in second place, with the 24-year-old at the time winning America over with his performances of "Blackbird," "Fire Away," and "Afterglow."

Nick Fradiani
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Nick Fradiani

The American Idol season 14 winner was Nick Fradiani! He made Guilford, Connecticut proud in 2015 when the then 29-year-old made it to the very end. Clark Beckham came in second place in the finals, where Fradiani sang "Bright Lights," "I Won't Give Up," and "Beautiful Life."

Phillip Phillips
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Phillip Phillips

Back in 2012, you know American Idol season 11 viewers from Georgia, specifically Leesburg, Georgia, were cheering on Phillip Phillips! The star was 21 years old during the competition, and beat second place winner Jessica Sanchez. In the finals, we heard "Stand By Me," "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," and "Home" from the star.

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Iam Tongi

The most recent winner on our list and probably the one with the most heart is Iam Tongi! The 18-year-old from Kahuku, Hawaii competed on American Idol season 21 in 2023. Every time he sang, viewers felt an emotional connection which is what I think contributed to his success. Tongi performed "Making Memories of Us," "Cool Down," and "I'll Be Seeing You" in the finals against Megan Danielle.

Lee DeWyze
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Lee DeWyze

I got excited to about Lee DeWyze because he's from my home state! The performer took home the win in season 9 of the competition series when he was 23 years old in 2010. From Mount Prospect, Illinois, he captivated fans throughout the season against Crystal Bowersox. His last time on the Idol stage saw him sing "The Boxer," "Everybody Hurts," and "Beautiful Day."

Maddie Poppe
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Maddie Poppe

One popular winner was Maddie Poppe who won American Idol season 16 in 2018. This season was the first one to move to ABC from Fox, so it was a big deal! The 20-year-old at the time from Clarksville, Iowa came in first against Caleb Lee Hutchinson by performing "Going Going Gone," "Don't Ever Let Your Children Grow Up," and "Landslide."

Noah Thompson
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Noah Thompson

Brought to you by the Bluegrass State is Noah Thompson! We saw the Louisa, Kentucky native just in 2022 for season 20 of the show. The 21-year-old at the time had some stiff competition with runner-up HunterGirl, who was also a popular choice amongst fans. Ultimately, Thompson won the votes with "I'm on Fire," "One Day Tonight," and "Stay."

Laine Hardy
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Laine Hardy

American Idol season 17 introduced us to Laine Hardy, who was only 18 years old in 2019. From Livingston, Louisiana, the performer came in first place against Willie Spence. He sang "Home," "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)," and "Bring It On Home to Me" that final time on the Idol stage.

Trent Harmon
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Trent Harmon

From Amory, Mississippi, 26-year-old at the time Trent Harmon took him the win for season 15 in 2016. This was billed as the farewell season since Fox had canceled the competition show. But then thakfully ABC brought it back! The pressure was definitely on, but Harmon was up to it against La’Porsha Renae, singing "Falling," "If You Don't Know Me by Now," and "Chandelier."

David COok
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David Cook

David Cook is one of the more known names on the list who came from American Idol season 7 in 2008. The Blue Springs, Missouri native was 25 years old at the time. The runner-up was another David who also became popular after the season, David Archuleta. Ultimately Cook won thanks to "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "Dream Big," and "The World I Know."

Just Sam
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New York

Just Sam (Samantha Diaz)

Samantha Diaz, known for their stage name Just Sam, competed on season 18 in 2020. Representing Harlem, New York, the 21-year-old at the time beat Arthur Gunn by performing "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" and "Rise Up."

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North Carolina

Fantasia Barrino

There must be something special in North Carolina as the state has brought us three American Idol winners so far! First up is Fantasia Barrino from High Point, North Carolina. She competed on American Idol season 3 in 2004 when she was 19 years old. The singer's runner-up was Diana DeGarmo. She won our hearts with "Chain of Fools," "A Fool in Love," and "The Greatest Love of All."

Scotty McCreery

Next up is Scotty McCreery from Garner, North Carolina who won American Idol season 10 in 2011. Like Sparks, he's one of the youngest contestants who won at 17 years old. The star and Lauren Alaina went head-to-head for first place in the finals. He won by performing "Gone," "Check Yes or No," and "I Love You This Big."

Caleb Johnson

The final winner from North Carolina is Caleb Johnson! The Asheville, North Carolina native was 23 years old at the time of winning American Idol season 13 in 2014. Jena Irene is the runner-up for that season. He sang "Dream On," "Maybe I'm Amazed," and "As Long as You Love Me" in the final show.

Carrie Underwood
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Carrie Underwood

No offense to everyone else but when you think of American Idol winners, two immediately come to mind. Those are Kelly Clarkson (more on her below!) and Carrie Underwood. The country singer is one of the most known artists today, and she definitely deserves the attention! Underwood won American Idol season 4 in 2005 when she was 21 years old. Bo Bice is the runner-up, and the artist from Checotah, Oklahoma sang "Long, Long Road," "Vehicle, and "Inside Your Heaven" for the big win.

Candice Glover
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South Carolina

Candice Glover

Season 12 brought us Candice Glover from St. Helena Island, South Carolina. 23 at the time, the singer took the Idol stage in 2013 and won the finals with "Chasing Pavements," "I Am Beautiful" and "I (Who Have Nothing)." The runner-up this season was Kree Harrison.

Kelly Clarkson
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Kelly Clarkson

I mean, this lovely lady needs no introduction! It's funny how she was the very first American Idol winner but is last on this list thanks to the alphabetical order. Well, we do save the best for last. Kelly Clarkson is probably the most famous and popular winners to come from the show. And definitely for good reason! The 20-year-old at the time impressed us all with her soulful voice on American Idol season 1 in 2002. She represents and makes Burleson, Texas very proud! Justin Guarini came in second place after Clarkson performed "Respect" and "Before Your Love."

American Idol 2024 premieres Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

A full list of American Idol winners: Where are they now?. dark. Next. A full list of American Idol winners: Where are they now?