American Idol Contestants From North Carolina

It seems like Charlotte and North Carolina have been a hotbed of American Idol contestants. We've had auditions in Charlotte, and seven finalists have come from the Tar Heel State - with two of those ultimately becoming winners, plus a runner up. Here's a closer look at Idol alum from North Carolina, as well as their respective careers.

01 of 07

Clay Aiken

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Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Age (during competition): 24
Season: 2
Finished: Runner up


  • Measure of a Man (2003)
  • Merry Christmas With Love (2004)
  • A Thousand Different Ways (2006)
  • All is Well (2006)
  • On My Way Here (2008)
  • Tried and True (2009)
  • Steadfast (2012)

Other Notable Appearances:

  • Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon (2003)
  • Performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" on the opening night of the 2003 World Series
  • Disney's Christmas Day Parade (2003
  • Nick At Nite Holiday Special (2003)
  • A Clay Aiken Christmas (2004)
  • Musical guest on Saturday Night Live (2004)
  • Many late night talk appearances, including "The Tonight Show" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
  • Appearances on TV shows Ed, Days of Our Lives, All My Children and Scrubs, 30 Rock, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Phineas and Ferb, Drop Dead Diva, Celebrity Apprentice and The Office
  • Performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the 2011 NHL All Star Game in Raleigh
  • Appeared in Monty Python's Spamalot on Broadway


  • 2003 American Music Awards Fan's Choice Award
  • 2003 Billboard Awards Best Selling Single - "Bridge Over Troubled Water/This Is The Night"  
  • 2004 Billboard Awards Best Selling Christmas Album - "Merry Christmas with Love"
  • 2004 Billboard Awards Best Selling Christian Album - "Merry Christmas with Love"  
  • 2005 Billboard Awards  Best Selling Christian Album - "Merry Christmas with Love"
02 of 07

Fantasia Barrino

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Hometown: High Point, NC
Age (during competition): 19
Season: 3
Finished: Winner


  • Free Yourself (2004)
  • Fantasia (2006)
  • Back to Me (2010)
  • Side Effects of You (2013)

Other Notable Appearances:

  • Played the lead role of Celie in the Broadway musical The Color Purple (2007)
  • Stared in the Broadway musical revue After Midnight (2013)
  • Performed "America the Beautiful" at WWE WrestleMania XXVI
  • Numerous talk show appearances
  • Starred in the reality show "Fantasia for Real"


  • Billboard Music Award Top Selling Single of the Year for "I Believe" (2004)
  • Grammy Award Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Bittersweet" (2011)
03 of 07

Bucky Covington

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Hometown:  Bucky Covington
Age (during competition): 28
Season: 5
Finished: 8th


  • Bucky Covington (2007)
  • Good Guys (2012)

Other Notable Appearances:

  • Played himself in Hannah Montana: The Movie

Awards: None

04 of 07

Kellie Pickler

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Hometown: Albemarle, North Carolina
Age (during competition): 19
Season: 5
Finished: 6th


  • Small Town Girl (2006)
  • Kellie Pickler (2008)
  • 100 Proof (2012)
  • The Woman I Am (2013)

Other Notable Appearances:

  • Appeared on, and subsequently won Dancing with the Stars in 2013
  • Sang "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch at the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
  • In September of 2012, shaved her head on Good Morning America in support of a friend battling breast cancer.


  • CMT Music Awards Breakthrough Video of The Year: "I Wonder" (2008)
  • CMT Music Awards Tearjerker Video of The Year: "I Wonder" (2008)
  • CMT Music Awards Performance of The Year: "I Wonder (2008)
Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Chris Daughtry

Hometown: McLeansville, North Carolina
Age (during competition): 26

Season: 5
Finished: 4th


  • Daughtry (2006)
  • Leave This Town (2009)
  • Break the Spell (2011)
  • Baptized (2013)

Other Notable Appearances: Appearances on The Tonight Show, Total Request Live, The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly and The Ellen DeGeneres Show


  • American Music Award for Best Adult Contemporary Artist (2007)
  • American Music Award Best Pop/Rock Album (2007)
  • Billboard Music Award for Top Billboard 200 Album (2007)
  • Billboard Music Award for Top Artist - Duo/Group (pop) (2007)
  • Billboard Music Award for Top New Artist (2007)
  • Billboard Music Award for Top Comprehensive Artist (2007)
  • Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Artists - Duo/Group (2007)
  • Billboard Music Award for Hot Adult Top 40 Artist (2007)
  • American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Duo or Group (2008)
  • American Music Award for Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist (2008)
  • People's Choice Award for Best Rock song for "Home" (2008)
06 of 07

Anoop Desai

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Hometown: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Age (during competition): 21
Season: 8
Finished: 6th/7th

Albums: Zero.0 (2012)

Other Notable Appearances: Appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Mo'Nique Show, and Access Hollywood, Today

Awards: Nominated for 2009 Teen Choice Awards Summer Tour

07 of 07

Scotty McCreery

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Hometown: Garner, NC
Age (during competition): 17
Season: 10
Finished: Winner


  • Clear as Day (2011)
  • Christmas with Scotty McCreery (2012)
  • See You Tonight (2013)

Other Notable Appearances:

  • Numerous commercials for Bojangles' - a chicken restaurant chain


  • American Country Awards Artist of the Year: New Artist (2011)
  • Academy of Country Music Awards Best New Artist (2012)
  • CMT Music Awards USA Breakthrough Video of the Year (2012)
  • Inspirational Country Music Awards Mainstream Country Male Artist (2013)
  • American Country Awards Artist of the Year: Breakthrough Artist (2013)
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