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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