Once again, Carrie Underwood is the top-earning 'American Idol' alum.

This win marks the second consecutive year that Underwood has topped the list, but her $10 million in earnings in 2014, from music sales, concerts and her role in NBC's 'The Sound of Music Live!,' is a big decrease from the $31 million she brought in in 2013.

Underwood's decrease mirrors a general trend with 'Idol,' which saw a drop from 14.3 million finale viewers in 2013 to only 6.6 million in 2014. But despite the decline in viewership, the show still remains a major cultural force.

“I think it’s the gold standard,” show judge Harry Connick, Jr., tells Forbes. “There’s probably a couple reasons. One, it’s been around the longest. Two, it’s the most streamlined of all these shows. I mean, there’s no gimmicks, there’s no teams. It’s just a bunch of people auditioning, and the group gets smaller and smaller and smaller until eventually it’s one person who wins.

“I think no show can keep 30 million viewers forever,” he continues. “But ... I think as long as it continues to produce superstars, it will remain relevant.”

Kelly Clarkson ranks second on the list, with $8 million in earnings, an increase from last year's $7 million. Clarkson topped Underwood, landing in the top spot, two years ago. Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips is third on the list, with $5 million in earnings. Scotty McCreery shares fourth place with Taylor Hicks.

Season 14 of 'American Idol' premiered Jan. 7 on Fox, featuring Keith Urban and new mentor Scott Borchetta.

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