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Carrie Underwood Named Top-Earning ‘American Idol’ Singer

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Carrie Underwood has returned to being the top-earning ‘American Idol‘ alum, according to Forbes magazine. The singer, who came in second place last year to Kelly Clarkson, reclaims the top spot this year.

Underwood raked in an impressive $31 million from June 2012 to June 2013, thanks in part to her multi-platinum selling ‘Blown Away’ album, as well as the album’s accompanying tour and live DVD, and an endorsement deal with Olay skin care. Her hefty paycheck is not only more than any other ‘Idol’ contestant in history, but also more than Keith Urban, Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj, who were last year’s ‘Idol’ judges.

Clarkson came in second place, making $7 million, mostly from her touring revenue. Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips and Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert tie for third place, making $5 million each last year.

Rocker Chris Daughtry is close behind Phillips and Lambert. The ‘Home’ singer, who comes in fifth place, made $4 million, cashing in on a busy touring schedule. Country music’s own Scotty McCreery, who was the Season 10 winner, comes in at sixth place, making $3 million, thanks in part to his debut ‘Clear as Day’ album, which sold over a million copies.

Other ‘Idol’ alum pulling in over a million dollars include Taylor Hicks, who is the first and only contestant to have a residency in Las Vegas, Fantasia Barrino and Kellie Pickler, who saw an increase in her revenue after taking home the mirrored ball trophy on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in 2013.

The 13th season of ‘American Idol’ premieres Wednesday night (Jan. 15) with Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. as judges. The show will air at 8PM ET on Fox.

Next: The Top 10 'American Idol' Country Singers

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