Carrie Underwood Tops 2009's Top-Paid ‘American Idols'

A number of "American Idol" winners and runner-ups alike have gone on to superstardom since the launch of the FOX show – and according to Forbes, many of them are earning paychecks to match.

David Cook, last season's winner, earned $2 million since June 2008, the mag reported, based mostly on sales from his self-titled debut album, in addition to tour proceeds and a sponsorship deal with Skechers.

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And his runner-up, David Archuleta, earned $1.3 million thanks to his own debut album and tour.

Past "Idols" earned even more in the last year, however.

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Country star Carrie Underwood counted $14 million, making her Forbes' estimated top-grossing "Idol" alum in the last year. Carrie has played over 300 concerts since her "Idol" victory in Season 4 and released two hit albums, "Some Hearts" and "Carnival Ride," which have sold a reported total of 9.6 million retail copies and 10.7 million downloads. She also has an endorsement deal with Vitamin Water.

Running second to Carrie is Jennifer Hudson, who was a finalist on the third season of "Idol." An Oscar-winning actress as well as a successful singer, Jennifer earned $5 million in the last year, bolstered by an endorsement deal with Gap.

The first-ever "Idol," Kelly Clarkson, also made the mag's list of its wealthiest alums, and holds the record for most albums sold by a former "Idol" with over 10 million. Her latest, "All I Ever Wanted," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts earlier this year.

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As for the new "Idol," Kris Allen, he told Access Hollywood's Billy Bush on Thursday that he wasn't worried about the money.

"Whatever happens… seriously, this is not about the money for me, it's just about making good music," Kris said. "If I make money at it then it doesn't matter how much."

Below, Forbes' top 10 "Idol" earners:

1. Carrie Underwood - $14 million
2. Jennifer Hudson - $5 million
3. Kelly Clarkson – $4.2 million
4. Jordin Sparks - $3.1 million
5. Kellie Pickler - $2.3 million
6. Clay Aiken - $2.2 million
7. Chris Daughtry - $2 million
8. David Cook - $2 million
9. David Archuleta - $1.3 million
10. Taylor Hicks - $300,000

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