Ever since “American Idol” started on FOX with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Johnson, the modern-day, American TV singing competition has been going strong. It has been more than two decades now.
The show was such a hit, copycats popped up in different genres. Even cover bands got their moment in the sun. But the big three are “Idol,” “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent,” which rewards entertainers in addition to singers, notably magicians and ventriloquists, some of whom sing – and quite well.
There has been no betting on these shows – or Texas sports betting, for that matter – but Texas singers would get a lot of action if there was.
BetTexas.com – your source for Texas sports betting apps - utilized Wikipedia.com to gather each winner from the first season on of NBC’s “The Voice,” FOX & ABC’s “American Idol” and the singers who won on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” After finding the hometown of each contestant, we were able to come up with the states that have produced the most singing competition winners.
Texas has had seven singing winners – the most of any state – including the biggest winner of them all. We look at them here:
The most amazing thing about all the winners of all the singing shows this century is that the biggest star was found on the first one. Kelly Clarkson, from Fort Worth, won the first season of “American Idol” in 2002. She’s had hit after hit, been a judge on “The Voice” and shows during the Kellyoke opening of her popular afternoon talk show demonstrate that she can sing any song in any genre.
It’s not overstating that she is one of the Top 5 female vocalists of the last 25 years – Beyoncé, Adele, Pink, pick a fifth.
At her audition, Clarkson sang “Express Yourself” and “At Last” and got her ticket to Hollywood. After that she covered mostly R&B acts – Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Ben E. King, Aretha – but she also might be the only performer to sing a Betty Hutton big band song, “Stuff Like That There,” in a singing competition.
Her debut single from the show, “A Moment Like This,” was a smash, as was her first album, “Thankful,” which sold 4.5 million copies. Her next album, the Grammy-winning “Breakaway,” was even bigger, and since then Clarkson has poured out hits, be they ballads or anthems, and performed on the biggest stages with the biggest stars. The only other “Idol” winners to approach her success are Carrie Underwood and Fantasia. Also, Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert, neither of whom won.
In Season 7 (2008) Houston’s David Cook won “Idol,” singing mostly pop/rock from Neil Diamond to the Beatles, The Who, and U2. Cook had a few hit singles after “Idol” and has been recording ever since. He even took a turn on Broadway in the musical “Kinky Boots.”
In 2013, country-pop singer Danielle Bradberry from Houston won “The Voice” Season 4. She auditioned with Taylor Swift’s “Mean,” got three chairs to turn, and picked Blake Shelton as her coach. She sang country all the way through, with a special fondness for Pam Tillis, Carrie Underwood and Sara Evans. She’s released singles ever since and has toured with some of the biggest names in country music.
Craig Wayne Boyd, from Mesquite, won Season 7 of “The Voice” in 2014. The country singer auditioned with “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’” by Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart and chose Blake Shelton over Pharrell Williams to be his coach. He lost in the Battles and was stolen by Gwen Stefani, then lost in the Knockouts and was stolen back by Shelton. The public, however, liked him in the live shows and three of his songs reached the Top 10 on iTunes. Since then, he’s released three albums, the last in 2017.
Sundance Head, the son of the late singer/musician Roy Head, won Season 11 of “The Voice” in 2016. Hailing from Porter, Head had made it to the semifinals of the sixth season of “American Idol” in 2007 before trying out for “The Voice” nearly a decade later. He sang Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” in the audition and chose Shelton, of course, over Adam Levine. He went mostly country throughout the season and became another winner for Team Blake. He released the single “Leave Her Wild” since the show and is presently on tour.
In Season 16 (2019), Maelyn Jarmon from Frisco won “The Voice” with Coach John Legend. Jarmon was one of the most trained, nuanced vocalists ever to win the show. She was a four-chair turn with her version of Sting’s “Fields of Gold” and chose Legend over Levine, Clarkson and Shelton. Her “The Voice’ versions of “The Scientist” and “Stay” were the most streamed songs on Apple Music those weeks. Jarmon capped the season with a stunning rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
In Season 17 (also 2019) country singer Jake Hoot, from Corpus Christi, won for Coach Kelly Clarkson, the only coach who turned for him. Hoot was country throughout and ended his time on the show with “Amazed” by Lonestar and the self-penned original single “Better Off Without You.” In 2021, he released the single “I Would’ve Loved You,” featuring Clarkson.
So, there you have it. Many performers show why Texas is No. 1. Stay close to BetTexas.com for any news on the future of wagering in the state as well as for Texas sports betting promo codes.
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