Jordin Sparks Jordin Sparks

Where Are They Now? 'American Idol' Girls

is infamous for churning out viral celebs (see William Hung) and its fair share of rock stars (see Chris Daughtry). But in the fold, a bevy of beautiful belters has graced the music industry as a result of the reality singing competition. With the new season of AI shooting ratings through the roof (but nowhere near past seasons), we decided to reflect on the series' most notable female talents. -- Terry Carter

1. Jordin Sparks

Then: She won over America with her bubbly personality and powerful voice. After winning Idol, she created hits like "No Air" with Chris Brown, "Tattoo" and "Battlefield."
Now: Last year, Sparks shed 50 pounds and starred in the musical film Sparkle with the late Whitney Houston. She is also currently dating R&B singer Jason Derulo.
Photo Credit: WireImage
Kelly Clarkson

2. Kelly Clarkson

Then: After becoming the first winner of American IdolKelly Clarkson went on to have a very successful career as a trailblazer for the following winners. She on to takeover Billboard charts with two No. 1 albums and three No. 1 singles on Billboard and establish herself as a breakout star of the show.
Now: Clarkson announced her engagement to talent manager Brandon Blackstock in 2012. Adding to that exciting news, the pop singer is nominated for three awards at the 2013 Grammys for her latest album Stronger.
Photo Credit: WENN

Fantasia3. Fantasia

Then: After her American Idol victory, Fantasia's first single "I Believe" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard. She went on to release three albums and won over theatre-goers in her role as Celie on Broadway's rendition of The Color Purple. In 2010, the "When I See U" singer made headlines for all the wrong reasons steaming from her adulterous affair and the birth of her son with a married man.
Now: Fantasia is back with a new song called "Lose to Win" and new album, The Side Effects of You, reportedly due in March. Hopefully, she can put all the scandals behind her and let the music speak for itself.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Katharine McPhee

4. Katherine McPhee

Then: Though runner-up for season 5 of American Idol, Katherine McPhee didn't let that stop her. She went on to release two albums and starred in the comedy film The House Bunny with Anna Farris.
Now: She's starring as the lead in the hit musical show Smash on NBC.
Photo Credit: Getty Images 
Jennifer Hudson

5. Jennifer Hudson

Then: J. Hud may not have won American Idol but she went on to nab an Oscar and a Gramm, with 2006's silver screen hit Dreamgirls and classic remake "And I Am Telling You" solidified her showstopper status. In lieu of her success, Hudson's dream life turned to a nightmare when her mother, brother and nephew were murdered in 2008.
Now: In May 2012, William Balfour was convicted for the murders and justice was finally served for the Hudson family. Jennifer is now a mother and the spokesperson for Weight Watchers after losing 80 pounds. She is looking forward to her upcoming wedding with WWE wrestler David Otunga.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Carrie Underwood

6. Carrie Underwood

Then: Underwood has become the most successful Idol winner, selling over 12 million albums and 18 million digital tracks to date. Since winning the singing competition, she has released three No. 1 albums, won 11 Country Music awards and 5 Grammys. In 2010, Underwood married ice hockey player Mike Fisher.
Now: In 2012, Carrie released her fourth studio album Blown Away which debuted at No.1 on Billboard and is also up for an award at the 2013 Grammys.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Jessica Sanchez

7. Jessica Sanchez

Then: At the tender age of 11, Sanchez won over the hearts of America while on America's Got Talent. She then went on to become the runner-up of American Idol's 11th season.
Now: She recently announced to Billboard magazine that she has completed her debut album due this spring and she is also set to star on FOX's hit TV show Glee.
Photo Credit: Getty Images 
Leah LaBelle

8. Leah LaBelle

Then: Leah was voted off early in the third season of American Idol but the public has not forgotten her name. In 2011, Pharrell and Jermaine Dupri signed to her to So So Def/I Am Other Records.
Now: In 2012, LaBelle premiered her new video for her song "Sexify," which charted on Billboard R&B charts. Look out for her debut album coming soon.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Diana DeGarm

9. Diana DeGarmo

Then: Diana was the runner-up to Barrino during the third season of American Idol but has not been stagnant since. She has released her first album, starred in the Broadway show Hairspray and joined the cast of the soap opera drama The Young & The Restless as Angelina.
Now: In 2012, on the season finale of American Idol, fellow AI alumni Ace Young proposed to her live on-air. She is expected to wed him on June 1, 2013.
Photo Credit: FOX

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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