American Idol
The current American Idol judges are Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick JrReuters

After 16 years of hilariously bad auditions and coming across the rare superstar, American Idol will close its curtains in 2016.

US TV network Fox have confirmed that the iconic singing competition has been cancelled and will wrap up with season 15.

Many judges have sat at the famous table, including Simon Cowell, Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, and thousands of hopefuls have stood on the stage before them.

Whether they buckled in the live shows or were even crowned the winner, not everyone has had enjoyed success after the season ended.

However, this lucky alumni has managed to eclipse the American Idol label that made them famous in the first place. IBTimes UK takes a look back at the most successful contestants the show has produced.

Kelly Clarkson

The Stronger singer was crowned the first winner of the talent contest in 2002 and has gone on to become one of the most successful female singers of recent decades.

The mother-of-one has sold more than 45 million albums worldwide, racked up 91 number ones on the US Billboard charts and won three Grammy awards.

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson won the first ever season of American IdolKevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Jennifer Hudson

The Chicago-native did not win the third season of American Idol but she is one of the most memorable – and successful contestants to date.

Two years later, she appeared in musical Dreamgirls alongside Beyonce and Eddie Murphy and her performance earned her the best supporting actress Oscar.

Hudson has sold more than one million albums in the US and was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2013.

Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson did not win American Idol but has since won an Academy AwardJeff Schear/Getty Images for We Day

Carrie Underwood

After winning season four, the Alabama-native went on to win seven Grammys, has sold more than 65 million records worldwide. The 32-year-old has also achieved the most number ones on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Carrie Underwood
American Idol winner Carrie Underwood has gone on to become one of the most successful country singersJason Merritt/Getty Images for dcp

Adam Lambert

The rocker came runner-up in season eight but his star has soared since with his second album, Trespassing, reaching number one on the US Billboard 200 chart.

Lambert has also become an activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and was honoured with the outstanding contribution to music award by GLAAD in 2010. The singer has also embarked on a tour with Queen.

Adam Lambert
Since coming out in 2009, Adam Lambert has become an activist for the LGBT community while his music career has soaredKevin Winter/Getty Images For 102.7 KIIS FM's Wango Tango

Jordin Sparks

The 25-year-old became the youngest person to win American Idol aged 17 in season six. Her self-titled debut album was certified platinum and perhaps her career highlight was starring alongside iconic singer Whitney Houston in the film Sparkle.

Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks reached the peak of her career when she starred alongside Whitney Houston in the 2011 movie SparkleREUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Katharine McPhee

The 31-year-old finished as a runner-up in the fifth season of the Fox series and her debut album went on to sell more than 381,000 copies in the US. McPhee has also launched a successful film career, starring in Shark Night 3D, Smash, The House Bunny and Scorpion.

Katharine McPhee
Singer Katharine McPhee has launched a successful movie career since finishing runner-up in American IdolREUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Phillip Phillips

The guitarist won season 11 of American Idol and has achieved something none of his fellow alums can say. His single Home became a soundtrack for the 2012 London Olympics and has shifted more than five million copies.

Phillip Phillips
Phillip Phillip's single Home became one of the soundtracks for the 2012 London OlympicsNeilson Barnard/Getty Images for Food Network Magazine

Ruben Studdard

The soul singer was one of the early champions of American Idol, triumphing in the second season. He has since become a top-selling gospel artist and earned the favourite male R&B vocal performance Grammy nomination in 2004 for Superstar.

Ruben Studdard
Season two American Idol winner Ruben Studdard has carved out a lucrative gospel career over the last decadeREUTERS/Fred Prouser

Fantasia Barrino

One of American Idol's most memorable contestants, Barrino won the third season and has clocked up a Grammy win for favourite female R&B vocal performance.

Aside from music, Barrino has graced the Broadway stage starring in After Midnight.

Fantasia Barrino
Singer Fantasia Barrino won the third season of American IdolREUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Kellie Pickler

Although the North Carolina native came in sixth place, the country singer reached number two with her album 100 Proof in 2012. The previous year, Forbes estimated her net worth to be $1.1m (£641,000).

Kellie Pickler
Kellie Pickler was estimated to have earned more than $1m in 2011REUTERS/Mike Stone