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by Wendy Lee Nentwig

July 13, 2014

'American Idol' Worship

by Wendy Lee Nentwig  |  July 13, 2014

Since 2002, American Idol has given hundreds of unknowns their 15 minutes of fame. Some, like Carrie Underwood, go on to prove they have staying power, forging a music career out of a reality show win, while others, like Sanjaya, rightly fade back into obscurity. Then there's another subset of Idol finalists whose faith takes center stage.

Colton Dixon, who placed seventh in Season 11, always made it clear he planned to pursue a career in Christian music. His debut, A Messenger, left no doubt about his spiritual convictions, and "More of You," the lead single from his August 2014 sophomore project, continues in the same godly vein. Danny Gokey's June 2014 release, Hope In Front of Me, proves he hasn't strayed too far from his pre-Idol days, when he worked as a church music director. Finalists Jason Castro, Phil Stacey and Chris Sligh also released Christian projects post-Idol.

Season 4 champ Carrie Underwood may have gone in a pop country direction, but tracks like "Jesus, Take the Wheel" hearken back to her "church girl" upbringing. It's the same for Kris Allen, who took the top prize during Season 8. He's gone the mainstream music route, but his single "Live Like We're Dying" is nothing short of inspirational. Melinda Doolittle was already entrenched in the gospel world before her time on Idol, singing background for Kirk Franklin and BeBe & CeCe Winans, among others. After her time on TV, she released a soul album, but she also toured with contemporary Christian artist Michael W. Smith. Meanwhile, Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard opted to explore R&B, but there's plenty of gospel in his repertoire, too.

Other notable AI alums made professions of faith, too. Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, and Season 5's fourth-place finisher, Chris Daughtry, all spoke up about their Bible-based backgrounds. Give our Idol Worship playlist a listen to dig a little deeper.

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