Over the last few years, being crowned “American Idol” has proved more of a curse than a blessing.
Recent singers to be crowned “Idol” – Kris Allen, David Cook, Chicagoland's Lee DeWyze and Scotty McCreery – pretty much left the mainstream radar as fast as they entered it through “Idol.” The fruits of their victor have by and large been one major-label record release and out.
Of all of the “Idol” winners and runners-up, the singers who have prospered beyond the show can arguably fit on one hand; season one victor Kelly Clarkson and season five runner-up Chris Daughtry continue to pack halls and Jordin Sparks is making a somewhat successful go of it on the big screen. The most successful and durable “Idol” alumni remain season three finalist and local hero Jennifer Hudson and season four champ Carrie Underwood.
The arguable key to both Hudson and Underwood’s successes can be their success in distancing themselves from the “Idol” machinery. Hudson has found success on both the big and small screen, and with an Oscar on her mantle to show for it, while Underwood found a home with the Music City masses.
Presently, Underwood has five Grammy Awards to her credit, with three of those being Best Female Country Vocal performance for three consecutive years from 2007 to 2009. Don’t be surprised if more follow; her most recent set, May’s “Blown Away,” topped the charts and resulted in a trio of singles, “Good Girl,” “Two Black Cadillacs” and “Blown Away.”
In 2013, Underwood is stepping out of her country comfort zone; last week it was announced she would be taking on the role of Maria von Trapp in NBC’s small-screen revival of “The Sound of Music,” slated to hit the airwaves around this time next year.
Carrie Underwood, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12, United Center, 1901 W. Madison St, Chicago. $43, $55, $65. FYI: (312) 455-4500, UNITEDCENTER.COM
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Dropkick Murphys, Feb. 22, Aragon Ballroom (ARAGON.COM)
Eels, Feb. 23, Vic Theatre (18 and older, JAMUSA.COM)
Bon Jovi, July 12 Soldier Field (TICKETMASTER.COM)
Tame Impala, March 6, Vic Theatre (JAMUSA.COM)
Tea Leaf Green, Feb. 23, Lincoln Hall (18 and older, LINCOLNHALLCHICAGO.COM)