In the early 2000s, there wasn’t nearly as many platforms for musicians to get in front of an audience of millions to prove their talent (or lack there of). Everyone can remember the day Kelly Clarkson won the very first season of the highly successful (and still running!) talent reality show American Idol. 

Since the first season, it’s also put highly successful country artists such as Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Scotty McCreery and Kree Harrison on the Billboard 100 charts. Now with many other competition shows with big budgets and massive audiences such as The Voice and America’s Got Talent are competing with the original competition show for musicians, it still has produced the most country artists.

1. Josh Gracin

While he didn’t end up coming in first place, he still gained incredible amounts of public attention and country music fans when he came in as a fourth-place finalist on the second season of American Idol.

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