Winning American Idol comes with a cash prize and record deal

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Winning American Idol comes with a cash prize and record deal

American Idol season 20 came to a close last night, after Noah Thompson was crowned the 2022 winner.

HunterGirl, Leah Marlene and Noah Thompson were the final three contestants, but American Idol fans all over the world were Team Noah.

Although being known for winning American Idol is a prize in itself, many viewers are curious as to what the winner of the show actually receives, so let’s find out!

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What does the American Idol winner win?

According to Newsweek, the American Idol prize is $250,000.

However, the winner doesn’t receive the prize all at once. It has been said that they acquire $125,000 when they sign the contract, and the rest of the prize when they finish recording an album.

Although this is a great deal of money, the prize is actually less than it used to be. In 2002, Kelly Clarkson was crowned the first ever American Idol winner, and took home a $1 million deal.

What record label does the American Idol winner sign with?

Along with the American Idol winner title and $250,000, the champion also secures a record deal with Hollywood Records. Hollywood Records is a record label owned by the Disney Music Group.

Many famous names are already signed to the label, such as Miley Cyrus, Zendaya and Selena Gomez.

This record deal gives the winner the ultimate kick start to their career as an aspiring musician, as according to their contract, they have 4 months to create an album.

Just Sam explains her record deal struggles

Just Sam was the winner of American Idol season eighteen, meaning she was lucky enough to take home each parts of the prize. However, she has recently told her story on how her record deal left her broke.

Sam told her Instagram followers: “I thought it was gonna be easy, just go to the studio, record, put out music, and that’s not how the world works. That’s not how the industry works. It takes time, it takes money that I don’t have. It takes patience.”

Although Sam received a record deal with Hollywood Records, she left before she had finished her album. However, as her songs were with the label, she explained how she had to pay them to own the songs she had already recorded, which left her “broke.”

Sam told her followers: “I’m not even going to tell you guys the amount of money that I had to pay after leaving the label to claim songs that I already recorded, I invested in myself and ended up broke. That’s the truth.”

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