Kanye West showed up for a spoof audition for the final season of American Idol, rocking an a cappella “Gold Digger” and delighting producer Ryan Seacrest and the judges — Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick, Jr. Explaining his background, the superstar artist married to Kim Kardashian said he was a producer but always wanted to rap.
Rap he has, of course. And stormed stages and opined and irritated and inspired. All part of the Kanye gig, part of being Kanye. Where would Kanye — who made it without the American Idol platform to give him a boost — fit in compared with American Idol‘s top artists over time? Record sales are notoriously hard to track — and music biz numbers are legendarily suspect. But by some measures the list would go like this:
- Carrie Underwood (65 million records globally)
- Kelly Clarkson (25 million albums)
- Kanye West (21 million albums)
- Daughtry (8 million albums)