Top 10 Most Successful America’s Got Talent Contestants

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Top 10 Most Successful America's Got Talent Contestants

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
From “America's Got Talent” to superstardom. For this list, we'll be defining “success” in terms of career trajectory and mainstream popularity. These also don't have to be winners – ANY contestant from “America's Got Talent” is eligible, provided they are now famous. Our list includes The Texas Tenors, Lindsey Stirling, Mat Franco, Darci Lynne Farmer, Jackie Evancho, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Most Successful America's Got Talent Contestants.
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Top 10 Most Successful America’s Got Talent Contestants


From “America’s Got Talent” to superstardom. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top Ten Most Successful “America’s Got Talent” Contestants. For this list, we’ll be looking at ten of the most successful artists who have appeared on “America’s Got Talent.”

For this list, we’ll be defining “success” in terms of career trajectory and mainstream popularity. These also don’t have to be winners – ANY contestant from “America’s Got Talent” is eligible, provided they are now famous.

#10: The Texas Tenors


The Texas Tenors are a classical crossover group who placed fourth in the fourth season of “America’s Got Talent.” They've subsequently released five studio and three live albums, including “A Collection of Broadway & American Classics”, which reached #1 on the Billboard Classical chart. But perhaps their biggest success came in 2013, when they self-produced a PBS special with The Phoenix Symphony called “You Should Dream”. The special saw the group performing with the orchestra, and receiving critical praise including three Emmys. From Houston to AGT to the Emmys, The Texas Tenors are a true success story.

#9: Michael Grimm


Some say that musicians shouldn’t be allowed on “America’s Got Talent” due to the abundance of music-themed reality shows. But with people like Michael Grimm, we can’t complain too much. Despite performing in Vegas for years prior to auditioning for “AGT,” Grimm never received any attention or acclaim. That all changed when he won the fifth season with a soaring rendition of “When a Man Loves a Woman”. Since winning the show, Grimm married, performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and released three studio albums, including a self-titled disc that reached #13 on the Billboard 200.

#8: Jabbawockeez


The Jabbawockeez are a hip hop/freestyle dance crew who appeared very briefly in season 2. While their audition impressed the judges, they were cut after the Vegas Round, ensuring that they would disappear from the spotlight forever. Except, they didn't, and instead went on to win “America’s Best Dance Crew” the following year. After appearing on various reality and talk shows, the Jabbawockeez headlined their own Vegas production titled MÜS.I.C, making them the first dance team to headline a Vegas show. They have since headlined two more performances, PRiSM and JREAMZ, at the Luxor and MGM Grand, respectively.

#7: Grace VanderWaal


Grace VanderWaal became a national sensation due to her ukulele skills and her distinctive voice and while her golden buzzer audition quickly went viral, but that was just the beginning. She went on to win the competition and released her debut studio album called “Just the Beginning” in 2017. After touring the album, she served as the opening act for Imagine Dragons during the summer leg of their Evolve World Tour. And soon you will be able to catch Grace on Disney+ when she stars as Stargirl Caraway in the upcoming “Stargirl.” We may have the next big child star on our hands…

#6: Mat Franco


Franco was an unstoppable tour-de-force throughout season nine, and he eventually became the first magician to win the competition. And his life essentially changed overnight. Just one year later he was headlining his own show in Vegas titled Magic Reinvented Nightly, which was heralded as the best magic show in the city. The LINQ Hotel and Casino has since renamed their theater after Franco, and his shows are still selling exceptionally well. It’s insanely difficult to make magic your full-time job, and it’s even harder to stand out in the magic sphere of Vegas. Somehow Mat has accomplished it.

#5: Melissa Villaseñor


Melissa Villaseñor is an impressionist and comedian who got started in LA before appearing at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival in 2010. Just one year later she appeared in “AGT’s” sixth season and became a semi-finalist, ultimately losing to jazz singer Landau Murphy Jr. Luckily, her act was good enough to attract significant attention, and she landed a gig on “Saturday Night Live” doing an impression of Sarah Silverman. Her comedy and personality went over so well that she was promoted to a repertory player for season 44. Now that’s pretty darned impressive considering most comedians crash and burn within a couple of performances!

#4: Darci Lynne Farmer


It seems like three is Darci Lynne Farmer’s lucky number. She was the third female to win the competition, behind Bianca Ryan and Grace VanderWaal - the third youth behind the same. And wouldn’t you know it, she is also the third ventriloquist to win, after Terry Fator and Paul Zerdin. Since winning the show, Farmer has embarked on a year-long tour titled “Darci Lynne and Friends Live” and then hosted “Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas” on NBC and announced that she was embarking on a second tour throughout 2019. She’s certainly staying busy, and we love to see her so happy and successful.

#3: Lindsey Stirling


Lindsey Stirling, everyone’s favorite violinist, appeared in season five to a mixed response. While the judges adored her unique sound, they weren’t too thrilled with her dancing and marketability. Piers Morgan even told Lindsey that she wasn’t good enough to mix playing and dancing. Of course, Lindsey ignored the critique, and stayed true to herself and her distinctive form of art. Her blending of music and dance is now highly praised, and she is one of YouTube’s most popular musicians, with eleven million subscribers and over two billion views. She also recently co-headlined the Synthesis Tour with Evanescence, proving that her reach stretches far beyond the confines of YouTube.

#2: Jackie Evancho


Jackie Evancho proves that you don’t need to finish first to be successful. Despite strong reviews, Jackie lost season five to Michael Grimm, but she went on to a more prosperous musical career. Her debut EP, “O Holy Night”, was a record-breaking album - it debuted at #2 and made Jackie both the youngest solo artist to debut in the top 10 and the youngest solo artist to go platinum. She sustained the hot streak with “Dream with Me”, an album that made her the youngest artist to debut in the UK top five. And to top it off, her album “Two Hearts” became her seventh consecutive number one on the Billboard Classical chart.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Jon Dorenbos

Paul Zerdin

Olate Dogs

Piff the Magic Dragon

Tape Face

#1: Terry Fator


Terry Fator is a fascinating success story. He was the lead singer of an unsigned band in the late '80s. And after realizing he could combine singing with ventriloquism, he pursued that... with little success. In fact, there was a time when he only sold one ticket in a 1,000-seat venue. It was this defeat that truly discouraged him, but after receiving motivation from his family, Fator auditioned for AGT. It truly changed his life. In 2008 he signed a five-year, $100 million contract with The Mirage, who quickly renamed a theater after Terry. And in 2013, he celebrated his 1,000th show in Vegas. He's come along way, and we've all enjoyed watching the ride.
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susan Boyle
Angelica Hale
These people were chosen by viewers not the judges. Terry Factor and Darci Lynne were also ventriloquists. Plus this is about how much they made AFTER AGT. There are several singers who may (Coutney Hadwin, Angelica Hale, Daniela, and others) coming up.
Too many singers