May 21

What’s Laine Hardy’s Prize for Winning ‘American Idol’?

The latest season of American Idol came to a close Monday evening and has crowned eighteen-year-old country rocker Laine Hardy as this season’s champion. But, what does he get from winning one of the biggest singing competitions in the world?

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via Laine Hardy’s Facebook page

The Prizes on Previous ‘Idols’

At a certain point, winning American Idol was a guaranteed ticket to fame and fortune. But, times have changed since then. Hardy will certainly get a lot of money out of his winnings, but it is coupled with risk and is a relatively smaller percentage of what the previous winners of the talent show have received in their time.

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via American Idol’s Official Facebook Page

Back in 2010, the New York Times reported that no American Idol winner to that point had failed to earn $1 million during the first year of the show. Hardy is promised only a fraction of that.

A decade ago, it was way different. Kris Allen earned $350,000 for his record after winning Season 8 and up to $650,000 in the first nine months. In 2010, each of the Top 5 contestants was likely to earn $100,000 regardless if they signed a record deal with 19 Entertainment. For years, there was also the lucrative American Idol tour that featured the Top 10 finalists. A downside is a recording contract binding the artist to that label for years afterward.

What does Laine Hardy Get?

The Livingston native is still promised $250,000 in cash and a recording contract. According to Blast, the 2019 American Idol winner is signed to Hollywood Records, a division of Disney Music Group, a part of that Walt Disney conglomerate, which owns ABC. They have four months, once their contract with Hollywood Records is officially signed, to hand in their first album.

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Amy Sussman, Getty Images

For that project, this year’s Idol winner is being given a budget of $300,000, which is an advance and must be paid back, along with 50 percent of the marketing budget the label spends on them. The winner is also paid $125,000 at the start of the process and another $125,000 when the completed album is turned in, as well as $1,000 per week during the recording process and $1,000 per master recording. Hollywood Records handles all of the logistics of the process, and the winner earns 15 percent royalties.

He’s also invited to perform at several Disney related event including the ARDYs in June. All three finalists will get the chance to record three original tracks during the competition to use however they wanted.


laine hardy

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