Kelly Clarkson was a cocktail waitress at a comedy club.
Ruben Studdard was a customer service rep for Books-a-Million.
Fantasia Barrino worked in her grandmother's day-care center.
Carrie Underwood grew up working on her family's farm, and was a
college student at the time of her American Idol audition.
"Kelly Clarkson was a cocktail waitress in Texas, when the first
season of American Idol rolled into town. She had always dreamed of
making it big in the music business and had actually moved to LA to
try to start a career, but had to move back home when her apartment
burned down. America, with the possible exception of the other
American Idol contestants, was thrilled when she won first place."
PlanetWisdom: Kelly Clarkson
"After high school, Clarkson cultivated her voice and went to
Hollywood to make her name; she appeared as an extra on an episode of
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch but no other opportunities materialized.
Upon returning to Burleson, Clarkson worked at a movie theater,
promoted Red Bull energy drinks and ultimately worked as a cocktail
waitress at a comedy club before entering the American Idol contest."
Yahoo! Music: Kelly Clarkson Biography
"Ten months ago, 'American Idol' winner Ruben Studdard was a
white-collar guy. 'I was working at Books-a-Million.com,' recalls the
singer, 'with a suit and tie at a desk, bored'."
"And this morning [Ruben] had the same sound bite as Clay - about how
they just looked at each other Tuesday night before they went on and
he said 'Look at us, we're the two most unlikely people to be standing
here.' He also talked about his job as a customer service rep for
Books a Million ... 'and people would call and say 'Ruben, what's
going on? Where's my box'?"
Fans of Reality TV
"Fantasia Barrino... who worked at her grandmother's day-care centre
before joining Idol, recently bought a house for her mother in North
American Idol Forum (cached copy)
"In her late adolescence, Fantasia gave birth to a daughter, Zion.
With only odd jobs available, the young mother struggled to make ends
meet. Her grandmother gave her work at a daycare facility."
AskMen: Singer Of The Week
"Carrie Underwood was studying communications and helping out on the
family farm prior to Idol."
Highbeam: Stage Credits Taint Idol Contestants
"[Carrie Underwood] was still taking her college classes when friends
encouraged her to audition for American Idol. At first, she resisted.
However, she soon realized if she didn't audition, she would graduate,
get a job and may never have a chance to try out for the show again."
Country Music Television
My Google search strategy:
Google Web Search: "american idol" "kelly clarkson" OR "ruben
studdard" OR "fantasia barrino" OR "carrie underwood" before worked OR
I hope this is helpful! If anything is unclear or incomplete, please
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