Carrie Underwood is the highest earning 'American Idol' alum.

The Grammy Award winner singer - who made her acting debut in 'Soul Surfer' - has beaten off competition from former contestants Kelly Clarkson, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert to take the top spot with earnings of $20 million.

Adam Kluger, the president of brand partnership company the Kluger Agency told Forbes magazine: "['American Idol' is] a money-making machine. It's like having the Super Bowl every week."

Carrie easily surpassed her closest rivals Chris Daughtry and Adam who racked up $6 million, Fantasia Barrino with $4 million and Jordin Sparks who has made $3 million.

The first 'American Idol' winner Kelly has made $2.5 million from the show.

However host Ryan Seacrest has beaten all of the previous competitors making $61 million from his presenting role and associated endorsements and deals.

Forbes list of highest-paid 'American Idol' contestants

1. Carrie Underwood: $20 million

2. Chris Daughtry: $6 million, Adam Lambert: $6 million

3. Fantasia Barrino: $4 million

4. Jordin Sparks: $3 million

5. Kelly Clarkson: $2.5 million

6. Jennifer Hudson: $2 million

7. Kellie Pickler: $1.8 million

8. Clay Aiken: $1.5 million

9. Katharine Mcphee: $1 million, David Archuleta: $1 million, David Cook: $1 million