It truly is the end of an era. After 15 seasons, American Idol bids audiences farewell in an epic two-hour finale airing tonight that is bound to have everyone who has ever grown up with the show in tears. With years upon years of song choices, votes, changing up judges and a slew of stars, American Idol was more than just idle entertainment. It was a dream and lesson in self-faith that so many of us loved seeing manifest. We would gather round and watch what would be one of the biggest events of our week.
Memories started thriving as each year the show would crown its latest Idol. Many of these artists from season one to now have become household names, from Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, to Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry. And even if some of these bright stars didn’t break the ceiling of the entertainment business, many still managed to carry their passion forward. The show, in all of its beauty gave dreamers a platform—a space to be heard and appreciated for the voice and soul they have. In so many ways, the show built a name for itself and fostered a significant shift in what we enjoy most about music.