Maddie Poppe

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Maddie Poppe
Maddie Poppe, winner of American Idol 2018.jpg
Background information
Birth nameMadeline Mae Poppe
Born (1997-12-05) December 5, 1997 (age 21)
Clarksville, Iowa, United States
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • ukelele
Years active2015–present
Associated actsCaleb Lee Hutchinson

Madeline Mae "Maddie" Poppe (born December 5, 1997) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and the season 16 winner of American Idol. She is a multi-instrumentalist playing the guitar, piano, and ukulele. Prior to winning American Idol, Poppe released an EP titled Songs from the Basement. In 2015, she had also auditioned for The Voice.

Early life[edit]

Maddie Mae Poppe was born to Trent and Tonya Poppe in Clarksville, a small town of around 1,500 people in Iowa. As a young girl, Maddie loved to sing for her family. She did not start performing until she was in middle school. She attended Iowa Central Community College and then went to Hawkeye Community College, both in Iowa. Her father is also a musician and is a guitarist. She used to perform in with her father Trent and his band at Pioneer Days; one song they sang was Sweet Child o' Mine by Guns N' Roses.[1] Poppe performed in local talent shows with her sister.[2] She got her start performing at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Allison, Iowa.[3] Poppe had also been a stagehand setting up equipment for musicians at the county fair.[4] Poppe released her first album Songs from the Basement in June 2016, the same month she opened for Diamond Rio at the fair.[5]

Recently she talked about not wanting to settle for things she did not like to do. She said she was in class writing songs instead of concentrating on her classwork. She remarked, "I was trying to get gigs while I was supposed to be paying attention to a lecture."[6] More than fame Poppe is looking for career longevity and the enjoyment of being in music and performing.

Governor Kim Reynolds, declared May 20 "Maddie Poppe Day" in Iowa.

She is a 2016 graduate of Clarksville High School.


Poppe's career began in 2016, when she released her first album, Songs from the Basement. In Summer 2017, her dad told her American Idol was having auditions and asked if she was interested. She gladly said yes. She sang "Rainbow Connection" at her audition and things started winding up from there. She won American Idol on May 21, 2018. She has since released four original songs, as well as her own renditions of ”Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”.

The Voice[edit]

Prior to Idol, she auditioned to The Voice in 2016.[7][8] The program aired on NBC on February 29, 2016 in season 10 of the show. She sang "Dog Days Are Over" from Florence and the Machine, but none of the judges (who were Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera, and Blake Shelton) turned their chairs and she was eliminated.[9] Despite her elimination, Clarksville honored her with a city event at the Clarksville Library.

American Idol[edit]

She auditioned for season 16 of American Idol on ABC. In an audition held in New York, she sang "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie. Judge Lionel Richie said she had a "storytelling voice" and that "we need you in this show". Katy Perry said she had a "distinctive quality in your voice" and Luke Bryan said "I'm not critiquing you, 'cause you got me, I'm saying yes." During the Top 24 stage, she sang "Brand New Key", and for her celebrity duet performance, she sang "Bubbly" with Colbie Caillat.

Before Her Top 24 performance, Poppe admitted that she didn't want to win American Idol in the first place. She planned to make it to Top 24 and to get eliminated at some point." This sounds terrible, but I don't want to go into things with super high hopes because then, obviously, I would be super let down of it doesn't work out" she tells Bobby. Poppe also admits she has stage fright. "I remember times when I'd gotten up on stage and it totally just flopped. I fear that every time I walk on stage, I worry that it's going to happen again."

Her performance in the live shows included "Homeward Bound" in the Top 14; "Walk Like an Egyptian" as her victory song; Top 10 "The Bare Necessities" (Disney Night), "Nothing Compares 2 U" (Prince), "If It Makes You Happy" (Year of Birth), "I Told You So" (Carrie Underwood), and "God Only Knows" (Mother's day song).

During the May 20 finale, she performed "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac to honor her hometown, her original song "Don't Ever Let Your Children Grow Up" as a reprise, and her winners' single "Going Going Gone", which was originally written by Mitch Allan, Lindy Robbins and Julia Michaels.[10] On the results show broadcast on May 21, she was declared the winner, with Caleb Lee Hutchinson as runner-up and Gabby Barrett in third. During the final, the runner-up Caleb declared that he and Maddie were dating.

On the finale broadcast of American Idol she performed five songs with her father, as well as singing "Amazing Grace".

Performance results[edit]

Episode Theme Song Choice Original Artist Order Number Result
Audition Auditioner’s Choice "Rainbow Connection" Kermit the Frog N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 1 Contestant's Choice "Dreams" Brandi Carlile N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 2 Group Performance "Mama's Broken Heart" Miranda Lambert N/A Advanced
Hollywood Round, Part 3 Contestant’s Choice "Don't Ever Let Your Children Grow Up" Herself N/A Advanced
Showcase Round/Top 50 Contestant’s Choice "Me and Bobby McGee" Kris Kristofferson N/A Advanced
Top 24 Solo/Duet Contestant’s Choice Solo "Brand New Key" Melanie 3 Advanced
Duet "Bubbly" (with Colbie Caillat) Colbie Caillat 3
Top 14 Contestant’s Choice "Homeward Bound" Simon & Garfunkel 10 Safe
Victory Song "Walk Like an Egyptian" The Bangles 1
Top 10 Disney "The Bare Necessities" (from The Jungle Book) Phil Harris 1 Safe
Top 7 Prince "Nothing Compares 2 U" Sinéad O’Connor 7 Safe
Year of Birth "If It Makes You Happy" Sheryl Crow 13
Top 5 Carrie Underwood "I Told You So" Randy Travis 5 Safe
Mother’s Day Songs "God Only Knows" The Beach Boys 10
Finale Winner's Single "Going Going Gone" Herself 3 Winner
Reprise Song "Don't Ever Let Your Children Grow Up" Herself 6
Hometown Dedication "Landslide" Fleetwood Mac 9
Non-competition performances:
Collaborator(s) Song Original Artist
Lionel Richie and American Idol Top 10 "All Night Long (All Night)" Lionel Richie
Kermit the Frog Rainbow Connection Kermit the Frog
Bebe Rexha, Caleb Lee Hutchinson and Gabby Barrett "Meant to Be" Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line
Caleb Lee Hutchinson "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Post-American Idol[edit]

On May 17, 2019, Poppe released her first studio album, Whirlwind. She appeared on American Idol on April 21 to plug her new album; however, the show cut to commercial before she was able to announce her album. She also appeared on the finale episode to advertise her album. "Made You Miss", the fifth song on the album, peaked at No. 21 on the US Adult Pop Songs chart.


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected details
Title Details
Songs from the Basement
  • Released: May 17, 2019
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Format: CD, digital download


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
Adult Pop


"Going Going Gone"
2018 13 Non-album singles
"Keep On Movin' On"
"First Aid Kit"
2019 Whirlwind
"Little Things"
"Made You Miss" 21

Promotional singles[edit]

List of promotional singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" 2018 Non-album singles
"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref
2018 People's Choice Awards Competition Contestant of 2018 American Idol Won [12]
Talent Recap Fan Choice Awards Favorite Reality TV Competition Contestant of 2018 Won [13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Steffen, Amie (May 17, 2018). "Maddie Poppe:Hometown Hero. See All The Pictures And Videos Of Her Stop Back Home". Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  2. ^ Thompson, Chad (March 26, 2018). "Former ICCC Student Appears On "Idol"". Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Kalk, Jordee (May 15, 2018). "Clarksville Welcomes Maddie Poppe Home". Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  4. ^ Crowder, Courtney (May 18, 2018). "How Maddie Poppe Became The Darling Of "American Idol"". Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "Maddie Poppe In Concert Sunday". Horizon Publishing Company. August 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Cohn, Paulette (May 17, 2018). "American Idol Finale Countdown: Maddie Poppe - It's Not About Being Famous To Me". Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "Carson, Bethany (March 5, 2018). "Maddie Poppe To Perform On American Idol". Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Hartman, Jessica (March 1, 2016). "Local Teen Auditions For The Voice". Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  9. ^ James, Bob (April 4, 2018). "American Idol Is Maddie Poppe's Second National TV Competition". KHAK. Archived from the original on April 7, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  10. ^ Paul Sheehan, "‘American Idol’ finalist Maddie Poppe winner’s single ‘Going Going Gone’," Gold Derby, May 20, 2018.
  11. ^ "Adult Pop Songs: August 3, 2019". Billboard. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  12. ^ "2018 People's Choice Awards: Complete List of Nominations on People's Choice Awards". E! Online. September 5, 2018. Retrieved 2018-09-08.
  13. ^ "2018 Talent Recap Fan Choice Awards: Complete List of Nominations on Talent Recap Fan Choice Awards". Talent Recap. December 27, 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-27.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Trent Harmon
American Idol winner
Succeeded by
Laine Hardy