Clay Aiken's 'Measure of a Man' album opens at #1 with U.S. sales of 613,000 units
By Wade Paulsen, 10/22/2003
Nothing succeeds like success, and American Idol 2 runner-up Clay AIken has had a lot of it lately. According to Billboard, Clay's debut CD, Measure of a Man on RCA Records. ranked #1 in its first week on the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Album Sales charts (which is the same as the "Billboard 200" album charts), with a stunning total of 613,000 units sold at SoundScan-reporting outlets for the week ended October 19.
Although Clay's album had been expected to reach #1, the total sales are almost equal to the two-week total of the smash-hit #2 CD (last week's #1), Ludacris' Chickens and Beer, which has sold 623,000 copies so far. By contrast, although American Idol 1 winner Kelly Clarkson's debut CD, Thankful, also debuted at #1, it sold only 297,000 copies in its first week.
In addition, the American Idol Christmas CD, American Idol: The Great Holiday Classics, which features Clay and Kelly on two songs apiece, debuted in the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Album Sales charts at #72.
However, despite the smash success of Clay's single "Bridge Over Troubled Water" b/w "This Is The Night" in Canada, Clay's album only managed to reach the #2 slot on the Nielsen SoundScan Canadian Album Sales charts, according to Jam! Showbiz. Opening at #1 north of the border was Celine Dion's French-language album 1 filles & 4 types, with sales of 44,500 units. Measure of a Man sold 25,200 units for second place for the week -- still a significant increase over the 10,500 units sold in its first week by Kelly's Thankful, which opened at #7 in Canada.
Under rules established by the RIAA, a CD cannot be certified platinum (signifying sales of over 1 million units in the U.S.) until after it has been in release for over a month. Based on the first week's sales, look for Measure of a Man to be certified platinum in late November -- not too long before the time that Idol 2 winner Ruben Studdard's CD, Soulful, will be released ... and right around the time of the American Idol Christmas special on Fox, planned for Tuesday, November 25.