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Clay Aiken retains top-selling single, but 'Solitaire' plummets on airplay chart


By Wade Paulsen, 04/06/2004 

Just give him airplay. That's what he wants.

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For the week ended March 28, Clay Aiken's RCA CD single "Solitaire" / "The Way" is once again ranked #1 on the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Singles Sales chart. In addition, Clay's single debuted at #1 on the Nielsen SoundScan Canadian Singles Sales chart. But, at the same time, Clay's song "Solitaire" plummeted 23 places in its second week on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, dropping from #4 to #27.

As previously discussed, the reason for the steep drop is the lack of airplay for either side of Clay's new single. By contrast, Clay's former American Idol buddy Ruben Studdard's "Sorry 2004," which is not available in a commercial CD single, is currently ranked #23 on the Hot 100 -- four places above "Solitaire" -- in its 15th week on the chart.

Whether Clay will ever receive airplay commensurate with his sales is a question that only time will resolve. In the meantime, Clay's success in Canada shows that the Canadian public, which made his debut single "Bridge Over Troubled Water" / "This Is The Night" #1 for 13 straight weeks, has not forgotten him, despite competition from Canadian Idol.

In fact, Clay's Canadian success caused two of the final four stars of Canadian Idol to drop to new lows in the sales charts. Quebecois singer Aubrey de Montigney's "Meme les Anges" fell out of the Top 5 on the sales chart after 20 weeks (landing at #7), while Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm's "Something More" (both on ViK. Records), which tied Clay's streak of 13 straight weeks at #1, fell out of the Top 10 after 26 weeks (ending up at #12).

Meanwhile, Idol 2 third-place finisher Kimberley Locke's "8th World Wonder" (Curb Records) dropped to third in the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Singles Sales chart in its third week, behind Hanson's "Penny & Me," but was once again designated the "fastest-growing track at retail" and jumped from #78 to #65 in the Billboard Hot 100.

In other, more depressing, news, Idol 3 reject William Hung has four of the top 50 in the Billboard Hot Digital Tracks chart, with #8, 28, 31 and 46. We hope that the downloads are simply being made by people looking for a good laugh.

For those people, may we offer this video rendition of Elton John's "Rocket Man" by William Shatner, which is bad enough to satisfy even the most jaded and depraved tastes.


(Photo credit Fox)












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