'American Idol' finalist Clay Aiken awarded first platinum single of 2003
By Wade Paulsen, 07/29/2003
What do these people have in common: Elton John; Charlie Rich; Pink Floyd; Lee Ann Womack; Clay Aiken? If you answered "million-selling singles," move to the head of the class.
Billboard reports that Clay Aiken's debut single, "This Is The Night" b/w "Bridge Over Troubled Water," has been certified platinum, for sales of over 1 million copies, by the Record Industry Association of America ("RIAA," better known as the group that sues music file-swappers).
Clay has now surpassed both Idol winners, Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard, who only managed to reach gold -- 500,000 copies sold -- with their debut single releases ("A Moment Like This" and "Flying Without Wings," respectively). In addition, the Idol finalists' single, "God Bless The U.S.A.," featuring Clay and Ruben, also was certified gold.
However, Kelly still has one achievement that neither Clay nor Ruben can match. Kelly's CD Thankful was certified platinum during the finale of American Idol, with both Clay and Ruben looking on, and is currently edging close to multi-platinum status, while her hit "Miss Independent" continues to hover around the Top 10. We'll soon see if either Clay and Ruben can top that when their CDs are released.