Clay AIken's 'Solitaire' / 'The Way' drops from #1 on U.S. charts after 9 weeks
By Wade Paulsen, 05/29/2004
After another long streak atop the U.S. charts, Clay Aiken's second single, 'Solitaire' / 'The Way', came up a week short of his first single -- or maybe three weeks short.
For the week ended May 23, Clay's single slipped into second place on the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Singles Sales chart, behind Jojo's 'Leave (Get Out),' after nine straight weeks atop the chart. That is one week short of the 10 straight weeks that Clay's platinum first single, 'This Is The Night' / 'Bridge Over Troubled Water,' topped the charts ... and three weeks short of the 12 weeks overall that the first single topped the charts.
Since sales of 'Solitaire' / 'The Way' had slowed to fewer than 10,000 per week, it comes as no surprise that the single dropped from #1. However, 'Solitaire' has finally started to climb the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts, checking in this week at #27 -- so it could still rebound to challenge its predecessor's overall stay at #1.
A bigger question is whether 'Solitaire' / 'The Way' will sell enough copies to be certified gold by the Record Industry Association of America ("RIAA") for sales of 500,000 copies -- a distinction that no U.S. single has reached since Clay's first single and his Idol 2 rival Ruben Studdard's Flying Without Wings / Superstar both accomplished it in July 2003.
Meanwhile, Clay's single remained #2 on the Nielsen SoundScan Canadian Singles Sales chart for the sixth straight week (behind Usher's 'Yeah' every week), after spending its first three weeks at #1 (just ahead of Usher's 'Yeah' every week).
While Clay remains hot in sales, his roommate and former Idol 2 competitor Kimberley Locke continues to do well with her Curb single '8th World Wonder,' which holds the #20 spot on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart based on its strong airplay. Kimberley's album One Love dropped from #39 to #48 on the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Album Sales chart (also known as the Billboard 200) in its third week, with sales of around 20,000 units. Its three-week sales total is around 100,000 units -- meaning that it will almost certainly outsell Idol 1 runner-up Justin Guarini's self-titled bomb, which topped out at sales of 134,000 and led to Justin's release from RCA Records, to become the fourth best-selling CD from an Idol contestant, behind only Clay, Ruben and Idol 1 winner Kelly Clarkson.
However, the three CDs ahead of Kimberley on this list all were certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of at least 1 million units. We wish Kimberley good luck in her bid to catch up to them.