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'Idol' runner-up Clay Aiken's single hits 9th week as #1 in sales, by 157 copies

By Wade Paulsen, 08/07/2003 

The margin keeps shrinking, but Clay Aiken remains #1. According to E! Online, Clay, who finished second on this spring's edition of Fox's American Idol, registered his 9th straight week atop the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Singles Sales chart for the week ended August 3, but by his narrowest margin yet. Aiken's single, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" b/w "This Is The Night," which has already been certified platinum for sales of over 1 million copies, edged Hilary Duff's new release "So Yesterday" for the top spot by a mere 157 copies.

Meanwhile, Idol winner Ruben Studdard's gold single "Flying Without Wings" b/w "Superstar" remained in third place, while Korn's "Did My Time," which was edged out for first by just 600 copies last week, dropped to fourth. (A copy of the chart may be found on Canoe.)

Also of note is the continuing success of USA Network's Nashville Star winner Buddy Jewell, whose "Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacey's Song)" remains the top-selling country single, in 13th place in its 9th week on the chart.

Whether Clay will be able to remain in first place on the SoundScan chart for consecutive weeks in double-digits remains to be seen. Nevertheless, his single's ability to fend off challenges in three straight weeks from artists as varied as Duff (best known as the star of Disney's Lizzie McGuire but a talented singer in her own right), Korn and the Eagles (who debuted at #3 with "Hole in the World" three weeks ago and have sunk a place each week since) indicates that Clay may have a little longer "shelf life" than prior Idol runner-up Justin Guarini.

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