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.

Nevertheless, Clay remains unpopular among vast elements of the media, including Salt Lake City Tribune columnist Dan Nailen, who expressed a wish to "suffocate" Clay with Clay Aiken pillowcases. Geez, we read a new book about Utah, and we thought there were more important issues going on in Utah (and neighboring Arizona) these days....