At last, Ruben Studdard doesn't have to go over to Clay Aiken's house to see what a platinum record looks like.

On January 9, Ruben's debut J Records CD Soulful was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Platinum certification means that, in the judgment of the RIAA, the CD has shipped sufficient copies to sell over one million units at retail.

In fact, the actual sales of Soulful, as tallied by Nielsen SoundScan, had surpassed one million by that point, largely as a result of the CD's six consecutive weeks in the Top 10 on the Nielsen SoundScan U.S. Album Sales chart (which is also the Billboard 200 chart). Thus, Ruben joins Clay, the runner-up in Idol 2, and Kelly Clarkson, the winner of Idol 1, as the only competitors from the show to have released platinum CDs in the U.S.

Unsurprisingly, the same three are the only competitors to have released gold singles in the U.S., with Clay's "This Is The Night" b/w "Bridge Over Troubled Water" having gone platinum as well.

But, just when it seemed that "everything Ruben could do, Clay or Kelly has already done," Ruben has managed to surpass them in one area: radio airplay. Ruben's track "Sorry 2004" reached #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart at the end of February, edging out Usher's "Yeah!" (featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris), with 74.2 million plays for the week to Usher's 74 million. The track spent four weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, far surpassing the tepid performance of Clay's follow-up "Invisible" (which had a difficult time gaining airplay) and is still ranked at #13.

We admit that we're curious to see if, after this smashing success, J Records (or its parent, the RCA Records Group) will decide to release Ruben's next track in a CD-single version for consumers. Stay tuned.