Billboard - June 15, 2003 -
On next week's chart, 50 Cent is likely to take a back seat to a pair of "American Idol" contestants. Singles from second-season winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken were officially released June 10, but a number of retailers put them on shelves early. Initial sales are strong, and the two are expected to capture the top two slots on next week's Hot 100.
Studdard's single a cover of Westlife's "Flying Without Wings" has sold about 1,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. That's good for a No. 22 post on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Sales tally. The retail single also boasts a cover of the Carpenters' "Superstar."
Second-place finisher Aiken, however, is so far outselling the Studdard. His single, "This Is the Night," has sold about 1,500 units, placing it at No. 19 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales tally. The commercial single also features a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
Projections have both RCA Records Group singles selling more than 200,000 units. Meanwhile, the best-selling single in the U.S. for the seventh week in a row is "God Bless the U.S.A." from the second-season "American Idol" finalists.