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Aiken's Album Debuts At No. 1

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NEW YORK — Clay Aiken was the runner-up on "American Idol" this season, but he is second to none on the album chart.

Aiken's "Measure of a Man" debuted at No. 1, selling 612,859 copies during its first week in stores, according toindustry figures released Wednesday.

Aiken's album went double platinum -- meaning RCA shipped two million copies the debut album.

The collection of pop tunes and love songs features "This Isthe Night," the ballad the Raleigh, N.C., native first belted outduring the finals of the Fox singing competition.

Ruben Studdard, this year's "American Idol" winner, plans torelease his album, "Soulful," on Nov. 25.

Last season's winner, Kelly Clarkson, also debuted at No. 1 onthe album chart with "Thankful," which sold more than 297,000copies during its first week in stores in April.

Aiken's showing far surpassed that of his counterpart lastseason, runner-up Justin Guarini, whose self-titled debut sold only54,000 copies during its first week in June.

The freshly scrubbed crooner ousted Ludacris from the No. 1spot. The rapper's album "Chicken & Beer" dropped to No. 2,selling about 194,000 copies during its second week.

Meanwhile, Barbra Streisand's "Movie Album" debuted at No. 5,having sold about 162,000 copies.

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