Aiken, Studdard Albums Due On Same Day

The sales showdown between "American Idol" singers Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard will continue with the release of their respective albums on the same day, Billboard.com has learned. According to the

The sales showdown between "American Idol" singers Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard will continue with the release of their respective albums on the same day, Billboard.com has learned. According to the RCA Music Group, the company has set an Aug. 19 release date for both albums, whose titles are to be determined. RCA Music Group chairman Clive Davis will executive produce both sets.

Aiken's and Studdard's first singles were released on June 10, and debuted this week in the top two spots of The Billboard Hot 100. As previously reported, Aiken's "This Is the Night" (RCA) claimed the No. 1 position with 393,000 copies sold, while Studdard's "Flying Without Wings" (J Records) landed at No. 2 with sales of 286,000 copies.

RCA Music Group director of sales Karen Lieberman tells Billboard.com that releasing the singles and albums simultaneously is part of the company's strategy to continue the momentum of "American Idol's" May 21 second-season finale. The show ended in a close vote, with Studdard defeating Aiken by less than a 1% vote margin.

"We saw the [simultaneous] releases as a way for consumers to vote with their money," Lieberman says. As for the success of Aiken's and Studdard's singles, she adds, "This proves that there's a viable market for the retail single. Consumers have been conditioned not to look for singles at retail, but [Aiken and Studdard's] singles show people will buy the singles if they know they can find them at retail."

Aiken's spokesperson says, "Release dates could change." Studdard's spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.