As expected, "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson's debut RCA single, "A Moment Like This," has made the biggest single-week leap to No. 1 in the history of Billboard's Hot 100. The single sold 236,0

As expected, "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson's debut RCA single, "A Moment Like This," has made the biggest single-week leap to No. 1 in the history of Billboard's Hot 100. The single sold 236,000 copies in the U.S. during its initial week at retail, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and the track rockets 52-1 on the new Hot 100, to be posted tomorrow (Sept. 26) on Billboard.com. Nelly's "Dilemma" featuring Kelly Rowland had been No. 1 for seven-straight weeks.

"We're in uncharted territory," Billboard director of charts Geoff Mayfield says. "It's unusual to have a retail single to begin with and it's even more unusual to have one sell decent numbers. This is the first one to sell more than 200,000 [in a single week] since 1999, so those are pretty big accomplishments."

"Sam Goody sold more copies of the Clarkson single in one day than the chain has sold of any one single in the past three years," a spokesperson for the chain told Billboard Bulletin. Jim Kaminski, rock buyer at Tower Records in New York, adds, "It caught me by surprise, actually, because I didn't think it was going to be that popular, especially [in Manhattan]. I thought the show was more of a suburban thing. But we've sold all of our first shipment."

There's plenty of "Idol"-related activity on the horizon. A compilation album featuring songs from other "Idol" contestants, including "Moment," is due Oct. 1 via RCA. A six-week trek North American tour, which will feature Clarkson, Justin Guarini, and the eight other "Idol" finalists, kicks off Oct. 8 in San Diego and runs through Nov. 20 in Seattle. Clarkson's debut set, originally scheduled for a Nov. 26 release, has been pushed back until 2003.

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