“American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard has signed to Clive Davis’ J Records, and runner-up Clay Aiken will join the first “Idol” winner, Kelly Clarkson, on RCA Records, which Davis also oversees.
The RCA Music Group, which includes J Records and RCA Records, has exclusive rights to sign the stars from the “Idol” franchise. The label’s close ties with the show stem from its parent company BMG’s long-standing relationship with “Idol” creator Simon Fuller. Additionally, Fremantle Media, the TV production arm of BMG parent Bertelsmann AG, partnered with Fuller’s 19 Entertainment Group to create the show.
Davis, who founded J Records and is chief of the RCA Music Group, will executive produce Studdard’s full-length debut, with Fuller consulting. The release will hit stores in September. Studdard’s first single, “Flying Without Wings,” will be released June 3.
RCA Records will release Aiken’s debut single, “This Is the Night,” on June 10. About 33.7 million people tuned in Wednesday to watch Fox’s “American Idol” finale. About 24 million fans voted for the winner, with about 130,000 votes separating Studdard and Aiken. Studdard joins such artists as Annie Lennox, Alicia Keys, Rod Stewart, Luther Vandross and Busta Rhymes on the J Records roster.