Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard:Ray Mickshaw
Brian Hiatt
August 21, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

R. Kelly and Fat Joe will duet with ”American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard on his aptly titled debut album, ”Soulful,” which will hit stores Nov. 11. Runner-up Clay Aiken, meanwhile, will release his still-untitled first CD — with songs written by Desmond Child (Ricky Martin) and Cliff Magness (Avril Lavigne) — on Oct. 14, according to the pair’s record company, RCA Music Group. The month-long gap between the releases should help avoid direct competition between the two, who each released their smash debut singles in the same week in June (Clay’s ”Bridge Over Troubled Water” outsold Ruben’s ”Flying Without Wings” by some 107,000 copies).

Clay and Ruben will end their 40-date ”American Idol” tour next week in Los Angeles. In a statement, Studdard said that the outing slowed down the recording process. ”I’ve been touring nonstop and haven’t had a chance to make my album the way I want to. In order to work with the best of the best…I need time to vibe with them so I can put out the best album possible.” Still, Ruben and Clay could have had it worse. Unlike Justin and Kelly, they haven’t had to add a feature film to their to-do list — yet.

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