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'Flying' Home

''Idol'' Ruben returns to Alabama to shoot video. It'll be his first time back in 205 Land since winning ''American Idol''

Ruben Studdard fans in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala. are getting a two-for-one deal this weekend: Not only can they meet the singer at a rally when he returns home for the first time since his ''American Idol'' victory last month, but they may also appear in the video that will be shot during the event.

Studdard, who hasn't been back to the 205 area code since he won a $1 million contract with J Records two weeks ago, will sing his current single, ''Flying Without Wings,'' in Birmingham's Linn Park on Sunday, the Associated Press reports. The video's theme is ''Alabama welcoming Ruben home,'' video producer Roger Ubina told AP, and he encouraged fans to come and be part of the shoot.

Studdard's new label has said he's recording an album for release in September, though it's not clear when he'll actually have the time. Between such events as public appearances and video shoots and the upcoming North American tour of ''Idol'' finalists beginning July 8, he'll truly have to fly without wings to complete the album on time. Of course, his predecessor, Kelly Clarkson, also saw her album release delayed six months, but since it hit stores seven weeks ago, ''Thankful'' has gone platinum.

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Originally posted Jun 05, 2003