R'n'B sensation Ruben Studdard, 24, has won the second season of AMERICAN IDOL after picking up just over 50 per cent of the viewers' vote.

More than 24 million fans voted on Tuesday night (20MAY02) after hearing larger-than-life Studdard and fellow finalist Clay Aiken's (corr) final performances.

Just over 1,000 votes separated the two in the closely fought contest, with Studdard winning the grand prize - a $1 million (GBP667,000) record contract with music mogul CLIVE DAVIS' J RECORDS.

Studdard's winning song was a rendition of Irish pop group Westlife's FLYING WITHOUT WINGS.

Meanwhile, Studdard's new record company boss has confessed the singer's size concerns him - the heavyweight crooner weighs in at over 140 kilograms (310 pounds).

Studdard insists, "I'm healthy. I've always been big."

22/05/2003 21:15