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UK writers win biggest US hit as Clarkson hits number one

The success of American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson's debut single in the US has given two UK songwriters their biggest US hits to date.

Clarkson's double A-side RCA single A Moment Like This/Before Your Love last week scored the biggest leap to number one in the history of Billboard's Hot 100 chart last week with a 51-place move. It sold more than 236,000 copies in its opening week, making it the first single there to sell more than 200,000 copies in one week since 1999. The track on the release which has attracted the bulk of US airplay is A Moment Like This, which was written by UK writer John Reid with Sweden's Jorgen Eloffson.

"Simon Cowell had asked me to write a song for Westlife with Jorgen, which is their next single, Unbreakable," says Reid. "The next song we wrote was A Moment Like This. Simon believed in the song from the day he heard it."

Reid, who is also currently working with American Idol finalist Tamyra Gray, is published by Sony ATV. The single's other track, Before Your Love, written by Cathy Dennis and Desmond Child, lands Dennis her first number one single following a string of other Top 10-penned hits there. With Will Young and Gareth Gates' version of The Long And Winding Road set to reach number one in the UK yesterday (Sunday), it also gives Pop Idol/American Idol - and A&R executive and series star Simon Cowell - a trans-Atlantic clean sweep.

Clarkson's single is expected to win a UK release in February or March/03.

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