Irish boy band Westlife have finally struck partial success in the United States - American Idol winner Ruben Studdard is releasing a cover of their hit track FLYING WITHOUT WINGS.

Despite the group's attempts to make an impact on the American charts, they remain virtually unknown in a market which has proven tough for most European acts to break.

But 24-year-old Studdard, who walked away the victor from Wednesday's (21MAY03) American Idol finale, will spend this weekend (23-25MAY03) holed up in a studio recording his debut album - and the 1999 Westlife song will be his first release next week (ends30MAY03).

Studdard, who sang Flying Without Wings in the final stages of the competition, has already been signed up by music mogul Clive Davis to fledging label J RECORDS and will release his album in September (03).

Davis says of Studdard, "He could very well be a major recording artist for many years to come."

23/05/2003 09:13