The second season of American Idol premiered on January 21, 2003, and continued until May 21, 2003. The title of show was shortened from American Idol: The Search for a Superstar of Season 1 to just American Idol. Brian Dunkleman quit after the first season, and Seacrest therefore became the lone host in Season 2 as well as all subsequent seasons. Kristin Holt was a special correspondent.
It was won by Ruben Studdard. It was the first season to crown a male winner, and the first season to have a finale with two male contestants, Studdard and Clay Aiken.
Studdard released his coronation song “Flying Without Wings” after the show and reached number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Aiken also released a single with “This Is the Night”, written by Chris Braide, Aldo Nova and Gary Burr. It became the first non-winning contestant to have a Billboard Hot 100 number-one. It was also the biggest US single of 2003, selling over one million copies and reaching six times platinum status in Canada as well as number 1 in New Zealand.In addition to Studdard and Aiken, Kimberley Locke, Joshua Gracin, Kimberly Caldwell, and Carmen Rasmusen have signed with various record labels.