Kelly Ditches Hit for 'Idol' Shows

11/11/2002 at 01:00 AM EST

The country's favorite fresh-faced singer, "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson, is doing something strange but possibly clever with her first hit single, "A Moment Like This."

She is not singing it in concert as the headliner of a nationwide tour with the 10 finalists from FOX's summer hit series, The New York Times reports.

"It's weird," John Ivey, program director for Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM tells the paper. "It's a big song. You would think that is why people are going to see her."

Perhaps it is. But it's also one reason why the crowds might go back to see her when Clarkson, 20, headlines her own solo concert tour, probably next spring. The Times calls it "a little delayed gratification" that could work "wonders for that tour's ticket sales."

However, a spokeswoman for Clarkson's manager, Simon Fuller, denied that "A Moment Like This" was being withheld to boost eventual sales of her solo tour.

The spokeswoman went on to say that Clarkson, a former waitress from Texas, had opted to sing the B-side of the single, "Before Your Love," which also had been written exclusively for her.

The rep said the choice was made in order to give the B-side proper exposure.

Aside from "Before Your Love," Clarkson reportedly performs covers of two Motown standards made famous by Aretha Franklin, "A Natural Woman" and "Respect."

Though the lack of "A Moment Like This" hasn't hurt concert ticket sales for the current tour, it has disappointed some fans, The Times reports.

"I just came from the Columbus, Ohio, concert and she did not sing 'A Moment Like This,'" one concertgoer wrote on an online Clarkson fan club site. "It was a great performance, but I wish she did sing it."

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