Singer and former “American Idol” star Clay Aiken visited the Museum of Contemporary Art on Sunday, taking time to check out the “Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec: Bivouac” design exhibition. 

Chicago SunTimes

Who should have won your season of “The Apprentice?”
Clay Aiken or Arsenio Hall? Absolutely Clay, in a heartbeat; Arsenio was not deserving. Analyze what he did. He was a nice guy, but doing things – he did nothing. Clay was clearly better. Here’s what was not shown on TV. Trump asked the entire cast who they thought should win and they said Clay. Arsenio is a nice guy, but who was more deserving? Clay.
Two Minutes With..Dee Snider

"The second big surprise hit comes from Snider's duet with the most milquetoast [we beg to differ] American Idol in history, Clay Aiken, on “Luck Be a Lady Tonight.” During the first verse, where they sing it “straight”, Snider shows off an impressive Sinatra croon while Aiken sounds pretty much like you'd expect Aiken to sound. But in the second half, when the metal guitar hits, Snider slips right into it like an old glove. So, surprisingly, does Aiken. Nothing in Aiken's past gave any clue he had it in him but he traded metal screams with Snider throughout the song and did it like he'd been doing it all his life. If he didn't look like Barry Manilow, the kid could have a future in a hard rock band if he wanted it."
Dee Snider Soes Broadeway Album Review

Clay Aiken 
In addition to arguably having the greatest voice in the history of American Idol, Aiken has also wowed fans on Broadway and proven his business savvy on Celebrity Apprentice. More importantly, he’s also incredibly funny and good off the cuff. His careful analysis and cutting jokes were a high point of the most recent season of Trump’s job search for charity, and he’s long proven he’s not afraid to get a little mean and nasty when the situation calls for it. He’s established enough where contestants would respect him, yet he’s not so absurdly popular he wouldn’t be open to new business opportunities.
Former American Idol Contestants Who Would Make Great Judges

Snider also pulled no punches when discussing his appearance on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" this past season. Snider feels that the series' supreme ruler Donald Trump should have "hired" runner-up Aiken as champion over ultimate victor Arsenio Hall. "It's Mr. Trump's decision to make, but it was unjust (and) wrong. Clay was robbed. Flat-out robbed. 

"Arsenio's a good guy, he's a nice guy, but it just didn't make any sense. Clay raised twice as much money (for his charity, the National Inclusion Project)." 
BillboardChart Beat: Dee Snider of 'Twisted Sister"

Before this season’s CA, few knew much about Clay Aiken beyond his being “that gay American Idol singer.” Clay’s amazing showing on CA has totally elevated his public awareness and personal brand. Not only did it reveal his amazing vocal talents to millions of potentially new fans, but it also revealed him to be a super smart, caring, determined, classy, easy-going, and genuinely good, likeable guy. Perhaps, more importantly, it will hopefully help break down negative attitudes that continue to exist toward the gay community.

But here’s why Clay wins, in all other senses of the term: He didn’t care about his old image, nor creating a new one. He was just himself, and while it wasn’t a brand-new persona, it was surprising. 

As a result, he transcended the image of the sweet, shy singer/runner-up who has a rabid fan base of middle-aged women, some of whom would jump on any perceived slight and protect their guy (some of them still do that). He’s still an amazing singer and someone who cares a great deal about others and his charity, but he also isn’t pandering to anyone. 

The big surprise is that the actual person who emerged is funny, intelligent, competent, and committed—and not afraid to do or say things that could possibly alienate some fans. He didn’t shy away from conflict during the season, embraced being controlling during the final task, and earned the respect of his fellow teammates because and/or despite that. He was, above all else, honest and genuine.
~Andy Dehnart -Reality Blurred

I waited with anticipation for track 8, “Luck Be a Lady Tonight.” Teaming with Clay Aiken, this is the musical equivalent of The Twilight Zone. The song starts off gently only to screech into high gear. The juxtaposition is a fun one. Aiken clearly wins in the slower intro, but he holds his own against

Snider’s shrill vocals. Aiken can actually belt out a heavy metal tune and sounds in the vein of Ozzy Osbourne or Don Dokken. The potential that this song could have been a train wreck is easily dismissed and it turns out to be the best track on the album.
Dee Does Broadway, Razor and Tie Records

The Contenders (Celebrity Apprentice)

#1) Clay Aiken (34): Partway through the challenge, both Clay and Lisa were at the end of their ropes with Dayana. The Miss Universe winner was giving Clay tips on how to perform, Lisa instructions on how to write and the backing group strange commands like make the song more pink. The way Clay and Lisa responded to the situation is a good indication of why he’s on top and she’s noticeably lower. Apart from one angry exchange with the model to prove his point, Clay largely stayed out of the fray, put his head down, did his job and acted respectfully in the boardroom. Lisa, well, she was another story. It takes at least a bit of professionalism to succeed on Apprentice, and Clay is wonderful at knowing when to bite his tongue.
Celebrity Apprentice Power Rankings: Arsenio Hall Tries To Manage Aubrey

" Clay and Lisa had awesome chemistry. I'm wondering why Clay isn't an actor. He has some serious skills and a great personality to boot."
Celebrity Apprentice Episode 9 Recap: Lisa Lampanelli Finally Wins and Paul Teutul Gets Bad Break

"Paul [Teutul] declares Clay the star of the team.  Really!  Even when he's not singing!  Now, Clay might not be very productive in Paul's motorcycle shop, but he's pretty well-rounded otherwise.  Well, yes.  We knew that.  We've known it for almost a decade.   We are in the Board Room, which is Trash Talk Central, having a Clay Aiken love fest. "
Celebrity Apprentice Recap: "Ad Hawk"

"Clay Aiken for President! 
I’m loving Clay Aiken more and more. As he signs his autograph on their book, he tells a customer he knows using a pink marker is redundant. Hah! "
Celebrity Apprentice Recap Part 1: No, They Can’t Take That Away From Me

"Clay’s voice sounded AMAZING! I seriously have been sounding a bit vocally beat up this past year…kind of in a re training mode if you will! So hearing that warm pure sound coming out of Clay was inspiring!"
Debbie Gibson

"Still, as splendid a job as Clay did, his finest moment of the entire episode was at the very top while discussing his disadvantage in the task: “Aubrey is a clubber. Just look at that hair. Aubrey popped right out of her momma’s chotch and started grabbing on to the stripper pole.” I think, after hearing that quote, I just officially became a Claymate. Is there some sort of initiation ceremony I need to take part in to seal the deal? Like dying my hair orange, walking around in an “Achin’ for Aiken” t-shirt, or knocking out one of Ruben Studdard’s tail lights? Whatever it is, count me in."
Dalton Ross 'The Celebrity Apprentice' recap: Crystal Blight

"I looooove that Clay stood up to Penn. I don’t think Penn means it, but at times there is an energy that comes from him simply because he knows SO much. I eventually went to the place of “why be intimidated…? Let me admit what I don’t know and learn from him” or from anyone who knows different things than I do! But WAY TO GO CLAY!!!"
Deborah Gibson's Blog

"You can have no idea who any of the celebrities are and still enjoy the challenges. And if you DO care about the celebrities, you can learn more about them in five minutes of watching this show than you could by reading a shopping cart full of biographies. Like, Clay Aiken can up-sell the sh-t out of you, and you'll love it. Seriously, the guy has some hustle!"
TV.COM: The Celebrity Apprentice: 11 Reasons Why ThisSeason Is a Must-Watch

"It doesn't really matter if Aiken is still mocked by a lot of fans. The bottom line is that more people know his name before they would know the names of most of the winners. Aiken has easily found more success than Ruben Studdard, the man who beat him to win the second season of the show. He has made several albums and appeared on television and Broadway. Aiken was frequently teased in various late night shows but he has gotten the last laugh with a successful career."
Katherine McPhee Joins Impressive List of "American Idol" Losers

Clay Aiken can be seen in promos for the upcoming season of "Celebrity Apprentice," accusing a teammate of being patronizing — all in the name of charity. Although his last few albums haven't made a big dent in pop culture, Clay still remains the fourth-best-selling "Idol" contestant ever, right behind the holy trinity. (That's Underwood/Clarkson/Daughtry, obviously.) 
'American Idol': Where Are Katharine McPhee, Leah LaBelle Now?

"So I was like, there he [Clay] is. 

Well, I was really shocked because I never expect any celebrities to be tall. They're all very, very short. 

Clay was actually very tall. 

I hugged him hello and there was actually something to hug. He wasn't like a Hollywood boy. 

And he had stubble on his cheeks and he seemed like a very nice man. 

And I don't even think he was with anybody. 

He was just there, being normal, a night out for a busy father. 

So, Hi, Clay!"

Wendy Williams on her show of 11/5/11

One sports item cracked the top ten bid level at the Mosaic auction. A baseball signed by St. Louis Cardinals great Ozzie Smith sold for $130.

Interestingly enough, someone also bid $130 to win a yellow and black potato bin.
Did I bid on anything at the auction? Yes. I spent $60 on doodle sketches by comedian Jeff Foxworthy and singer Clay Aiken.
Glam beats sports in latest local auction.

Even as young bets continue to dominate “American Idol” in seasons to come, it can also discover excitingly “different” bets who may not end up as absolute winners at the end of the competition, but will, as Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken and a few others have done, emerge as “uncrowned” but authentic idols and stars in their own right, even if they’re no longer teenagers.
Risky gambits pay off

2003: Clay Aiken had the #1 song with "This Is the Night".
This Day in Rock Music History: June 22 

February 7, 2011
Clay Aiken, who appeared on Broadway in Spamalot, brought the house to tears with his heart-felt yearning for "Home" from The Wiz. The performance was dedicated to all the LGBT young people who find themselves seeking a safe haven at places like the Center, which offer a myriad of social service programs. And while the song was dedicated to young people, its lyrics resonate with all: "And I've learned/That we must look inside our hearts/To find a world full of love/Like yours/Like me/Like home..."

Jimmy Fallon talking to Kirstie Alley:

One thing I have to say is on 'Dancing With The Stars' you were my favorite the whole way through.

And I wanted you to win. You were everyone's favorite. 

I think that you won. I'll tell you why. Because who wants to win anyway? What do you get? You get a disco ball. What do you get... like an autographed head shot of Tom Bergeron?

You're like the second... you were the fan favorite, you're the Clay Aiken of Dancing With The Stars. You're the reall winner, the real champ.

Stage and screen actors starring in this year’s movies include Kathleen Turner (High), Richard Chamberlain (My Fair Lady), Dolly Parton (9 to 5), Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu), John Waters ("Hairspray"), Jennifer Coolidge (Elling), Heather Matarazzo (The Women), Leslie Jordan (Lucky Guy), Esai Morales (Salome), Lance Bass (Hairspray), Clay Aiken ("American Idol," Spamalot), Carol Channing (Hello, Dolly!), Seth Numrich (War Horse), Matt Doyle (War Horse) and comedian Margaret Cho.
Outfest 2011 Will Include Movies Starring Kathleen Turner, Cheyenne Jackson, Dolly Parton

Even though Clay Aiken won second place in 2003, he was my favorite that season 

Flutists, Clay's performance demonstrates the importance of thoughtful pacing. He is one of the few American Idol contestants that knows how to draw his audience in with effortless, easy resonance and use specific moments to heighten intensity, ultimately leading to the climax of the song. 

So many young singers and flutists tend to play every moment of the piece with the same intensity level, not remembering that they are taking the audience on a journey with them. We can also learn a lot from the way Clay has a big "presence" without forcing or pushing his voice to the limit. 
American Idol and Flute Performance (Scroll Down for Clay mention)

Me and Clay Aiken, pre game. Nice guy, great voice. Maybe the best National Anthem I've heard live. 
11:39 PM May 9th 

I don't understand why folks are shocked I chatted with Clay Aiken. I've met Avril Lavigne, a Jonas brother, and various other artists (1/2) 
12:49 AM May 10th 

At least Clay was nice enough to give me the time of day and remember my name. Like him or not, manners count for something in my book. 
12:50 AM May 10th
TheGarfoose (Dirk Hayhurst) 

More than anything, Clay strives to raise his son in a loving environment, which, in our opinion, makes him one of the coolest dads out there.
6 Coolest Gay celebrity Dads

Jacob Lusk, “Bridge Over Trouble Water”: A quibble: this wasn’t originally from a movie, but just ended up on a soundtrack. No one should sing this song, because Clay Aiken absolutely killed this song in his season, so it should be retired. And Jacob Lusk is no Clay Aiken.
Idol Thoughts- Tribune blogs

Past winners include Grammy-winning artists such as Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, while even "losing" contestants such as Clay Aiken, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert have become breakout stars in their own right.

On March 15, RCA Records will release American Idol 10th Anniversary-The Hits. The compilation includes tracks by “American Idol” winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Daughtry, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze.  Also featured are hits by second place finalists Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken.

American singer/songwriter, actor, producer and author Clay Aiken rose to fame on the second season of American Idol in 2003 as runner-up to Ruben Studdard. RCA Records offered him a recording contract and his multi-platinum debut album Measure of a Man was released in October 2003. Since then Aiken has released four more albums on the RCA label and launched nine tours, authored a New York Times best-selling book Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, created the National Inclusion Project for children with disabilities, became a UNICEF ambassador in 2004, and was appointed for a two-year term to the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Aiken made his Broadway debut playing Sir Robin on Monty Python’s Spamalot. On August 8th 2008 Aiken announced the birth of his son Parker Foster Aiken, to mother James Foster, sister of Aiken’s record producer David Foster. In a September 2008 issue of People magazine, after years of speculation, Aiken revealed he is gay. Since then Aiken has participated in the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS campaign, spoken at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in North Carolina, and participated in Cyndi Lauper’s “Give a Damn Campaign.”

Clay Aiken, who appeared on Broadway in Spamalot, brought the house to tears with his heart-felt 
yearning for “Home” from The Wiz.
Broadway Cares

A self-proclaimed “Idol” purist, I watched the show’s first season, shrieking and rooting for Kelly Clarkson, and I may or may not have cried when she won.

I was thrilled when the game-changing reality series returned for Season 2. Clay Aiken’s perfectly-pitched vocals had me glued to the screen yet again.

However, when Clay lost to Ruben Studdard, the show lost me. I attempted to get back on board the “Idol” train numerous times during the ensuing seven seasons, but repeatedly lost interest as the show dissolved into a parody of itself.
‘American Idol’s’ Revamped Return! 

Season 2 
Clay Aiken … although I'd probably have to consider myself a close second. 

This season was a tough one, as I truly came to love everyone as family. But if I base my opinion on the person whom I got to know the most, the person I felt was the biggest "star," it would have to be Clay. 

And let's just get this out in the open now: No, we were never an "item," although it did create quite a media frenzy when we'd go out in public holding hands, or kiss each other goodbye. And while it's now quite obvious as to why, I have to admit that it was sort of fun being paired up with Clay, even if it was just for those 15 minutes. 
My Idols: Former contestant Carmen Rasmusen counts down her favorites Idols from the past nine seasons

Some Christmas songs, including Danny Gokey's Tennessee Christmas, also make the chart for the first time this year. Others showing up just in time for the holidays: Elliott Yamin's Jingle Bells and Clay Aiken's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Merry Christmas With Love.
Carrie Underwood's 'Mama's Song' continues as radio's most-played 'Idol' track

Clay Aiken was at our show tonight! He's so adorable!
Kristen Chenowith's Tweet- re; 'Promises Promises'  on Broadway

November 16th has always been a big day for Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken. The day marked his first American Music Award win in 2003. Then on the same day in 2004, Clay released his holiday album, Merry Christmas With Love, which set the record as the fastest-selling holiday CD. He also released his book that day, and it debuted at #2 on the NY Times Bestseller list.
This week in 'Idol' History

Clay Aiken’s October 2003 debut “Measure of a Man” remains the highest-selling Idol runner-up debut ever.
It moved 613,000 copies and dropped at No. 1 on The Billboard 200. 
Backseat Cuddler

Holiday music continues to increase its spins, as well. Clay Aiken's O Holy Night remains the most-played Idol Christmas track for a second straight week, moving up to No. 51 on the Idol airplay chart.

Do you have any favorite memories from all of your work with Disney?

AM: There's so many, but I remember when we went in and they were re-releasing "Aladdin" (on DVD) and we went in and did "Proud of Your Boy" with a full orchestra. It only existed as a piano vocal demo for like fifteen years, and then Danny Troob came back to do the orchestration and Clay Aiken came in and they started playing this song. You could feel it, it felt right out of what we had done for "Aladdin," I was just emotionally blown away.
Alan Menken talks about "Tangled," and his other Disney work 

"On my way home tonight I happened to turn on the OutQ channel. It was the Derek & Romaine show. The guest was Suzane Whang who used to host House Hunters and now does PBS pledge shows. The hosts have not been very nice to Clay in the past so i cringed when I heard the guest say that she met a lot of famous people including Clay Aiken. Derek wanted to know if they had the creepy Claymates with him and there was a discussion about if they were really called Claymates! They said when Clay was in their studio he had two women with him who when the studio techs put the headphones on him fussed with his hair until he told them enough.
Suzanne said he only had a big black man with him...his bodyguard and she said she couldn't believe how tall he [Clay] was. She also said he was very funny and irreverent and joked about forgetting the words to his own songs!"
From a messagae board post by merrieeee

Here is an updated look at the "American Idol" contestants with the most U.S. album sales to-date, according to Nielsen SoundScan. As you note, Underwood's "Some Hearts" is the best-selling set by an "Idol" contestant, with sales of 7,023,000 since its release in 2005. 

Total U.S. Album Sales, Artist 

11,886,000, Carrie Underwood 
10,621,000, Kelly Clarkson 
5,898,000, Daughtry (Chris Daughtry) 
4,973,000, Clay Aiken 
2,555,000, Fantasia 
2,551,000, Ruben Studdard
1,313,000, David Cook 
1,299,000, Kellie Pickler 
1,265,000, Jordin Sparks 
973,000, David Archuleta
Ask Billboard: Small Screen, Big Hits 

Even if it was unintentional, bravo to KERA for some diverse programming (you should see the other stuff). Yeah, Clay Aiken is a punchline at times but he’s always carried himself as a class act. I can appreciate that.
Plus, I like the scoop on his show at Verizon next year.
Rich Lopez-

Contrast Creative just recorded a UNICEF public service announcement with Clay Aiken in our CC studio. He did not sing, but was incredibly down to earth. Will post a couple of photos.
Contrast Creative Facebook

In this musical, the role Yesung has “RobinKyeong” is not only one of the hardest roles [in singing "octaves"], but a scene which will make the audience even ‘crawl’, the highlight scene of “Phantom of the Opera” will be parodied and acted out. A character which only someone with good acting and vocal skills can handle, in America, Broadway this role was taken by American Idol’s star , Clay Aiken. 
Yesung , ‘SPAMALOT’ casting “Will show what a true musical actor is !”

Concert-goer posts after Jim Caviello's review:
"I am so glad Grandma Jim enjoyed the concert. Ruben and Clay are great friends and have been wanting to do this concert for years. I am so glad they were finally able to pull it together. It is fantastic!"

Jim Caviello's response:
"I'm glad, too. They have fantastic chemistry and seem to be having the time of their lives on this tour. It was a fun night."

Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard proved good music is not the only thing that is timeless. Talent is too.
Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard: Timeless Tour Review

It's hard to think about humanitarian travel without picturing Angelina Jolie and other high-profile volunteers. But how much do celebrities contribute to the growing appetite for volunteering away from home and is it all positive? 

One thing is for sure, in our celebrity-obsessed culture many organizations see a benefit to having celebrities represent their causes. 

Jolie is a good will ambassador for UNCHR, also known as the United Nations Refugee Agency, and UNICEF has a number of celebrity ambassadors, including Liv Tyler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Clay Aiken. 
Do celebs like Jolie inspire voluntourism? 

GD: So, is there anyone on the list for voice-overs that you’ve wanted, but haven’t been able to get? 

SM: We just recently started talking about whether or not we can get Christopher Walken, but there’s also things like getting Clay Aiken and Chaka Khan to sing a duet for the summer special. Since we’re both old music fans, we think “We got Chaka Khan – how cool is that?” We called her up and Chaka said yes. 

DP: We wrote a song that would only be funny if Phineas and Ferb hired Clay Aiken and Chaka Kahn to be their stunt singers and we thought we had written ourselves into a corner because if we don’t get Chaka Kahn and Clay Aiken, we have to rewrite this bit of the episode, but luckily they both said yes.
GeekDad Interviews Phineas and Ferb Creators Dan Povenmire 
and Swampy Marsh 

Chaka Khan told Entertainment Weekly about her guest spot, “That’s my message in all aspects of my life. I’d do anything that lifts kids up.”

So gather your children around the Tube for an uplifting message brought to you by Diva of soul Chaka Khan and the heart-melting voice of Clay Aiken for the episode airing on the Disney channel on August 6.
Chaka Khan gets animated for kids

Confirmed! Clay Aiken will be LIVE--in the UNC-TV Studios--for the NC premiere of Clay Aiken -- Tried & True: Live!, Sept 11, at 8 PPM. 
about 6 hours ago via TweetDeck

The one-hour episode "Summer Belongs To You" will premiere in August on Disney XD. This primetime special will feature a duet with Clay Aiken and Chaka Khan as the Phineas and Ferb gang attempt to fly around the world in one day. But for once, not everyone believes they can actually achieve what they've set out to do. 
Disney Channel's Mitchel Mitchel stars in "Pair of Kings"

Young music fans may not know North Carolina music legends John Coltrane or James Taylor, but they probably can sing along with American Idol stars Clay Aiken and Kellie Pickler.

North Carolina has a unique ability to generate American Idol contestants, including Aiken, who's from Raleigh, and Pickler, who grew up in Albemarle. 

To help attract younger visitors to the N.C. Music Hall of Fame in Kannapolis, organizers want to showcase five American Idol contestants who hail from North Carolina: Aiken, Pickler, Fantasia from High Point, Chris Daughtry from McLeansville and Bucky Covington from Rockingham.

"They should be recognized," said Bill Kopald, chairman for the N.C. Music Hall of Fame. "And that helps the younger demographic identify."
Music Hall of Fame plans Idol exhibit 

There's also the next hall of fame induction, set for October, and more artists to bring into the museum's fold, including Fantasia, Clay Aiken and other N.C.-born-and-bred "American Idol" competitors, Ray said. 
Kannapolis museum honors N.C. music greats 

Though it's been nearly seven years since the release of his multi-platinum debut, Clay Aiken's "Measure of a Man" was such a big seller that the Season 2 runner-up remains a given on practically any "Idol" Top 10. It doesn't hurt (or help) that some of the North Carolina native's post-show exploits have involved things such as coming out on the cover of People and sticking his hand in Kelly Ripa's face, which caused a huge firestorm and slowed down his guest host bookings. Outside of appearing in Broadway's "Spamalot," Clay has been somewhat reclusive since having a son in 2008. But that's about to change as he heads out on the road with Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard. 
The Ultimate American Idol Power Rankings....

"American Idol" alum Clay Aiken has changed a lot since his days as a geeky contender on the show. He's starred on Broadway, worked as a UNICEF ambassador, come out as gay and become a father. His new album, "Tried and True," takes a break from all the changes and features Aiken singing classic tunes, including "Mack the Knife," "Moon River" and "Unchained Melody." (Out on CD June 1.)
MSBC- Today Entertainment

How else to explain Ruben Studdard over Clay Aiken, a crazy decision way back in season two. Or last year, which had the remarkable showman and powerhouse singer Adam Lambert losing to the softly crooning boy-next-door Kris Allen, another sweet but utterly forgettable performer. How else to explain that while Americans picked Studdard and Allen as winners, millions more chose the runners-up to load into their iPods?
Lee DeWyze! It's Kris Allen, all over again

MoneyWatch takes a closer look at some of Idol’s most successful past contestants to get some clues.
Clay Aiken
$6 million in album sales
Aiken surprised everyone. First, he lost season 2 to Ruben Studdard. Second, he outsold the winner by 100,000 copies with the release of his debut single, God Bless the USA. His debut album, Measure Of a Man, went on to sell 3 million copies and his second album, Merry Christmas with Love, did almost as well. He subsequently starred in Spamalot on Broadway. After disappointing sales of his 2008 record On My Way Here, Aiken split with his label, RCA. Nevertheless, Forbes estimated he earned $2.2 million in 2009. He is currently on tour with none other than Ruben Studdard.
by Kiri Blakeley | May 20, 2010
American Idol’s Biggest Winners

They say if it ain't broke, don't fix it -- so does introducing a new format next season mean Idol is broken? It's certainly still a hit: so far this season, American Idol has retained its usual slot as the highest-rated primetime show on network TV. Still, the series has seen better days. Its highest-rated episode remains the 2003 Ruben Studdard-Clay Aiken showdown, while the year with the most viewers was season 5 (featuring Taylor Hicks, Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee and Kellie Pickler.) Not only have Idol's numbers declined over the years, but ABC's Dancing With the Stars is hot on its heels. If we were Fox execs, we'd worry, too. 
American Idol plans new format- what gives?

Tweet from PBS Convention

Not just Clay Aiken, Clay Aiken AT HIS BEST! 

Name Matt Schoch
Location Washington, D.C.
Bio: Online content manager and strategist for, and a proud DC Terrapin

Tweet from PBS Convention
my first tweet. never though i would say this, but clay aiken is HOT about 2 hours ago via web

Then she says:

Hope he has a safe trip home. Such a nice man about 2 hours ago

Q. Which American Idol contestants made it in the entertainment world but didn't win on the show? 

A. On American Idol, losing is sometimes as good, if not better, than winning — just ask Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson (Season 3), who nabbed the 2007 Oscar for Dreamgirls. Season 5's Chris Daughtry came in fourth but has the third-highest record sales of any Idol contestant, just behind winners Kelly Clarkson (Season 1) and Carrie Underwood (Season 4). Season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken's debut album, Measure of a Man, went multiplatinum, and he has since had a star turn on Broadway.
"Who's News" 

Linda Eder duets with Clay Aiken on his upcoming album TRIED AND TRUE. They sing “Crying” and we’re already hearing it’s one of the most beautiful songs you’ll ever hear! The album is available for preorder now online.
The Voice -- Linda Eder's Official Fan Publication 

A lot of message-board time is spent on the issue of whether the "American Idol" machine will or will not benefit a particular contestant. Usually it is the fans of the original artists who stomp their feet and insist, over and over, that the Idol powers that be will try to "change" a contestant's style. They basically argue that it is better to lose than to win.

Where did this come from? It started when Clay Aiken was successful in spite of coming in second in Season 2. I think that had more to do with Aiken having a strong fan base after Idol, and not that he came in second. He also recorded songs similar in style to what he'd been singing on the show and did not alienate those same fans. Regardless, the bar was set.
'American Idol' Top 5 need to beware the burse of Bo Bice

American Idol Superstar alumni CLAY AIKEN’s first Public TV special reaches back into the romantic past of the 50’s and 60’s, featuring many of the most iconic love-songs ever written! Check your local listings [in August] to experience it for yourself!
International Media Facebook

"I saw this [PBS Clay Aiken Special] concert filmed in Raleigh in March, and it is so much MORE than this description. Brilliant vocals and musicianship, swinging vibrant arrangements, sheer energy packed into a dynamic presentation. This is not some snoozy love songs compilation. Don't undersell how wonderful this show is, great entertainment for all... See More music lovers!"
Michael McCloud on International Media Facebook

Like “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken in 2004 and ‘tween idol Aaron carter in 2001, Gomez sold out her VIP tickets before they went on sale to the public – they  were snapped up by people who have paid memberships to ArtsQuest, the organization that puts on Musikfest in downtown Bethlehem every year.

But Aiken’s VIP tickets actually sold faster – they were gone in 45 minutes when they went on sale to ArtsQuest members and before they went on sale to the public. And Carter’s public sales ended in three hours, which remains the record.
Selena Gomez doesn't break Musikfest records, but she's about to sell out

But is American Idol truly losing out its glamour? And that too for its dancing counterpart show? The platform that has offered many singers to grow up as future stars and has even produced some of the biggest one-named pop stars in the music world like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry and Clay Aiken. American Idol has also given birth to Jennifer Hudson, the Oscar winner.
American Idol or Dancing with the Stars – which is the king of TV reality show?

First off, season two champion Ruben Studdard paid a visit to the set. How long does Idol hold on to these former contestants! Tough to say whether the slimmer Velvet Teddybear was going for R&B, pop or gospel this time. Like a lot of returning heavyweights, he was polished. Wow, Ruben is going on tour with Clay Aiken. Those two deserve a buddy comedy.
The Wallstreet Journal 'Speakeasy'

I was just checking the Chautauqua Institute's site for an on-sale date for the Cluben concert and noticed on their Popular Entertainment page that the Cluben concert is apparently being underwritten by Wegmans. This is very cool, as Wegmans is itself a super-cool, upscale supermarket chain. Wegman's sells tickets for the Chautauqua concert series at some of their store locations, but the Cluben is the only concert showing them as a sponsor, suggesting their concert guarantee is higher than for the other concerts. Maybe Wegmans will do some promotion.
From a Message Board

Ryan Seacrest asks the audience to shout out the name of their favorite Idol. It's bedlam, of course, but Ryan swears he hears someone shout "Clay Aiken!" and "Simon!"
'Idol' Top 10: The rise of the house of Usher

Without Clarksons, Underwoods, Allens or Lamberts — heck, without even a Hudson, Daughtry or an Aiken in the mix — there’s just no oomph, no thrill, no reason for anyone other than the most ardent “Idol” megafans to exercise their dialing fingers at all. 
Talent? What talent? ‘Idol’ is lousy this season

Excerpt: Scoop: Miley has agenda for ?Idol? appearance - The Scoop- (__) Good thing there's a weak bunch this year can't imagine her giving vocal tips to Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, or Carrie Underwood... 

Clay Aiken's album "Tried and True" with lots of big band and strings arranged and conducted by yours truly will be out June 1st.
Chris Walden composer-arranger on Facebook

Another "Idol" castoff who couldn't capture the crown but went on to make millions, is Clay Aiken, runner-up in the show's second season in 2003.

Aiken put out five albums with RCA Records, including his multiplatinum debut record "Measure of a Man."

Aiken also went on to launch nearly a dozen tours, wrote a New York Times best-selling book, makes frequent appearances on various television shows and starred on Broadway in Monty Python's "Spamalot."
Top 12 means top dollar for would-be 'Idol'

Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken fought it out for the title in 2003. Studdard won the battle, Aiken won the war, going on to major stardom. Studdard’s disappointing career could eventually wind up working against Lynche this season, since the two are so similar.
Idol finalists: The weakest field ever? 

Clay Aiken encouraged the crowd at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in North Carolina to work for equal rights for gay people. Aiken, the second season "American Idol" runner-up, announced he was gay in 2008 after the birth of his son Parker through an in-vitro procedure with a longtime friend. "We have a great deal of more work to do," he said to the audience, which included former Family Ties star Meredith Baxter. "Our time is now, and it's about damn time." Aiken also said, "What the hell took me so long? I was waiting like so many folks are waiting … for change. I realized the time for waiting has passed. The power of truth and living honestly is very liberating."
The Buffalo News

What does it say about this current “American Idol” season when after hearing reigning champ Kris Allen perform, you wish he could join the cast again? 

In fact, after hearing the less-than-inspired guys sing on Wednesday night, how about we take a page from “Survivor” and do an All-Stars show! Picture it- Clay Aiken going toe to toe with David Archuleta. Group numbers with David Cook, Chris Daughtry and Bo Bice. A sing-off between Carrie Underwood, Katherine McPhee, Kelly Clarkson and Allison Iraheta. The possibilities are endless. And think of the madness that would ensue as callers tried to vote for their favorite all-star, hoping they’d win again!
American Idol: 20 Remain 

MENC: The National Association for Music Education released the newest edition in its series of radio public service announcements featuring top pop, country, and classical musicians for March, Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®). The series, called Why Music?, features musical stars talking about the value and importance of music education. 

Artists joining the MIOSM lineup for the first time in 2010 are Mandy Patinkin, Martha Wash, Joshua Redman, Lew Soloff, and Anne Drummond. Returning artists include Steven Van Zandt, Mark O’Connor, Marty Stuart, Clay Aiken, The King’s Singers, The 5 Browns, Trisha Yearwood, Al Jarreau, Kathy Mattea, Bonnie Rideout, Edgar Meyer, Gloria Estefan, Boys II Men, Joshua Bell, Vanessa Williams, Patty Loveless, Janis Ian, Faith Hill, Chely Wright, Tim McGraw, Roger McGuinn, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Taylor, and many others. (A complete list of artists participating in the series since 1997 can be viewed at Why Music?.)
Press Release: Celebrities Join Why Music? PSA Lineup for MIOSM 

Against all odds and logic, “American Idol” has proved itself a genuine pop juggernaut: winners (Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson) have gone on to forge respectable, profitable careers, while finalists (Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken) have enjoyed similar — if not greater — successes.

If you want to bid on a bear, though, prepare to fork over a lot more cash. Last year's top bear, a Spamalot bear signed by Clay Aiken, went for $16,000.
13th Edition of Broadway Bears Roars Into Town 

    "Clay didn’t have any bad habits – he just didn’t have any habits! He didn’t do anything. I love him to death. He didn’t like his freckles. We balanced them out by warming up his skin tone. We shaped up his eyebrows a little bit, I didn’t want to over pluck. With men, you want to make sure that its done in such a way that it doesn’t look like anything was done. His were just really thick.
      We tinted his lashes and eyebrows because they’re super, super light. He just looked amazing and handsome. Sometimes he would sleep in his makeup. I would tell him he cant do that and he would say “but I love the way I look.” He went from geek to chic!” she says.
Makeup Artist Mezhgan Hussainy Reveals Her Top 5 Favorite Idol Makeovers!

Clay Aiken is in the Decca house! Such a nice guy

From a lady who is a member of a Babby Darin Fan Club:

"Hi everyone, We are delighted to be sharing Susan's latest celebrity encounter, asking what the celebrity thinks of Bobby. Thank you Susan, for sharing this with us and for keeping Bobby's name out there in such a fund AND clever way!! Best, BWT Dropping the Delicious Darin Name 
A little before 7 pm, Sunday, as I was finishing up my dinner break, one of my co-workers came into the break room announcing that Clay Aiken was about to walk through security. I sprang from my chair, asked if I had spinach in my teeth, and hurried out the door into the checkpoint! As I busied myself removing bins from the conveyor belt, Clay walked in and began to gather his belongings. I moved closer until I had him directly in front of me, looked him in the eyes and exclaimed ... 
"Clay, I have one question!" 
He grinned and responded, "Okay, only ONE question!" 
"What do you think about Bobby Darin?" 
"Bobby Darin? I think he is fabulous! Why do you ask?" Needless to say, Clay was a bit thrown off by my question. 
"I ask this question of all celebrities who walk through! Then I share those responses with Darin Fans. I am a huge Bobby Darin fan." 
One of Clay's bags needed to be checked, so I continued chatting with him while another officer checked whatever electronic item he had in his carry-on. 
"I don't know whether you already know this, but Bobby is getting a Grammy for a Lifetime Achievement Award on the 30th and 31st at the Grammy Awards." 
Clay responded, " Well, he most certainly deserves it. By the way, I'm including one of his songs on my next album coming out ..." 
"Oh please tell me which song?" 
"No, you'll just have to wait and be surprised ..." 
"Bobby's fans would love to know, as I plan to first share this info with his Official Web Team! Please tell me, which song?"
"Okay, it's MACK THE KNIFE!" 
"Oh, I did hear you sing Mack on American Idol .............." 
"Yes, but THIS TIME it will be better!" 
As he prepared to leave I managed to turn things around so it would end up being about him ... 
"A friend of mine who now happens to be in the Secret Service made me a CD of all your Idol performances!" 
He laughed and said, "Secret Service? Good, I guess it's not a secret, anymore!" 
I thanked him for including a Darin song on his next 'Album,' and that I would be sharing this news with other Darin fans.
On a side observation: He's tall, all American-looking, boyish good looks, reddish-blonde hair covering his ears, unshaven, casually dressed in shirt, pullover sweater and slacks, all in earth tones. When I returned to my break, I was told that two young girls stopped and had their picture taken with him. 
Clay didn't give any further info as to when his 'album' will be released ... but this chance meeting could not have been better! "

Twitters have been tweeting and bloggers have been blogging across the world about who could possibly duplicate Cowell’s sarcasm, cockiness and biting wit. Several choices have been suggested with names and suggestions ranging from bringing back Paula Abdul to stars such as Clay Aiken, Diddy, Quincy Jones and Quentin Tarantino.
Who Will Replace Simon Cowell on American hit show American Idol ?

In the 1/15/2010 edition of Entertainment Weekly, Ellen DeGeneres makes passing and obscure mention of Clay in a dual interview with Simon Cowell. 

Commenting after Simon's answer that he hasn't had much to do with casting the show but that everyone was called to see if they had any issues (p. 29), Ellen says: 

I think they called Clay Aiken first, then Simon. 
Webmaster note: Your guess is as good as ours as to what that meant. ;-) 

While "American Idol" certainly can be a star-making turn -- see Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken or Chris Daughtry -- there are many more contestants who have fallen into obscurity. Justin Guarini and Sanjaya Malakar are more remembered for their hair. Yamin wants to establish his own persona, but has no regrets about participating. 
Lessons continue after 'American Idol' for Elliott Yamin 

"In a lot of cases, those who have not won the 'American Idol' championship have had greater success than those who have. Chris Daughtry finished fourth and has had amazing success, for instance. Is it important more important to you to win the contest, or to be on the contest long enough to reach a huge audience?"

"I think it's the latter, the exposure. Then it's all up to the kind of music you put out and the songs you put out after the show, so the audience has something to connect you to. Winning gives you the record contract, automatically, but look at Jennifer Hudson and Daughtry — Clay Aiken didn't win, even Adam. There are plenty who have done incredibly well and not won." 
‘Idol’ champion Kris Allen brings a cooling trend to B.B. King’s 

Is this make or break time for 'American Idol?' 

Cheryl A. Young is also rooting for DeGeneres on the show despite the naysayers. Young taught season two runner-up Clay Aiken when he was a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. 
Is this make or break time for 'American Idol?'

FromTwitter: RubenStuddard: Just talked to Clay and I'm so excited about the future!!!!!!! 

Its [Huffington Post's] success shouldn’t surprise anyone. In addition to the wide assortment of celebrity buzz and glitterati, you get political commentary from movie stars and Hollywood wags (Alec Baldwin, Clay Aiken, Andy Borowitz, Jamie Lee Curtis, Harry Shearer, et al). Instead of some obscure college professor writing about Afghanistan, you get Bill Maher writing about it. 

We All Got Reality-Checked If you were mildly telegenic and could do a few trills and glissandos then you, too, could be on American Idol. That said, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood’s platinum records were impressive; Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Jordin Sparks and Taylor Hicks not so much. More telling was the success of the also-rans: the Oscar-anointed Jennifer Hudson, the mom-approved Clay Aiken and the glitzy gay provocateur Adam Lambert — all more winning than the winners. And thank goodness for Susan Boyle, who proved you could rack up sales with just a lovely voice and a YouTube following. 
Naughtie Behavior | The Decade in Music | New York Times


New tweet 
dickhodgin: been working with clay aiken the last couple of, that guy can sing.. !! 
Article about Dick Hodgin here 

While not every winner or past contestant has burned up the charts with their post-show musical offerings it did launch immensely successful careers for winners Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Adam Lambert and Jennifer Hudson.
Fifteen TV Shows That Shaped The Decade

Best Contestant: Clay Aiken (Season 2). He may not have won (and we'd still like a recount on that Ruben Studdard victory), and he may not have been as flashy or flamboyant as Adam Lambert, but this nerdy, bespectacled redhead showed the world that talent comes in many unlikely packages long before Susan Boyle.
Decade in Review: Favorite Reality TV
(Clay is mentioned under the American Idol Photo)

"EEE! I just talked to Ruben in the store today. He was behind me in line. I told him I heard that he was going to be touring with Clay this year. He smiled and said he couldn't say. Then I said hypothetically if there was to be a tour when would it be? He smiled and said,"This summer, if it were true" I asked him why did everything always have to be a secret and he said, with me? I said, no, with Clay. He started to say something when the check out girl took his money and was taking care of his change, so he never got to answer. We left and he was parked next to us in the parking lot. We were both putting our things in the car and I told him I tried his vodka pasta dish, and it was very good. He said oh, so you are on my site, and I said yes. He seemed to like that. He said, "Yeah, that Clay, he really loves that vodka sauce!" He said he had never had it til Clay told him how great it was. He said Clay raves about it."
Posted by BoniLee

westerngiants   hangin with @clayaiken in the studio

From Rosie's blog -- Ask Ro:

patti Writes: 

Clay Aiken's "O Holy Night" ...stuningly beautiful. I cry every time I hear it. xox 

Rosie replied:

he is a talented lovely man 

As you back out of your driveway, your navigation system builds a route to the lakeside cabin you’ve rented for the weekend. Thanks to an app you’ve downloaded that contains the best driving roads as suggested by other users, you’ll be forgoing the highway for a fun, twisty route. From the passenger seat, your spouse turns on a few lights in the house, cues her Clay Aiken Pandora channel, and then navigates to her favorite blog. Your daughter, sitting in the back seat, has already donned her wireless headphones and is glued to the last 15 minutes of the latest “Glee” episode, which she had been watching on your couch just a minute ago. Next to her, your son has loaded a game of Tetris on his seatback screen to challenge his best friend who’s competing from a laptop fifteen miles away. 
Suppliers envision a car that competes with the smartphone

Clay was just the "Question" on Jeopardy. The answer, under the category, "REALITY SHOW RUNNERS UP", was 
"With hit records and success on Broadway, this AI season 2 runner-up is hardly "hurtin." 
Jeopardy on TV

The woman got it right. Who is Clay Aiken?
Clay Aiken is another American Idol runner up who has been doing well. He has sold more than six million albums and has written a bestselling memoir. He has toured nine times and is currently taking a break, surely to spend time with his son.
American Idol Contestants: Who Made It

Major organizations like Federal Express and the Atlanta Hawks have offered to help in any way they can, while radio stations have raised the call for public support. Even Clay Aiken's fan club has joined us, working to gather enough supplies to fill an 18-wheeler.
Global Philanthropy

It happened quietly last week, but Carrie Underwood surpassed Kelly Clarkson as the highest selling Idol domestically. World Wide? Kelly is still #1. The Top 5 Idol sellers in the US are: 

* Carrie Underwood – 10,539,000 
* Kelly Clarkson – 10,428,000
* Daughtry – 5,356,000 
* Clay Aiken – 4,910,000 
* Ruben Studdard – 2,532,000 
Idol Chatter

Ruben Studdard was on TV this morning. Sounds great, doing a ballad - no hip-hop nonsense. He looks great - even thinner than when we saw him in "Ain't Misbehavin" in January. They teased a "reunion" story, but that is a December 19 concert here with his pre-Idol band. Just before he started singing, they mentioned the recent tour with David Foster and Ruben said they might work together on his next album. Then the anchor asked about plans with Clay!!  Ruben laughed and said they will be doing something next summer and he can't really talk about it yet. Better than a tweet or a blog - he said it live on TV!
FOX6 "Good Day Alabama via Leroy1704

Clay Aiken (November 30): Even if he didn't win "American Idol," there's no question that Clay Aiken is one of the most successful talents to emerge from Fox's musical phenomenon. From a number of widely acclaimed albums to a hilarious run on Broadway as Sir Robin in "Monty Python's Spamalot," Clay has deservedly earned attention and adoration from fans all around the world. Honestly, there isn't much that Clay hasn't accomplished already in his relatively short career, though I'd personally love to see him try his hand at a rap album. Not only would it be hilarious, but I bet it'd be surprisingly good, too!
Happy Birthday To Elisha Cuthbert, Clay Aiken And Kaley Cuoco! 

53 62 Clay Aiken, The First Noel (246) 
54 55 Bucky Covington, A Different World (217)
55 71 Kimberley Locke, Frosty The Snowman (210) 
56 73 Carrie Underwood, Temporary Home (201)
57 63 Clay Aiken, Mary, Did You Know (191) 
71 74 Clay Aiken, Silver Bells f/K. Locke (115) 
72 61 Studdard/Haddon/Mary, Love Him Like I Do (113) 
73 60 Jennifer Hudson, Jesus Promised Me A Home … (112) (#30 Gospel) 
74 66 Clay Aiken, O Holy Night (110) 
95 97 Clay Aiken, Winter Wonderland (43) 
96 NA Katharine McPhee, I'll Be Home For Christmas (40) 
97 88 Daughtry, You Don't Belong (38) 
98 NA Mandisa, Little Drummer Boy (37) 
99 92 Clay Aiken, Hark The Herald/O Come All Ye Faithful (33) 
American Idol airplay

Of Raleigh's Clay Aiken, who has recorded four albums and an EP, toured eight times, written a NY Times bestseller, and starred on Broadway in "Spamalot" since coming in second in 2003, CNN says he "took his reality show loss and turned it into pop stardom."

Or look for autobiographies such as Bob Dylan’s “Chronicles,” which explores critical junctures in his life and career, “Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life” by Clay Aiken, who writes from the heart about his life before and since his instant stardom on “American Idol,” or “From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens” by 50 Cent, a violent and introspective memoir that reveals the story of a generation of youth faced with hard choices and very few options.
Sound of music

 Fox owns the broadcast rights to the Series, which also explains why Idol winners, from Clay Aiken to Carrie Underwood, have often been designated anthem singers in recent years.
Oh, say can you see …

Thursday, October 22, 2009 
It's been quite a nice ride this summer and fall. We just wrapped the Clay Aiken National Inclusion Project Gala. It was an extraordinary time, producing two videos profiling special needs children and creating a very emotional video on the need for inclusion. Videos will be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

Sunday, September 6, 2009
A lot has been happening this summer. I am happy that I am working with the National Incusion Project on their fall Capital Campaign. "National Inclusion Project" was founded by American Idol alum Clay Aiken and he is a fun, smart and creative guy. The video shoot took us to Boston and Raleigh, NC. We are focusing on kids with special needs and how important it is to include them with typical kids in every possible way. The stories we captured are inspiring and I am looking forward to sharing the video with you in October. 

David Archuleta Christmas CD Review: Beautiful, But... 
And is anyone else shocked that he [David Archeletta] didn’t tackle “Mary Did You Know?” Maybe he realized that he couldn’t possibly outdo Clay Aiken on that one. Or Donny Osmond for that matter (Yeah, that’s right. I said it.)…

Here`s a list of the Top 10 CD pre-orders of all time in the Music

 1. Susan Boyle, "I Dreamed a Dream" (2009)
 2. Norah Jones, "Not Too Late" (2007) 
 3. U2, "No Line on the Horizon" (2009) 
 4. Bruce Springsteen, "Magic" (2007)
 5. Dixie Chicks, "Taking the Long Way" (2006) 
 6. Coldplay, "Viva La Vida" (2008) 
 7. U2, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (2004)
 8. David Cook, "David Cook" (2008) 
 9. Diana Krall, "Quiet Nights" (2009) 
 10. Clay Aiken, "A Thousand Different Ways" (2006)

"I remember Clay Aiken playing the fair, and that seemed like such a cool, accessible thing to do for friends and neighbors," Desai says. "So I wanted to do this to thank the people who voted for me and supported me along the way -- to say, 'Hey, I'm a native North Carolinian, I appreciate the support and I want to do this for y'all.'"
~Anoop Desai

"Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholtz had a rough night on the mound tonight and at the end of the game when they show the pitcher's stats, they had the phrase "Clay Aching" above his name!"

Gomez is the youngest UNICEF Ambassador in the United States and joins a
distinguished roster of beloved celebrities who have embraced UNICEF through the years, dating back to Danny Kaye and continuing today with stars such asJoel Madden, Dayle Haddon, Lucy Liu, Clay Aiken, Marcus Samuelsson, AlyssaMilano and Sarah Jessica Parker among others

Fort Worth Weekly
Taylor Hicks drops into Casa Mañana's production of Grease to sing "Beauty School Dropout." We think Clay Aiken would be a better fit for the song both vocally and as a stage presence, but it's still nice to have the American Idol winner in town to give a distinguishing touch to a stage show that has had no shortage of productions. The musical runs thru Sun at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $30-85. Call 817-332-2272. 

According to "pugsrule", Clay has been mentioned twice in two days on the MSN You Know It Pop Trivia quiz

Yesterday they asked what Clay Aiken fans are called (I can't believe exceptionally smart wasn't a response). Today they asked a question about the judges, and the four responses were Simon, Randy, Paula and Clay. It is amazing that of all the people to have appeared on Idol, Clay is the one that has stayed in the public consciousness. 

Life, Lapband and Community Theater 
P.S. 9to5 was amazing, I had a blast and I got to meet Alison Janey backstage and randomly Clay Aiken was there. True story!

"Today, Decca is a leading label for both classical music and Broadway scores although it is branching out into pop music from established recording stars; its most recent hit was Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA (2007) by Boyz II Men, which reached #27 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. In December 2007, it was announced that Morrissey would be joining the Decca roster. In August 2009, it was revealed that American Idol alum, Clay Aiken had signed with Decca.[9] As mentioned, it is reentering the American country music scene in 2008. There are two Universal Music label groups now using the Decca name. The Decca Label Group is the US label whereas the London-based Decca Music Group runs the international classical and pop releases by such world famous performers as Andrea Bocelli and Hayley Westenra."

Civics lesson indeed

C-SPAN’s civics bus is coming to Vermont this week. Before it arrived, C-SPAN got a civics lesson of its own from Rep. Warren Kitzmiller, D-Montpelier.

In its announcement, C-SPAN said it would be stopping from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today [tha: 8/25: ]at the Statehouse in Montpelier, which it helpfully said was at the corner of Gov. Clay Aiken Avenue and State Street.

Kitzmiller fired off an e-mail to C-SPAN. "What in the world were you thinking?" Kitzmiller said, pointing out that Clay Aiken was a runner-up on "some lame TV show" (that would be "American Idol") while the street is actually named after the late George Aiken.

"Our late governor (and U.S. senator) GEORGE Aiken stands as a legend in Vermont political life," Kitzmiller wrote.

He received a quick apology and correction from C-SPAN.

— Terri Hallenbeck

Let's face it, second place on "American Idol" is actually quite awesome. 
You still get a record deal (Adam Lambert), a shot to make it huge (Clay Aiken) and the opportunity to become some tween sensation (David Archuleta). But above all, you still get the hoops (marketing), nets (production) and marbles (promotions) that make up the figurative world of the "AI" Mouse Trap game. The question is: Will you dive off the board and trigger the net at exactly the right moment to catch the cheese? That, my friends, is finally when talent comes into play.

Information 101: Top selling American Idol artists
Clay Aiken - Season Two's runner up continues to dominate Ruben Studdard, the winner of Idol's Season Two in record sales.  He has sold 4,850,000 albums to date and has released five albums.  Though he has often been surrounded with controversy since reaching the spotlight, Aiken was American Idol's first contestant that proved you don't have to win the title of the show to succeed as an artist afterward.  He set the standard for many runner's up who have followed behind him with successful recording careers.

Extended Families Connect on New York Vacation 
The kids pepper Egan and Wilkins with questions about their experience (impressed that Egan performed with Clay Aiken on Broadway) and how they might audition for upcoming professional productions.

Cary entrepreneur to make a splash in 'Shark Tank' premier
Local Tech Wire - Fort Mill,SC,USA
Question is, will Flannery survive the shark attacks and cash in like the Triangle's Clay Aiken did on “American Idol”? 

Random mention  from July 23, 2008 :-)
Obama tour staged for political pop

McCain visited the Middle East and Europe in March as part of a congressional delegation, which was paid for by taxpayer dollars, thus limiting the number of staff he could bring. 

But when the Arizona senator traveled to Mexico and Colombia last month, he mobilized only eight staff members, including two foreign policy advisers, two press aides, two advance workers and two assistants to Cindy McCain, said campaign spokesman Brian Rogers. 

“Who does he think he is?” Rogers asked of Obama. “Clay Aiken?” 

Week Ending July 19, 2009: Daughtry Makes "Idol" History 

Daughtry's sophomore album, Leave This Town, enters The Billboard 200 at #1. This makes the band's leader, Chris Daughtry, the first American Idol alumnus to land back-to-back #1 albums. Daughtry rang the bell for two weeks in early 2007. Kelly Clarkson is the only other Idol alum to notch two #1 albums, and hers weren't consecutive. She topped the chart with her first and fourth albums. This obviously makes Chris Daughtry the first Idol alum who didn't win the competition to land two #1 albums. (Clay Aiken is the only other non-winner to land a #1 album, though Adam Lambert is likely to join this little club.) 


Leave This Town sold 269,000 copies in its first week, a little less than Daughtry, which had first-week sales of 304,000. (The softening of music sales in the past three years easily accounts for the difference.) It's common for debut albums by Idol alums to open with big numbers. The real test is how their second albums open. Only one sophomore album by an Idol album started with a bigger tally than Daughtry managed this week. Carrie Underwood's Carnival Ride debuted with sales of 527,000 in October 2007. (Kelly Clarkson's sophomore album, Breakaway, opened with sales of 250,000 in December 2004. Clay Aiken's A Thousand Different Ways started with 211,000 in September 2006.) 

E! Online
And most importantly, how badly do shows like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance need to get onboard and do all-star versions? Can you even imagine the awesomeness that would be Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken or Danny Tidwell and William Wingfield facing off?! 

'Appetite for Self-Destruction'

ClaySTO wrote: 
The book I mentioned earlier: "Appetite for Self-Destruction" about the record industry (recommended by JaMar on CV) has a tiny mention of Clay. 

Today, I found this on page 218: "Universal was the most obvious and widespread success in the post-iTunes era, but there were others. Fox's hit reality show 'American Idol' was a star-making machine, turning unknowns like Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Carrie Underwood, and Daughtry into CD-sales juggernauts for Clive Davis's J and Arista labels." 


Leroy1704 wrote: 
Speaking of interesting books, you just never know when Clay may pop up in one. I just started reading Patricia Cornwell's book Scarpetta. On page 11, her assistant Bryce is discussing an internet blogger who sounds exactly like PH. He's telling Kay Scarpetta about his blog, and is trying to think of a model the blogger wrote about who sounds a lot like Paris Hilton. She was thrown off a TV show because she dissed someone famous. He says this, "Maybe what's-her-name went after that singer from American Idol...And not Clay Aiken or Kelly Clarkson. Who's the other one?" I about choked on the lunch I was eating. BTW, everyone hates this blogger so far which seems quite normal to me.

See, Clay, everyone knows who you are, even Patricia Cornwell. 

Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken and recent runner-up Adam Lambert are proof that you don't have to be the winner on "American Idol" to gain an audience and build a successful music career. 

Food bank steps in to help feed the best friends in the toughest times
Today, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., head over to the Theater District for the 11th annual Broadway Barks, hosted by stars Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore. 

Actors from Broadway shows will share the spotlight with gaggles of adoptable cats and dogs from dozens of city shelters and rescue groups. 

New this year is bidding on the "Hounds of Broadway" - a series of stuffed dogs signed by cast members of various shows, including "Spamalot" star Clay Aiken, which will be auctioned off to benefit the Picasso Veterinary Fund. 

The benefit takes place in Shubert Alley, between 44th and 45th Sts. in Manhattan. 

Adam Lambert, Kris Allen Hit the Stage Again as American Idols Live Tour Kicks Off in Portland 
Goth kids, soccer moms and diehard Idol junkies — including one superfan with Clay Aiken’s autograph tattooed on her shoulder — packed Portland, Oregon’s Rose Garden last night for the inaugural performance of American Idol’s summer tour.

Flat Edward is based on the popular children's book Flat Stanley, which has become a teaching tool in classrooms around the world.  Students draw pictures of Flat Stanley and then mail him to friends to get his picture taken in exotic locations or with famous people.  Flat Stanley has been photographed with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, singer Clay Aiken, even President Obama! 

Behind the scenes with…Mike Pleasant, concert manager (Part 1) 
Clay Aiken - It was a hard show to work because for the first time we had two shows that day. The first show sold out in 9 minutes and the second show sold out in 11 minutes. There was such a buzz in the arena before the show that you could just feel the excitement. People came from all over the U.S. to see this show. There were as many people from out of state as there were from N.C. We had big screens set up on both sides of the stage and people taped the show from all angles. It took the crew 7 hours to build the set for the stage. They put in an elevator to raise him up through a clam shell with fog and he walked down a set of stairs to the stage. I will never forget how loud the crowd got when they saw him come up out of the fog. The stage was beautiful and the light show was unbelievable. 

Memphis City Magazine 

And for others, there's American Idol. 

That's not saying that the singers who do well in the enormously popular Fox vocal competition are undeserving of instant fame. But it does tell you that more Americans are at home watching their TVs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights than are hanging out in clubs. They are watching and, in a way that always infuriates those with gilded musical tastes, democratically electing the voices that will be heard on the radio, the songs that get stuck in your head at night, and the faces that will appear on the cover of Rolling Stone. 

Without American Idol, we might never have heard of Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson, or Carrie Underwood, talented as they are. 

Damien Fahey's Dream "I'm a Celebrity..." Cast
"I would love to see Paris Hilton survive in the jungle for four weeks," Damien tells OK! by phone. "Lindsay Lohan, Dave Coulier from Full House, Clay Aiken — all would be great casting.” 

Will Adam Lambert Be a Bigger Success Than Kris Allen?
Lemondrop and Life and Style magazine want to know -- will Kris Allen prove America made the right choice, or will Adam Lambert pull a Clay Aiken and outsell the winner from second place?

From a Tweet from Twitterfone:
Guess who almost doored me when I was on my bike yesterday. Yup, you're right! Clay Aiken! He looked great, by the way.

From a "Tweet" by DavidVigliano: 
Meeting with Clay Aiken and new publishers. Clay very articulate, involved and literate. So refreshing.

Blame gets shared for dark side of reality TV fame
But yanking TV contests off the airwaves seems impossible, for now, because the shows are among the network's most-watched and they bring in millions of dollars of advertising revenues. 

Moreover, for every Susan Boyle, there is a Clay Aiken, a runner-up who went on to a successful life and new career. 

Change partners: Elvis Costello and...Clay Aiken?
One of the most delightful surprises on television recently was last month's "30 Rock" season finale, featuring an all-star sing-along on a faux-anthem called "Kidney Now." Elvis Costello served as ringleader, opposite Mary J. Blige and even Raleigh "American Idol" star Clay Aiken. Costello will bring an acoustic band to Cary's Booth Amphitheater for a show on Sunday; and if Aiken were to turn up wanting to crash the party, Costello would probably just roll with it -- the man is used to unusual collaborations, after all. 

"Maybe your local boy might want to sing some country?" Costello asked with a laugh during a recent interview. "He can hop on up and do some harmonies with us; maybe some gospel. You never know what might happen!"

Well, probably not. But as to what might really happen at Sunday's show, complete with lots of talk about Costello's new album, check out the interview in Friday's paper

Why Cougars Crave "Idol" Runner-Up Adam Lambert 
The good news is that people who know about these things think that our little Lambert love-fest is downright mentally healthy. [b]"I think more women would be happier if they channeled their inner 14-year-old girls once in a while," says sex therapist Laura Berman, director of the Berman Center in Chicago. She's always been fascinated with the Clay Aiken phenomenon, that of girls going crazy for a seemingly sweet, innocent-looking boy-man (Aiken is now, like Lambert, out and proud). 

BREAKING NEWS: Kings Hire Paul Westphal 
After spending his last eight years coaching at Pepperdine, serving as an assistant under Avery Johnson in Dallas, and attending multiple Clay Aiken concerts with his wife (yes, that happened), Paul Westphal is back. Kings GM Geoff Petrie chose Westphal over LA Lakers’ assistant Kurt Rambis and Boston defensive specialist Tom Thibodeau. 

Frankly, those Clay Aiken concerts sound like fun compared to trying to win in the West with the Kings’ roster. Enjoy yourself, Paulie!

The NOT so shocking News this week… 
"Also coming out after finding success in the #2 spot, Clay Aiken. Aiken had experienced a lot of joking and pushing for his closet door to open. His sexuality was even the cause of an on-air fued between Kelly Ripa, of Live with Regis and Kelly, and Rosie O’Donnell prior to his coming out. He was on the cover of People and came out about not only his sexuality, but of his life and the birth of his child. 
<picture of People cover> 
Aiken has released 4 albums to date and has performed on Broadway. It is said that Aiken is second in line for mainstream popularity and success since Idol, Season 1 winner, Kelli Clarkson."

A music legend opens North Carolina's own Music Hall of Fame
"We also have people like Robert Flack," says Ray. "We have jazz, tremendous big jazz artists in North Carolina. Like Coltrane and Thelonius Monk and Dizzy Gillespie and others. And you also have people like Shirley Caesar and Black gospel. 

And what about some of the newer artists? 

"Yeah, American Idol," volunteers Ray. "You've got Clay Aiken. Kelly Pickler. Fantasia. We intend to induct them." 

Saturday, Clay Aiken took to answering a questions posted on his official fan site, a question inquiring his thoughts on the California Supreme Court upholding Proposition 8. His response is articulate, nuanced, and thoughtful. 

Palm Beach Post
Winning isn't everything 

They've already seen enough reality TV shows to know that American Idol crowns only one winner, but if you don't win, it's not the end of the world.
You could still end up like Clay Aiken.

New York Magazine
The Justin Guarini Hour Prepares to Set the Entertainment World Ablaze

Attention citizens of Doylestown, Pennsylvania! Do you have a head shot, an interest in sketch comedy, and reliable transportation? If so, it's time to start getting psyched for The Justin Guarini Hour! Yes, you read that right, we said an hour. With Justin Guarini. We can't wait to hear Clay Aiken's review

Clothes Off Our Back auctions aren’t exclusively for evening gowns; male ensembles and tuxedos are also popular auction items. Clay Aiken’s Emmy suit brought $28,000 at auction, and a white suit worn by Barry Manilow sold for $13,000. 

Making a Difference: Clothes Off Our Back

29 million see ‘Idol’
Nielsen ratings give “American Idol” a huge win as Kris Allen beat Adam Lambert to become the show’s singing champ.
Nielsen says nearly 29 million viewers tuned in for the finale Wednesday. “American Idol” viewership, one-third larger than the total audience logged by Fox’s rival networks ABC, CBS, NBC and The CW.
The 2003 finale between Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken remains the most-watched, with 38.1 million tuning in.


10. Clay Aiken 
He started out as the nerdy kid with the wire specs, got cut in the round of 32, came back as a wild card, got a makeover, became an unlikely heartthrob and rode a powerful set of pipes — and the whole "geek to chic" thing — all the way to the finals of season two, where he lost a nail-biter to Ruben Studdard. But he didn't let that stop him: Post-"Idol," he's sold a ton of albums (his debut, Measure of a Man, bowed at #1, selling a staggering 613,000 copies in its first week), starred in Broadway plays, became a pop-culture touchstone, proved that he has a rather deft touch for comedy and, oh, came out of the closet. Not too shabby. 

The 10 Greatest 'American Idol' Contestants Of All Time 

Clay Aiken, Season Two: The flame-haired crooner and his coterie of devoted Claymates are easy to mock, but let's give Aiken some credit. Four top-five Billboard album hits. Two platinum-selling albums. A memoir on the New York Times best-sellers list. Still, the now openly gay father might be a little too full of himself at this point: Did we really need The Very Best of Clay Aiken six years after his first release? Apparently not, as the disc stalled at #173 on the Billboard chart. Then again, he did have a brilliant cameo on the season finale of "30 Rock" last week. Success score: 4 out of 5 "Idol" stars

~Will Adam's career be more like Justin Guarini's or Clay Aiken's?

Set your DVRs! Seacrest promised that tonight’s three-hour show is so packed with goodies that it’s likely to go over. (Please let it involve Clay Aiken!) 
[Not holding our breath]

Down to the 'Shoe-In vs. Dark Horse' Moment

Second season winner Clay Aiken’s work in front of the camera has been limited to television. Technically this feature is supposed to highlight any movie work that past “Idol” contestants have done, but I couldn’t help myself in this case. Aiken appeared in an episode of “Scrubs” shortly after his “Idol” win, but he stepped into the spotlight once again last week with a cameo appearance – one of many that night – on NBC’s “30 Rock.” Aiken’s cameo happened to stand out from the rest because it was revealed that, in the show’s fiction, he is the cousin of lovable NBC page Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer).

American Idols Do Hollywood

"...the [GLEE] pilot will be aired this Tuesday night on the back of Fox's powerhouse ratings bonanza, America Idol - which is actually more about marketing than real musical talent. That said, it has been responsible for Clay Aiken - who went to Broadway in 2008 with Spamalot. So it's a good strategy to pair these two together - although a preview months before the show starts is questionable."

Kristin McGee’s New Exercise DVD Demonstrates Pilates For Beginners
Clay content in interview starts at about 7:40. Essentially, Kristin says she did Pilates 5x a week with Clay for an hour at a time while he was in Spamalot. She also said he was very nice. 

May sweeps is also the time when some shows sign off for good – say farewell to Prison Break and King of the Hill in the coming weeks – and regular series wrap up with big-ticket season finales. Quite often these finales will include stunts and celebrity guest appearances, but this May's list is noticeably lacking in star power. 

Beyond the delightful Ms. Fairchild and the wedding between McDreamy and Meredith on Grey's Anatomy (May 14), the season-finale forecast is not so great. 

In case you're making a list, Carl Reiner plays a cranky old patient on House (May 11). Gerald McRaney, formerly TV's Major Dad, does likewise on the finale of CSI (May 14). And Alan Alda and Clay Aiken – together at last! – turn up on the last outing of 30 Rock (May 14). 

Revenues are down, and so is the sweeps hoopla 

Just Tweeted: 

DaveKentShow (Dave Kent) - faye parker clay aiken's mommy stopped byy... clay and baby are great 

Ross the Intern from The Tonight Show posted on his blog 

"What my little eyes spy... Who am I looking at in the lounge at JFK?!? Umm... only freaking CLAY AIKEN!!! He's sitting on the other side of the room from me. Should I say hi?!? Fun! :)

All that said, this is THE strongest group of finalists in American Idol history.  Previous Disco Weeks have bordered on ridiculous and baffling (except maybe Clay Aiken's kitschy and fabulous-in-retrospect rendition of "Everlasting Love"), but if anyone can make it a good night, it's the Season 8 contestants! 

American Idol: Jen Dishes The Latest

I didn't know Clay Aiken was A) An acting pro, and B) A fashionista, but the former American Idol contestant was both on ANTM this week, when he guest judged and coached the stick figures in a stage exercise by playing a diva fashionista. This was all in preparation for the always entertaining CoverGirl commercial shoot. The models were plagued with the usual forgotten lines and bland delivery -- and it was no shocker shy Tahlia's ad was the worst in the bunch. I knew acting week would take her down for good, and it did.

This Weeks Reality TV Update

Clay Aiken, fashionista, model expert 

American Idol-spawned musical sensation Clay Aiken, 30, says he was an awesome judge on an episode of America's Next Top Model because of his experiences on Idol.

"It was interesting to be on the other side of the [judges'] table and think of all these things that I went through in '03," he said. (In '03, he finished second to Ruben Studdard on Idol.) 

"I think the girls kind of appreciated that, the fact that I had been in a similar position."

Clay's episode airs tomorrow night. 

Clay Aiken, fashionista, model expert


CLAY AIKEN JUDGES "AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL" RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Clay Aiken knows what it's like to be judged. That's why he thinks he was a good guest judge on "America's Next Top Model." He says the ladies on the show appreciated that he had been in a similar position as they are. He knows who gets voted off this week and he says the women who stay are "the people who are willing to be themselves and not worry." The episode airs tomorrow on the CW.

"The second might be a tad confounding; seeing as he only has two studio albums and one set of baffling covers to his name, it might seem a scotch too soon to run across The Very Best of Clay Aiken at your local record store, but there you have it, and it’s a better than average reminder of his raw talent as a vocalist. (”Invisible” is included, praise Jesus, as well as his funky (and strangely haunting) reworking of Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again,” but, sadly, not his ferocious remake of Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is,” done as a duet with Rock Star: INXS contestant Suzie McNeil.)"

~Playlist Series

"Clay is a model judge

The shoe’s on the other foot as Clay Aiken sits in judgment of contestants on the April 8 episode of “America’s Next Top Model.”

“It was surreal to be stepping into the position of ‘judge’ on a competition show, having come from one myself,” says Aiken, a longtime fan of the show.

On the show, Aiken works with models on an acting challenge before sitting with Tyra Banks on the judges’ panel.

“The show’s been able to stay true to its goal of giving amazing opportunities to real young girls who might not have had such chances before,” he says.


Saturday night’s 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards were held last night in New York City, one of the big winners Miss Tyra Banks, presented the Excellence in Media Award by a suddenly sexier Clay Aiken, Suze Orman, who received the Vito Russo Award from T.R. Knight, and Phil Donahue, who, along with The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, earned a special recognition award. Also on hand last, Keith Olbermann and the unsinkable Michael Urie. 

The Time of My Life Blog 

"Simon Cowell is a Miss Cleo in his own right. He enjoys making predictions; and, generally speaking, he tends to be right. Simon predicted that Carrie Underwood would win American Idol. She did. He also predicted that Kelly Clarkson should win the title. She did. He also thought Clay Aiken should win on his season. He didn’t, but he outsold Ruben, and Mr. Cowell disapproved of Taylor Hicks and was upset that Chris Daughtry lost. Daughtry went on to sell millions of records and pick up award after award."

Simon Cowell Predicts American Idol Top 2 - Adam Lambert and Danny Gokey

Past winners (pf American Idol) including Kelly Clarkson and several runners-up, such as Clay Aiken and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, have gone on to lucrative music careers as well as appearing in films and on Broadway.

Fans pare "Idol" top 10 with Sarver elimination

"Our opening night was made a bit more special than usual by a visit from none other than Clay Aiken. Clay drove six hours in order to see his good friend Merle Dandridge, with whom he performed in "Spamalot" on Broadway. I admit that when I heard he was out front, I got a couple butterflies; one always feels that extra scrutiny from another performer who has played the same part. But turnabout is fair play--I got to see Clay perform when I was in New York last fall-- and I was actually delighted to show him my take on Sir Robin. He stopped back stage after the performance and was very complimentary to me. It was nice to see him again, and what a good friend he is to come and see his buddy Merle strut her stuff. " 

"Last night I happened to watch our local Fox news....entertainment, they mentioned stories coming up...heard Clay Aiken. It was about 30 rock. The story says...Clay Aiken is taking a break from singing to appear in the 30 Rock finale. 
The local anchors: 
Her: I LOVE Clay Aiken
Him: I didn't know he was taking a break from singing. 
Her: I guess..shrugged
Her: Shrugged again...and says again, "I love Clay Aiken"
Him: You love AI and have a big poster on the wall.
Her: Yeah with a big heart around Clay Aiken."



Pronunciation: Eye-peeper. 

Function: Noun. 

Definition: A person, usually in the workplace, who looks at someone's iPod screen to see what they are listening to, then comments on it, or uses that information later for some other purpose. 

Examples: “Hey, I don't mean to be an I-Peeper but I see we have a mutual Clay Aiken thing going on.” 

"Former “American Idol” finalist Clay Aiken [was spotted] sitting in the left orchestra section of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts  Centre for the opening night performance of “Spamalot.” The singer played the role of Sir Robin in the Broadway production of the hit Monty Python musical last year. We’re told he happily signed autographs for the theater-goers who recognized him."

"Peach Buzz" Atlanta Column

"Getting into the final 12 is a big deal for the semi-finalists, because it means weeks of national and international TV exposure, a performance showcase that has spelled stardom, not just for each year’s chosen Idol, but similarly for some runners-up and also-rans, like Clay Aikenand Jennifer Hudson."

Inquirer Entertainment

"Clothes Off Our Back auctions aren’t exclusively for evening gowns; male ensembles and tuxedos are also popular auction items. Clay Aiken’s Emmy suit brought $28,000 at auction, and a white suit worn by Barry Manilow sold for $13,000."
Making a Difference: Clothes Off Our Back


"He knows you're alone. You know what freaked me about "Watchmen," the splashy action movie that opened this week? When Rorschach, the grim vigilante played by Jackie Earle Haley had his mask pulled off, he looked eerily like Clay Aiken, "American Idol's" most famous runner-up.

At first the likeness was disorienting. Then it made perfect sense. I suddenly realized Aiken is in the wrong line of work. He should leave behind the sappy ballads, the sappy show tunes and the sappy seasonal carols and instead pursue roles as a horror film fiend.

I'm telling you, Clay could be the next Freddy Krueger."

Dave on Demand: The television week in review

[Try to tell us Clay Aiken isn't a household word; mentioned in at least 3 publications below regarding the grammy performance of Radiohead]

... Yorke was a captivating presence, shaking and jittering all over the stage like he had ants in his pants. Still, what was up with the Clay Aiken 'do, Thom?


Introduced by a fawning Gwyneth Paltrow, Radiohead was far more mind-blowing, playing "15 Step" backed by the USC Marching Band. Looking as much like Clay Aiken as ever, Thom Yorke did the digital rock star strut while the music shook the house. Not to fear: Neil Diamond took the rock-star vibe old school again with "Sweet Caroline." The guy doesn't sing so much as preside.

Boston Globe


Gwennie is out to introduce Radiohead … and the USC marching band!!! And they’re doing “15 Step.” EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. This is pretty great — with the band, it sounds like some pepped up version of “The National Anthem” or “Life In A Glass House” — though I’d be lying if I said Thom Yorke’s feathery hair wasn’t distracting me a bit right now. Seriously, he looks like Clay Aiken.

 NewsRoom MTV

Idol gives back: The Dancing Wheels Company has gotten a boost from a well-known former American Idol. The company, which has dancers with and without disabilities, received a grant from singer Clay Aiken's Bubel/Aiken Foundation. The grant is aimed to promote the foundation's mission for inclusion for children of special needs into the mainstream. 

The company will have ongoing programs at the Barrett Academy in Akron, where students have multiple disabilities, and "Hands that Speak Volumes," an after-school program for deaf teens. 

Even Simon Cowell would have to approve of that.

-- James McCarty and Kim Crow contributed information

This element of surprise is what initially drew me to Clay from the very first time that I heard him.  I had only just started watching the show, and I still got a kick out of the bad auditions.  When the cameras focused on Clay, I was ready for the worst of the worst.  He was a complete dork, with his spiky red hair, ears that stuck out to Minnesota, striped shirt that hung off of his skinny body, and glasses that sat unevenly on his face.  I braced myself to laugh my face off, and then Clay opened his mouth.  What poured out, of course, was beyond amazing, and I knew from that moment that he was going to win.  (And even though he didn’t, let’s be honest, he sort of did.) 

From: Jacksonville’s sun shines brighter than most Idol hopefuls 

Although he didn't win, Clay Aiken became an overnight sensation, spawning a fanbase rival to those of pop stars of previous generations.

From:  Has American Idol lost its way?

American Idol finalistClay Aiken will be cohosting the first annual Golfing for Inclusion charity benefit at Mirasol Country Club, Palm Beach Gardens at 10 a.m. Monday.

The tourney, cohosted by PGA pro Wayne Player, supports The Bubel/Aiken Foundation's Let's All Play program, helping kids with disabilities go to camp.

If you're not so hot on the greens, the new dad -- the out and proud Aiken had a son, Parker, with his baby-making pal Jaymes Foster in August -- will take to the stage at 6:30.
From: Miami Hearld Entertainment


Clay Aiken, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Season 2, Finals. Clay had impressed viewers and judges with his high, sustained glory notes over the course of the finals in 2003, but it was the surprise of his rich lower range that raised the hair on my arms during the performance that should have sealed his win over Ruben Studdard (notably absent from my list). Many hated this overdone arrangement complete with gospel choir, but no one, not even grumpy Simon, could deny Clay’s vocal talent after his grand finale.

From a MySpace blog

Saturday, January 03, 2009 

Clay Aiken - My New Inspiration 
Current mood: Proud and inspired 
Category: Proud and inspired Music 

Okay, okay, before any of you go crazy and yell and scream "What the hell is wrong with you?", let me explain: 

As you know, I just got back from a two week long trip up North or back Home: Massachusetts and New York. One of my christmas gifts from one of my very good childhood friends was tickets for my [formerish] band and I to see Spamalot! on Broadway. [which, sadly, ends Jan. 11th so GO SEE IT!!!] So we went out to eat at the Olive Garden down in Times Square which was crowded as ever due to the set up for the New Year's special, then went down to Sherbert Alley to the Sherbert Theatre where Spamalot! is performed. We sit down in our amazing seats [first mezzanine] and browse through the program and lo and behold: Clay Aiken's name appears. I admit, I was very skeptical at first and said "This will be interesting." So the lights dim and, of course, the puns start flying even before the first actor appears on the stage. Clay Aiken plays Sir Robin among other characters, but Sir Robin being his main role as one of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table. No, I won't tell you what happens [though if you've seen Monty Python, you already know], but I will tell you that Clay is fantastic. He is outrageously funny, his singing talents are better than ever, his dancing is excellent...I don't think one single bad thing could be said about his performance and if he was having an off-night, I certianly couldn't tell. It is worth seeing because A - it will make you laugh nonstop as long as you take everything with a grain of salt, B - it closes very soon sadly to make way for the new upcoming '09 shows and C - Clay, along with the other actors and the band and the tech crew, is worth seeing. I have become inspired by his performance and I am happy that he has found his second grail and is doing what he loves to do and I am very proud to have seen him, both from afar onstage and upclose as he signed autographs. I did manage to break through the crowd of his fans and say to him, "You were phenomenal and I agree: you have found your second grail." He looked up from the program he was signing and smiled at me and mouthed "Thank you." I smiled back and nodded and he disappeared through the stage door. I admire Clay for all he has done and the change he has made for and of himself. I thoroughly admit I was wrong about him and I see that now. Give him a chance and you won't be disappointed.

From Blogs over Baghdad

"We rallied up and proceeded to our next mission… a Broadway Show, wait no, that can’t be right… is it? What? But it was! Sgt. Maj. with his charm and tenacity the previous day, managed to inquire about tickets to Spamalot, which was in its last two weeks of showing at the Shubert Theater. Wendy, the theater manager was really honored that we would come to the show prior to our deployment and was kind enough to give us standing room tickets at no cost! As we waited outside in the brutally cold wind, our excitement kept us warm Of course the warm welcomes, applause and thank yous that we received from nearly everyone we encountered also helped. It was touching compared to the stares of wonder a uniformed Solider usually gets when traveling.

The spectacle that was Spamalot was hilarious, and the hospitality of the the theater patrons was not atypical of what we witnessed outside. Two patrons gave up their very expensive 5th row seats to two of our lower enlisted, Spc. Richardson and PFC Clifton, after the first act. We laughed through the rest of the show and singing cadences of “Always look on the bight side of life, one of the numbers from the act. This song really got us fired up, and I believe that it will be the theme of the rest of the deployment. After the theater cleared out, we were warmly invited on-stage to meet, greet and take pictures with the cast. Clay Aiken, who played Sir Robin, even came out to greet us and give us his well-wishes for a safe deployment. Perhaps the oddest thing was that THEY treated US like star. This impacted me deeply especially after talking with some of the cast who repeatedly thanked us. 

“Because of what your do,” one said, ” we can perform this frivolous entertainment for fans. And it is only because of what you do, that makes what we do possible.”

I really appreciated the hospitality of the cast of Spamalot and am so thankful of their appreciation. The time came to lave the theater and proceed back to South Ferry for our return to our barracks. Singing to our new-found tune the whole time."

Regrettable Trends in Pop Culture: 2008 Edition 
Sing-Along Movies: It's considered rude to talk during a movie. It's even worse to use a cell phone. The adver-trailers make this PERFECTLY CLEAR. 
So what kind of crazy upside-down world are we living in when the audience is invited to sing along with the professionals? We've all seen "American Idol." Most of us suck. Don't be fooled by your shower acoustics. Chances are, you're no Clay Aiken. You're probably not even a Taylor Hicks. 
So to "Mamma Mia!" and "High School Musical 3," we say, "You were darling, dorky, adorable movies that we love like our own embarrassing relatives. But we don't want to have to pay to watch Betty Tonedeaf sing and shake her moneymaker, not when we can get that for free at the family reunion."
In 10 years, this crazy trend will seem like an impossible/insane dream. Trust us. 

 In entertainment, big-voiced Clay Aiken was an American Idol runner up to some chubby dude and look at Clay now!  Proud papa.


"So...I was fortunate to get to meet David Foster tonight at my PBS station -- he was here for the pledge drive.

What a lovely man, and so friendly. Asked me my name, used it a lot. After a little discussion of some of the artists he's produced and written for, he insisted I go get my camera. While I was gone, my boss -- who had accompanied me -- clearly busted me as a Clay fan, because when I returned, he freely talked about Clay and Jaymes and Parker, asked how I was with all of the things that had happened with Clay this year (the coming out, the baby, etc.). I was, to say the least, surprised that he seemed to care so much about my opinion. I have to say that he was VERY complimentary of Clay, an extremely doting uncle concerning Parker, and beaming with pride when he talked about all of them."

~Pink Armchair

Christmas Carol CDs for Less than $11: Cole, Crosby, Aiken and More
"Clay Aiken-Merry Christmas With Love (2004): Combining one of the most powerful voices heard in recent years with traditional Christmas songs, "Merry Christmas With Love" is the perfect blend of traditional holiday music and pop music. Clay Aiken delivers a powerful performance on songs like "Don't Save It All For Christmas Day", and on the same turn, offers a more gentle approach to songs like "Silent Night" and combines gentle and powerful on the track, "Mary Did You Know". At around $9.99, this album is perfect for pop fans and Christmas music aficionados alike!"

Liz Smith: David Foster, a 'Hit Man' With Heart

"David has five — count ‘em five — daughters. His sister, Jaymes, is the woman who made Clay Aiken a baby daddy. He is comfortable with women and most other aspects of life and love. Of his sister’s choice, he did say, “She was married for 23 years and always wanted children. The marriage ended. She and Clay were best friends and they found a way to have this beautiful baby. It’s great. She is a phenomenal mother. And they are all very happy.”

"The man behind BRITNEY SPEARS' pop comeback has landed on the new Details magazine 2008 Power List with TOM CRUISE, JOHN MAYER, ROBERT DOWNEY JR. and JONAS BROTHERS star NICK JONAS.
Svengali Larry Rudolph is named 'Star Resuscitator' at 17 on the 40-strong countdown, which also includes new dad Clay Aiken, R. Kelly, rapper Lil Wayne and Miley Cyrus' boyfriend Justin Gaston."

Idol Chatter
"David Archuleta starts at No. 2 on the Billboard album chart, selling 183,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Kirsten has already done some excellent, handily organized research for MJ's Big Blog, which tells us that David A. stands in third place among Idol runners-up for best debut sales week. Bo sold 227,000 and Clay, of course, holds the all-time Idol first-week record with 613,000. Clay was the only runner-up to enter the chart at No. 1; David A. joins Katharine in starting at No. 2. And David's initial total is the 10th-highest all-time, behind (in order) Clay, Ruben, Carrie, Chris D., Taylor, Kelly, Fantasia, Bo and Jennifer."
Clay's Merry Christmas With Love zoomed from 100 to 300, for a total of 1.36 million [sold].

Survivor’s Charlie on Being Blindsided & Bromance 

"Crystal and Ken strike again! This time New York lawyer Charlie Herschel, 29, was their target on Survivor: Gabon. In a phone interview from his hometown, juror No. 2 dished about being blindsided, why he was willing to starve, the Marcus bromance and his Clay Aiken connection. – Carrie Bell 


"It has come out that you were IM friends with Clay Aiken before he came out in the pages of PEOPLE. What are your thoughts on him being open and becoming a dad?"
No comment. No, I am happy for him. He is a happy guy and the whole thing is great. He deserves happiness."

"Clay Aiken - Before he found success on Broadway, the Season 2 runner-up appeared in a 2005 "Scrubs" episode as cafeteria worker Kenny who sings "Isn't She Lovely" at a hospital talent show. (Aiken also played himself on episodes of "Ed" and "All My Children," where he was interviewed by Susan Lucci's Erica Kane.)"

Revenge Of the Rodent
At 50, Alvin and the Chipmunks have never been cuter—or bigger. 

To get the best idea of the Chipmunks' appeal, look at another entertainment juggernaut, "American Idol." Both trade in the allure of rags-to-riches insta-stardom. Alvin opens his new movie without even a shirt on his back and ends it a celebrity. Both acts are squeaky clean, family friendly and, to be honest, not very original. Not unlike Clay Aiken, the Chipmunks have achieved fame through their song covers. Even the rights-shy Beatles gave them permission to record after Bagdasarian met them in London, and the Chipmunks have duplicated songs from rock stars as big as Elvis ("Heartbreak Hotel"), the Beach Boys ("Surfin' USA"), Little Richard ("Tutti Frutti") and Billy Joel ("Uptown Girl"). Ross Bagdasarian Jr., who took over after his father died in 1972, says artists are usually thrilled at the prospect of Chipmunkification. "They see it as a cultural compliment if the Chipmunks cover their tunes," he says. "They know we are going to do a faithful, high-quality production."

"So far, they say, the best part of the show has been the celebrity sightings ("Clay Aiken came up to the dressing rooms, and he’s really really nice," "Stephen Spielberg was there one night I was on") and the fans."

SPAM AD in TV Guide, Nov. 17-23 edition. Half-page full-color ad on Page 65. Large vertical ad similar to the banner hanging on a building in Times Square, only the "Now with international superstar Clay Aiken" is in a big red and yellow circle behind the figures. Shares the page with an ad for "13," the teen musical. Never saw Broadway ads in TV Guide before. Maybe it's just in the NY area edition? 

Gayle King (Oprah's friend) mentioned on her XM radio show last Friday Clay that Clay sat down beside her at David Foster's birthday bash. She asked him to see pictures of Parker and of course he was delighted. She said he was a beaming dad (not sure exact adjective)...but very excited to talk about Parker. She said he had one picture of Parker made with his "Passport"....(how cute). 

She said they were sitting at the table with Donald Trump and a lot of big name celebrities but I cannot for the life of me remember who else....

Gayle said she is a Clay Aiken fan and has him on her IPod...!!! Yea Gayle!!!

Reported by BamaClayFan

Q: Clay Aiken has been a big part of your act. What about now that he's out? 

A: I am very happy for him, and I am very offended that I was not asked to be the baby mama. I would like to think I'm at least on a short list. You know, I love to make fun of him, but I have all of his CDs, so good for him. 

~Kathy Griffin

Beautiful Flower India.Arie(thanks 4 giving hope to Africa!)
Montage of proud African girls, with MANY thanks to India Arie for writing this song, to the students of Oprah’s Leadership Academy for naming the song…and to Oprah for showcasing this beautiful song/singer. Many thanks, also, to Bono, Angelina, Brad, George Clooney, Clay Aiken, Madonna, Mia Farrow and all celebrities who are generating awareness about the atrocities in certain parts of Africa and for offering hope to the future these beautiful young African women.

"We just got back from [Spamalot], and it was hilarious. I am a fan of Monty Python anyway, but they glammed it up a bit for Broadway. We laughed the whole way through, and came away completely satisfied with the experience. The best part was that our seats were only 3 rows back from the stage. I could have reached out and touched Clay if I wanted to. Not that I would, because that would just be creepy, but I could have....I love seeing a local NC boy make it in live theater. "
|~NY Adventure Part V (Miracle on 34th St.)

"My two other sisters live in Los Angeles and both of them are in the music business. Marylou remains married to Ian Eales, and she has been the music coordinator for a lot of big Hollywood films. Sometimes I meet big Hollywood players and the only reason I get props is because I'm her brother.

It's the same with my sister Jaymes. She worked for Warners for a long time and for the past decade has been working with me. She has a knack for finding talent before it hits. She has also been in the news recently because she just had her first child with Clay Aiken, of American Idol fame. She and Clay are best friends. She was producing music for him and they have now produced a child together-Parker Foster Aiken, DOB 8-8-08, at 8:08 a.m. (believe it or not)- and I applaud it. She was married for twenty-three years and after the marriage ended she realized she wanted children, so she had one.

What could be more perfect?"

David Foster in his book- Hitman: Forty Years Making Music, Topping the Charts, and Winning Grammys


Idol Moments
"Clay Aiken, runner-up. North Carolina's own Clay Aiken -- he's a native of Raleigh -- is the most successful male performer in Idol history. He's sold millions of albums. He's written a best-selling book. He's worked in theater. And his personal life has kept the tabloids busy. An unlikely star, with a decent voice -- but he's going to stick around."

Instyle blogger 
So where is this market you shop in?? LOL
Nice try! I shall never tell. A man deserves his privacy, especially after being called out on his penchant for Chef Boyardee.

Sons' boosts Broadway box office 

"Monty Python's Spamalot" ($494,410) bumped up close to $80,000 to log the biggest jump of the week, with increased sales attributable in part to the return of Clay Aiken Sept. 19."

BC/EFA's Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction Raises $496,380
This year's grand auction which featured longtime BC/EFA auctioneer Lorna Kelly and Broadway actor John Bolton (Curtains) featured 58 "lots" which raised $173,000. The top-selling lot was a pair of house seats to Spamalot and a backstage tour hosted by "American Idol" finalist Clay Aiken (which fetched $10,000), a walk-on role in the hit musical Wicked ($8,500), and a walk-on role in the international hit musical Mamma Mia! ($6,250).

Photo Coverage: 'A Tale Of Two Cities' Brings the Revolution to Opening Night!
Click on link above and scroll down for some nice photos of Clay from opening night at that show.

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Top 10 Cities for Work and Play 
"Many people who are looking for a job or want to start their career stay within the city or at least the state that they grew up in. But why not branch out? We have the top ten cities that are making a name for themselves in this busy bustling world and the top careers within those cities that are most popular. So if you’re interested in a particular field, one of these hot-spots may be calling your name.
[Number 2 on the list]
Raleigh, N.C.

This past year was a turning point for Raleigh. This one time ''ghost town'' is now a popular place for companies to relocate to because of its reasonably priced housing market. And if you didn’t already know, home to American Idol contestant, now pop singer Clay Aiken. But singing isn’t the only gig here. Computers and pharmaceuticals make up most of the area's employment along with North Carolina's Research Triangle. It's one of the country’s largest and most successful research parks in the United States."

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Hibbard Will Return to Broadway's Spamalot Sept. 16 
"David Hibbard, whose Broadway credits include Anything Goes, A Class Act, Once Upon a Mattress and Cats, will return to the New York cast of Monty Python's Spamalot Sept. 16 at the Shubert Theatre. 

Hibbard will again step into the role of Patsy, succeeding recent star Drew Lachey. As previously announced, Sept. 16 also marks the arrival of Michael Siberry as King Arthur. Later in the week — on Sept. 19 — Clay Aiken returns to the cast of the Tony-winning musical as Sir Robin." 

Reality News Online
RNO: You looked hopeful that you'd win the show, but were you surprised that Travis won it in the end?

Laurie: I wasn't surprised. Absolutely not! It came down to the top five and it was anyone’s game. I thought Andrew deserved and it could've gone any way. We have a lot of fans and consider us to be the Clay Aikenof Greatest American Dog. 

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From People magazine:
"The burning question is, will Matt Lauer still be speaking to them in the morning?

Lauer, 50, is slated to be the victim – that is, "honoree" – when the Friars Club gathers at the New York Hilton Oct. 24 and rakes the Today host over the coals, humorously, at its annual celebrity roast – an event noteworthy for wildly uncensored remarks at the expense of the guest of honor.

Among those scheduled to appear at the by-invitation-only, not-for-broadcast event include Lauer's predecessor Bryant Gumbel, his former sidekick Katie Couric and the current one, Meredith Vieira – as well as his across-the-channel rival, Good Morning America's Diane Sawyer.

Some may think Couric should know better. The year Donald Trump was roasted, she sat quietly on the dais only to be the target of a particularly raunchy remark by comic Susie Essman – for which Trump felt compelled to apologize.

Trump now is on the bill to help roast Lauer.

Also promised by the entertainers' fraternity to deliver no-bars-held remarks at its event: Clay Aiken, Joy Behar, Bob Saget, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vanessa Williams, Aretha Franklin, Eric McCormack, Tony Shaloub, Jerry Stiller, Mario Lopez and others." [This even will not be televised.]

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American Idol 
"Could Archuleta be the next Clay Aiken — a runner-up, small in stature, large in vocals — outshining the season’s winner? He hasn’t reached out to Aiken for any advice, instead leaning on someone a little more relatable in current career path and age — last year’s winner and Jive label-mate Jordin Sparks. "
[Webmaster's note: Clay is 6 ft. 1 inch tall.. not exactly small in stature...]

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Tom Talks: Panthers at Chargers
A football blog 

"In the press box after the game, I saw Clay Aiken singing on six TVs and Indianapolis and Chicago playing football on three. This is unlikely to happen in Philadelphia."


The Broadway 30 Hot Tips
"Clay Aiken makes triumphant Spamalot return on September 19. New American Idol father back on Broadway."

Cowell, Seacrest talk new season
"As for Idol’s new judge Kara DioGuardi, Cowell commented to Extra, “She’s going great.” Jackson added, “I think she’s doing swimmingly well.”

Jackson even had a message to Idol alum and new dad, Clay Aiken. Jackson exclaimed, “Big shout out to Clay, man. I sent him some diapers, a nice diaper bag and the whole nine. I told him that Ryan would babysit on Tuesday nights.”

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Spamalot Will Welcome a New King in September
"Michael Siberry will step into the role of King Arthur in the Tony Award-winning musical Monty Python's Spamalot at Broadway's Shubert Theatre beginning Sept. 16. 

Siberry arrives on Broadway after originating the same role in the musical's national tour and performing it for two years. 

In a statement, Spamalot director Mike Nichols said, "Michael Siberry has burned up the road as a brilliant King Arthur for a long time. So good was he in major cities all over the country that it became our hope that he could bring his funny, charming and, in the end, powerful Arthur to Broadway. That will now happen and we, the creators of the show, are very happy."

Siberry will join a company that features Tom Deckman, Rick Holmes, Bradley Dean, Robert Petkoff, Wally Dunn and Merle Dandridge. As previously announced, "American Idol" finalist Clay Aiken will return to the Spamalot cast Sept. 19."

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Why Kelly Owns Miley
"Back in the day, my family and I used to be really into American Idol. We would watch all the episodes, argue over the worthiness of each contestant, and phone in to vote for the ones we deemed superior… every single week. This went on for three seasons of the show, reaching its peak during the Ruben-Clay feud (Clay Aiken still has a special place in my heart)."

Freedom Rock
"Washington Post music critic J. Freedom du Lac is online every Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET to talk about the latest on the music scene: alternative, country, alt-country, pop, hyphy, harp-rock, reggae, reggaeton, R and B and whatever it is that Clay Aiken does. "

'Idol' worship continues in 'Grease'
"Just as one ``American Idol'' alum leaves the Broadway revival of ``Grease,'' another takes his place.
Ace Young, a 2006 finalist on the Fox reality skein (and a Grammy nominee for a song he co-wrote with Chris Daughtry), steps into the role of Kenickie on Sept. 9, two days after ``Idol'' winner Taylor Hicks ends his limited engagement as Teen Angel.

``Grease'' has maintained solid biz since it opened last summer, thanks in part to the national profile bestowed by its reality TV ties. Show originally launched with an NBC casting skein that chose the two leads thesps. (Runners-up have since stepped into the production.)

Reality stars, especially ``Idol'' alums, have become an increasingly common presence on the Rialto. Also in September, ``Idol'' contestant Clay Aiken returns to the Rialto for a second engagement in ``Monty Python's Spamalot.'' 

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American Idol Show adds fourth judge
"In what already looks like the biggest format shakeup in American Idol history, Fox announced this morning that the show's eighth season will feature a fourth judge. It's Kara DioGuardi, a songwriter/producer who's worked with past Idol champs Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Taylor Hicks (as well as working with Davids Cook and Archuleta, Clay Aiken, Bo Bice, and Katharine McPhee), not to mention Avril Lavigne, Pink, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Natasha Bedingfield, Jewel, Marc Anthony, and a host of others."

Final thoughts: London, Shawn Johnson, cheerleaders
"Shawn Johnson could be to gymnastics what Clay Aiken was to American Idol. In other words, finishing second, and having stage presence, can be as good as finishing first. Aiken is the singer whose career skyrocketed while that of the Idol winner, Ruben Studdard, did not. All-around gold medalist Nastia Liukin will be a popular figure, but in a country that usually only embraces winners, silver medalist Johnson could be an exception. (She did win a gold on balance beam.) Johnson's publicist told a Des Moines, Iowa, reporter that received 2.3 million hits on a recent weekend."

David Archuleta just crushed the time of David Cook's life.

Archuleta's new single, "Crush", debuted at No. 2 on the Hot 100 singles chart, beating Cook's "The Time of My Life" by one spot.

This makes the 17-year-old the first Idol runner-up to outperform the winner since Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard from season two.

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Hannah Waddingham says in the Playbill Yearbook   that the busiest day at the box office during her run as Lady of the Lake in Spamalot: "Clay Aiken's opening and closing nights. I would liken them to Wembley Arena with Elvis in the building."

Night Owl Writes:
"Clay mention in Monday's Insider (NY edition). Swarms of paps around Ryan and Randy outside a restaurant. Voiceover about advice for new father Clay Aiken. Lots of noise and voices, but I think Ryan and Randy were saying they would babysit for him. Short but positive."

Playbill yearbook 
 500 page book, with an interview with Hannah Waddingham:

"Clay's fans were very full-on but lovely. they were so embracing of the rest of us as well, even after he left the show, i still get flowers and cookies from them, saying they liked me in the show as well"

"Most exciting celebrity visitor and what did he/she say: "Glenn Close. She didn't come to see me, she came to see Clay Aiken. I had just joined the show and I didn't realize she was there until I came out to the water cooler for a drink......." 

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From a NY blog site called "Curbed" [no link provided]
"While we're usually treated to gloomy-and-doomy reports on the local and state economy, here's a bright spot: the city's hotel occupancy rate is rising. As reported by the Sun, the average cost of a hotel room in the city climbed to $350 a night, up from the $300 reported in May 2007, and the occupancy rate climbed to 90%, a 1% increase from the same period last year. Broadway attendance, however, was down in May. Can we blame Clay Aiken? [NY Sun]"
[Yes. Clay left the first week of May]

According to E! TV, Simon Cowell gifted Clay and Jaymes with a $300 baby gift basket.

Small mention in today's New York Times, Week In Review section (page 3), in an article about John Edwards:

"...he [Edwards] was the lead piece on 'The Insider' on Friday, ahead of Clay Aiken's new baby and the pop singer John Mayer ..."

From an e-mail from Clay Aiken's mother Faye Parker regarding her new baby grandson:
"he is perfect" she is "proud as a peacock" "looking forward to spoiling him".

Saratogian earns six awards in AP contest
Second place in the "brightest headline" category went to Paul Tackett for "Molding Clay into spam," about Clay Aiken joining the cast of "Spamalot."

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Idol tour stops in Hartford, Worcester
"While most "American Idol" runner-ups do not fare anywhere near as well as the winners, some, such as Clay Aiken, have found success. "

There is a NEW UNICEF Picture of 
Clay in O.K. Magazine w/caption - 8/11/08 Issue - Page 20 

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Nashville musician Ben Glover will play to home crowd in Loveland
"The Backstreet Boys, Trace Adkins, Clay Aiken and Avalon are some of the musicians on a long list of those Glover has written songs for or whose music he has helped improve."

Scott D. Pierce: 'American Idol' auditioners will face heavy odds
"I honestly think (Season 2 runner-up) Clay Aiken has changed this competition forever.... It's becoming incredibly personality led now," Cowell said explaining Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks."

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We are told that Clay is on page
120 of Continental Airlines Magazine. He is listed under the heading of
Continental Video and Radio Favorite Pop Tunes 
Now and Then
The list is this:
Walk on By- Michael McDonald
On My Way Here-Clay Aiken
Just the Two of Us-    Johnny Mathis
If I Can Dream- Elvis Presley
The picture shown is the one in which he is wearing 
a tan vest.

Obama entourage casts wide shadow
"JERUSALEM – Democrat Barack Obama doesn’t travel light. 

Halfway around the world, the Obama campaign machine appears as sprawling and seamless as it is on its home turf. As the presumptive Democratic nominee tours five countries in five days, he brings an entourage that would make a pop star envious. 


His entourage is smaller than what a president would mobilize for a multinational trip, but dwarfs that of Republican John McCain, who solicits advice from a smaller circle of advisers after 25 years in Congress and numerous trips abroad.

McCain visited the Middle East and Europe in March as part of a congressional delegation, which was paid for by taxpayer dollars, thus limiting the number of staff he could bring. 

But when the Arizona senator traveled to Mexico and Colombia last month, he mobilized only eight staff members, including two foreign policy advisers, two press aides, two advance workers and two assistants to Cindy McCain, said campaign spokesman Brian Rogers. 

“Who does he think he is?” Rogers asked of Obama. “Clay Aiken?” '

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Liveblogging: IAB Mobile
Randy Zadra, visiting fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, led the panel on Carriers and the Mobile Marketing Ecosystem: Accelerating Access at the IAB Mobile Leadership Forum. He posited initially that bound by their size and tradition, telephone carriers were long staid, nearly immovable organizations. Thanks to mobile marketing, though, they currently stand at the headwaters of cultural and commercial change, both within their own organizations and society at large. 


As a matter of course, carriers now seek to leverage popular culture in mobile marketing campaigns. AT&T did so many promotions with American Idol that Berman was not far off in declaring Clay Aiken “the father of text messaging.” Virgin, for its part, does promotions at rock concerts text messaging VIP ticket upgrades to those who carpooled. 

Alright (a blog)
"After church, we went to Smithfields BBQ, and guess who was there? Clay Aiken. He was sitting outside in the shade with a couple people, not drawing any attention to himself. It was kind of fun to see someone famous, even if it was just an American Idol guy. "


Cathy Dennis enjoys new life as hit songwriter
"Singer/songwriter Cathy Dennis stormed America at the beginning of the '90s with top 10 hits "C'mon and Get My Love," "Just Another Dream," "Touch Me (All Night Long)" and "Too Many Walls," and spent 67 weeks on the Billboard 200 with her debut album "Move to This."

After her third album in 1996, she launched a second career writing tunes for the likes of the Spice Girls, Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Celine Dion, among others.

She also signed with "American Idol" producer 19 Entertainment, delivering hits for Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken. This month, she scored her first No. 1 in the United States, as co-writer of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl," which has ruled Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart for four weeks."

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American Idol — Why Democracy Doesn’t Work
"Of all the American Idol alumni who are releasing records, the top two sellers are Idol winners, Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. The next two highest on the list, Clay Aiken and Chris Daughtry, are non-winners. Being from different seasons than the above two, one can’t claim that they were “overshadowed” by the winner’s success. Following these two, in 5th and 6th place, are season 2 and 3 winners, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia. Given the length of time between their seasons and now, one can be sure that their album sales won’t climb much in the future– unlike Daughtry above them, who is still on an upward path in his career. In the case of Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, Aiken– who finished runner-up to Studdard– has sold over 2 million more albums and his follow-up albums have peaked far higher on the charts than Studdard’s non-debut albums."

7/09/08 Summer Pop Culture Poll Finds
" Speaking of American Idol, respondents' favorite AI songbird is Kelly Clarkson, who won with 53% of the vote when pitted against Carrie Underwood (47%). Chris Daughtry (51%) is the better rocker by a hair when compared to current champ David Cook (49%), and the better balladeer award goes to Clay Aiken (84%) over David Archuleta (16%). The clear winner in the soulful category is newly married Ruben Studdard (85%), who triumphed over Fantasia (15%). "

Gallagher column: Eat Mor Chikin, see more celebrities

"Eat mor chikin, meet mor celebrities. At least, that's the way Bo Hawkins sees it. 

Hawkins thinks he is the luckiest owner of any eating establishment in Salisbury. He seems to open the doors to his Chick-fil-A restaurant every morning anticipating a famous face walking in to, well, eat mor chikin. That's what happens sometimes at certain restaurants so close to the interstate, in this case, I-85. 

"It's amazing," Hawkins said one day last week just before the lunch rush. "You look up and just see these people." 

Hawkins ripped off a few examples: 


The employees may not have known Dole, but they rarely have trouble spotting a celebrity from TV or movies. Reality shows like Survivor and American Idol have produced some screeches from the customers. Clay Aiken, for example, drew plenty of oohs and ahhs." 

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"Gather: Debra B. asked, "Hey there Clay--just wondering what book are you reading right now? And do you have a favorite book from your childhood that you would love to read to your own children someday?

Keep up the good work! You have an awesome voice and a good heart. =)"

Clay: I'm actually not reading anything right now, but recently bought my favorite book from when I was a kid which is The Magic Hat of Mortimer Wintergreen by Myron Levoy."

"In keeping with the magazine's official policy of artificially inflating the romantic prospects of American Idol winners of dubious appeal and singing ability, People has inexplicably named oft-pitchy Nickelback fan David Cook one of their Hottest Bachelors of 2008. While we don't want to imply that we're upset over the omission of Cook's vastly superior co-finalist, David Archuleta (David is only 17 and needs to focus on his music right now — not scoring with chicks), we find it hard to believe that, of all the nation's balding, caterwauling former bartenders, People could've possibly selected a less-qualified one to stand alongside such highly coveted single gentlemen as Bret Michaels and Britney Spears's unfamous older brother — and we'll tell you why!

• First, ladies, we ask you — is David Cook really ready to support a family? Sure, he's riding high on a record contract and endorsement deals now, but long-term success doesn't come easy for most male Idol stars. We'll spare you our multivolume thesis on why he's no Clay Aiken, but, suffice to say, he is no Clay Aiken. "

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Galfond Discusses His Stacked Final Table and His Quirky Online Name
Q: So, why [is your screenname] OMGClayAiken?

PG: I get asked that question a lot, actually. Basically, when I created my screen name, most that I saw were just cocky, tough, and macho. I wanted to do the opposite. I wanted people to be embarrassed to lose to me.

Q: What do you think of Reuben Studdard’s new album?

PG: I haven’t gotten around to listening to it yet. I mean, I’m not a Clay Aiken fan, but I’m not not a Clay Aiken fan (laughing). I have watched a ton of American Idol, though.

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Clay Aiken: We didn't see this one coming, but congrats are still in order. Multiple Web sites have reported that the "American Idol" contestant and his roommate (and apparent Claymate) Jaymes Foster, are expecting a baby together <snip> Aiken plans to have "an active role in raising the child." Now that's the true measure of a man."
*Clay has not commented on rumors that he is to be a father.

"Playing it cool, Randy [Jackson] offered his congratulations to the American Idol alum, [Clay] and had only positive things to say about the new journey the 29-year-old -- who Randy says is a "compassionate, very humble, smart guy" -- will soon embark on.

Oh dude, that's cool.  He's a good guy.  He'll be a good dad, actually, Clay." *
*Clay has not commented on rumors that he is to be a father.

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American Idol Runner-up David Archuleta Signs Record Deal
17-year old American Idol runner up, David Archuleta, today announced his signing of a record deal with 19 Recordings/Jive Records. Archuleta is expected to release his debut album later this year.

Archuleta could potentially join other "Idol" losers who have gone on to reap huge success from their time on the show. Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson and Clay Aiken lost in their season, however they have all gone on to solid music/entertainment careers. 

Where are they now?
Runner-up: Clay Aiken 

Aikenmight have been runner-up, but he's enjoying a successful career as a pop vocalist and Broadway performer.

He's sold more records than any other male from "American Idol" and is third only to Clarkson and Checotah native Carrie Underwood.

His recently released album "On My Way Here" debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.

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After American Idol...
A silver medal performance by David Archuleta does not mean that he won't be seeing gold records in his future also. Like second-season runner-up Clay Aiken, this 17-year-old is a power ballad singer with a growing legion of fans. And like Aiken, he admits to Entertainment Weekly that this support can be unnerving. "Well, it's really weird. It's like, ''Why are they yelling my name? I'm just David.'" 

Aikens is the most successful male artist to appear on "Idol." He just released his first studio album in five years – "On My Way Here" – which debuted at No. 4 on Billboard. And he is wrapping up his own run on Broadway, starring in the Tony Award-winning musical "Spamalot."

Don't weep for David Archuleta - on 'Idol,' loss may be more
Clay Aiken also argues against winning the competition as an end-all-and-be-all. While the singer came in second in A.I.'s sophomore year, Aiken has sold millions more copies overall than that season's champ, Ruben Studdard. 

Dayton Daily
By Ron Rollins | Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 03:15 PM
Yay! Our CDs du jour:
Clay Aiken: ON MY WAY HERE

"’s a bit surprising that a few cuts from “On My Way Here” punch up the pop-rock a bit. And it’s even more surprising that it’s the uptempo cuts with a little edge (note: little) are the ones on which he sounds most assured, at ease and in command of his material. “Ashes” and “Falling” work particularly well on that score, the latter turning out to be a darn good song for anybody — even Clay Aiken.

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American Idol' Finale: The Davids Enter the Ring 
"Song: "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" 
My Take: Bono's tough, but Little David's challenge is also monumental since he's got to conquer both Elton John and Clay Aiken. The Claymates will be glad to hear me say that as solid as Archuleta is, he lacks the revelatory quality that Clay brought to this one. I'm a cold-hearted man, but Clay stirred something in me. Archuleta doesn't make me feel anything. But don't get me wrong, he absolutely sounds great. Yes, he's made every stinking song this season into a soaring ballad, but his voice better fills the arena tonight. Clive's two picks were really spot on and neither singer let him down, but did either Finalist do better than you'd have predicted? Both of them did exactly what I'd have imagined they'd have done."

"Did you know that the song that David/David will sing tomorrow night will be from a contest that american idol said was writen by an "amateur"?.....They said.... "All top 20 2008 songwriting finalist are "AMATEUR's". So please...please....find 1 in this bunch, ok? How many will it take till someone does something? 
1. Top 20 American Idol Songwriting Finalist (Andy Zulla) is an engineer on Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson, Diana DeGarmo CD's. 2. Top 20 American Idol Songwriting Finalist (Windy Wagner) is a backup singer on the NEW Clay Aiken CD. 3. Top 20 American Idol Songwriting Finalist (Ryan Gillmor) wrote the theme song for the Fox television show "Unhitched". 4. Top 20 American Idol Songwriting Finalist (Dan Yessian) wrote jingles for Ford Motors. 5. Top 20 American Idol Songwriting Finalist (Luke Ebbin) is a producer on Austalian Idol 1st place runner-up Shannon Noll's CD. 6. Top 20 American Idol Songwriting Finalist (Regie Hamm) is a co-writer on the New Clay Aiken CD and he's also a co-writer of the winner of 2007's American Idol Songwriting Contest Scott Krippayne......Anybody see a pattern yet? 
3 of the 2008 American Idol Songwriting Contest Top 20 songwriters get credit on Clay Aiken CD's. Out of thousands and thousands of entries (At $10.00 each) 3 out of 20 work with Mr. Aiken. And nobody has a problem with this? For all the facts please visit......."

Jon Bream

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Sometimes 2nd choice ends up being big prize
6. Clay Aiken: Finished second to Ruben Studdard in 2003 on American Idol but became the bigger hit and most successful runner-up in show's history.

"Will he be the next Clay Aiken? Who knows! Clay has a better personality than David A. does but David A.’s may develop as he grows older.."

"All David Archuleta will need to do is find his own voice and he will do fine. If [Season 2 competitor] Clay Aiken can come out as a winner and say 'I'm not going to be the next Justin Timberlake,' and still do fine, with the right management, David Archuleta's prospects are bright." 

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Howard heats up Broadway's 'Roof'
"On the other hand, the departure of American Idol alum Clay Aiken from "Monty Python's Spamalot" ($519,454) caused sales for the tuner to plummet by more than $300,000, the steepest slide of the sesh."

A common criticism of "American Idol" finalists is that when they get into the recording studio, their talent is overshadowed by poor material selection and overproduction. There's not a hint of that on Aiken's first album of original material since 2003. Just listen to the title track and you'll be asking too, "Why didn't he win Season 2?!" Check out: "On My Way Here," "Ashes," "Everything I Need," "Something About Us."

USA Weekend 
Celebrity Updates: Who's News This Week

"We Brazilian fans of Clay Aiken would like to know more about his plans after "Spamalot" and his new album."  ~ Lucia Rácz, São Paulo

"Aikenwill be taking time off. He ended his three-month run in "Spamalot" this past Sunday and debuted his new album, "On My Way Here," on Tuesday, so he has been more than busy. The 29-year-old knows that fans would like him to tour again, but he says his tight schedule early this year didn't allow him to plan one. He'll take his downtime at home in North Carolina. "

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Hits Daily double Rumor Mill
"YOUR WEEKEND TOP 10 CHART PREVIEW: Good news, kiddies—there will be five debuts in next week’s Top 10, and one of them will actually break 100k! That would be Neil Diamond, whose second Rick Rubin-produced Columbia album is headed toward the top of the chart, with a projected 125-130k. Behind the old-timer will be RCA/RMG’s debuting Clay Aiken, who should come tantalizingly close to six figures, with 90-95k."

The Great American Idol Blog 

"Millions of Claymates were beside themselves this morning when Idol's second season runner-up, Clay Aiken, debuted his new song "Coming Back for More" on GMA. It's amazing how a former Idol contestant who didn’t even win can still drum up hordes and hordes of fans after more than five years. Sure is a lot more than you can say for whats-his-face who actually won Season 2. — Gina DiNunno "

Aiken's Not Cool 
"(antiMusic) Forget Corn Flakes, the only way to start your day is with morning quicks! Fruit Loops are good though. So here is today's dose of music news you can't use: We start off with the quote of the week from Clay Aiken: "I'm not cool, you know what I mean? I'm not gonna lie," the good-humored singer told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "I'm not trying to be Justin Timberlake. Thank God we have him, but I'm not him. ... I'm not gonna bring anybody's sexy back." Hats off to Clay for saying that. (Except that part about thanking God we have Timberlake.) Read the article the quote came from."