CLAY AIKEN NEWS
 

Spotlight Quotes about, by, and in support of Clay Aiken

RE: Sleigh Ride Montage on YouTube
"Do you ever have those moments where you wonder why you’re stuck on Clay? Suddenly it appears absurd and you think you’re done? I’m talking for like a second or two. And then you click on a montage and you can’t stop smiling and giggling and you want to hug him, give him high five, and just smile back at him? And you know why. It doesn’t have to make sense, you just know why."

~Savonnette 


From a Blog:
"Being an Orchestra and Band Director/Conductor at one of our large University, I have heard hundreds of singers sing our National Anthem so I was curious to see how a singer from American Idol will fare.I am not really familiar with Clay Aiken so I watched the video.My verdict:  Mr. Aiken has an awesome voice,pure in tone and clarity,great phrasing,and an exceptional vocal range.One of the best singers of our national anthem that I have heard in my life.Wow what a great performance.Thank you to who ever posted this.
~Posted by: wmharrison | March 1, 2007 5:05 PM

"I am not even an American and I can appreciate how brilliantly and beautifully Clay sang your National Anthem. I don't get the joke and why is it even a joke that people want to hear Clay sing? He's got a beautiful voice and he is one of the most talented singers I have ever heard. I definitely would love to hear him sing more! NO JOKE!"
~Posted by: Roni | March 1, 2007 8:21 AM



"It's almost like there are two Clay Aikens, one that Not.Just.Us knows and one that Just.Us knows. He is the first-rate balladeer with the sunny smile and sense of humor who shows up on television. He is also the rocking, strutting, wailing "I'll take on Prince and U2 and Motown" bawdy humorist who commands the concert stage. I hope the latter goes out on the town tonight and shows up on Mike and Juliet tomorrow! 

In the last few months, the "real" Clay Aiken --- or at least a lot more of the aspects of the multi-dimensional person his friends and family have long described --- is showing up more and more as Clay broadens and redefines his public persona. Funny --- he's been there all along, almost every time he sat on a couch and told one of his stories. The self-deprecation, the mock outrage, the innocent abroad schtick, the quicksilver wit, combined with his joy, his skill and his courage as a performer make Clay one of a handful of people in entertainment who is always engaging, if people just look at who he actually is instead of filling in the fictional blanks of who he is "supposed" to be."

~berkeley


" I recently came across a neighbor who is a young, African American teenage boy as I was cleaning out my van one day. Very typical. Loved Rap Music, Hip Hop too. Very..macho for seventeen. He saw me dressed up in a Clay shirt and a vest I'd made. After a couple of snide remarks, he stopped for a moment. I glanced at him and he had the funniest expression on his face.
"What?" I asked impatiently, waiting for more snotty comments to come.
He looked at me quizzically, unsure of what to say.
"Who's that singing?" he asked. He was referring to you Clay, in all yourglory, singing "I Want To Know What Love Is".
"That's Clay Aiken" I said.
He looked at me skeptically for a moment.
"Yeah, RIGHT", he snorted. "My Pop used to play in a band. They did some oldies and stuff. You know..like Foreigner. This song".
It was my turn to look at him quizzically. "So what's your point?" I asked.
He just stood there for a second, listening to the rest of the song. He hadn't said a word, didn't make anymore remarks. I didn't want to ruin it for him. Or me for that matter.
"Dunno," he said. "Just shocked is all." He gazed towards the ground, kicking up some dust.
"Shocked?" I asked.
"Yeah..I didn't think he sang that good."
Then he walked away, still pondering what he had just heard.
It just goes to show you, Clay...
Your reach is far and wide. Younger, older, white, black, physically or emotionally challenged, so-called "normal", you touch us all. You somehow reach into our hearts with your voice and wrap yourself around us, prodding ever so gently, touching one person at a time. "

~Shari Sanchez


"He has work to do and I think he knows it. I think that is what we are seeing. He is revealing his inner snarky self, making people laugh, making people like him, taking on the tabs with disdainful glee, showing off the pipes in unexpected venues, making people want to hear more, getting buzz. I am feeling more hopeful about his future than I ever have.

Those who love the CD win because they have him singing to them on a regular basis. Those of us who don't still win because we have the joy of watching the story unfold. We all win because, for whatever reason, we love the guy and he loves us. It's all good. Hell, sometimes it's great."

~AgingHippie


"He seems to be looking forward to what's to come in 2007 so I'll follow his lead. I'm looking to the future. I think it's going to be very bright and I'm not just talking teeth here. *g* 

~Invisible926


" Clay sends a message of love in simple, condensed ways, and in the processs--along with many others, famous or not-- he helps people bear the wounds life inflicts on all of us: from losing a cat, to losing a foot, to burying a grandson. He inspires people by being an imperfect, kind human being and putting himself out there. Sometimes (often?) he sings, writes, or says clichés, but he is sincere and not out to exploit others; and still he manages to inspire others with his clichés and even to transform some hearts. Oh, the miracles that a simple good heart can accomplish! "

~Savonnette


"And after a few months of trying on a neo-hipster image, he looks like Clay Aiken again- kinda cute, kinda dorky, but totally lovable."

~Idol Blogging


" Clay seems to have a pretty good sense of humor about himself and any “rumors” floating around about him, which is always the best way to approach those kind of things."

~Best Week Ever


"What makes Clay so compelling as a personality, I think, is the many dualities that make him a complex, three-dimensional persona -- the sincere self-deprecation while he's so confident (especially on tour) of his appeal to fans, his good-heartedness alongside the snark/sarcasm, his intelligence as he tries to play dumb, etc. Looking at these other talk show hosts, I think that three-dimensional persona will be a tough thing to maintain, but if he can, Clay will be golden. Like many of you, I think Clay has scads of interesting things to talk about, and I believe he can do so intelligently and effectively. I remember being impressed during his role reversal interview of Tyra that he seemed to actually listen, and intently. Generally speaking, I think Clay has a special ability to cut through the fake-y niceties of promotional TV and seem authentic, spontaneous and real. I just hope that, if/when Clay gets that forum, he is able to nurture and sustain that ability. And sing. His own music. A lot."

~43dudleyvillas
 


"You know what's funny? Beyond the great voice, I don't think I knew what we had in Clay until I saw him in concert. But even then, I don't think I knew quite what we had. 

In 2004, I saw someone who electrified the crowd with his presence. Who could cover the whole stage and sing to the person in front of him or the person in the cheap seats. But he got better and better. Now we have the consumate performer who can make a spontaneous bawdy joke that has the audience (and himself) laughing and then turn on a dime and sing a glorious Christmas song. It's quite simply amazing."

~Corabeth


Re:  Pervasive comparisons of Clay to Barry Manilow

"It is a fundamental misunderstanding of Clay, his audience and his potential to label him as the next anybody, much less associate him with an artist with whom he has so little in common. Manilow is urban, Jewish, primarily an arranger and accompanist before he was a singer, a former jingle writer, brought to wider attention as music director for Midler, playing the bath house scene, known for his broad strokes and more than thirty years Clay's senior. Nowhere in Clay's own lists of favorite male artists was Barry's name to be found. 

Clay's roots have nothing in common with Barry's. Southern, mid-sized town, Southern Baptist, performed and produced local family-friendly showcases, always the singer first --- until he decided to make teaching his future. Being thin and using one's mothers maiden name isn't enough to turn Aiken into Manilow's doppelganger. 

Their vocal styles are very dissimilar: I could see comparisons made to Taylor, Fogelberg, Loggins, even Denver if one were to hark back to previous generations, but the man who wrote "Lover All Alone" is reminding me more of John Ondrasik/Five for Fighting or some of the more introspective work of Coldplay or The Fray or Snow Patrol. Who is he beyond that song? That's what a savvy mentor will help Clay determine. 

I don't know where Clay will go next, I don't know what's in his musical future, but I will be a very happy person if he continues to explore his musical identity with the help of a mentor who realizes that Clay's full potential lies in becoming the best Clay Aiken, not a retread of any other artist, no matter how successful."
 

~berkeley



Note written to ABC News:

"I must give kudos to ABC Online for the BE SEEN....BE
HEARD....interview
conducted with Clay Aiken regarding several subjects, mainly discussing
the questions and answers from Clay's fans on the subject of UNICEF.

  I regret I do not have the name of the news correspondent who
interviewed Clay, but I must tell her what a bang-up job she did, and
how much pleasure it behooves each Clay fan to hear their Idol
interviewed intelligently, thoroughly and with some substance. She was
so charming and I wish you would let her know of my approval.

  A thirteen minute interview is a feast for all of Clay's fans, and I
must thank your organization for recognizing that Clay Aiken is a
singing Idol, but also a great humanitarian, an intelligent and
knowledgeable individual and quite a clever conversationist.

  Thank you for the time you gave him to discuss what is so important
to him, and for the sense of professionalism that pervaded the entire
session.

  I shall look forward to many such interviews in the future."

~Shirley Romano


"So, for me – what we have now is Clay. He is beautiful and brave, kind and funny, talented, goofy, serious, right and wrong…. He is human. And my feelings are the same now as they were then and before then. He draws me in and I’m sticking around. I know that doesn’t really address your question about how the general public sees him, but I can’t really get too hung up on that. People who take the time to look will find something special. And the journey is far from over."

~akcanuk


"He has made such remarkable music, but Clay's heart is my favorite song."

~berkeley



 

"Loved Clay on GMA, though I wish he had been asked less about AI and more about UNICEF. Or almost anything else. 

One day a reporter will ask Clay some great questions in an interview. I’m sure of it. At least I hope so. 
Maybe not. 

Scenario: 
Feb. 6, 2008

2007 was a busy and amazing year for Clay, and 2008 already looks as if it will be even more spectacular. Just a few months ago (after an “interesting” break from RCA and signing with a new label), he released a new CD that has already gone triple platinum. His new book is high atop the NY Times bestseller list. He has a song nominated for a Grammy and a different song nominated for an Oscar. His OFC contest last year made further gnat “productions” pointless (people reading the tabloids kept saying “Good one! Bet that one will win!” and whatnot). A serious personal relationship made its way into the news (yeah, she’s blonde), and, for the moment, reporters have stopped asking THE question. Clay is getting ready to start a world tour, even though he is just returning from a three-country UNICEF visit, including a stop in Iraq, where he was able to talk at length with the new Iraqi president, who has amazingly been able to end the war and bring a new peace to the entire nation.

Clay has been too busy to give interviews for a number of months, even though he knows he has a wealth of interview material. He still has no extra time, but he has graciously offered to meet Joe Smith, a veteran news reporter, at the airport and to fully answer any one question. Clay (who looks gorgeous, by the way, in his long black coat, kickass boots, stubble, and Tyra hair), reaches out and gives the reporter a firm, enthusiastic handshake. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Smith. What question can I answer for you today?”

Mr. Smith replies, “ Thank you so much, Clay. Did you watch American Idol last night?” 

*sigh*"

~Brightstar



 

"Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, man or mouse, who does not conform."

~Narrator of 'The Tale of Despereaux'


"I believe that everyone deserves the best start in life and that education is essential to a child's development. Since becoming a UNICEF Ambassador in 2004, I have testified before Congress urging the government to allocate more funds for UNICEF so that its programs can reach all the children in need worldwide. I also traveled to Indonesia after the tsunami and Uganda to see the devastating conditions affecting millions of the world’s children first-hand—disease, malnutrition, and war, chief among them. You just cannot believe how some of these kids are forced to live. It’s truly heartbreaking, yet many people don’t even know these conditions exist. It is my hope that as a UNICEF Ambassador I can encourage people to join UNICEF's mission in support of child survival programs worldwide and to make education a reality for these children."

~Clay Aiken



 

"Happy 4th Anniversary of "Take" ...

What followed was quite an exciting and amazing journey on that Taken Road...certainly filled with blinding curves, steep inclines, deep drop-offs, potholes and craters. But there have been some heartstopping vistas of the many beautiful horizons to come. Joy may be elusive and fleeting, but once the heart is Taken, its afterglow of love is forever and its reach expands like ripples in an infinity pond.

But the most wonderful thing about the Taken Road is that it stretches from where it began to as far as he wants to take it...and we, with him."

~calliek



 

"I think Clay considers himself on a break from CD promotions...I bet he is currently concentrating on BAF and UNICEF. But TC knows that its important for Clay to have a continued radio and internet presence and to have some TV time so that it will be easier for him to get interest once they start actively promoting again. So they invest on some slow and steady radio play, bring out a video that was already filmed and do some TV appearances where he does not have to have the band with him, which can be very expensive. This way they are probably saving money for for a more aggressive promo for the next single and tour.

Clay is a smart and practical man. He knows he won't be going anywhere. He does not need to race against the 15 minute ticking clock...he is here to stay, so he can afford to take it easy."

~samtaycai



 

Clay shows a surprisingly adept manner of handling speed and tempo in a variety of slow ballad to mid-tempo ballad ranges: [On his album 'A Thousand Different Ways' ]<snip>
This Clay Aiken work is not about fast and lusting. This is about deep ceremonial introspection. This is a man singing the modern ballads with truth, honesty and from the heart.

~Meanspeed



 

"I'm reading an article about "enthusiastic" Saints fans in Chicago. Those who have told husbands/boyfriends/coworkers, etc. that following Clay is like following a sports team are spot on IMO. 

These fans put Clay fans to shame. I'm sure others here have seen similar displays for their respective teams. *g* "

~Invisible926


"I find Clay to be edgy in his persona in that he goes his own way, knowing the inevitable repercussions will come, from those that wish for conformity, in whatever form, be it what they think he should sound like, look like, act like, yet he forges on being *gasp* his own man. I admire that. I do think he shows more spine than many of the vaunted, celebrated tough ones out there because he just soldiers on without the driving need to point out why he’s who he is."

~boo7


"To be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

~E.E. Cummings


"Quite possibly the most polarizing contestant in Idol history, Clay (pictured during the Idol finals) represents either the pinnacle of modern balladeering or the ultimate low in lite-pop affectation, depending on whom you ask. That said, his take on Neil Sedaka's angsty ballad — moodily backlit for maximum impact — was as heartfelt as it was riveting, with not a single wonky note to be heard. As Sedaka himself sighed, ''I have lost my song forever to you; it will always be a Clay Aiken song.'' 

~EW.COM


"Clay Aiken has undoubtedly surpassed the velvet-voiced teddy bear who beat him, Ruben Studdard, in terms of headlines, recent album sales and strength of fan base."

~Frank Farina
New York Post online
 


"Over the next few months, you're going to fall head over heels in
love with a new "American Idol" wannabe. Before indulging in y
our new infatuation, consider these seven past standouts you gave
your heart to -- and what they did with it.

<snip> 

CLAY  AIKEN

"AI" finish: Second (2003) 

Post-high: Responsible for a new species of humans called "Claymates." 

Post-low: While subbing for Regis Philbin, covered Kelly Ripa's 
chattering lips with his hand. Hey, Clay, you don't know where that mouth has been! "

~By Neal Justin, Star Tribune Rollercoaster of 'Idol' love 


Perhaps, like so many who have brought joy to others, he was not meant for the masses. Perhaps the world will never understand the love we have for each other. Perhaps he came just for us, and if that is true we are indeed blessed. 

~ananka1313

---
"ananka, honey, we are the masses. There is nothing special about us. We are normal human beings from all walks of life, representing all ages and all races. Clay is there for us. He does have the respect of the masses and of the industry. Clive Davis may not know what to do with Clay, however others do and are chomping at the bit to get a crack at working with him. But, yes, I do have to agree, we are indeed blessed."

~ncgurrl



 

I think that Clay's apparent newsworthiness over just about anything results in heightened vitriol when his music doesn't live up to the personality that generates all that attention.  Basically, I think the musical standard for him is higher, and he isn't allowed to get away with bubblegum pop. I think that is because there's this general idea of him out there as a do-gooder dogged by controversy (whether legitimate or trumped-up), and it follows that the music he would produce would reflect all that somehow. Since so much of what he does is treated as if it means something (whether it does or doesn't), his music should mean something, too. I think that's a fair expectation, honestly, but it's also an awfully difficult one for anyone to live up to. 

There's a separate but related issue of whether Clay's natural inclination is to sing music that reflects as complex and three-dimensional a personality as he is. I can't pretend to know either way. For a long time, my feeling was that Clay prefers to sing hopeful songs, alluding to struggle or challenge perhaps, but typically reflecting a belief in the possibility of a happy end. But the lyrics of "Lover All Alone" suggest that he has more than that inside of him and more of a willingness to explore it that I had imagined. So I hope he has and takes the chance to do that.
 

~43dudleyvillas



NBC's January 6 encore telecast of "Saturday Night Live," hosted by Alec Baldwin and featuring musical guest Christina Aguilera, has generated the highest "SNL" results for a rebroadcast in nearly three years. According to "live plus same day" in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research," the January 6 "SNL" rebroadcast delivered a 3.4 rating, 14 share in adults 18-49 and 7.6 million viewers overall. 

In adults 18-49, It's the highest-rated "Saturday Night Live" encore since March 27, 2004 (with host Megan Mullally and musical guest Clay Aiken) and in total viewers, it's the top "SNL" rebroadcast since January 31, 2004 (another telecast hosted by Alec Baldwin, this time featuring musical guest Missy Elliott).

~NBC Universal



 
 

"I took a package to the post office to mail to a friend with one of my homemade return address labels on it--it's the purty AIW pic that was our banner here a while back. The postal clerk put it on the scale, looked, looked closer, and then squealed "is that Clay??" So we had a mutual fangurrly moment or 3. "I just love him," she said. "He's so nice, and his voice is great, and he's not vulgar or mean or rude like all these other guys out there trying to sing."

~DixieHellcat



 

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” 

~ Gilda Radner


"I think the dilemma is this. Clay loves them both.  ["Sweet, Sappy love songs and Rockin' songs."]  He loves it when the entire audience is rocking out to 'Invisible' or BFM', yet he also loves the acoustical segments he does. The JBT was a really good mixture of both. If Clay does a love songs tour in small, intimate venues, I'm OK with that because I think the tour after that will be more rocking. It really is something to sit in a theater and listen to Clay sing without all the screaming. But participating in a crowd of people rocking out to his songs, fists pumping, head-banging (well, as head-banging as one can get-ya'll know what I mean), standing, dancing in your spot. Man, what a rush, for us and for Clay. So I have no doubts that he'll satisfy both sides of his musical heart.

I don't think Clive, in mandating a covers album, is working against Clay's career, I think Clive looked at the success of Barry and Rod's cover albums and thought that Clay could double, if not triple the sales of the other two, just with the fact that Clay is current and has a fan base of all ages. I think Clive erroneously misjudged this CD and Clay is paying for it. I applaud what Clay has done with the songs but some people just can't get past the covers. Combine that with a lackluster push to radio along with little major print promotion and you have a gold record instead of a platinum one."

~Shadylil



Re: The 2006 David Foster Gala:

"I loved the part when David had Clay re-sing the "money note" for Unchained Melody. I love watching David's face as Clay sings. After David messes up the note the first time, and then Clay comes right in on the correct note, David just smiles and shakes his head in amazement and appreciation for how Clay just came right in on key and nailed it. At the end of "Without You", I love how David stands up from the piano, walks over to Clay and goes, "GOD!" and then hugs Clay and keeps hugging him. As Clay walked off the stage, David repeated, "WOW!". '

~anntherese



"My hope for him this year is to produce a CD of kick ass music...original, bluesy, heartfelt, a little bit of edge and a lot of soul. One that celebrates his voice and his heart. I could not care less which label it's on.(The last one got so little attention it might as well be 3 years old.) Then I want him to go on tour and sing it all...old and new..with that sexy/funny presence he has. And I want at least one frickin' review to give him the respect he deserves. And I want him to come to my theater so I can get 1st row seats for everyone. 

I am encouraged that Clay says his current mood is "excited" and it gives me hope to see who is in his corner and I have a lot of faith in him to live his life and manage his celebrity with integrity, honor, class and wit. He is smart and he has experience dealing with bullies. He has come home and pulled his friends and family close, so he will be dealing with things from a position of strength."

~ AgingHippie



 

"Beyond all the things that we debate about, the reality that Clive [Davis] mandated an album of 80s covers for a sophomore album of a hugely popular singer is an action that speaks louder than anything else to me. Whether or not it means that Clive is actually working against Clay's success for some reason or simply trying to put him in a musty corner where he won't compete with the others in the AI stable doesn't matter. To me it's reason enough for Clay to try to get the hell out as soon as he can find a way that works and a good alternative. There isn't anyone in the business that would ever tell you that doing mostly covers for a sophomore album is anything but career suicide. Clay's probably one of the few pop stars that can survive it.
If he can't get away right now, I'm glad he has loyal fans who will stick by him and I'm one of them. But I want to hear what a free, or freer Clay would sing, and I want that sooner rather than later."
 

~waterbaby



 

"There is an African proverb, "When you pray, move your feet." 

To me, that's always meant living life with the combination of faith and action. 

I know that Clay believes in prayer. Right now, I hope his feet are moving, too."

~berkeley


"When I say it, ["I believe"] I don't mean some nebulous "something" on the horizon or some particular road that might end in a disappointing dead end. I mean " I believe in Clay Aiken". I believe in the power I see in his gifts, his talents, his charisma, and his continued example of "be the change you want to see in the world". I believe in positive energy, in light, in hope, in love. I believe in the glow of affection I see in his eyes and ours when we are together, in the laughter and friendships I've enjoyed "since Clay", in the bubble of joy I feel in my heart when I hear him sing, in the tenacious optimism he demonstrates as he lives his life.

As for the label, I did mistakenly hope for a juggernaut and instead got juggerNOT...so I'm not putting my faith in "that", although I still cherish dreams in that direction. Instead, I'm learning to feel excitement and hope that doesn't depend on external circumstances...that doesn't rely on the proactive support I wish for from the label, that doesn't hinge on the public/media acceptance I still dare to hope for. I've found that enjoying the way I feel about Clay is "excitement" enough. Whatever happens, I know "he's got me"...THAT'S what I believe in.

For me, it's all about Clay Aiken. I BELIEVE! :) 

~00Isee


"I recall Clay saying on a few occasions that he is a realist as opposed to an optimist. I would think that he watches the incoming numbers for CDs, concerts, etc with hope for the best and a desire to out-do the others, but with a constantly evaluating eye. His comments on Kimmel reinforced my perception of his outlook. With regard to not buying Timberlake's CD, he said, "I don't want the competition. I don't wanna give him points. Every vote counts!" In that same interview he had just downplayed the potential of knocking Justin from the top perch. While he might generally downplay his ambition verbally, I believe he actually is *very* competitive, but realizes there are many external elements that strongly influence results. It is an interesting tightrope to walk ... balancing self-confidence, reality, insecurities, hype and knowledge of industry machinations among a zillion other things."

~Fountaindawg


"I too love 'A Thousand Different Ways' beyond all reason...my beef was always that a CD of covers was the wrong choice for a sophomore album, regardless of how skillfully it was done. We did see tantalizing glimpses of the original work of which Clay is clearly capable...I hope wherever he goes, [Re: Speculation that he may leave the RCA label] he will be able to go in that direction if he so he chooses. With some actual effort to distribute the stock properly and get some tracks played on the radio. That shouldn't be asking for too much for someone of Clay's talent and sales record."
 

~Pink Armchair


"Clay didn't search around for his current label, he had no choice. Sort of like when you leave college with your degree and a smile and you'll take just about whatever job they give you. (I can't believe I could live on my first paycheck.) But just like when you decide to move on to the next company, you interview the new company while they are interviewing you. Forget "show me the money", if I were him I'd say "here are my goals and concerns, show me the marketing plan". '

~Corabeth


"Freedom. It's not just a fantasy. 

Clay will always know it. He knows it now. It's just a matter of time.

And knowing this, I am free. 

It's going to be an amazing year."
 

~calliek



"Think about it....with all the crap last year, a LOT of people decided that they wanted to take in a Clay Aiken show in December. And....Clay surprised EVERYONE...including his fans. The guy who came out on those stages was not the cowering, embarrassed, uncomfortable guy predicted by those mental giants at Access Hollywood. The guy we saw was confident, blisteringly funny, a stellar performer.....and he took no prisoners. Can't wait to see what's next."

~Permaswooned


"Call from Grand Rapids violinist:
I just got off a phone call from one of the symphony members in Grand Rapids . They call new subscriber's to their concerts to encourage attendance. She was absolutely wonderful to talk with. She had high praise for Clay and his work ethic and his voice. She also had high praise for Jesse Vargas and how he had everything prepared for the Symphony. She is the one who Clay asked to define mercato. She also said that while he bantered and had fun with that that once he started to sing he was all business and was focused on the program. And boy can he sing she said. Asked me if I had followed him from the beginning and was I one who still had my hand up for the number of concerts. Said he was very easy to work with during rehearsals and a true professional and very nice guy!! She also added that he must have picked up the news of their Grammy nomination on his own cause they had just found out the day before about the nomination and were all a buzz about it. Too cool!" 

~flozie



 

"What is "right for Clay"? My dream for Clay has always been that his dreams for his life and career come true, not mine. His is a sublime talent: I will be there, whether he plays clubs, concert halls, stadiums or Vegas, whether he sings mainstream AC, Top 40 or the more indie-inspired sound of "Lover All Alone". All I know about what is right for Clay is what he says --- everything else is just me musing on a message board, where I could be reading him rightly or wrongly. He has said he wanted radio play, particularly on Hot AC formats. I will believe that it is right for Clay when he has a label putting concerted effort into getting it for him, with every legal form of $upport still available. He has said that he doesn't want to be a punchline. The Fosters don't think he's a punchline, and neither does Tyra Banks or Neil Sedaka or Eman Kiriakou or a slew of singers, songwriters, engineers, arrangers and producers whose positive comments about Clay never made it into official RCA Public Relations. I'll believe he has the right combination of label, PR and management when I see more of the simple things that focus on his talent, including more music-based interviews and being talked up by his peers / collaborators / writers / producers when an album drops.

Clay has asked his fans to request his songs in the past. I will be very interested in seeing if he does so when "A Thousand Days" goes for adds or if he ever mentions ATDW in his blog again. That will tell me a lot about whether or not he considers this album cycle finished and whether a "fresh start" is more than a simple New Year's greeting. 

"Excited"? Yeah, Clay, I am, too, and I don't have to know exactly why yet.

I've heard you sing. 

I've seen you entertain.

And now I know what you are capable of writing. 

"Excited" is an understatement."
 

~berkeley



 

"...he is not the young kid from the Carolinas with a bad haircut and a number on his chest anymore. He travels in different circles now. Don't you think he networks? I do. I think he talks about this stuff with his AI friends, with the Foster-Levy_Aiken_Fosters, with other industry people, with Buble, with Manilow, with Rosie, with DS. Sometimes he gets good advice, sometimes he gets used. Life is sorta like that for all of us, no? 

But he rides in the black cars now. He has lawyers and agents and cleaning people and PR folk and a gardener and a publicist and a body guard and a fan club and lots of money and amazing talent. It's not just him and Faye now. He has people."

"I imagine it's hard to market Clay. Every time we see him, he reveals a new talent. He is unique. It would be like trying to catch falling stars in a paper cup. Maybe the best thing to do is watch the sky with wonder and wait. I have time."

~AgingHippie


I have no doubt in my mind that when Clay Aiken lays his head on his pillow at night he has no problem falling right to sleep and sleeping like a baby. 

Clay Aiken knows who he is. I don't think he loses any sleep at night because I don't think he's trying to impress anyone. I don't think he's worried about changing anyone's mind. I think he has finally learned that the best path you can take in this business is to be true to yourself and let the chips fall where they may.

I think he made up his mind to take control of life and do it ALL his way. If people like him and what he does...super. If they don't...whatever. I think he enjoys entertaining (in many forms) and I think he would love to continue to do so as a career. But I also think if the demand for his talent would dwindle away...he'd be just fine. I've felt that way from the beginning of this journey and I have never wavered on that opinion. 

~Panty Queen


"I am very intrigued by Clay's comment in his blog that his mood is "excited". Not just "happy", but "excited". I love the sound of that. I do think he has plans in the works for this year... he always has plans in the works. I have to laugh at times when I think about those stories from his friends and professors back in his college days who told us that he'd race into class at the last minute with a bag of Chick o' Filet (sp?), having skipped his homework, having slept in, clothes grabbed off the floor, winging his way through some of the classes when not prepared--typical college student. Who would have anticipated that he would turn into such a multi-tasker and successful CEO of Clay Aiken Inc.? "

~ellenpoppy


"...So whatever his fresh start is I will be also be gratified in knowing that I was right to put every confidence in his ability to know what's going on around him. This man is sharp as a tack. He will move on if ncesesary, stay [with RCA] if he chooses to, make the best of it if released. He will learn each day more and more what he wants out of this business whether it's singing love songs, or pop songs or rock songs or doing television, or focusing on charity or whatever.  That faith in his strength and courage allowed me to enjoy every TV appearance, clack, both albums, without worry or angst. He's a smart man, sharing in the decisions of his career, knowing the stakes in commenting on things the way he did, making compromises as we all must do in life. I will be surprised by nothing that happens in 2007 yet be surprised by everything..and yes that makes perfect sense to me."

~couchtomato


"Christian has been working closely with Clay Aiken and his executive producer Jaymes Foster, sister of legendary producer David Foster. 
"A Thousand Days"was released on Clay Aikens album "A Thousand Different Ways." The album debuted at # 2 on billboards top 200 albums the first week it was released. Christian wrote “A Thousand Days” specifically for Clay. Clay Aiken has performed Christian’s song on national television, including Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live, CNN Larry King Live, The Martha Stewart Show and the Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. "

~Christian Leuzzi's website



 

"Back during the American Idol tour I wrote... 

Tomorrow, the road would widen and extend to points so much father than he'd ever dreamed...but tonight, the world seemed as small and as large as the outpouring of that love in the arena as he choked back the tears, listening to the thousands of voices raised in celebration of his. 

The arena, of course, was Raleigh.

But the arena now, always, no matter where he is, is the world. From the stage, from the screen, from the Internet, from us.

He is still intimately ours, but he is everywhere else. It's made for a hard battle. 

And it has been just that. But he has never really been at war. We have, for him. But he has been at peace. Because he knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. His banter tells us he knows. A lift of the eyebrow, a subtle twang, a flip of the hair. Yes, he knows. 

True, there have been some trials. But he raised his voice, he let it ring...we heard it. It has not wavered. Clay is as he has always been. 

Now, 2007 is here.

Step back and wait for the glorious sunrise. It is coming."

~calliek



 

"I've learned that beauty isn't skin deep---------that it begins in the heart and radiates out. Though Clay has had a wonderful transformation on the outside----it wouldn't have had the impact that it has had if the beauty wasn't in the inside first and has remained there continually.

I've learned that perseverance is the key to success. Clay proved that with the American Idol adventure---where he overcame all odds and obstacles. And that winning a race isn't the only acceptable result. I've learned that I want to be the very best I can be. I've learned that we don't have to measure our success by what the world thinks or holds dear. That we need to be true to ourselves and our beliefs---that is true Success!!!

I've learned that it is best NOT to return evil for evil and it is also sometimes best not to comment. Clay has weathered some scathing allegations, and has shown that he has become a better man as a result."

~Idb51



"I just wouldn't want to miss out on the deliciousness that is Clay Aiken. Not ever seeing him in concert hasn't made me waver in my fandom one bit. I've been a fan since "Take..." and all through the times when we didn't know if he'd even be out on tour (Solo Tour!) to right now. And I'm eagerly anticpating what 2007 has in store for him and us!"

~xandersmom


"My first Clay concert was "going to be" the JBT in Toronto until health issues prevailed. I was heartbroken. But I will always be a hardcore fan despite still being a concert virgin. 

He won my heart during AI2, and won it again for all time the first time I watched some clack of the infamous Minnesota Invisible. Hook, line and sinker. No turning back. Never once looked back. Always looked forward to the next time...and always will. He's got me for life. The voice is what did it. The emotion. The delivery. The tone. The entire package. I will always be eager for his new music. I will always follow him through whatever means are available. And if it comes to a day when not a board exists on the Internet, I will hound his label (whichever label that may be) and haunt the record stores and the internet for his music. The voice is the root that sustains. Everything else is icing on the cake (and what a cake it is *g*). I thank the Lord for the clack gatherers (of every genre). If I never see a concert live, I hope to continue to experience this amazing performer through the eyes of those with the passion to bring it to us. Thank you will never be enough. 

I have never felt this way about an artist (and what an artist he is) before. I never expect to feel the same way about an artist again. Until he brings me a CD filled with "lyrics by Clay Aiken", it doesn't matter to me whether it is covers or original songs. It's the voice. Always the voice. The tone and vibrato bring unmatched vocal beauty. Don't care about the glory notes. They've never been the most important thing to me. It's the root of the voice that makes it special for me.

A hard core fan who's never seen a live concert? Yup, that's me. And I will always be "hard core" even if I never see a live concert.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and that the New Year brings Clay back to us as soon as possible. I can't tell you how much fun and beautiful music this JNaT has brought to these grateful ears and eyes (through the clack for this tour). I've loved it. Get busy, Clay. We're waiting...with love."

~anncanada


"He asked the men to raise their hands, and there was a guy about 10 rows back on the aisle who didn't. He was maybe 6 rows down from me. Clay wanted to know his name, including last, and the guy said "Smith". He asked where he worked--he was really picking on the guy, but the guy was loving it. Meanwhile the wife is supposed to be standing and Clay won't let her sit down. She keeps trying to sit down but everytime he asks her something else and all she can do is giggle and blush. She was a good-looking woman, 30ish, maybe 40? Both of them were well-dressed and "classy". So then someone on the other side of the theater starts telling the entire audience what the guy's name really is, where he works and so forth. Everyone is laughing. I could see the guy and his wife for the rest of the concert--the guy loved every minute of it and interacted with everyone around him for the rest of the show. I was sitting among mostly all NJU people whom I didn't know, and I watched them all being won over and totally having a blast. It created a sense of community in the audience, and made folks feel happy. Clay is sharp, quick on his feet, and a fantastic entertainer."

~Claymaniac in PA


"I have always believed that one of the best ways to increase concert attendance would be to get one of [Clay's]  shows televised and marketed with great clips in ads so folks wouldn't ignore it as 'likely Clay standing at a mic and singing'.  Just using my Clack supply [fan videos of Clay in concert], I could plan a nice little TV concert using the great vids taken by our resident Clack Goddesses and their compatriots across the fandom. It would lack that live 'hit' that you cannot get any other way than his voice heard in person, but the diversity of material and styles covered with such excellence might open quite a few eyes and minds. I think far too many people know nothing about him but the nice ballads and Christmas songs."

~Fountaindawg



"I am totally out of the loop with whatever "crap" is happening lately, but I want to share this. I am a very skeptical person who has a hard time believing anything unless I hear it for myself. Well, this I heard first hand, with my own ears. At the Englewood concert, this man came over and started talking to the women next to me. (I was not eavesdropping, I couldn't help but hear, he was standing right in front of me. Honest. LOL!) Well, it turns out he was the Director of the theater and was telling these women all about Clay at rehearsal that afternoon. He said that Clay was the most genuinely nice guy....he was saying that he was taking pictures and signing autographs all afternoon and that Clay was so nice to everyone about all of it.

He said that he would never believe anything bad he read about Clay because "He is just too nice of a guy!"

~Claydoh



Clay has made me smile, giggle, jump for joy, groan, moan, cringe, tingle, desolve into tears, laugh like a lunatic and act like a kid... All of which made me happy to be alive!"

~ForeverYoung


"Twas the night before xmas and all is quiet here at my family's house. Cookies have been made, Santa notes written, all the children are in bed wondering when the big guy will arrive, we have played Santa, arranged the presents, ate the cookies and drank the milk. Everyone has gone to bed and left me down here in the quiet of the house with the twinkling lights. There is lots to be thankful for including all the friends I have made though this crazy ride over the last 3 years and seven tours. Here's to many more, all serenaded by the beautiful voice of that lovely southern man. Off to listen to AIW one more time and then to bed to catch some sleep before the thunder of little steps come running down the stairs. All is well indeed."

~CiperBIF


"Clay Aiken,the popular young singer who was runner-up on American Idol several years ago, has become a true advocate for the disabled, especially handicapped kids.  He has a foundation which helps the disabled, has been named to the President's Board on Disabled Issues, and was once on the road to becoming a special education teacher before fame and a singing career came his way.
But despite his wealth and popularity, his devotion to the disabled has only increased. For instance, Clay recently did a holiday concert in Easton, Pa. While there, he visited a third-grade class that included disabled students, and even provided limo rides to and from school for the kids.
Good to see someone so young and popular hasn't forgotten his roots, morals and what is truly important in life."

~GREG SMITH, Phoenixvillejournal.com


"The UNC Charlotte graduate and 'American Idol' Season 2 runner-up returns for his annual Christmas concert tonight at Belk Theater, where he'll perform with the Charlotte Symphony. 

"What to Expect: Aiken's current show is more intimate than his Joyful Noise holiday tours of 2004 and 2005. Teaming with the Charlotte Symphony, Aiken will perform traditional Christmas classics, many from his 'Merry Christmas with Love' album. Carols should include 'The Christmas Song' and 'The First Noel.' 

"Public Image: Aiken is no stranger to controversy: He took flack after unveiling his bold new look on the 'American Idol' Season 5 finale and more recently was criticized for shoosh-ing talk show host Kelly Ripa. But the Raleigh native still comes off as the down-home boy next door that mothers love on stage -- and dismisses the incident with Ripa as overblown."

~Charlotte Observer



 

"Clay is the only person who has maintained his cool (and sense of humor) throughout the whole media frenzy. Rosie looks like a big-mouth. Kelly looks like a shrew and homophobe. Howard Stern is always the same, just more visible and more disgusting. Now Donald Trump, who despite his millions and high lifestyle, never learned anything about real class, is groveling for attention in the gossip realm. Do these people have any idea how bad they look to the rest of the population? They seem so petty and self-absorbed in their silly little spats blown into big media events. Donald has always had an ego the size of New York.

Clay looks like the class-act he is. I am glad I am on his team."
 

~Barnett2



"Easy listening music is not exactly my scene, so I was pretty deadset about not liking him, but in all honesty, the guy is adorable. Really. It's not that I think his features are particularly attractive, but you just can't not like him. He's so damn personable, and he cracks stupid jokes at the expense of everyone, himself included, and you feel like you've known each other forever."
 

~LiveJournal post


"When we got to rehearsal and tape, Clay asked if he needed to stick to the script because he would "never remember the lines.” I told him I had tweaked my lines around a bit and we could just play and not worry about the script. He was happy to improvise with me. In this situation, Clay just being himself worked well and it didn’t have that staid feeling of something scripted. Kudos to our director, Roger Inman, for always being there to get the shots. The song was very sweet and quite apropos for Steve to offer Kayla. All in all, I think the day was a success. (You can see all photos at http://stephennichols.net.) "

~Stephen Nichols  ("Patch" on 'Days of Our Lives')


"Clay Aiken was here the other night too... again, not my cup of tea, but um.. he was HILARIOUS. seriously we were not expecting him to be so so so funny. he should have his own talk show or something. just like, the unscripted stuff and banter between him and the audience was so great. [He] improvised one-liners all night and had everyone dying laughing between songs. <snip>. Anyway, he was a riot. not into the songs that much (although he's very talented and belted out ballad after ballad after ballad), but in between stuff was spot-on.

~from the blog of a Rebank Employee


Re:  West Point and Redbank concerts:

"I saw an amazing man - a beautiful, radiant, fascinating man. An incredible voice in magnificent wrapping. A dorky, funny, bawdy, smutty, witty, silly guy. A courageous, fearless, tenacious person. A craftsman, a virtuoso. A painter with his voice. A valient being. A mystery."

~Nanjeanne



 

"CLAY'S THANK YOU TO US 

"No.......thank you, Clay. 

BTW, it is my firm belief that this gesture was a general thank you to the entire audience for their forebearance and support. It came well after the end of DSIAFCD. It was NOT in thanks for those "helpful" fans who decided to wave GLOWSTICKS back and forth during the song!!! No, unfortunately, I'm not kidding. 

I'm sorry, what were these IDIOTS thinking???? At that point, the man was sitting frequently, and holding on to the stool for balance the rest of the time. He stated SEVERAL times that he was dizzy...that he had a headache....asked to kill the spotlight....STEVIE WONDER could see that he was really struggling to maintain his equilibrium. 

So who in their right mind would think it appropriate to wave brightly colored light sticks back and forth, back and forth, back and forth in front of the guy??? 

While we are putting in prayer requests to help Clay heal quickly, I would like to add a special request to smite these women. Smite them severely. Before the next concert. Thank you."

~Permaswooned



 
 

"Just back from Tilles and West Point and I gotta say, girls, these were the crowning Clay shows of my life. Such grit, such hotness, such tones, such vocal purity, such wit and such drama! The rollercoaster ride that is the Aikenator with steep, steep climbs, dizzying descents and very sharp turns! Hands in the air and scream, folks! He is here to stay and the audience is eating out of his hand. We are his happy trained seals waiting for our next cue. Last night in WP , there was the greatest , smoothest audience interaction I have ever seen. He is funnier and smoother already than a lot of so-called established acts.

Those Paul Smith suits fit him like sensuous gloves, caressing his finely turned thighs when he crosses them in that open way he does. The soft , expressive and graceful hands lightly brushed with fine copper hair are to die for. He is made for love. He looks very much the young English gentleman. And can he do accents or what? This bawn New Yawkah was stunned by the Nawtheaste'n sounds comin' outta his mouth. "

~Divayenta



"I have never in my life seen such grit, such stubbornness, such endurance and showmanship. This man is totally amazing! He came out walking very very slowly and we wondered what was wrong. He sat on the stool for the first two songs. Then he said that probably all the message boards would be typing that he was sitting on the stool, that he had no tie on. Then he explained about his ear and his dizziness and asked the people in the first row to watch out in case he falls on his face on the stage. 

And he proceeded to give the show of his life. Occasionally he would grab onto the stool and hold on for dear life. And yet, he still had time to joke with the audience, to give the mic to a girl who got engaged last night at the top of the Empire State Building.

When it came to DSIAFCD, he held that note and it was just as powerful as when he was standing. He moved the mic away for the last sentence as usual, and it was wonderful. 

And then he tried to stand and almost went over. He walked oh so slowly to the side of the stage, and Jamie met him there and walked him out.

The house lights went up, but my sister said “Wait- the orchestra people are looking to the side” 

And sure enough, Jamie escorted this wonderful wonderful man back to the front- he sat down, and the pure notes of All is Well drifted out over the audience. And the last note, he took a breath---and held it for longer than I ever heard him do it before.

He stood, wavered a lot, and Jamie came and got him and took him offstage. 

Everyone in the audience gave him a huge standing ovation, their mouths open in awe. He is so freaking unbelievable. That man is capable of anything!! 

I hope that he rests and takes something to clear that up. I have vertigo and there are antivertigo pills that are available (with prescription) but if he has an ear infection too, that would need antibiotics. 

I believe he will be there tomorrow night. What a man, I am awed at his perseverance. Totally."

~Marilyn

***

"Tonight I watched Clay seemingly "saunter" out to the mike, arriving a bit late for the first few words of CW and then sit squarely on the stool. After a few moments, I watched him grab for the side of the stool and hang on, and I said to myself OMG, he's got vertigo. Wow. What a moment of deja vu. I used to sing in a huge choral group, and I had to get permission to sit on a stool for the concerts, but it had to have a back and arms. It wasn't enough to just have a seat. Otherwise, I was going to fall off the risers, and I usually had to hold on to the person next to me with one hand from time to time. 

Here's a little medical aside (hey...medicine is my life!). We know our position in space because our brain integrates signals from our inner ears, what we are seeing, and where our body is touching something solid. Because Clay was on a stool with no back, and because he closes his eyes so much when he sings, and has a spotlight in his eyes when they're open, he was truly working without a net tonight. 

If you haven't had vertigo yourself, it is impossible to describe what it is like. Can you just imagine how hard it was for Mr. Control Freak to discover that no matter how hard he concentrated, or how strongly he willed it, he absolutely could not walk in a straight line, or stand without being in danger of falling? There are no words to describe it. 

Just so you know, in general, it is not a painful condition. Except of course for the falling, staggering, frequently extremely nauseous thing. That's not fun.

There is no way for me to describe to you all the unbelievable amount of awe, admiration and respect I have tonight for that stubborn, gallant, big-hearted, professional, beautiful man. From my wonderful front row seats, I watched him hang on to that stool with one hand, the other hand, two hands, grip the microphone like death, and try to keep from turning very much in order to keep his precarious seat. That has been me, and I cannot possibly tell you how hard it was for him to do that. 

The tremendous effort wore him out, but you couldn't see it until he tried to walk offstage, and then return for the encore. He was so pale, and he looked like he was fighting really losing it and getting sick as the song drew to a close. Several deep breaths and then he had to gesture for Jamie to come and get him. He couldn't let go of the stool. 

Tears were standing in my eyes, as I watched that gorgeous, determined man as he attempted to navigate a stage that must have suddenly seemed to him like the deck of a ship in a storm (more deja vu). Wow. This whole evening was delivered from the gut level. No words.

So, did his "medical affliction" (tm Clay) mean that the audience got short-changed tonight? 

No. Oh no. No, Mr. Titanium was chattier than ever. He was funny and witty and quick...as much so or more than any other concert night. He sang beautiful versions of every song. Very tender, nuanced, yet with power and glory when called for. He didn't prowl the stage. And he didn't lean out over the audience to chat. Otherwise, it was a spectacular show. If you hadn't seen him before, you wouldn't know the difference. And he explained the problem in a humourous way throughout the night for those who had seen the show before and DID know the difference.

I am so honored to be a fan of this man. I feel so honored to have been one of the fans there for him tonight. Mr. Webcat is right. The lady next to me and I were chanting our prayers for him out loud as he struggled to finish that last song. On any audio version, no one would ever know what it cost him to perform it. Sheer determination and a will of iron. Unbelievable.

I took approximately a kabillion pictures tonight. Clay was really gorgeous, dizzy or not. However, I don't have any of Clay being helped on or off the stage. He was not happy to have had to ask for that help. 

Plus, I was too busy applauding and yelling out "Thank You Clay!!!" Thank you for that magnificent effort. Thank you for a beautiful evening in every way. 

BTW, I talked to Jesse Vargas after the concert. I told him that I worked in the medical field, and that I had had the exact same problem as Clay in the past, including being on stage.

I told him that Clay's problem got worse as the concert progressed, partially because he keeps closing his eyes. It's difficult not to try to minimize the spinning, but it makes it worse. I told him it would help Clay a great deal if they could give him a focal point. Keeping that focus diminishes the spinning. I told him a stool with a back, and if possible arms, would help as well. 

At that point (gathering music onstage) Jesse said Clay was getting treatment right away. That he didn't see how Clay was going to be able to do that (Tilles) show, but that Clay felt sure he could pull it off. However, Jesse wasn't sure how he could do that again, since Clay was obviously in trouble at the end. 

However, it seems that by the time the bus crowd heard from him, the word was that Clay was getting treatment, and that it couldn't be any worse tomorrow night, and would most likely be better. 

If that's the case, then I'll probably be able to see that amazing, professional, gutsy entertainer again in West Point. If not, we'll plan other activities and hope to see him Saturday at Red Bank. He already gave us more than 200% tonight. If he doesn't have enough left for tomorrow, we'll more than understand. "

~Permaswooned



 

" Clay Aiken had the mostly female audience in the convention center ballroom in the palm of his hands.

Between holiday songs, Aiken, in a blue suit and really big shoes, joked with the audience, including a third-row fan who brought binoculars sporting a Christmas motif, and made fun of himself by bringing up several times the whole "hand-over-the-mouth" controversy that occurred when he was a guest host on the "Live With Regis and Kelly" morning show a few weeks ago.

"Just call me Mr. Controversy," he said jokingly. "I'm a scandalous person." Performing with the Hartford Symphony, Aiken's performance marked the first time the convention center has been used for a concert. 

"When you do something the first time you don't know what to expect," said symphony music director Edward Cumming. "But sometimes doing something new works out well. We think this did."
 
 

~Hartford Courant
 


"After all, it was never just us". 
~berkeley


"No, Berk...it never was, and certainly will never be again.

I'm missing him myself this time, and the ache is deep. 

But the stars are brightly shining. And his outshines them all.

Sending warmth to you...and all who dwell here. And everywhere else...where he will be discovered again and again and again...for the first time or, simply, again. It's a rebirth that redefines...and alters.

Mind, heart, life.

Ah, the glory. It knows no end."

~calliek



 

Had a conversation with the [Williamsport] banquet manager as he watched the room quickly fill up. He told me that Williamsport has not had that kind of excitement in 14 years. They have had other acts like Barry Manilow there, but none has sold so well. He was not just talking about the theater. What he told me was: 

CLAY SOLD OUT THE TOWN!!!! 

His hotel and others were thoroughly booked because of Clay. Restaurants were filled because of Clay's fans. He seemed genuinely pleased to be a part of it. Add this to the stories about them not seeing activity like that at the bus after the show, and concert goers who said they would see him again whenever he came back to the area, and I think he really made an impression on Williamsport!!!"

~clayzedover



"Heaven help us all if he ever uses his power for evil."

~drmchaser614



 
 

"Being in Hollywood makes it a lot different than being in North Carolina or in most anywhere," said Clay Aiken, who moved home after a stint in Los Angeles. "It's just a different beast, and I kinda wanted to be back with people who knew me and didn't think of me as Clay Aiken the singer but, you know, Clay Aiken the dork. I needed to be close to family, and I just kinda liked the stability of that." "

~Clay Aiken 



 
 
 

"From the moment I saw Clay perform Mack The Knife on AI2, I knew I was watching a true "oldtime" entertainer. There was something about that performance that made me take notice. I have never wavered in that knowledge. While many talked about genre and rock star/pop star I kept thinking uh uh, Clay can not be defined. It's really hard to define a person who keeps growing and integrating more and more into his being and that is who Clay is, IMO. His birthchart, with 5 planets in Sag. bears that out as well. This Man of Fire will not be contained, defined and held back by anyone but himself. No matter what anyone wants him to do, Clay will continue to do it his way and he will, IMO, continue to discover his way as he expresses his amazing talent and gets feedback. He thrives on the give and take and I don't believe it is ever too much for him to be himself. He's a delight, a sight for sore eyes and a man of magic. His voice is sublime, his artistry totally unique and his growth and maturity is, to me, exciting and astounding. I wouldn't change a thing about this man. Clay, continue to just be who you are. He's a refreshing drink of cool, clear water after a long journey in the desert. He is a star and he will be a greater star as time goes on. I believe he has found his center and he is living from it. "

~skybar



 

"Not only is he comfortable with 'us', I believe it goes a bit deeper. I think he now trusts 'us'. I think Clay finally knows that 'we're' not going anywhere, that 'we' finally know him, not performer Clay, but the man that he truly is, with all his foibles and goofiness and kindness and dorkiness and baggage, and we like him just as he is. No subterfuge, no artifice, just Clay."

~Shadylil



 

"The process that is Clay." He will redefine entertainment with his downhome , yet razorsharp wit and then slay with his music. I want Disney to write for him as well backing him with the finest symphonic orchestras . He needs to be heard in the best concert halls, theaters-he is our national treasure. I can't say this enough. He will construct his own shows . THey will evolve."

~Divayenta



 

"He told us the newest controversy coming to our newstands would be that he'd fathered some lovechild with some woman he'd never met in college. He was telling us so we didn't have to buy the smut. He was totally laughing the whole notion off."

~LyricAKP



 

"it hit me tonight as I was listening to yet another cellcert where he had the audience alternately splitting their sides with laughter and holding their breath at the sheer power and beauty of his voice. And I was thinking about how he's getting funnier every night and talking more, and finding ways to engage the audience and always finding a comeback and somehow still managing to sound stronger-voiced every night... he's honing his craft. This is who he is as an artist. Singing, chatting, joke-telling, audience-teasing.... he's finding himself as an entertainer. This is who he is. It has zero to do with genres or radio play. And it's what's going to propel him from big star to legend one day."

~GBB


"People who become genuine stars are slightly odd in some way, and then the world changes around them."

~Bill Condon



 
 

"I think he [Clay] is just as "high profile" now as he was then, [three years ago] but he's in a different category. Then, he was just off the highest-rated TV show in America, a hot commodity, and, with Ruben, part of one of the most talked-about rivalries of the year. He was new, he was different, he was undeniably talented, but I also think it was taken for granted in a lot of people's minds, possibly even his own (but NOT mine!), that he was a flavor of the moment, and would fade when the next big thing (heh) came along. 

Obviously, that didn't happen. Three and a half years is a long time in the entertainment biz, and other celebs have come and gone, but Clay is still there. There is something about him, apart from his phenomenal talent, that has held people's interest. And continues to hold it. His engaging personality? His philanthropic causes? His distinctive look and sound? His skills as a raconteur? His enigmatic qualities? The tabloid crap? All or some of the above? No idea. 

But now, when all he has to do is walk out of the house with a new haircut or hit a clunker onstage or decide to open his front door to a local news crew or attempt to take a cohosting job seriously, the entertainment shows feverishly cover every second of it, blathering about it for a week afterward, referring to him by first name only. Websites and blogs throw his name in there, however gratuitously, just to get hits. To me, that reads as "established star" rather than "flavor of the moment." Both equally "high profile," but a very big difference in perception between the two."

~ Pink Armchair 


"in my view, this isn't a fandom that subsists on performance perfection and perfection alone, but a fandom that subsists on the emotional resonance of Clay's every performance, and the spirit, challenges, ambition and progress that each of his performances embodies."

~43dudleyvillas


"There is something deep and focused about him that comes forth when he misses the mark. It makes him all the more determined to prevail. He is getting better and better with this song after the missed note. He has such a strong, "I will show the world" attitude." 

~Barnett2


Corabeth wrote [at The Conclayve]: 
"Now this is a killer note. It is a high A and he holds it for 8 seconds. It's been a long time since I read music but to me it sounds as high or higher than the note from his stunning performance of Bridge Over Troubled Water on the American Idol season 2 finale. 
 

spotlightloverresponded:
First, the issue of the high pitches. Yes, the last note is an A. But Clay actually hits that same pitch eight separate times in the last verse of the song. Moreover, he hits a B-flat - a half tone higher than A, and the same note that ends BOTW - three times in that last verse. So it's not just all about the last note. It's that he's singing at the top of his range for the entire last verse, which goes on (according to my Merrillville video) for a total of 40 seconds, two-thirds of a full minute.

And in Merrillville, he held the final A for a total of 13 seconds.

The stamina and control required to do this is really amazing, especially after singing an hour's worth of other songs. It's very much like trying to balance on a tightwire only millimeters thick after running a marathon."

Code:
 

F#    F# A   A  D   E   F#    G   F#   G   A    A   Bb  A   F#  G

Born is now Em- ma- nu- el,  born is  our Lord and  Sa- a-  a- vior, 
 

G    A   Bb   A   F#  G   G    A   Bb   A   F#  G    E   G    A

Si- ing  Al- le- lu- ia,  Si- ing  Al- le- lu- ia,  All is  Well 

The lowest note in AIW is a low C, which is the lowest note we've heard him sing. Previously it was a low D-flat in "Here You Come Again" on ATDW. 

The range of this song is almost a full two octaves, from the low C to a high B-flat. That's an incredible range in a single song for a pop singer. Many pop songs are less than an octave range, and 1 1/2 octaves is unusual for most singers who aren't Mariah Carey.

Offhand, I don't know the exact ranges of all Clay's songs. He has sung higher in other songs, but only briefly. The high note on "smart-est" in Invisible is a high C, but he barely hits it, and as we know he eliminated that in concert after the IT. IIRC there was a high D in "The Girl is Mine" from the AI2 tour. AFAIK the highest note we've ever heard him sing is a falsetto high G above high C, in SSD on the Solo Tour. None of these songs has the low, low range that we hear in AIW. So from a low C to the high falsetto G, that's a full 2 1/2 octave range that we've heard him sing at various times. "
 

~spotlightlover



 


"It really doesn't matter how many times he hits or misses that note for the rest of the tour. He has 18 shows in 23 days. He'll probably miss it again. But most wouldn't even try it.

The look on his face tonight is what I will hold in my heart..."

~The Conclayve



 

"This Clay was the one I missed seeing last year -- the one you travel to see and spend money on and root for and cherish and commiserate about and defend and celebrate. The VOX is one thing -- and it is QUITE a thing! -- but his comfortable embrace of us, the fans, was just as special. It was, finally, a complete lovefest on both sides (and you know it's true, because you only tease the ones you love)."

~Pink Armchair


"He planted his feet, gripped the microphone stand and let it rip. Everyone all around me was leaning forward, afraid to breathe, almost willing him through it, and you could tell that he knew it. And when the time came, he grabbed the mic stand, planted his feet, squeezed his eyes shut and it just...came out. Wow. It was so gorgeous and so powerful. I heard a lot of gasps, and then everyone simultaneously jumped to their feet, screaming and applauding and jumping up and down."

~Writer at The Conclayve



" ...anyone who wasn't charmed by his whole personality must have fallen asleep and missed most of the show. The man's mind just never stops. Yes, he has pre-planned banter, but he can go spontaneously in any direction when something ... anything ... catches his attention. I remember Ryan Seacrest making a comment one time when the whole Ruben-Clay comparison was still at a high point. He mentioned that it wasn't just enough any more to just sing well. The whole ability to *present yourself* well and engage the audience plays a huuuuuge part in making a 'star' out of a performer. I agree totally! With talent, Clay earned his shot at the brass ring. With intelligence, wit, charm, personality and all the personal attributes that allow him to turn from goofy to 'gah' in the turn of a head ... he just is on a whole other level than most performers today. He simply cannot be conveniently 'boxed', whether it be by print media, [TV]  radio, though an aging record exec might try damn hard to do so. I think (and hope!) that he will always push whatever limits are set before him.

~Fountaindawg



 

"I wish I could describe "it". . . . Sometimes I've seen/felt a kind of golden energy around Clay Aiken, during an appearance or concert. Those times when the fans agree he was "just glowing". That's one thing I think Clay brings to his singing that others don't or can't. It doesn't always come through, but when it does, there's nothing like it anywhere. When he really pours that golden essence of himself into a song, freely giving himself over to "it" and letting it flow from him, I feel that glow in his voice. When I close my eyes, I can almost see it. I want to wear it. I want to put it on and wrap it around me because it's already in and over and through me. It's as if the sounds and words are bigger somehow, wrapped in this wonderful soft or bright or hot or radiant "it"...lifted up higher, pushed into form and substance with such great joy or longing or pain or sensual pleasure...His voice is all warm and love and Clay. 

I don't know how to explain those sensations of relaxed elation, of joy, of sorrow...how to describe the slow twist in my chest and the thick ache in my throat when he breaks my heart yet again with his voice. How to describe the idiotic grin that comes from nowhere and lingers long after the song is finished. . . . Whatever "it" is, it's sure working for me. So, if anyone else even half-way feels the same way, then we'll just agree ahead of time that neither of us is really crazy. Okay? It'll be our secret. :) "

~00Isee



 

"Clay Aiken's voice is distinctive, stylish, flamboyant, subtle, gracious, inventive, unpretentious, amazing, memorable and flawless."

~Steel Kaleidoscopes



 

"It ['Everything I Have'] has a lovely, haunting melody. The lyrics are poignant and open to several interpretations. And I love his voice on it. It caresses you, tickles the soft spots and makes you hold your breath a little. It's the kind of song a room quiets to hear when an artist is singing it. The kind of song that makes you turn up the radio."

~AgingHippie



 

"Sometimes I feel Clay is a celebrity scapegoat in the pop culture. It's the easy and cheap laugh. It's also because he refuses to engage and is determined to be true to himself. I find this powerfully moving. In a business of smoke and mirrors, illusion and false fronts, this man is an affront. Having lots of empowered, older women as his fans also goes against the patriarchal cultural set-up. He and we are changing the culture for the better. As the fabulous Kathy Bates suggested, we have insurance."

~Divayenta



 

"I didn't memorize my lines at all; I kind of made them up as I went along", he confesses. "I'm not very good at memorizing and so I thought I would just say what came naturally and fortunately they were willing to let me do that. Stephen and Mary Beth were just really phenomenal to work with. I can't remember the words to my own songs much less words they write in the script for me". 

 ~Clay Aiken in Soap Opera Digest regarding the Days Of Our Lives shoot



 

I think Karma is still at work here. Clay got a lot of buzz just when Christmas shopping is around the corner...Rosie probably got a slight ratings boost the next day...and Kelly will have a hard time erasing the diva shrew hypocrite image she showed her audience and thats a gift that will keep on giving.  more...

~samtaycai



 

"The irony kills me. 
The American Music Awards. 
Clay Aiken is a fantastic singer. He's on the show for a few seconds. He doesn't GET an award, he doesn't SING. He's being ignored, shoved aside, as if he's a nobody. THey give him a small insignificant part. No singing - He reads a cue card. 

The next day, who is everyone talking about? Not the winners, not the performers. They're talking about the guy who read a cue card."

~Judy



 

"It's been blown way out of proportion. I wasn't there, he was pinchhitting for me, what's his name again? He got a little nervous, it is kind of a spontaneous show and he reached out and wanted to say something. It's not a big deal really."

~Regis Philbin



"Tomorrow, Aiken will be filling in for Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News."

~Keith Olberman


"So in Kelly's bazarro world Howard Stern is the standard bearer for honoring womankind, and Clay Aiken is disrespectful of women. The sky must be green there, too." 

~Proqfreq


"Who would have ever thought 3 years ago that Jimmy Kimmel would have more CLASS than Kelly Rippa???"

~kalekona


"I still believe the evidence of my own eyes and ears. Bottom line: Clay Aiken strode into the television studio and made. me. laugh.

Whatever distorted thinking was happening beneath Kelly Ripa's smiling mask and why remains a mystery. To my eyes, he meant no harm and did no lasting harm...so whatever spiteful damage she tries to serve him will inevitably return to her. That's the way of the universe. 

Love wins."

~00Isee


"She set herself up by her past dissing (in her mind "funning") of Clay. Be prepared to take a little ribbing yourself, honey!"

~Divayenta



Re: The UNICEF Snowflake Lighting:
"Great fun, great friends and then the chance to see Clay in something other than an entertainment element, where he was still a star but this time in an industry that looks at his soul as much as his hair (which looked FABULOUS)."

~Corabeth



 

"Clay Aiken is still out there, using his fame to support worthy causes and sell Christmas albums. In that respect, Clay Aiken is the Bono of "American Idol."

~Miami Poetry Review



 

Hmmm.. differences of the guy in the picture on our banner vs. the one at the CH: The guy on the CH banner would pick you up for a date, at the door, walk you to the car and open it for you, hold your hand while you get in and maybe kiss you on the cheek as he closed the door. The guy in our banner, would be waiting by the car (in this pose) would turn to open the door for you, but not before he backed you up against the car and kissed you till your socks came off. I pick door number two, but wouldnt walk away from door number one!

~kwhite1022:


RE: Being named 2006 Ourstanding Young Alumnus from UNC CHARLOTTE:
"I suspect Clay said, "Formal? Well, give me mah GLASSES then!"
Photo Here

~WinkyDink



"I love that he blogged but I also love how he blogged. He made the comment on LKL about not wanting to give the haters the attention they crave. I think his latest blog is a perfect example of how he is able to address the situation but not give any attention or power to the person who caused it. He's quite a remarkable young man, IMO. He has been given the beautiful gift of his singing voice but his gifts extend so far beyond that. He continues to amaze and impress me with how he lives his life and handles adversity."

~Beagle2


"Clay has so many gifts to give. His beautiful voice, his compassionate heart, his caring attitude towards others, especially those with disabilities, both inside and out, his humor, his intellect. I really do love the way he's going about being a celebrity. It hasn't turned his head and he takes every opportunity to learn from all his activities."

~Shadylil



"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.   It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.   We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."
Clay rekindled my inner spirit."

~ER


"Why do we love him? Has anyone ever figured out why a person loves another? What is curious to me, is why it is such a "group" lovefest. Why do so many people with varied backgrounds and interests love this one man? There must be one common denominator, a connecting emotion felt by all. The voice is one thing, but I believe it is the way Clay can connect to his audience emotionally. I think he made that connection on AI, when he would reach through space and time and touch each viewer in an individual way. It was as if he was looking and singing "just to you." In concert, he does the same thing only more so. He is spellbinding and a mass hypnotist. He tries to share the stage, but it never works. All eyes are focused on this one man."

Heck, it is just magic."

~Barnett2


Re: the CD Sneak Preview of 'A  Thousand Different Ways'

"This album is exquisite.  We are treated to Clay's voice in ways that I've never heard.  Upon my many listens, I heard growls, groans, heavy breathing, low notes, high notes, oohs, aahs, babys, unbridled sexiness, sensitivity, vulnerability, beautiful arrangements, incredible harmonies, stunning instrumentation, well articulated verses, catchy beats, maturity, pain, vocal ability like no other and that's just naming a few things.  This album has EVERYTHING, and I do mean everything.  I can't get enough of it.  It's truly the one most beautiful thing I've ever had the pleasure of listening to and I couldn't be any happier with the end result.  I have NO complaints... only  a sincere amount of gratitude for Clay and everyone involved with making this album a reality. What Clay has given to us in this album... it is EVERY BIT HIM!!  Jaymes [Jaymes Levy- the executive Producer of the album] captured the true beauty of Clay's voice and he delivered it to us... boy did he ever!!  ATDW, IMO... is truly a masterpiece and it deserves industry recognition.  I pray that everyone gives this beautiful work of art, a chance.y  It truly is... a work of art! "

~Lori Tambellini



"This is what I have been hearing...and now I understand why. THIS is what cannot be described, only experienced. THIS is what we know, what others will soon discover. But the buzz has been building. It's about to explode. 

Believe it. 

It's just starting.

There are just no words. Clay needs a new dictionary for what he has created. There are just no words. But there is a place somewhere in the heavens for where this will send us. 

It's called ecstasy."

~calliek


"Get ready to swoon when CLAY AIKEN sings "Without You" from his platinum-in-waiting disc, A Thousand Different Ways".

~The Tonight Show site



 

"I've been on a roller coaster ride with my emotions over the promotion of Clay's CD -- however, for me, the one abiding feeling that won't let go -- is -- it's Clay. It's Clay singing. It's songs I've not heard or seen him sing before I.cannot.wait. I know he is going to amaze everyone (well, maybe not "everyone" since there are some who will never like his music and those who pick apart everything he does -- sadly it's the way of world today it seems).

Clay deserves better, no doubt in my mind, but it is what it is. I cannot believe that the time is almost nigh when we will see him again. That beautiful man with his amazing voice is soon to be on my TV. If I could wave a magic wand and have it all for him, I would. However, I think there are powers working behind the scenes -- working for him. I feel so sure in my heart about that.

I think this CD is one that will "grow" the numbers -- as more and more people will hear Clay sing these songs. JT, Beyonce', Christina will have their successes -- but Clay will also have his -- I believe it's in the stars. "

~ClaySTO


"Mr. Clayton Aiken of North Carolina will not be in the Bush administration. He will be advising the administration and I hope sincerely that they would listen. 

Congratulations, Clay, for being empowered more and more to make a difference. 

Now that I've been completely and utterly exonerated from propounding the Shock-and-Awe CD PR, I'd reveal my belief, from the beginning, that Clay would definitely awe people into supporting him in his commercial and altruistic endeavors. Shock is easy and cheap, as attempted by many everyday everywhere just for its sake, but "Awe" takes substance, against people's will and resistance. So Clay's label does not pay for radio plays, nor has he been linked timely and romantically with another celebrity needing publicity, but no hype or money can buy the kind of PR Clay can generate or garner. Who else dropping an album gets a presidential appointment to a national advisory committee? Who could generate such buzz with just a brief TV appearance, with a new hairdo? Who is turning hard-nosed critics around with the sheer beauty of his voice? I have always believed that Clay is respected by those who really count, those with real knowledge and power in the industry, and the main media, all of whom never give any credence to any of the persistent filthy smear campaigns against him. (A prissily dressed hypocrite must be smacking herself right now.) 
The world will be awed, because Clayton Aiken is awesome. Resistance is futile."

~ propounder



 

"...Clay has devoted considerable charitable efforts to this cause, so it's not a random celebrity appointment. Interesting ...

~USA TODAY

-------

From Comments:
"Clay also has a degree in Special Education, completed AFTER he was on AI and during the time he was touring and recording an album. He also founded the Bubel Aiken Foundation during this same time period.

So Clay being appointed to this position is in no way just a celebrity appointment. He has been to Capital Hill several times, the first being in July 2003, to lobby on behalf of Special Education issues.

While some AI alum are out hacking this product or that, Clay has been making a "real" difference."



 

"Sometimes worrying about CD sales or endorsement deals become very unimportant when you look at the larger picture. UNICEF ambassador and now Presidential Appointee. Well done Mr. Aiken. Making a difference, indeed. He truly has set the standard and set the bar high for Idol success. His Plan A will always be a viable option for him, just on a much high level."
"American Idol" Coordinating Producer Patrick Lynn said producers are always judging auditioners.

~cindilu2s


"It takes us five to 30 seconds (to decide who's going on to the next round)," Lynn said. "It took me two seconds to know (season two runner up) Clay Aiken would go on."

~Many try, few prevail


"I think only those who have attended Clay's concerts personally or vicariously. like myself, know what a great entertainer he is. The AI watchers and the general public know him as a singer and fans who follow his career and life know him also as a humanitarian. His career move and challenge may well be to let it be known that he is a great entertainer as well. He may still have his five or more Midas years(tm Elton John) as a singer to come but longevity will be his as an entertainer, and even as a public personality, the opposite kind to Paris Hilton, with real talent, big heart and irresistible charisma. He will learn to garner and capitalize on the power and his life may continue to be a great story that people are interested in."

~propounder


Regarding new album sales 
(First posted in 2005-- still holds true)

"...Naturally, I can't know what the future holds for Clay Aiken's sophomore album...but I sincerely believe in the power of projecting positive thoughts about it into the cosmos. So, whatever fears may wash over me upon reading dubious or cautious speculation about his continued success, I will still be busily countering these painful vibes with as much hopeful energy as I can muster. It's all I can do to lift him up right now, so I do it.

I have total confidence in Clay...He's smart and talented and has surrounded himself with smart and talented people. I also think the mysterious, shimmering fabric of popular culture has snagged its threads on Clay Aiken and has woven him firmly in. 

So when I think of Clay Aiken: Back for More (or whatever he chooses to call it), I focus and imagine words like "Power", "Persuasion", "Beauty", "Truth", "Growth", "Legs", and most passionately of all, I think "Hits"..."Hits"..."HITS"...I think this word so fervently sometimes I can almost smell it... 

There.

Did you feel that? That electric tingle at the nape of your neck? The skittering gooseflesh up your arms? The growing sense of anticipation quivering in your throat? The wild, sweet surge of joy? I'm feeling it. I'm living and breathing it! 

Life is too short for me to dream small. For Clay, I'm dreaming BIG. Where Clay is concerned, I'm going for broke! Completely, whole-heartedly committed to the promise I see in this man, whatever comes. Fear? Dread? Worry? No. I don't have the energy to spare, so I reject them. Rational? Logical? Practical? I shake my head rebelliously...I'll face facts later, only if I have to. Looking up from the spreadsheets and what-ifs, I instead fix eager eyes on that glowing horizon and smile. Clouds? They dare not rain on my hopes. Until that unknown future "someday" becomes "now", I'll be running toward it...full out, risking top speed on unfamiliar terrain, my arms flung wide open...Willing to be reckless...even if I fall or fail. 

~00Isee



Read Here

~00Isee


Quote: 
Entertainment Weekly Interviewer Dianne Austin: Benji, you know I’m kind of re-living an experience. And I’ve gotta tell you what it is. I’m a big Clay Aiken fan and I don’t know if you know it or not but a lot of people are reminded of Clay when they watch you. Ironically, so much of what you’re talking about is what Clay went through on his season of American Idol.
 

Benji: Really?
 
 

EW: Oh sure, with Ruben (Studdard.) And he was roommates with Kim Locke, and oh my gosh, it’s just amazing—it’s like history repeating itself. But you have a huge fan base from his fan base!
 
 

Benji: (Laughing) That’s interesting. A lot of the fan girls that talk about me online—there’s sometimes a picture of me standing next to Clay Aiken—which I don’t know how that happened because I’ve never met the guy in my life—but the comparison is always being made. If that’s true—I’m really flattered. I mean, 30 million people really like Clay Aiken! It’s actually quite an honor to be compared to him."

~Entertainment Weekly


"Presales are going around the world with Amazon.com. Did you know that there are hundreds of Clay Aiken blogs (lots are new) set up by fans? Did you know that there is a Clay Aiken fan Club in almost every state for local fans and that some states have 2 and 3 clubs. Yesterday - I tried to go through and research the amount of Clay Aiken fan sites and Message boards with fan memberships that were still active. I found 476 fan sites and I came across 62 active message boards and haven't counted dozens more that I couldn't view because you had to be a member with a password. The smallest board had only 38 members and one of the largest had well over 15,000 members. I couldn't count a lot of the Yahoo groups, nor a lot of the MSN groups because again - you had to have a password to view. I knew that several had large fan memberships. I didn't count the international fan sites but did look at a few - in Singapore, philippines, and a Korean fan club with over 10,000 members. Did you know that the Neurox Idol Forum has 53,941 registered members and that Clay Aiken has the largest amount of active users? His site has 45,602 topics with 989,855 replies, and had 764 active users within 20 minutes this evening at 11:30! The next highest membership participation group is for Carrie Underwood with 8708 topics and 135,941 replies. I thought this interesting. Also something else I found to be interesting was on a fan site in the Philippines where a young girl was discussing that she was a brand new fan of Clay's and had never seen him before his performance on the American Idol finale in May. There were quite a number of new fans. ..."

~Unknown


I asked her [RCA Markenting] about the promotion and she said you're going to start seeing stuff over the next couple of weeks. She said for this type of album we want to concentrate promo as we get near album drop. I said for this type of album as in love song covers? She said no, for a superstar artist.

~Corabeth


"I have to say after hearing ['Without You'] over and over, this voice is spectacular it is the best we have ever heard. He hits every single note to perfection. There is no drag, no hesitation, no dropped notes and his melisma is absolute perfection. Now knowing you I have to ask is it Clay Aiken. If it is and I think it is, he is one to be reckoned with in the music industry."

~Music director of an unnamed university  ( after being sent the song without being told who the singer was)


"I forgot to mention before that I love the new hair. Makes him look darker and more brooding. Of course, that'll go out the window when he shows up giggling on Leno, talking about how Eastern Europe is colder than mess, but for now, he's sort of mysterious."

~PiddlyPink


"Living at the edge of a forest, dusk is my favorite time of day. Before the changing of the guard the world grows quiet and the air is heavy with a woodsy fragrance. All during the day I’m serenaded by all different kinds of birds with lovely voices but as it darkens one by one fall silent. Suddenly on a rare occasion an oriole will grace me with a glorious rhapsody, like a flute of an angle, bidding farewell to the day. Takes my breath away! I become elevated in spirit. 

There are moments like this for me in Clay’s voice. When he hits those pure tones, when I hear a rhapsody, he too elevates me to a new plane.

I hear promise of many of these moments on this CD listening to this one song, I will have my nirvana at the edge of the forest whenever I want, and I only have to push play."

~Kupkake



 

""Wow. I still have a hard time relating how he looked early on with the voice that comes out of him. I know he's good, but I still always expect the shallow kind of pop stuff you hear on the radio to come out of him because that's all you hear from pop stars, but he sings with SO many layers and richness and depth...it's like nothing else you've ever heard. When he sings that song, it's not like anyone has ever sung it before...it's just his and sounds like he's owned it forever." 

~Unknown- posted by "CantDecide"


"I wavered about posting...it's tough to share things when you know every syllable will be scrutinized and analyzed. 

But after listening to Without You for the innumerable time... 

One of the persons whose comments I have shared had hinted early on that this would be the leader. He's been around a long time and has worked, in different capacities, with both Nilsson and Mariah. He told me that, for him, there could never be another version of WY, to stand up to Nilsson's. He was impressed with Mariah's, but he said Nilsson owned the song as far as he was concerned. Until he heard Clay. 

"I was utterly blown away. He pulls you in immediately, and it's like you know your heart is about to be ripped open but you're pleading for it to happen. And then it does and he just fills it until it bursts again. There is something in his vocal prowess. I can't explain it. I just know I am experiencing something phenomenal. I have never been a fan of covered songs. Obviously. But this is an altering experience." 

And...this is coming from a guy. 

Radio?

"Radio should be all over this. But you know what? The power of him is going to get him everywhere he needs to be." 

There are major things coming for Clay, he's not going to be short-shifted as many have feared. It's coming, and it will be a torrent. Just listen to the passionate crescendo in that voice. The power of him is going to get him everywhere he needs to be. That...pretty much says it all. 

Clay is, after all, an altering experience. He is about to alter the daylights out of an awful lot of people."

~calliek


"I go from his voice washing over me to wanting to crawl inside that voice and just curl up -- from feeling those low notes reverberating inside me -- to riding and soaring as his voice lifts me to the heavens .... "

~ClaySTO



"I can't explain what I'm feeling, or how, or why...I only know that I truly do have confidence that whatever was/might be/is coming, however long it takes, or whatever form it takes, Clay will triumph."

~00Isee


Since AI2, Clay has been under minute scrutiny, and we have found no contradictions in him.  As we fans continue to read one another’s articles and blogs, we reconfirm what each one of us has individually observed in Clay and considers to be the absolute truth.

We are not a fan base chasing after an “image”.  We are dedicated to flesh and blood, to a very real human being with flaws and who can make mistakes and who can fail.  We know Clay in more depth than we know many of our friends and acquaintances because he has invited us in.

When Clay takes the stage, he is really selling himself, using his music as the vehicle.  He is straight forward and unpretentious.
He lives by what he says and makes his time count for purposes beyond himself.  He gives much more than he receives, often without his being aware of it. If what he is doing involves satisfying only himself, he moves on.

I believe one of the things that most impressed Clay’s audiences early on in the AI competition was a portion of one of his bio clips.  Clay grabbed his ears and demonstrated his self-abasing sense of humor by stating, “I will always have these; I don’t mind.”  Later he commented, “I am happy with my style and comfortable with who I am.”  How many of us can honestly say that?

I believe this incident led people to look past Clay’s obvious vocal talent to determine just what he possessed that produced such confidence and joy. In examining him more closely, they discovered and adopted many of the ideals and goals Clay has set for himself.  They became dedicated fans, and they have become better individuals in the process.

The truth in Clay is his driving force.  It is why we stay with this man.  It is what we have experienced and what has changed us.  It has brought us new horizons and has renewed our inner strength.  It has finally compelled us to pass along this truth to others.  Indeed, truth can make us free.

~Mitzi Gill



"I have instructed my attorneys to not only vigorously dispute the claims that have been made but to also pursue all possible remedies against those involved in the perpetration of these untruths."
"As a so-called `celebrity' I have become used to scurrilous allegations and untruths being made about me and my work. I have always taken the path of not reacting to these matters and have accepted them as, somehow, coming with the `job.'  However, I cannot, and will not, stand by when these attacks are made on my family."

~Clay Aiken in a statement released by RCA


"It was indeed a forceful and elegant response, although it saddens me that he had to make a statement at all. Someone found his Achilles heel and exploited it, and Clay felt compelled to respond.

Yes, he's angry, but he has to be hurting, too. No one wants their family's dignity {messed] with. Clay is not a litigious man, but he is a loyal man. But my heart breaks a little bit to know that someone was able to provoke a response from him. I know he'll prevail in court, but even the victor loses a little bit of himself: faith, momentum, energy, time, focus.

I'm saddened he has to deal with this. Having said that, I do hope his attorneys go all Clay Aiken fan on her."

~Jemock



 

[In reference to Clay's recording of 'Broken Wings' on his upcoming CD 'A Thousand Different Ways']

"I'm a little biased, but I think it's AWESOME. In fact, Richard Page, from Mr. Mister, heard it and said that it's his favorite arrangement that he's ever heard, and he's heard the song recorded 100's of times?!
I'm so excited! My brother also worked on Clay's last Christmas record. It was a nice compliment for him to want to work with my brother again...."

~ From a Non-Clay message board-posted by the sister of Eman, who worked with Clay on the song


"This past week, and most probably after viewing the new and very yummy pictures of boyfriend, I developed an irregular heartbeat and ended up in the hospital. While there I was taken for a battery of tests, some of which rivaled the tortures of the Dark Ages, and in each case had a medical transport team who would "drive" me to my next torture. One of those trips included a really cute young guy in his early twenties who entertained me singing some of the current popular songs as we discussed our lives. He told me how cool I was for a middle aged old lady. Then he asked who my favorite singer was. Without losing a beat I exclaimed "Clay Aiken". "Oh no", he exclaimed, "You just lost some of your cool points dude". (Why are women dudes these days?) Of course, he got the standard Clay fan diatribe about if only you had seen him in concert, and then there was "When Doves Cry and Elvis and even Ricky Martin". At that point he was laughing hysterically saying it was hard to believe, but if I was there. He then told me his sister, his mother and every other female he knows on earth was in love with Clay and maybe he had better take another look. And here is the really funny part, as we continued down the hall toward my torture chamber, he suddenly broke out in song again and warbled, quite admirably I might add, the entire song "Invisible".

Lastly, the first day in this Catholic hospital they sent a chaplain to pray over me. In this case, it was a little African American nun with a very heavy accent. I learned long ago that prayers, blessings, wishings, spells, healings, and love from any person are good things and not to be avoided no matter your personal feelings. So I let her go on with her heartfelt wishes for me. When she had finished I asked her where she was from. She said, "A place in Africa called Uganda, do you know it". Well I don't have to tell any of you what followed next from my mouth, always eager to make more points for our collective boyfriend. As I talked about Clay and his trip to Uganda and the support of the fandom and all I had learned about the situation from him she smiled broadly. She then said, "Yes I know all about him from my sisters back in Uganda. He is a blessing to this world and you are blessed to know him". "

~Ananka



"My mailroom guy, all excited, came running into my office today waving the press release from PR Newswire, which he had pulled off the main fax machine just for me. Awwww. My boss was in the room, and asked what it was. I read it to her, including the song list. and her reaction was hilarious:

Me: "Right Here Waiting..."

Her: Oooh, I love that song...

Me: "When I See You Smile..."

Her: What? Really? Oooh! Oooh!

Me: "Without You..."

Her: OMG! OMG!

Me: "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word..."

Her: Get outta here! No way! That's...wow!

Me: "Because You Loved Me..."

Her: Yesss! Yesss! Yesss!

Me: "Everytime You Go Away..."

Her: I love that! I can't wait! EEEEEEEEEE!

...well, you get the idea. By the end, I wanted what SHE was having. *g*

Then I printed off a copy of the [ photo of Clay leaning against the books with his hand in his pocket ] and...

...well, let's just say that I think the Clayversion is complete, given her disappointed expression at the release date. I think she wants that release...right...NOW. "

~Pink Armchair


"I just heard a GREAT DJ mention about Clay, and I raced back to my office to tell y'all. I was in Staples (NO, not buying a router!) and they have a radio station playing and its Breakaway (Kelly). When the song finished, she says that is Kelly Clarkson there, and then she she says ...

"Speaking of another Idol alumn, did you see that picture of Clay Aiken in USA Today yesterday?" She is now speaking to the female traffic reporter who's about to do an update. "He looked so cute."

The traffic reporter says "No, he wasn't cute... he was HOT!"

The DJ then says to her "Uh oh you have a new crush? Well you know Clay's new album "A Thousand Different Ways" is set to be released on September 19th and...."

The Traffic reporter kinda cuts her off and says kinda in a dry and blunt manner "thousand different ways I could get down with Mr. Aiken..."

There is laughing and some cross- talk I can't understand...mind you I am frozen in the store staring up at the speakers looking completely moronic at this point.

The DJ then says something about the album being a lot of 80's covers, and I hear her mention the Celine song, Mr. Mister song, and the Bon Jovi written song.

The traffic reporter then says something like "mmmmmm, yep. When's that album released again?"
DJ says September 19th again, and then says something about her giving up Josh Holloway from Lost for Clay... "

~lylekira


"I'm ready for another wild ride with Clay. He has yet to disappoint me. There seems to be a pattern with what he does. Some love it all and others are really disappointed but in the end, most of us find our happy place again. For those who don't or can't then hopefully they will stick around for what is next. If not, there will be others who come aboard. I wouldn't miss anything Clay does. Life is, for me, too fleeting, too short, to miss the beauty of this man and his talent. I'm going to take in all that he does and savor it. I doubt I'll ever find anyone like him again, in my life. I'm old enough to know that the rarity of Clay Aiken is not coming around again in my lifetime, if ever."

~skybar


Said Clay: [Re: New Album]

"These are songs I heard growing up. I loved them then and I still love them today, but we decided to do them a little differently. They have new arrangements, and we put our own style on some of them."

He expounded further: "This is an album of love songs, but they are about all different kinds of love. Romantic love, friendship, unconditional love. There are a thousand different kinds of love; a thousand different ways to tell someone you love them. And, on top of that, since so many of these songs are covers, it's realistic to say that many of them have been or could be sung a thousand different ways."

Clay, as you can see, is also sporting the same basic coiffure he showed off on the Idol finale, though I must say he looks quite dashing here.

~USA Today



 

"He hasn't done anything yet that hasn't made me feel something. There's that indescribable quality in his voice that just does things to me and it does transcend the song and the lyrics for me. I can't say that about any other artist. I've been studying energy therapy this past year and I'm a believer in the heart chakra theory someone posted a long time ago. I believe that, for me, when he sings my heart chakra opens up wide and accepts whatever he offers right into my core."

~beagle2


"As an artist and creator myself, I want to say...

With everything Clay does, he is putting not only a product out there, but himself...an extension of his very inner self. I know this, acutely. It is exciting...it is nerve-racking...it is painful...it is as raw as it gets. It's the very core of your being laid bare for the world. Sure, you have had to succumb to the visions of others...or their visions of your visions. But it's still...YOU.

You want everyone to like it. You know some will hate it. You know there will be a lot who will be all over the place. But...you really, really want acceptance. You crave the passion of just one...then maybe two...or three...or a few...or several...or many. You just want people to "get" you. To know what you feel, who you are, what brought you to where you are...what makes you create. You want to be seen and heard and felt. And yes...you really, really want to be embraced.

You know it won't happen universally. But you just hope so much.

I believe Clay, like any artist, is putting himself out there.

For that alone, I love him."

~calliek


"...I was sitting here in the Clayden with WY blasting on the stero.. when I thought I heard the door buzzer.. ran to the office without turning down the stereo and sure enought there stood a couple ..in the mid twenties.. well he was 25 according to his drivers license..any way Clay was blaring so I said please excuse me while I go turn the volumn down.. and the guy say WAIT.. who is that!!.. I turned around and just looked at him..he said ..who is that .. My God that is beautiful.. then the girl said.. I have never heard that song what is it.. I said Without You.. and he again asked who is singing that it's magnificant.. giving me chills..I said Clay Aiken..and he said no way.. no way.. I said yes way..that is a song on his new CD coming out 9-19....he turned to the girl and said good lord we have to get that..she said I absolutely love it.. it gives me chills and makes me want to cry at the same time..needless to say I rented the room :laugh they left and before I could get back to the clayden they were back in the office and he asked if I minded if I could give them a copy.. I told him I couldnt but he sure could barrow this one for the night... he thanked me .. and right now I can hear Clay singing in the parking lot."

I went to the office about 20 minutes ago and checked in another guest.. and looked out side .. and [saw] the young couple still sitting in the car .. I could still hear Clay singing..and they were kissing..."

Clay is magic.."

~ClayPerfect


"This is just the beginning. And yes, it HAS started. Rumors, speculations, timelines...it's here.

Yes, there will be some who don't like one thing or another. But it's what he has lived and breathed and believed in for many months. It's what he has created. He is excited. I am excited.

While I would never make judgments based on snippets and the limited quality of their sound, I can hear--and feel--the radiance of the VOICE. That is all I need. He will take me again...only this time, to places I have never been. He will command and control.

Believe me...this is just a tease. Be tickled, be tantalized, be intrigued...we haven't seen--or heard--anything yet.

Even if I'd heard nothing...months ago or recently...even if I knew nothing but what I read from Clay...it would be enough. I feel his giddiness, his pride, and his presence. He's been ready...we've been ready.

And now...it's time...to savor him again."

~calliek


"I'll just say that I am filled with joy tonight. Clay is still here, still making music, growing as an artist.

He seems so happy, with his work and with his fans.

There's little I can tell from the fifty or so seconds of the two song snippets that I heard today, other than to think that I might just love the duet (which logic dictates will be balanced, I believe) and I have accepted that Clay lurves him some ATD. [1000 Days] Good --- I love seeing him passionate about his music.

Are two songs representative of twelve or more? Are they simply two of many different ways to express love? Will Clay kick it up a dozen notches on other numbers and rock out? Will his beautiful and breathtaking voice shine out on an acoustic number that will bring me to tears?

Will he growl?

Will he wail?

Will he show the world more than they know of him?

I don't need to know the answers tonight, because now, at long last, I know when I will have the answer.

Fifty days.

September 19, 2006 - Clay Aiken, A Thousand Different Ways.

I am ready to celebrate.

If you're not celebrating tonight, I hope that in fifty days, you will be."
 

~berkeley



"I commend Clay for believing in a cause that helps children who need it...pure and simple.

Obviously, politics is a sticky wicket...which is why UNICEF states absolutely they are apolitical. I am certain that when the need presents itself in ANY country where children need help, UNICEF will try to allocate resources. Yet, I'm also certain they need to prioritize those who need it most at any particular time. It's not an endless pot of money.

Giving money to UNICEF now means not only helping children in Lebanon, but helping build a resource base that will be there for the next tragedy...be it a tsunami in Asia or a hurricane in New Orleans.

Btw...I would bet that there were people around the world who thought that UNICEF shouldn't spend it's resources helping the "richest country in the world" after Katrina, or disagreed with U.S. political leaders as well. I'm just happy UNICEF looks past those things and honestly does help children who need it most.

He really does give us a thousand different ways to love him, doesn't he?"

~CantDecide



"Clay is a man of acceptance and welcoming.  He prefers to look at the positive rather than the negative.   He
does not criticize, judge, or exclude.  Instead of tearing down or throwing away, he restores."

~Mitzi Gill



"That Clay Aiken --- I wouldn't kick him out of bed. OOPS I mean, I admire and respect his talent and am glad to be a member of the human race. Y'know. And the bed part."

~Erin



"I know nothing about how the music industry works - but I would think that there's a very definite timeline of PR planned and every thing is done for a specific reason. I just can't imagine that RCA is telling Clay - let's tell your fans all about your album and Clay's saying - nah, it's too much fun to tease them unmercifully. I would imagine that the press release date is set and up to that date, there will be a leaking of a little information. Today I think Clay gave us what he thought was a bit of a gift - some information at the fan club prior to the actual release. He and Jaymes confirmed the title. Jaymes confirmed that she heard the fans when they said that they wanted Clay's voice to be front and center. After MOAM that was one of the things many fans expressed. She said they heard. Do I wish I knew more? Sure. Do I wish I had a track list? You bet. Do I wish they leaked a bit of the first single? Oh my yes! But I think all those things are forthcoming. They just aren't coming all on the same day. Some people's patience is wearing thin and I can certainly understand that. There are days when I just want a single sooooo badly. But I don't think Clay or Jaymes are trying to torture us. I think they are telling us whatever they can within the PR guidelines that are being set by RCA. I'm prepared to sit back and see where this ride takes me. I can't wait."

~NanJeanne



NOTE: Below applies to Clay, as many already know.

"There are people who look extremely manly, but are not. And people who don't look manly, but are. Fred Rogers, with his silly puppets and cardigan sweaters, was at the opposite end of the spectrum from Russell Crowe, Jesse Ventura and The Arnold. But he was confident of his belief in the power of love, and he had the courage to extend respect and appreciation to all, despite the risk of ridicule. The moral force of this soft, gentle man was fearsome.

Indeed, a manly man can be a gentleman--"a manly man with polish and perfection," Mansfield writes, gentle "out of policy, not weakness."

Bravery in battle is manly, but it's not necessary to make war to be manly. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was manly. So was Nelson Mandela. So, for that matter, was Jesus. In the face of physical risk and hostility, they demonstrated manliness by seeking peace.

In showing greatness of soul, they became better than manly men. They became heroes."

~Art Carey in the Chicago Tribune



 

"...until I know specifically what he actually wants, I will continue wanting what I want for him. Big, exciting things. Lasting, wonderful things. Beauty, love, energy, life, music."

~00Isee


"Clay Aiken proved you don't have to be the winner."

~Gina Serpe



 "I miss him.   I miss his tugs and his growls and his snark and his smile and his wonderful dancing and those lucious green eyes and looking at him in jeans and his voice (that really goes without saying) and his freckles and his walk and his teasing nature and his laugh and his "town forum talks" on stage and his, his, his...well, you get the picture.  I just really miss him!"

~Phillyb-daymom1



"It seems like a long time. In so many ways, it has been. AI...the Raleigh hometown connections...the tug...the Rolling Stone cover...the TITN video that never was...kind of...

But it's only a laser of light from a very bright meteor. We have so much to see. He's constantly firing off sparks, you know? Some tiny, almost infinitesimal...others wild and flaring, hot and explosive. But he's always firing...he is right this very moment.

I heard hot July. I believed it and I still do.

The calendar really is inconsequential. He's firing and the flames will reach. They're licking now. We feel them and so does he.

I feel the heat. Do you?"

~calliek



"I have intimate experience with Sagittarius. They are the master of the Big Tease. But make no mistake. There is always something serious at the root of it all. There is a goal. And they will achieve it. But they will have a lot of fun--at your expense--along the way.

They are adventure personified...the grittier the better.

Moral to the story? This is just the beginning of the Clay most would never expect. There's a LOT more where this comes from. I have shared what I heard about expecting the unexpected...about the unconventional...just throw out everything that swims in your mind and think about a swimming hole bathed in a ray of moonlight that seems to keep changing hue. But it's growing steadier and it has a strange glow.

Hear the cackle. Yeah, he knows...more than just our words. He knows what we're waiting for. He knows what he has to give. He knows.

And he's enjoying it.

Eyes...lips...wisp of hair...cheeks...chin...neck...shoulders...smirk...wit.

He knows. But he's toying with us. It's something we will come to expect and revel in.

It's all part of the love affair. Even if he's a goof...and he is. He can draw up into the sophisticate he really is in a millisecond. And cast a look, say a word...open his mouth...and become that lean lothario that knows what we want, what we need, what we will give.

Today, letters...tomorrow our hearts. Again."

~calliek



"One of my errands today included stopping at the hardware store and when I went through the check out the young man at the register had hair like Clay's new look. I told him I liked his hair and he responded with " I watched American Idol".  I then asked him how come you didn't have your hair cut like the winner?

He answered:    "I did! " 

~Aikeheart (Sharon)



"Where American Idol and The Amateur Hour are and were serious ventures where winners actually do become recording stars (Frank Sinatra, Pat Boone, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken), America’s Got Talent seems to be Simon Cowell trying to exploit his power and influence and adding one more reality show that we really don’t need."

~ Rich Burlingham -In the Fray


"Clay Aiken, as himself, has countless real life women pining after him but he chooses not to exploit them. As far as I'm concerned, that's a real man: irresistibly and innately sexy yet disciplined, honorable and respectful of women. No wonder women love him."

~propounder


"Not only do I still wonder "where that voice is coming from" but I marvel at how this man's spirit is so extraordinarily compelling and how he is able to awaken so many positive aspects in the lives of others.  He is not perfect, but he is REAL."

~Mitzi Gill



"To me[if] the delay of the album release [is] being instigated by Clay [it] is a really good thing. It means he is supremely confident, in his fans and, more significantly, in his music. He knows it's good, he's happy with it and he's sure others, fans and industry, will be too. So good that waiting wouldn't hurt its sales, but is worth it and will whip up a feeding frenzy. He's made this album the way he wanted it and now he wants it promoted the way he wants it. This is going to be a Clay Aiken's album."

~propounder



"They talk about me all the time. I'm in the tabloids everyday! I mean I'm having a 3-headed alien baby with somebody or something. Seriously! I don't ever want anybody to mistake my silence for agreement with that, but you know what I think? I think that what I do and who I am in the pattern of my life speaks a lot louder than standing up and responding to every gossip story that's out there. You can't do that. You can't respond to that stuff. You are not going to be able to control what people say about you. You can't control that stuff."

~Dr. Phil



"Until Clay, I never thought I had a void to fill.  I never realized I had such an emptiness.  I don't know how I managed not to feel it before him.  Did we all have such a place that we were unaware of?  I say "did" because now we know that its reality. We have it. And it is so hard to fill up.  The void just seems to get bigger and bigger.  We fill it up with news and articles, spotlight quotes, tidbits from posters, blogs from Clay, videos, montages, mp3's, tours and yet it never is enough.  When will we ever feel satiated? Young or old, single or married, we have to keep coming "back for more".  It's un a "void"able."

~Rachel


"I know.

The speculation is maddening. The wait is excruciating.

The hopes, the dreams, are expansive.

Believe me...okay, some will, some won't, some will fall in between...but we're on the verge of a major shift. And a huge HUGE outbreak.

I wish I could put into words why I know this. But all I can do for now is echo the vestiges of that night.

And again, tell you...compel you...to look into those eyes. They really tell the story of what's to come.

Don't you see the fireworks? They're there.

Don't you see the confidence? He's not worried.

Don't you see the deliverance? It's done.

Now it's all about the timing.

We want it NOW. We'll get it when it's all just right.

There's something comforting in the knowledge that a bigger plan is at play and he's at the wheel. Those who live and breathe this have seen and known and spoken. We only need to listen. And experience.

It will be hot and soon and pack a wallop that will resound. In astonishing numbers. In pretty pages. On amazing stages. It's coming. The next wave is rolling toward us. Better brace."

~calliek



 

"Clay worked hard to create a family-friendly image, yet, it only took a couple of lying famewhores to tarnish it. So, with his halo now truly, crooked, I think Clay realizes that a halo and wings ain't gonna buy him respect. Methinks the altruistic humanitarian man remains, but with a much harder edge. Without even consciously trying Clay is now edgier and perhaps more mainstream. Time will only tell. And I can hardly wait... "

~Remedial



A lot of movie people won awards. But nobody cares about that, right? Although it was funny when Spike Lee got an award for a socially conscious movie he made seventeen years ago. “How much progress have we made?,” Lee asked, referring to the fact that Flavor Flav is still famous. It was also funny to see Jim Carrey’s new Clay Aiken hair (don’t let the sun go down on him!), and the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly NASCAR sketch, and Justin’s goofy-dad sweater.

From rollingstone.com



 

Too funny! The new haircut has already been dubbed the Clay Aiken hair. Boyfriend is a pop culture icon, y'all!
 "I have seen him in charge. I have seen him "run" a concert. I have seen him say "stay standing" and thought, "why should I?", but I do, and so does a concert hall full of others. I have heard him say "shhh" and the whole room quiets. I have seen him take charge easily and with confidence.

Many people judge him by his first AI appearances. He was a boy. He was dwarfed by Ruben. He chattered endlessly and had a giggle. Now he stands alone. He has grown into a man. He is tall and stands straight. The giggle is still there, but is a part of him that I hope will never go away.

He is intelligent and well read. He faces adversity with courage. He stands behind the things he believes in. Why is he perceived as other than manly?

Does one have to play football or ride a motorcycle to be manly? Not in my opinion."

~Tessy


"With Clay, you either GET IT or you don't. There doesn't seem to be much in between with Clay. For me, manliness is in strength of character and willingless to stand up for what you believe in during all circumstances. Manliess is in the mind, not the body. One of the gutsiest things Clay did was right out of the gate naming his album "Measure of a Man." He fought for the name and won. I think that said a lot about him and the words to the song even more. The biggest cliche in the world is, never judge a book by its cover, but in Clay's case the title of the CD really does tell us a lot about the man."

~Barnett2


"Some of the highlights of the show that took place on May 24th, was when Clay Aiken walked on stage, sporting a jaw-dropping new look. Clay, as you know was runner-up for season two, and his CD sales have topped Ruben Studdard with his "Measure of a Man" CD. Aiken, 27, is by far the only runner-up to achieve success, second only to Kelly Clarkson. "

~www.canyon-news.com/artman/publish/article_4400.php



"American Idol" star Clay Aiken, who made a surprise appearance May 24 on the show's season finale, was first on Google Zeitgeist's list of gaining queries for the week ending May 29."

~cool.comand Google



"Most of the contestants on Idol will fade back into everyday life in a few months, while winning the whole thing doesn’t secure anything but a record deal that could very well fail. A few years ago a very large man by the name of Ruben Studdard beat Clay Aiken in the annual competition. That didn’t stop Ruben from fading, and Clay from ultimately excelling."

~Andrew Perna



"CLAY'S MOD MAKEOVER
Clay Aiken set Idol fans buzzing when he turned up at the May 24 finale without his usual spiky do. "He looks sharp and very cool," says Aiken's hairstylist Steeve Daviault. Maybe too cool. "People would recognize his entourage and ask, "Where's Clay?" He'd be standing right there." '

~PEOPLE Magazine- June 12th issue



"I just showed my daughter "the clip". She laughed and laughed at Michael. Then Clay walked out. She looked at him, looked at me and said, "Who is THAT?"
I said, "That's Clay". "He's HAWT!", she screamed, "The hair, the hair, he's hawt, he's hawt."

Then she looked at me and said, "Did you know he was HAWT?"

I did."

~Tesssy



"I just want to say that I BELIEVE!

All you have to do is listen to the crowd on AI. Even though they have the audience noise turned down, you can hear the roar that happens...

Not when Clay walks in because the audience was probably like us trying to make our brain comprehend what the eyes see,

Not when Michael jumps back, even though you hear the laughter,

It's that roar of recognition once he hits the first clear lines "Although I search myself..."

It's primal, it's a recognition, a calling out that goes right to your core, that despite the new wrapping, it's that voice, the once in a lifetime voice.

The roar that builds so much even Paula has to stand, place her hand on her heart and look around in amazement at the intensity of the crowd, all for that voice.

That's it for me. Something is just around the corner and I BELIEVE!"

~CipherBIF


"Clay's very smart.

He orchestrated his most recent step into the spotlight brilliantly. A mere singing stint would not have drawn the kind of attention he garnered for himself last week.

He managed to perform a remarkable hat trick; he took part in a comic skit in which both he and Michael Sandecki were to some extent mocked; however, his own demeanor, body language, facial expressions and everything else connected wth the performance gave off a vibe that was so good-natured and warm that the entire skit stopped being about teasing either of them for being dorky; instead, it became just about Michael's hero-worship, Clay's generosity, and ultimately, Clay's patience as Michael kept singing.

By reprising one of his greatest triumphs, he reminded EVERYBODY of just incredibly well he sings, and for one brief moment, it was all about the Vox, and everybody remembered.

And by using that singular moment to emerge with a radically different haircut, he cemented the occasion as one that nobody could possibly forget. Years after this season passes, after we've forgotten about Toni Braxton pawing Taylor, Meatloaf's tremulous terror, and Kellie Pickler's dinner choices, folks are going to remember how Clay made Michael's day, and that of everybody else as well."

~abrahammy



"That fake Clay kid who couldn't sing even after a second chance is singing "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me." Who's that behind him...Clay Aiken!!! He's almost hot. Did you hear that, Claymates? I said he was hot! Did you hear me? Are you happy now?"

~Leslie Gray Streeter at the Palm Beach Post



 

"Okay, gotta say I hated Clay's hair at first, but it's growing on me. He sounded so great singing DLTSGDOM, I admit I've watched that tape over and over. Now I like the hair. Teen Sally is all in love with him again. Inservice the next day the girls I teach with were all aflutter, even my grandmother had something to say. Only she is lighting candles praying it was a wig. Can't please everyone."

~Sally Spectra


"People who never even knew who he was before, others who had nothing to say about him, or even avoided me at work [ that crazy who has a toy-boy ] have been pestering me for two days now. They pester, I stand there saying " I told you all along, but did you listen?" They' re asking if he has a CD out. They want to hear him again."

~Nageea



 

"...It is obvious from the manner in which Clay carried himself and sang that he is in charge of his integrity and that no scandal from liars is going to bring him down.

He sang well, handled a wacko Michael with kindness and professionalism, and made no attempt to upstage the idol contestants.

The fact that the buzz about Clay’s performance hit the radar screen as it did gives credit to his true star quality. He is and always has been amazing. His voice is superb. His performance skills go beyond any I have seen in a long, long time. He can handle any situation. He does so humbly and kindly."

~ Lynn


May 19th
Asked of Katharine McPhee: Does it really matter if she wins?

"I've had a few people ask me that. Of course, you want to win. Definitely, I'd love to win. I think it depends on the person. Look at Clay Aiken. He's done really well for himself and he didn't win. I don't know if it really matters. When you're in the top two…. Taylor and I looked at each other and said, 'Oh my God it doesn't matter.'… I'm going to be obviously ecstatic if I win, but I will have nothing to complain about if I don't."

~From USA TODAY: Katharine, Taylor speak up



 May 19th
"History has proven there is no guarantee of future fame for an “American Idol” contestant. Nikki McKibbin, anyone?

So what will become of the final six contestants this season? Will they be the next Clay Aiken? Or the next John Stevens?"

~Boston Herald



"Although very different in style, Daughtry draws comparisons to Clay Aiken in how much of a buzz he creates. In Season 2, Aiken was the reason to watch the show. Every night he gave a brilliant performance, his next one seemingly better than the one the week before.

In Season 2, you didn't want to miss Clay Aiken. In Season 5, you didn't want to miss Chris Daughtry."

~Steel Kaleidoscopes


"I just used it for this last promotional run with Clay Aiken, I’m not sure if you get the American Idol shows played where you are but he’s like our rags to riches story, America’s sweetheart, you should check him out!"

~1501ART Academic Essay



"I have been thinking today that waiting for Clay's new album is kind of like being pregnant!
In the beginning everyone is so excited about the news and there are all sorts of questions asked like...When's it due? Do you know what it is? Do you have a name picked out? You wonder what it is going to look like and you know you will love it because it is just perfect! Then you get sick and have a little bit of trouble along the way..nothing major just some minor annoyances. You then get to a point where you think that this baby will never come, you are uncomfortable and just plain tired of waiting! Lo and behold the day finally does arrive and you are sick with excitement and so nervous about the future. But it all come out right in the end and you just have to tell everyone you know how wonderful this baby is!

I just hope that the gestation period for this baby [album] <snip> is measured in human terms and not in an elephant's!"

~merrieeee



You know what was great about the Today show [May 4, 2006] mention? It was the "Best Week Ever" guys who are soooo snarky and funny and they attack everyone pretty much and there was no diss. 1st guy said "I don't know who's gonna win" (after dissing the current top 4) "I need a Clay to vote for, I need a Clay Aiken" and the second guy says "I'm voting for him anyway. I'm still voting Clay Aiken' First guy responds, nodding "Still voting for Clay" Third guy just smiling and listening.

~Aging hippie



"OKAY, "American Idol", before you crown a winner who's going to be saddled with the latest drippy variation on "A Moment Like This" as their first single, how about we get a few moments like these ... <snip>

Clay Aiken singing "Solitaire" with such authority that songwriter Neil Sedaka admitted he had just lost ownership of the tune"

~The Star Ledger



"And as for Clay... he has found a way to reach into the music of iconic singers and songwriters and convey their essence while never imitating them for a moment. Listening to the first cellcert, as he went from song to song, I kept saying, "Is that Clay?" There was all of his range and power and expressiveness, but there was something else. It was the heart of the song, the heart of the artist.

It is not so much that he sounds like Elvis, for instance, but that Clay evokes him. Combined with the image (and it is so much more than the way he is dressed), the songs are familiar to the times, but absolutely fresh.

Clay has invited the essential Sam Cooke, the essential Jerry Lee Lewis, the essential sound of the 60s, the essential Motown, the essential Manilow, the essential Prince, the essential Rzeznik and Martin to jam with him, and every night he communes with their shadows. Clay's is the voice that we hear, but they are all there."

~berkeleylovesourclay



"I have been thinking a lot about this new album, and have come to the conclusion that at the end of it all, I don't really care. Not that I don't care about Clay and his career, but this one thing doesn't much concern me. I don't care that it is not original songs, I just want to hear him sing. I don't care that the songs might be covers, I just want to hear him sing them, because they will be sung for the first time by Clay, and they will be new. I don't care if the album sells a million kajillion quadrillion units or not, I will buy mine, and I will have it to listen to. [snip]
All I care about is whether Clay sings purdy, that he has a good album, that it sells enough to make another/s, that he goes on a tour so I can hear the clack and read the recaps of the [people] who get to go see him. I care that he has a career that makes him happy, I care that he is loved and has peace in his heart. I care that he feels like laughing, and has excitement, and gives love. And I care that at the end of each day he can say 'it is good'. 'Cause right now, even if I never hear another new song, or even a cover song, I can say that it is enough. What I have already heard from Clay has satisfied my soul. Of course, I want more, but if there is never more, then that is o.k. too, I have much more than I ever had before Clay came in to my life. So.. in the words of the ancient turtle in Never Ending Story..'I don't care. And I don't care that I don't care.' Clay's all good, that is all that matters."

~MamaClass



"The song writers of this time are in transition. They are having to learn to write songs of love not songs of love lost. They are having to learn to write songs of hope not songs of angst/despair. For the past 10 years, the music (what there is of it) has been in a down phase - anger, despair, loss seems to be the majority of expression. Now that has to be switched around. Clay is ahead of the times, not a throw back. He will join in the trend back to upbeat, love, and hope. This is the cycle of life - lead in to war with anger, angst, and despair, lead out of war with hope, love, and faith in the future."

~onemorefan



"Just got something I can share...I've been putting out some feelers the past few weeks and finally got this...

"Total change-ups happen, even at a very late stage. More often than not, it comes from an artist's gut feeling, and more often than not it's for the better. He strikes me as having a good sense of not only himself but of what is right for him. I can't tell you the number of artists who have no clue when it comes to that. At this career stage, typically an artist would have little say in the product, but this has been different from the get-go. Clay has been handled very differently, because he is...well, different. Trust me, they know what they have. There have already been quite a few major deals on the table. They don't want him going anywhere. Of course, when his commitment is up, he'll most likely be out of there. Why? Not because he's been treated badly or anything like that, but because there are others that will come in with a monster deal he can't refuse. Yes, he's that kind of commodity.

Whatever makes the final cut should be amazing. There is no feeling of anxiety over the follow-up whatsoever. I am just not getting that. On the contrary, there is great anticipation and the consensus is that it will break huge.

Oh...and there are dates already scheduled, but you should know that. I wouldn't be surprised if tour announcements come with the CD release, or pretty quickly thereafter."

"This from a trusted friend, take it however you will. But I know it's good. I am happy. I am excited. I am ready!"

~calliek



"It's going to happen! And it's going to be amazing! Clay is excited! He is confident and he loves what he's creating. That, in itself, is a gift to me. I feel like a child on Christmas Eve. I know what I want, and have wanted, for what feels like forever...and I know I am going to get it...tomorrow. Tomorrow is a lifetime away. But it is coming. And when it does, the deliverance will exceed every expectation I have had.

And the power of his achievement will vanquish all of those who have smirked and smeared and smelled weakness. Because they have yet to see the likes of this man. His strength has been quietly simmering within and is set to boil and blow over.

The power of creation is mightier than that of defamation.

There is ecstasy coming...I feel it, I know it. The wait is excruciating. But the deliverance is going to be...sublime."

~calliek



"Fans as a group can do something --- [One fan] articulated the ways we can speak through our actions very, very well. I will buy every Clay Aiken album, get tickets to see a few shows for every concert tour whenever possible, and support the causes he believes in the cases where they resonate with me, as well.

But beyond that, in the world in general, there are antidefamation leagues, there are interfaith organizations promoting tolerance and understanding, there are groups which support journalistic integrity and there is the way we treat one another, in public and behind closed doors. These are some small ways we can help create an atmosphere incompatible with racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, religious bias, exclusion based on ability, and gossip, slander and lies.

I may get angry for a moment, but I will not be pushed into poisoning my life by returning hate with hate. I prefer to spend my time, my money, my energies and the precious days of our all-too-short lives on the people, the causes and the ideas that I love.

That's not just for Clay, though it includes him, but for everyone who has been a target of injustice."

~berkeleylovesourclay



"Yesterday, I had occasion to go for a drive during the workday. Usually I keep my mp3 player on random, but for some reason yesterday I selected Measure of a Man to listen to. As I was driving along, suddenly, the sun felt warmer, the air smelled fresher, the sky seemed... bluer. I found myself rolling down the window (first time this year) and cranking up the volume. By the time I reached the first stop light on my destination, Perfect Day was on and I was keeping the beat on the steering wheel and singing at the top of my lungs. I had that 'yeah, that's Clay Aiken baybee'  ****-eating grin on my face. Not oblivious to the stares of the people in the car beside me - rather, reveling in them! Knowing that I've got this fabulous boyfriend out there somewhere, readying a whole new wave of gorgeous sound, just for meeeeeeeeee! Oh yeah, it's gonna be a perfect day. Then, Measure of a Man came on. God, I love this song. Whenever anybody asks me what song would I choose if I could only ever listen to one Clay Aiken song again, this is my answer. 'Would he walk on water, would he run through fiyah? Would he stand beside you when it's down to the wiyah?' *g* No wait... *G* I. Love. This. Song. His voice is so pure, his phrasing so awesome. When he sings this song, I believe every single word. I want to tell him, 'No Clay, you don't need to walk on water for me. You just need to sing.' Such is the power of his voice for me. "

~cindilu2


The song list played through two more times before I got back to the shop, and I was filled again with anticipation, with excitement, with love for the vox and for the man. Summer is coming. Clay is coming. I can't wait!!!
 HitQuarters
Interview - Stephen Ferrera, VP A&R J Records USA - Apr 10, 2006
Question:
"For how long will you continue to work with an artist on a project?"
Answer:
"We work until it's done. If it takes six months, eighteen months or two years, we work until everybody feels we have all the material and the record is exactly the way that we want it to be. Then we put it on the release schedule and off we go.
The only time constraints we have are the ones we put on ourselves until we get the thing right. There's no point in putting out a record that's not exactly the way that it's supposed to be."

~Stephen Ferrera (RCA A&R )...Found by Cristal Line from OFC.



 

Re: Speculation that Clay might make an appearance on AI5"
"BUT... if he goes on... this is how I'd love to see it go down... I want Ryan to introduce him by saying: "He came THISCLOSE [show thumb and index finger stuck together to emphasize the point] to winning season 2... his first single broke records... first CD went triple platinum... his Christmas CD went platinum... he's toured six times to numerous sellout venues... has millions of devoted fans... his new CD, "XXXXX" will be released on [date], and his summer tour begins [date]. Here he is with his new hit single XXXXX that's already climbing the charts... CLAY AIKEN!!!"

Then Clay comes out, with his own band and his own back-up singers, and does a fantastic, hot number, a non-ballad number, a non-AI type song (which is what I'm expecting for the first single). He does NOT look like AI Clay. He does NOT look like Geek Clay. He does NOT look like Kevin Covais plus ten years.

He tears up the place. He finishes to roaring applause, bows, talks to the crowd for a couple of minutes, sends best wishes to all of the contestants, waves goodbye, and walks off.
No talking to Ryan. No talking to the judges.

Ah... that felt good.

~ellenpoppy


RE: AI5
"Shouldn't there be a clear Idol champ emerging at this point? Instead, we're faced with eight maybes, a gang of pretty-goods. The masses who are giving the show the highest rating in the history of the world deserve better. We deserve a Clarkson, a Fantasia or, for God's sake, a Clay."

~Dallas Morning News



RE: 'Idol' contestant's song choices:
"To be fair to all, nobody from the show can tell a finalist whether a song choice is good or bad, no matter how much they want to know. Byrd remembers Clay Aiken: "He'd say, 'Byrd, if this is a great song choice, blink your left eye.' "

~Debra Byrd


"Clay has taught me that there is a whole other realm of love. Clay is my first love of this sort, and may well be the last. He has expanded what I thought love could be. He emanates it, I throw it back at him, the circle grows and grows. Others are caught in it . . . fans, people with disabilities, other celebrities, and who knows who is next?"

~pax


"I still think we/some of us/most of us, God knows I don't want to talk for the fandom... feel this connection with Clay because of the way we got to 'know' him. We invited him into our living rooms twice a week for the 5 months he was on AI and then we just couldn't bear to say good bye, so we didn't let him leave. We 'adopted' him, so to speak, as singer, humanitarian, snarker, friend, boyfriend, lover, and fantasy fodder for sophisticated women everywhere. *g*

~Shadylil


"I have no experiences with other fandoms but I can try to explain why after three years I remain a fan of Clay Aiken as I was thinking about this the other night. Music enriches my life. I enjoy a variety of music across genres. I like a lot of songs. I enjoy listening to a lot of singers. I thoroughly enjoy good, even great, singers singing good and even great songs. However, when Clay sings he does something more than all the others. He brings me into the music with him. I hear Clay sing and I feel the words and I feel the music. I hear Clay sing and I see the colors of the emotion he brings into each note. His voice touches me in a way other singers do not.

When I say Clay brings me with him into the music I do not necessarily mean that I get the same thing from it that he does. I mean that he opens a portal that allows me to meld the music into my own consciousness. It allows the music to be healing or invigorating or even enlightening. Does this happen every time he sings? No, sometimes the music is just a celebration to enjoy, but when the portal opens it is quite an experience.

So, no matter what other wonderful things Clay does as a teacher or philanthropist, no matter the sexy moves or the sweet body, for me the reason to be a fan always comes back to the voice."

~ncgurrl


"I wish for him [Clay Aiken]…

• A CD that IS kickass according to anyone’s definition. Let the voice reign supreme, supported by real musicians, outstanding arrangements and songs written just for him. A CD that HE is proud of, one that reflects who he is and where he wants to take us musically.

• A PR campaign that will take him front and center, tweaking interest in those who may have forgotten and those who never knew and providing us that lie in wait the opportunity to once again see him at his finest. Let the public see Clay and the man he has become, free of the ‘dorky’ young guy persona established during AI (and yes, it was perpetuated by Clay himself whenever possible). He may still be that ‘nerdy’ guy, but that’ll be our little secret OK! Let him be everywhere!

• A summer tour that will cover all regions, affording all fans the opportunity to see him live. New fans will be established, old fans (heh!) will rekindle friendships and front row seats will be available for the masses.

• Radio play .. and lots of it .. free of jokes from asshat DJ’s who think they are ‘too cool for school’. They don’t have to like his music, but they should at least recognize and acknowledge his talent.

• A soulmate. One who will understand his quirkiness and appreciate his humanity and kindness. One who will make him laugh and will stand behind him, no matter what, providing him with a sense of security and a love that will allow him to flourish on his own terms.

• Most of all .. RESPECT. From his peers, the industry and the media. He has more than paid his dues and done so with class and dignity. He has earned his place in the industry by hard work, a dedication to honing his talent and by treating those who ‘gave him a step up’ with an allegiance a lot of them don’t deserve."

~missie


"If you haven't been paying attention to Clay Aiken, you might not realize that the child abduction/militarizing in Uganda is "his" most personal cause, because he went there last year and witnessed it himself. But if anyone has the chance, catch the "Invisible Children" tour going around to colleges around America (and soon Europe) and watch the movie! It's REALLY well-made, inspiring, and moving, and in one year will be coming to theaters nationwide. :D Here is the schedule of screenings, so see when it's coming to your city/college!!! And it's free too. YAYE!"

~LiveJournal



"Really now, let's be objective!
 I figure over five seasons at least 250,00 hopefuls have auditioned and I wonder who really is the best of all those singers.
Let's see...
From AI1 was that girl Kelly Clarkson. She can really belt them out. And didn't her album just beat out Paul McCartney for a Grammy? Maybe she's the best.

Now wait a minute... Didn't the judges think Fantasia's rendition of Summertime was the best Idol performance ever! Does that make her the best?

In season four, we have two candidates for the best Idol ever. That Bo Bice can rock with the best of them and he seems like a real charmer when it comes to the ladies. Is he the best? Simon predicted that Carrie Underwood would sell more CD's than any other Idol winner. Her debut album has gone double platinum. That's pretty good so she's the best, right?

This year, Chris is the annointed one but every rocker sounds the same to me.

I have this CD that I burned of that guy Clay Aiken, who was runner-up in AI2. Let me put my head set on and listen to him. First song; Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me. WOW! How about Unchained Melody? Incredible! Bridge Over Troubled Water. A masterpiece. Mack the Knife, My Grown Up Christmas List, Mary Did You Know, etc., etc., etc. One phenomenal performance after another. I can't stop listening. That Voice is truly a gift that I can listen to for hours on end. So is Clay Aiken the #1 Idol? Is he the best Idol contestant ever?
Here's the answer to both questions in 5 simple words:

YOU GOT THAT RIGHT, DUDE!!!"

~OLMass



"There is something in his voice that has never, ever been shared on this earth before. And I wish all of those who are ailing knew about it."
~Chardonay


"Much has been said about the sometimes adversarial relationship between Clay and his fans, but in reading over his blogs, they sound a lot like letters you'd write to an old friend -- someone who knows your quirks and imperfections, someone to whom you don't have to explain yourself. I think it's great that he obviously doesn't get some flak to write them for him (and as a flak who ghosts for other people all the time, I can recognize "flakery" when I see it! *g*) -- that he doesn't mind telling us about being sick, being uncomfortable with photoshoots, showing us candid pictures that he and his friends took, where he isn't all done up, etc. And as much as we feel we know him, he somehow manages to make us feel he knows us, too.

There are so many celebs who are control freaks about their image and never want to be seen as anything less than perfect. When you think about everything that's gone on over the past few months, the fact that Clay still feels he can be so open shows a level of self awareness and confidence I think is really wonderful. He knows who he is, knows everybody analyzes everything he says and does to death, and doesn't get all paranoid about it -- he evidently enjoys just cheerfully laying it out there and watching the reaction.

I can't wait to see what he does next."

~Pink Armchair



"It's kinda like, if you're walking along and you get some doo-doo on your shoe. You can rub it off quickly and continue on, or you can spend time being horrified by it, analyze it, investigate it. Life being short, the decision that respects life and its full potential is not paying the crap much mind, even if it is a big, gooey, smelly one that smears all over - not because the crap doesn't deserve to be exposed as crap, but because the true riches of life deserve our attention and our lives deserve to be spent in enjoyment of them. I really don't think there's much to be gained by acknowledging and engaging the crap and I think Clay is smart and deep enough to have an eye on engaging with the true treasures living can bring. So I see it as a sign of wisdom and strength that he's not bothering to spend too much time with the crap - and I trust that from time to time he'll find an efficient way to kick off anything still clinging to the bottom of his shoes and move on."

~waterbaby


"Clay Aiken's Fandom Finds Bead for Life
In the past year BeadforLife has received support from many unexpected groups. One of these is the fans of pop music star Clay Aiken, an American Idol super star singer. In 2005 Clay, who cares about the welfare of children, was a UN ambassador to Uganda. He came to witness the plight of the children made refugees by the war in Northern Uganda. More than half of the beaders are refugees from this war. When he returned a fan spotted Clay wearing a paper bead necklace given to him by a young Ugandan. A Google search by fans, who call themselves "The Fandom," quickly brought them to BeadforLife.

Since then individuals in the Fandom have sponsored almost thirty Bead Parties before Clay's concerts and are planning others during the summer tour.

Thank you, Fandom, for selling and buying the beads, like the beautiful orange bracelet that Clay wears. We are proud of you for caring about the displaced and the poor in Uganda.

"Appoiyo MaTai" - Thank you in Luo from all of the beaders"

~BeadforLife Newsletter posted by DixieHellcat



"What a dear young man."

"It was like watching magic."

"Absolute pure song. The boy stopped being there and there was nothing but singing."

"It was like watching magic...this young man unzipped himself and emerged like a butterfly."

"He did it so naturally and so beautifully that I think all of our jaws dropped and we thought "wow." Clay Aiken. What a great kid."

~Ken Jenkins [from Scrubs]


"Ken Jenkins-- [from the TV series 'SCRUBS'] a man who admittedly didn't even know who Clay Aiken was before working with him--might have just articulated, with such utter purity and simplicity, what we all saw...from Day One. It's something that's easy to lose sight of as Clay continues to evolve into the charismatic powerhouse that he is. But one thing I don't believe Clay will ever lose...and Jenkins said it perfectly...is that magical elixir of emergence.

"It was like watching magic...this young man unzipped himself and emerged like a butterfly." This...this is a huge part of the IT.

He does that. He unzips himself and recreates an even brighter and bolder version of himself on stage after stage...with voice, with humanity, with spirit, with conviction. But he will always be stunning someone, somewhere, for the very first time. And we will relive that moment, even decades from now...as he works that magic.

Yes, Ken Jenkins not only got it. He got Clay...and he got us."

~calliek


"The 2006 Turin Games were the lowest rated in TV history, with "American Idol" blowing the Olympics out of the frozen water. Maybe the United States can get Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard on a two-man bobsled team by 2010.
~http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/sports/14073797.htm"

Read On.....

"... I'm sitting here with these visions in my head of Ruben sitting in the bobsled with Clay the runner. Clay's feet and legs are flying all over the place and the sled is going nowhere. Nah!! Since that wouldn't work then my vision switches to Clay sitting in the sled and Ruben running or maybe he's walking, but the sled slips out of his sweaty hands and Clay goes solo down the hill with that "roller coaster" expression on his handsome face.

Clay, if you're reading this ( which I'm absolutely sure you are) this is proof we need to see an appearence SOON!   Spring is almost here, it's time to come out of hibernation, your flock of  fans is anxiously waiting for you to join them."

~Aikenheart1



"We have often laughed about what a rollercoaster ride this has been. Fast and furious with many highs and lows. This low has lasted longer than any of us thought it would but we can't let it negate all the wonderful experiences we have had over the past three years. We can't allow it to take our joy away. In following this man we have been privy to some truly magical moments which have touched our hearts and lifted our souls. We've got many more of those moments to come. Trust that. Just give us the music and we'll be flying high once again."

~onthebrink03



[About the Wilkes Barre performance of 'Measure of a Man' when the entire audience sang it to Clay:]
"MOAM, began like all the others, with Clay singing, but then, something happened. There was a revelation I think. Clay seemed so vulnerable during this song. I couldn't believe when he began making the "Cry" face. Then Quiana and Angela began tearing up, then they laughed at themselves. Yes, we were singing to him. There is room in the music world for a Man like Clay Aiken. Against all odds, we fought for him to be in that room, at that moment with us. And it was worth every phone call, every disgruntled post, every penny plunked down for his CD?s. We needed Clay to sing to us. And we needed to sing to him. Because he let us in."

~Solitaire30

Read on:

"I was there, third row floor on the left side. I will never forget it as long as I live. Moments like that are spontaneous and sometimes I think the fans still try to force/recreate a moment like that but what made it beautiful is that it just happened. It surprised us all.

I remember standing there singing and all around me the voices were strong and true, with every word correct. That place was filled to the rafters. I felt a tear slide down my cheek, the emotions in that venue were thick as fog. I looked at a friend standing next to me (waves to CTclayfan) and she had tears in her eyes too. I looked all around and there was not a dry eye within my viewpoint. Quiana and Angela had a hard time composing themselves after that and when the Jumbotron showed his close up face before he started to sing FOG, [Fields of Gold] it was one of love and wonder at it all. "

~Corabeth



[In response to the article:What did Clay Aiken DO?]
"To put it bluntly, Clay amassed a lot of POWER....people power, media power, powerful support from major corporations..you name it....'Our skinny little white boy'..as Clay declared himself to be..has won incredible support from many of the recognized powers that be...Wachovia, Disney, UNICEF, Krispy Kreme, Oprah, Jimmy Kimmel (shall I include him? ). His wonderful BAF has attracted governmental support to develop major programs for elementary level classrooms....right now, various schools are in receipt of grants from BAF for Peer to Peer programs...children's hospitals have received 'Learning Centres' from BAF and Clay fans,YMCA camps are being revised to serve children of all abilities..

All those 'little differences in the life of' that Clay and his fans have been making are now having their 'trickle-down' effect..in other words, states and schools and hospitals and newspapers and the cities where Clay's concerts are being held..are all beginning to see the results of this fine young man's work. Magazines such as Today's Caregiver, People's, Today's Christian, Ability, UNICEF....extoll Clay's accomplishments. These are the magazines that represent Clay in the most positive light. They help maintain the power base he has built....they help stoke the fires of jealousy in those who can't match him.

Without a smidgen of a doubt, Clay's power boost came from his fan base..who gave him enough confidence and emotional and financial support to tackle all the goals he had set for himself. I doubt if any other fan base in history has been as supportive and caring and sharing as has Clay's.

The tabloids are out to undermine Clay's power by inundating his fans with ugliness in the hopes that we will desert Clay. WRONG!!!! They forget that Clay's fans are a diverse mixture of talents who can see through all this muck and decipher just who the naysayers are...They think that because Clay's fans are predominantly women that we can not fight back and will cave in to the public ridicule they hurl at Clay. WRONG!! They know little about the Claydawgs and other male fan sites that support Clay. It is women they are hoping to intimidate by directing this ugly attack on Clay. The sports jocks and the trash newspapers who are contributing to all the negativity don't respect women in the first place, so they find it very glory-seeking to denigrate Clay's fans...and up their male readership.

What did Clay do? He self-effaced himself into the hearts of millions of people around the globe. He remained a man of honor and integrity in a world of distortions and lies. He stood up for the disabled ...and he can really and truly sing..and by doing all this, he became a man of power....and nothing attracts evil people more than the thought of toppling powerful people.

Just ask Satan...."

~karencheyne



 

"Sometimes I ask myself: Why did this life happen to me? I don't think anybody can answer that question. I don't know why I'm here doing what I'm doing--other than that it's a calling for me."

"Who is to say people will remember me? But if they do, then I plan to be remembered for having shared any success I was fortunate enough to experience with as many people as I could."

"My absolute priority-more than having a hit song-is to set a good example. There is a difference between image and appearance. Your appearance is how you look. Your image comes from what you do. My goal is to be triumphant in using where I am to do something bigger than what I am."

"In the end, I keep telling myself that this celebrity, however moderate, has nothing to do with my wallet or my image. My purpose is to do good. And this is the form it has taken."
 

"When I look back, I realize that God placed me into every situation that led me here. He introduced me into each one of those settings so that he could help shape me into a better servant. I didn't get this singing voice to make myself famous and rich. I got it to become a better messenger."

All quotes- Clay Aiken, "Learning to Sing"



"I am a person who honors the truth, as I know most of you do, and I firmly believe that truth does and always will prevail, ultimately. After reading today's blog from Clay, I began to cry. I was not crying for Clay or the situation but rather for this amazing realization that this is a man I honor and trust because he has done all that he said he would do with his new found celebrity and he continues to shine that light of his on the darkness without doing anything more than being true to himself. For someone so young this amazes me. I have no doubt that he is who he says he is and I have no doubt that he will prevail. The truth always wins. Sometimes it just takes a little more time than we expect. I love that he cares enough to share his truth with us and his vacation. He is such a fine person, and such a rare one as well."

~skybar22


"I have a rock star boyfriend who is such a dork that when he gets some down time he tours Eastern Europe. He sends his fans crappy pictures of his vacation and writes intelligent and witty stories of his trip. He's handsome, and sweet, and when he sings (and when he speaks), time stops."

~Claymaniac in PA



"There are two types of people: those that talk the talk and those that walk the walk. People who walk the walk sometimes talk the talk but most times they don't talk at all, 'cause they walkin'."

~From the Movie 'Hustle & Flow' by way of Jemock



"Clay reported in 'Learning To Sing' that his music teacher told him that he connected to the emotion in a song, and inferred that he was able to convey that to his "audience". Even when it was just her listening.

That's what so striking to me. Back in the day when I was singing a lot, I would have certain songs that just hit me right in my emotional center. The combination of the melody and lyrics just made me "FEEL" tremendous emotion that I would try to convey when I sang a song like that. It's not so much the "literal" message of the song that I connect with when Clay sings. It's not that mechanical. If he is describing touching someone or holding them, that's not what gets me. One example is in "Not Supposed to Love You Anymore". The line about not being able to lie in the bed, but having to be down on the floor gets me every time. It's not that I can picture him OR me in that situation, but the way he sings the line makes me experience the sense of LOSS that that line should convey. I'm a believer when he sings it. He "becomes" the song, just like an excellent actor "becomes" a character in a movie or play and we lose our awareness of who they are off-stage.

It's not the particular situation that is important to me, but the emotion. When I hear Clay sing and see him perform, I experience wistfulness, longing, playfulness, anguish, love, anger, and most of all joy. I think he is really, really unique in being able to convey all that to me and so many others in his audiences. That is a very rare talent, and one that I am reveling in.

Clay is not the songwriter, so he is not telling his personal story. And yet I can experience the emotions the writer was trying to express THROUGH Clay. That is amazing to me. That is what keeps me coming "back for more".

~Permaswooned



"I have thought back a zillion times to the interview that Clay did with Linda Loveland after the Vincident. She asked him what his hopes were for the future. He said that he hoped to put out an album or two and enjoy the ride for about 3 years. And then, when it was over…he would just lie down…it was over. He has made some unusual choices in his tours…featuring music from different eras that he loved to sing…including songs with religious overtones like Kyrie, AAL & YWT in his concerts…giving special performance opportunities to people close to him like Allison and John D. I have wondered a few times if he has done this now because he thought his window of opportunity would be short."
"[Clay] does not owe me any information whatsoever about any private areas of his life. I don’t need to know what he eats for breakfast, or what brand of underwear he buys or anything else he is doing on his own time. Through personal experience, I have come to expect that if I go to a Clay Aiken concert, I will hear fantastic interpretations of beautiful songs. I will hear funny banter. I will see (and photograph) a gorgeous, fascinating guy. I will be amazed by new ideas and risks in performance. I will laugh and smile and clap and maybe even cry, and come away euphoric. I will get to spend time with other fans & friends who have become very dear to me. I will also get the opportunity to contribute in some way to worthwhile endeavors that I knew little about before Clay Aiken. I will get to see a great artist continue to evolve. That’s more than enough for me.

I’m keeping my eyes on Clay. He still looks beautiful to me."

~Permaswooned


"Your joys and sufferings on this arduous path
Are lifting your worn veil like a rising stage curtain
And will surely reveal your Magnificent Self."

~Hafiz


"Well, I was bored this morning after the gym, so I downloaded a bunch of Clay Aiken songs from season two of American Idol. It's kind of embarrassing to say, but man, does he have a voice that goes on forever. Is it weird that I want to go to one of his concerts with a shirt that says, 'I'm a Clay-Mate'?' "

~From article by Marina Shaw



"Today  [ I was talking to a co-worker] a very nice guy,  probably about 30 and looks like he was probably a football player in high school. We have had quite a few discussions about music, because he has seen all the Clay pictures plastered all around my office, and knows that I have traveled to see Clay.

He  asked me today if I had been watching American Idol, or if I "already had" MY idol. I told him I hadn't seen a lot of the show...a couple of the audition shows...because I don't like the bad auditions, but that I had watched this week to see who had made the top 24. He likes the auditions...thinks they're funny...whatever.

His favorite is Taylor Hicks. He's a big old-school blues and r&b/soul fan, so loves his style. <snip>
He liked him because to him he seemed unique and the real deal. He also thought that he seemed like a really nice guy.

Out of the blue, he said that he thought that Clay had really been the ideal idol. He said that he had such a great voice that it was a total shock the first time he heard him sing. He thought that every week he just kept topping himself in his performances, and kept looking better and better. He said the great thing was that he was such a genuinely good guy, and had done so many wonderful things with his success. He said that he was a really great role model for teens, and that the world needed more people in the music business like him. He said that he hoped that this year's winner would be someone who could fulfill that kind of role anywhere close to what Clay had done."

~ Permaswooned


[Webmaster note:  Posting this because it's funny.]

"I heard a rumor from this girl who's cleaning lady's sister works at the [Name of Store omitted] in Raleigh and was told that one of the deli kids sliced a half pound of low sodium ham for Faye and overheard her tell another woman that Clay might have a new CD coming out soon. So I’m hopeful."
~message board post-Below was a posted response:

"I don't know if you meant this to be funny, but the picture it conjured in my head just made me giggle. It's so gossipy and cute in a 1940's shopgirl way. It's like, 'So I says to Mabel, I says, that Clay Aiken kid, he's got a new record out soon, and it's gonna be big, I tells ya, big! Bigger than the Follies! Bigger than Caruso! Call Mr. DeMille 'cause the kid is ready for his closeup!' "

~kelloggirl


"My husband and I had lunch yesterday with a writer for Amusement Business. He's been an entertainment journalist for a long time. He was asking me about the Clay fandom. (He didn't use Claynation.) He does not find the group laughable or terribly different than other fans over the years. What is unique is because of the internet we are all so much more informed and connected with one another, therefore able to accomplish quite a lot.

He hears good buzz about Clay....not the cd (he's more performance than recording)...just Clay....his attitude, his performances, work ethic. He comes prepared to put on a show and he does! He feels the Clay fans are also a force to be reckoned with....they aren't known for suffering quietly. No joke!

Anyway, no news here but it was an interesting conversation with someone who has seen a lot of stars/acts through the years come and go. He definitely has him in the "will be around as long as he wants" column."

~DeepSouthGurrl



"There are times when I think I want industry respect for Clay even more so than the general public's respect. IMO 'respect' is more valuable than awards. Each new project puts Clay in contact with musicians and professionals he may not have worked with before. He's building a reputation that is in his control. That is the unknown reality I hold on to, not what the haters and detractors try to sell us.

So here is my happy thought for the day based on an unsubstantiated, possibly made up just because it sounds.so.good, rumor that Clay is having a recording studio custom built in his new home. Why this would benefit Clay (and enrich my already overactive fantasy life):

Whenever the spirit moved him, lets use the middle of the night as an example, he'd be able roll out of bed (jammy-clad, rumple-haired and unshaven) to pad barefoot into the studio. Once there he could flip a few switches to turn on the recording equipment and one (no more than one) low watt light in the corner (wouldn't want it to hurt his eyes). Head phones in place, perched upon his favorite stool, he could lay down a few vocal tracks, trying to capture the music that might be resonating in his mind, posssibly invading his dreams. One day, he might even be holding a guitar, or sitting on a piano bench as he sings, his vocals a bit gruff, captured digitally as inspiration hit. There could be some really cool music down the road.."

~drmchaser614



RE: Clay's tour being in the top twenty highest grossing tours for 2005.

"He beat Journey.  How ironic considering he sang a Journey song on AI.  It's like two worlds colliding.
 Another example.  Last night I was folding laundry in my room while watching AI.  I picked up my BAF t-shirt and folded it and as I did so I saw Clay's sillouette.  And I thought about how far he has come and all the things he has done since he was where these kids are now on the Idol experience.  It was kind of a weird moment with Idol on in the background."

~Anonymous



"This is a man who entered our hearts with a roll of red hair, glasses, and freckles. A striped shirt. A quavery, "I'm the next American Idol." And a voice that arrested hearts everywhere.

This is a man who transformed right before our eyes and commanded stages with his strut, his cluth, his wail, his sexual prowess...but most of all, his voice.

This is a man who slipped so smoothly into the role of Ambassador, humanitarian, role-model.

This is a man that knows what he wants. It may not always be what we want, but how can it be wrong if it's what he feels in his heart and mind and spirit? Can't we give him that? He's given us so much more.

We're worried about covers?

I remember the thrill I felt when he entered the arena that night...singing Kyrie to the throngs, an anthem that seemed to resonate to the heavens. I always loved Mr. Mister's version. I forgot they ever sang it. I'd bet that anyone who heard it then, or later, would ever connect it with them again.

He's a smart man. He knows what to do. We need to give him that. He will give us so much more.

He always, always gives us more. We just need to give him a little bit of faith right now.

Spring is coming. Joy is coming. Believe."

~calliek



REPOST!
"I always like the idea that you can turn on the radio and say, 'Oh, that's Clay Aiken. Oh, that's Barbra Streisand. Oh, that's Frank Sinatra, Oh, that's Tony Bennett.' They're a star if you can identify them immediately by their sound. That kid has his own sound. He's got energy. He's got soul. He's got it all. That voice POURS out of him."

~Merv Griffin



 

"...I have a beautiful teenage girl who loves Clay and by reading his book, listening to his music and watching him do good works with UNICEF is even MORE of a caring, compassionate, wonderful, independent, confident young lady than she was before. That all her teachers have told me she has the biggest heart they've seen...that she's as wonderfully nice to the special education students as she is to the "popular" kids and she's the first one to stand up and stare down anyone being mean to anyone. And she tells me it's because of what I've taught her and what CLAY has taught her. And that 6 minutes she spent on stage with him is forever burned in her memory as the greatest 6 minutes ever. The pride and love she felt from him (and the CH'rs who were there) left an imprint on her heart that she will never forget."

~CantDecide


"This guy has been across the world as Mr. UNICEF Ambassador and given 3 major tours in little over one year, while working on an album he seems determined to make worthy of himself. Then the fans gasped at how skinny he'd become and threw him some donuts with a demand list. Mr. Multitask has been at it for over 3 years straight!"

~propounder


"It seems likely that in May, Clay will release an album. There will be enough to make me happy, because Clay will sing. He will sing with that magnificent voice, the finest I've ever heard. His voice will soar and caress and yearn and rejoice... and I will feel so blessed to have "found" him in this world where there is so much loss and heartbreak. Lord, I love him and I am so very grateful for him.

Once again, I'll step out in faith with you, Clay.

<snip>I hope everyone will find something that will bring them happiness today.

I know I will.

I choose to celebrate.

I choose joy.

Always and forever, I choose Clay."

~berkeleylovesourclay


"You guys want to know the phrase that's been going through my head all day long?

"Time to unleash the juggernaut!"

Quote:
juggernaut: a massive inexorable force, campaign, movement, or object that crushes whatever is in its path

"This is Clay Aiken's year. Next Grammy show, we'll see Clay crossing that glossy floor to collect his prizes...we'll watch him sing and smile and groove. With his band. His band. Yet another successful tour or two beneath his belt...Multi-platinum copies of his album in gleaming black frames hanging on his walls...a solid handful of hit songs and more to come playing on the radio.

This is the album, this is the time, this is the voice. We've waited a long time and the powerful anticipation has been building. Building.

Unleash the juggernaut, Clay! We're ready!"

~00Isee



"Television didn't just make people like Clay Aiken popular, it also made William Hung popular, too. It wasn't until some distance was put between Idol and the likes of Clarkson and Aiken that they began to garner a fanbase that wasn't just made up of people wondering what barbed witticism Simon Cowell was going to toss out next. American Idol has been a springboard for many, but ironically, it's those artists who have forged an identity separate from the show that have had the most staying power. Rather than American Idol ushering in some new era of music, I see it becoming less and less relevant."

~Adam Finley


"I don't know about you guys...but in spite of some setbacks, I'm still just feeling so sappy-happy about Clay Aiken. Every time he crosses my mind, which is often, I get a little lift...this is an exciting time to be a fan...Sure, I wish we had more concrete news...a release date, interviews scheduled...but I get so excited just knowing the whole album "thing" is on its way. Distractions don't deter me at all...I still see it all so clearly. I hear a song on the radio and think, "Clay will be on the radio soon" (and he WILL)...I see a concert clip in a montage and think, "Clay will be touring again soon" (and he WILL)!

Yesterday, while talking with hubby about our Easter vacation plans, I mentioned the possibility of flying the family somewhere...and hubby reminded me that we might want to save those miles for Clay.
"He will be touring this summer, won't he?" Hubby asks.
"Oh, I'm sure he WILL be!"
And he will be!
I actually blushed and got the stupidest big old grin on my face. He laughed at me. Yes, we have to save our miles for Clay. This is the summer we'll take the kids to see Clay live again, come what may. We'll make it happen. Clay Aiken is better than Seaworld."

~00Isee


"My absolute priority--more than having a hit song--is to set a good example."

~Clay Aiken


"I've experienced that ethereal aura first-hand...so maybe that is why I am always so upbeat when it comes to all things Clay. But certainly I know that he is human and he will have his moments of doubt and worry and frustration and anger and wonder and maybe even...regret.

But something tells me that there will always be that flame inside him that will keep flickering, keep feeding, keep igniting, keep firing...always and forever. He gave us that from the beginning. He said: Let me go on and let the people decide. Well, the people did decide. He said take and we took. He knows it's up to us to hold or let go. He's here until we decide.

I think we've decided...and nothing else will ever matter. That's all we need to know. And it's all he needs to know."

~calliek



We hadn't had a particularly great morning when Clay
walked in. I formed an impression of him immediately,
due in part to his awful hair, his thick glasses, and
the abysmal clothes he was wearing. I wouldn't have
been surprised to see him pull a laptop computer out
of a bag and announce he was designing his own Web
site. He was just a geek through and through; I
remember thinking that if we put him on the front
cover of a teen magazine, it would go out of business.
He was nice enough but really a complete mess. Then he
started singing, and all of that was forgotten. When
he finished his audition, he stood there, pleased with
himself, but we was very nervous. "Well," I said, "you
don't look like a pop idol, you have to admit," He
nodded. "But, God, you're a really good singer," I
said. "What do we do with you?"
"Put me through," he said. So we did. Randy felt
exactly the same way about Clay; we agreed that there
was an aura about him, something unusual. He stuck in
our minds, and that alone was a trememdous
achievement--when you see a hundred singers a day,
it's amazing if you can remember even a handful of
them."

~Simon Cowell -Page 157



Clay has such an aura about him that he draws people
in and makes them comfortable being around him, It
amazes me to this day, I have never seen anything like
it. One final thought I'm sitting here listening to
Clay sing "She Said Yes", and the one line I keep
thinking of is "They lit a Flame with the Match God
had Made", and I have this to say, "Clay lit a Flame
with the Match God had Made when he opened his Mouth
to Sing", and that Flame will never fade.

~found on Ideal Idol - posted by mcguffy



What makes Clay so special?
He's the real deal. He has a grounded sense about him,
but he also has an aura around him that I find totally
spiritual.
http://www.rd.com/content/openContent.do?contentId=14281



"He's all heart. There's an aura about him. Once you
see him, once you hear him, you're gone," DeBree said.

http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?ts=1&display=rednews/2004/07/31/build/life/25-clay-aiken.inc



"I get weak in the knees when he pops his voice into
his high range. His voice is not just in him, it
surrounds him like an aura of joy."
 

http://www.rateitall.com/showitem.aspx?itemID=29062&show=all




"...but needless to say, please believe me when I say, the
man has an aura around him.  I had heard it, but I
can’t explain it, he just glows when you are in his
presence.   I know he doesn’t want us to see him like
that, but it’s the truth.  He just radiates a glow
that you feel. Hard to explain, but its definitely
there! He is ELECTRIFYING!"
 

http://www.clayreport.com/writers/Claydreamer/oakland_recap.htm



"Clay,
  I think of you everyday. How could I not when I am a mother of two special needs children and I know you are out there advocating for them and others like them? I will always support you. But I feel so badly for you because of the slander people make up about you. When I first became aware of you, I saw a very nice, sincere person who was really trying to use his new found celebrity to help those less fortunate. Unlike most of the other American Idol candidates, you weren't interested in your "career" per se when you started the competition, and once finding success, pursued it as a way to "make a difference." How people can make something ugly from that is beyond me. Just as you have given me faith in humanity, those who are trying to smear you give me doubt [in humanity]. I hope people like you win out. But its is a tough, tough struggle."

~rhgk



"All I know is that Clay Aiken has shown himself to be a fantastic entertainer, amazing singer, a person with a big heart who cares about others and tries to do something about it. But even if he wasn't, NO ONE deserves this kind of crap.

I've wiped stuff off the bottom of my shoe with more integrity than this jerk___ famewhore or anyone working at the National Enquirer."

~PermaSwooned




This is but one season...

A lone tree stands in a frozen field, bare limbs bleak with cold and a dusting of snow. Raw wind rattles brittle branches, lashing fruitlessly against a staunchly grounded trunk. Stern and still, it stands. Seeming proof of life vanquished.

Wait. Wait yet a while. See what change a season brings. Soon the piercing ache of frigid winter storms will give way to a familiar burst of color and song.

After cold, warmth. After darkness, light. After sorrow, joy.
I yearn for warmth, light, and joy now. Now.

Wait. Gazing at this stoic sentinel, I conjure memories of faithful spring. Patience is in living branches stabbing defiantly toward dim sunlight. Promise is in crumbled brown leaves whipped by sudden blustery gales. Where lush green leaves unfolded before, they will unfold again. Warmth. Light. Joy.

I remember. I remember to hope. This is but one season. A few months, a collection of days and hours and frosty breaths. I can bear the cold yet a while.

One moment at a time.

Then comes spring.

~Unknown  (posted by OOIsee)



"You know...there are certain events that people remember in the Clay Nation as defining moments good and bad...the dot cert, OMG What was that??? (First Invisible video from AI 2 Poptarts), the Anomoly, MOAM at Wikes Barre, the flashes at Reading...and on and on...but yesterday...Circling the Wagons joined that list. It was an amazing day. We may bicker...after all we are family and what family gets a long all the time? But when push comes to shove you don't attack the family...you attack the family and we circle our wagons and watch out. And what was beautiful is we did it with love...just pure unconditional love for a very special man who brought us together. I am so very proud of the Clay Nation for doing what it did yesterday...and it is even better that he knows...that the scum isn't diminishing our love but making it stronger.

And I hope we sent a message to the scum. See what love can do...you go play in the muck...we won't. You can't diminsh our love...you only made it stronger...which is probably the last thing on this planet that they wanted. Out of hate came love. Out of darkness we found light. We answered hate with love."

~dancermom2




"When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I would offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love
When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love
I know you haven't made your mind up yet
But I would never do you wrong
I've known it from the moment that we met
No doubt in my mind where you belong
I'd go hungry, I'd go blind for you
I'd go crawling down the aisle for you
There ain't nothing that I wouldn't do
To make you feel my love
The storms are raging on a rolling sea
Down the highway of regret
The winds of change are blowing wild and free
But you ain't seen nothing like me yet
There ain't nothing that I wouldn't do
Go to the ends of the earth for you
Make you happy, make your dreams come true
To make you feel my love "

~shadowsgirl -from the song "To Make You Feel My Love"




"Some men walk and find their place in the world...
Some men show the world their walk.

Clay is a tall man walking and he is going to walk a long way in this world. A very, very long way. And the echo of his steps will be heard in places where others' shadows have merely crossed.

In all things past, present, and future, he may choose silence or he may choose to use his voice, in one way or another. But I cannot help but feel that whatever choice he makes, his message will always reflect the strength that can only radiate from one who knows he is loved to a depth and scale that can overcome any kind of force that would break another. Love is, after all, the ultimate protection. And we have plenty of that."

~calliek



"Pop star Clay Aiken and his friend and backup singer Quiana Parler, a big Guiding Light fan, toured Springfield with a little help from Stephanie Gatschet (tammy), Tom Pelphrey (jonathon), Kim Zimmer (reva), and Robert Newman (Josh). "We had just finished shooting on the set and it was the end of the day", explained Gatschet. "We were getting ready to leave and I looked over and there's Clay Aiken. It turned out he was there showing two of his friends around. It was funny because we're all fans of his but he was there with his friend, who is a fan of ours. It was surreal. Clay, himself, was taking pictures of us with his friend! "

~Soap Opera Weekly- includes a picture of Clay/Quiana on the set of Guiding light! There is a pic with Clay and Quiana in the middle, surrounded by (character names) Tammy, Jonathon, Reva and Josh. (Info posted by EmeraldEyes)


"Fear is the basis of hatred. Why do certain people fear Clay? Maybe because he really is just that talented. He has a kind heart, an open spirit and a creative mind. If you're an empty soul, wouldn't you fear him? Who really knows what inspires the kind of hatred/fear we are witnessing? I only know I will not be a part of any of this. I refuse to give these people any power. They will not bring me down, make me sad, create their own kind of fear in my body and mind.
Clay is wise beyond his years. He teaches me as he lives his life fully and ignores the tripe. I can do that, too."

~laughingoutloud


QUESTION: Nigel, will American Idol ever reveal the weekly vote totals?
ANSWER:  "I don’t think so. We do at the end of each of series, it is released, but not during the week. If you knew, for instance, that Clay Aiken was so far ahead every week, it would be a waste of time watching. You wouldn’t vote for anybody else because you would think, well, he’s never going to win; no one else is going to win. He is so far ahead of the game. And yet that didn’t happen on the finale for whatever reason. And I think a lot of that was to do with Kimberly Locke’s votes went to Rueben as well, when they couldn’t vote for Kimberly. But if you had known those results each week, you just wouldn’t have bothered voting. He was that far ahead, is what I’m trying to say. "

~Nigel Lythgoe,from Reality News Online- page 6



"Discovering Aiken on American Idol, Goucher says, was like being "stranded in the desert, and you're thirsty, and a drop of rain comes down and touches your tongue."

~Marti Goucher from 'Turns out the show is really the 'Idol''



"And when the CD is released, make no mistake, it will be kick.ass. Remember? This is OUR GUY, we're talkin' about.
It may eventually SEEM as though he's holding it high above us, til we jump for it, swinging at it, pleading. Then he'll yank the wrapper aside, reach out to smooth the hair back from our ears...and aurally kiss us breathless."

~Whatever



"Clay achieved so much, so quickly, that I think it DID create some resentment by some in the media or music industry. He got the cover of Rolling Stone, a career highlight for most, before his first album even came out. He not only sang on the Tonight Show, he got extensive couch time, something rare for even the most established artists. He sold 661K copies his first week. Comparing it to others, one realizes that the figure is unreal for one so new to the business. There was a time when he seemed to be everywhere, and those who may have struggled for years in garage bands playing grungy bars may have been annoyed that someone on a television show could headline arenas so soon. Kelly's first album opened much lower, and she didn't seem to have as many early "prizes" as Clay (i.e., fewer magazine covers, a mini-fair tour first before an arena tour), and perhaps, that limited any resentment toward her. She became a star, but Clay went supernova.

I think there will be some who will be looking for Clay to fail, who will expect that without the benefit of the show, his album will go nowhere. That's why this album has to be good."

~JennaZ



  "I never expected it [the fame] to be as big as it is, and I don't expect it to get any bigger. At this point, I'm just enjoying what I'm doing and hoping it won't stop anytime soon."

~Clay Aiken


"It's a mob scene at those Clay Aiken Concerts.  That guy is a Tireless. Touring. Machine."
~Paul Westphal- Coach for the Phoenix Suns Basketball Team


"And there is, of course, Clay, that beloved, exasperating, megatalented, complicated, not angelic man... I will miss Joyful Noise, which ends much evolved from the show I saw seven weeks ago. This show was a different form of artistic expression for Clay, and while I very much enjoyed what he had to say to me, both with gestures and with words, the greatest joy came from seeing his exponential growth as an interpreter of song.

I mean, he's at least five times better! *g*

So, two more nights in front of the audience, and then...

Soon, perhaps, he'll be turning the key to the door of his new house, a place of beauty and peace and comfort which will sometimes ring with the laughter of loved ones and sometimes resound with the music he makes in a recording studio of his own.

Soon, perhaps, "when it's ready" will become "it's ready now" --- and the new narrative will unfold. He'll tell his story in a voice both familiar and new, and it will be his own. Listening to his music, many of us and not.just.us will know that Clay Aiken is where he belongs, on a concert stage and sometimes on the world's stage.

A last few days, then, and then we turn the page.

What a year it will be!

And may each one find the place where you belong."

~berkeleylovesourclay


Interviewer: The fear of failure…will all of this go…will it always be here…when will it end – do you ever have those kinds of thoughts?

Clay Aiken: No, I don’t. I don’t have any fear of failure whatsoever. I think you can define failure – it depends on what you define failure as. If you define failure as ‘did this album sell as much as the last one’ - ‘did this tour do as well as the last one’ - ‘did this whatever you do market itself to as many people’…if the answers is no and you call that failure well I guess you can do that but I wouldn’t call it that.

Failure to me is going to be if I put out an album and it’s not true to me, it doesn’t represent me in a way that would make me proud, any kids that I would have proud, my parents proud, that would be failure. But putting out an album that I’m happy with, that represents me in a good way, that allows me to continue to be a positive role model – that’s a success to me because it’s much more than I would have done as a teacher, it’s different than it would be if I was a teacher. If the album is what I want it to be, if it sounds like I want it to sound, if it represents me in a good way, in an honest way, than it’s a success to me…

~Clay Aiken




Re: Clay's comment "I ain't changing any lives..."
" I think it's possible that Mr. Aiken doesn't see this kind of "life-changing" effect as being as valuable as it is to help a child or children with special needs or those from an under -developed country.
The positive -often profound - effect he has on people who have suffered from chronic depression, prolonged feelings of grief or loss, or just a lack of joy in life, which in turn allows those around them to feel happieras well, is more valuable than he is willing to take credit for."

~The Ideal Idol's Webmistress




"My Grown-Up Christmas List...can he be more exquisite?
This is the carved version of the Clay we have seen and know. This is the one with precise and delicate etchings. This is the one with all the soul of humanity, the breath of every man, woman, and child who loves him...this is the one that will launch new hopes, new dreams, new inroads. This is the one that we have been with, who we have believed in, who we never imagined...but who we somehow knew was always there. This is the mature Clay emerging from the monarch's cocoon. He defies the standard of beauty. The nuances in his voice are only surpassed by the subtle strokes of his face...like a masterpiece under construction. He will always be that. Because where perfection is a place beyond our grasp...Clay will always be reaching. He will always shoot beyond that place.

The honeyed tones of his voice, the powerful jettison of its forceful release...the soft pucker of his lips, the lazy slide of his eyes...the cut of his cheekbones and the twitch of his facial muscles as he rolls from gentle entreaty to savage imploration...it's Clay and his own version of a grown-up Christmas list.

I think...he will get what he wants."

~calliek



" The story is meant to tell us to look again at something we’ve lived with all our lives…to see it from the soul and realize that we all have a second chance to live beyond our sadnesses, beyond our disappointments, beyond our losses, beyond our betrayals. It is a story that tells us love really does survive and resurrect and reshape into a new tomorrow of promise. We don’t have to die with the yesterday that stole our hopes and dreams, our faith and belief. It’s a tiny message and it’s a powerful emotion. It’s a beautiful, beautiful gift."

~calliek



"I just got back from a big song meeting regarding Clay Aiken's next record. In the room were fifty (50!!!) of some of the biggest songwriters in music today, all vying for a spot on his record. Wild stuff. I think even those of us in the music industry didn't realize the level of competition on this record. The cool thing is that quite a few of us in the room are good friends, and right away we all talked about how we could help each other get some songs together for the project."

~Matt Bronleewe--One of the fellows who co-wrote "Compromise"



"Dear Clay,
I want to thank you so much for the beautiful gift you so lovingly gave me. I was at the Beacon Theatre Saturday night to accept my gift, and I am so overwhelmed with emotion. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I felt warm and tingly inside. I loved the story you told and the joyful noise. You had me from the minute the curtains rose till you disappeared behind the curtains singing the last notes of Good News. Your voice is heaven to my ears whether you are singing or just talking. You said that God has given you many blessings and that we, your fans, are one of the blessings. Clay, you are a blessing to me and a joyful noise. Keep making those noises because I will always be here listening."

~Susan


"Clay's version of 'My Grownup Christmas List' is poignantly contemplative, and just a little bit weary. I hear continuity of a child's innocent hope in Quiana and Kelly's respective interpretations, but Clay's is the interpretation of someone who has seen some things he'd like to see go away -- it's a more plaintive and more wistful version. It's a version just made to be interspersed with footage of what Clay saw this year in his travels as UNICEF-USA ambassador (and, for all I know, that's why he sang it).

Vocally, Clay sounds gorgeous -- I'll echo everyone's comments about how incredible his voice sounds when he reins in the vocal power -- I love when he trusts the depth and resonance of his voice to convey the feeling and progression of a song, and he really does that here. His version of MGUCL doesn't feel like a performance, it feels like part of a conversation shared with a friend who understands. Beautiful."
 
 

~43dudleyvillas


"Clay Aiken is an example of an accomplished celebrity who is lending his talent and heart to bring UNICEF's work to the attention of the decision-makers in Washington. He is among those who truly serve as ambassadors to the legislative leaders who can help make this a world fit for children."

~UNICEF In Action



"Male announcer: That was Clay Aiken with the title track from his album 'Merry Christmas With Love'.
Female: He's so cute.
Male announcer: (laughs)
Female: Well, he is! (fangirly giggle)
Male announcer: You can't help but like Clay Aiken.
Female: So cute. Such a sweet young man.
Male announcer: (laughs) Clay, she's pinching your cheeks."

~KSBJ 89.3 Houston



"It was fun working with him. He was very nice and not selfish or anything. He introduced himself to all of us, and was very kind. When we rehearsed he wore pajamas with penguin slippers. Yea it was pretty funny. It was fun to work with him."

~From a little boy who was a stage extra in Dec. 2nd show


"Aiken had more energy than a toddler with a sugar rush. He giggled, he bounced, he talked at about a thousand words a minute. In other words, even after selling millions of albums and becoming one of America’s biggest pop stars, it appears that Clay Aiken is still the same lovable goof we first met three years ago. There’s something strangely comforting about that."

~Fly Magazine



"I was lucky enough to be at the M&G and Jerome specifically told us to post on the message boards that "We were "this close to pulling him from the stage."

As awful as the lack of consideration at the show's end was, I still think it was a very successful show on the whole. I didn't mention (and I didn't hear anyone else mention) the flashing to him at the meet and greet. What I can tell you is that when he walked through that door he smiled and asked us how we were with enthusiasm. He was full of smiles, firm handshakes and wholehearted "Merry Christmas"es. He also was in a playful, snarky mood apparently.

When the woman in front of me walked off without her signed book, he grabbed it and hid it behind his back! Then he gives her a snarky grin when he gave it to her. Then I kiddingly told him "You're not gonna mess with me like that!" And he looks right at me and said "How do you know it's not gonna be worse" and then that snarkey smile again. I think I wimpered. We did the autograph thing and sparred (sp?) a little about the Depends that I had thrown on the stage.

After our picture, I almost walked away without my autographed picture too. I took a step or two and saw it land on the floor behind Jerome. Jerome handed it to me. I turned and Clay was giggling and saying something about it not working right. Apparently he tried to swipe my picture too and dropped it! Ha!

So my point is, I think he survived that nasty few minutes at the end of the show. His smiles and snarkiness seemed geniune at the M&G. If they weren't, he's an awesome actor. IMHO, I think he probably enjoyed most of his birthday! "

~From a message board post



Clay himself said recently he may never be accepted by the mainstream. I also want him to achieve tremendous success because I think he is that good. But I know that the ones I like the best don't always get the most success.

Not everyone will hear Clay's music, but some do and I am one of them. Not everyone will see what I see in him, but I do and that is enough for me. As long as he is successful enough to stick around, for those of us who hear his music, I'll be happy.

~cc777



11-24/05
"When Clay walked onto American Idol, he was like brilliant gem that God had not gotten around to polishing yet.  It did not take long, just a few swipes and lo! that beautiful inner light just came shining through.  Now many have seen the glorious glow that seems to emanate from him. And when he opens his mouth to sing, his sweet melody bursts forth and warms our hearts and soothes our souls.
That's our Clay!  And today, among all the other things we pause in gratitude for, we are also thankful for him and what he brings to our lives."

~Sunnymama123


"We are talking about a young man who came to us with a wounded heart. He was bullied by his peers. Abandoned by his biological father, and felt unloved by his step-father. He was asked to leave his grandmother's funeral by his own family. I think that is why it breaks his heart to see any child excluded. He will spend the rest of his life making them feel loved, and we will spend the rest of ours, telling him that he is loved. I sincerely believe that God meant for those candles to appear on a night that Clay needed them so much.  [Kansas City JNT2004]  I feel blessed to be a small part of something beautiful.

~MSidolfan


"I don't usually feel things on a personal level when it comes to Clay. I don't know him, I don't own him, and I'm always aware that I usually only get to see a public persona and not a private one. The performance of a song may move me emotionally, or a situation (like the Uganda trip) but the person of Clay himself - not always. Yes, I'll post that "I love him", but for me it's a given that it's the public Clay that has gained my affection (for lack of a better word.) "But as I watched the video, [Kansas City's 'Don't Save It All For Christmas Day']  I stepped over that line and as irrational as it was, I felt so proud of him. I saw the verklempt and the gratitude and that made me smile. But more than that, I saw a man who was dealing. He'd just been thrown a major curve that effects a show he said he cares a lot about. Add to that any personal attachments and I can't help but think that he had quite a bit to deal with. But deal he did. He took care of business, he took care of the family and he took care of the audience. So yeah, I may not know him, but I was so damn proud I was almost bursting. Told you. Irrational.

Then the signed thank you and towards the end of the song, when just for a moment -- a very small moment -- his facade seemed to break, I felt like I could see him accept the love. When his game face came back, I was actually relieved.

In the smiles to Angela and Quianna, I saw a big "Whew! We did it!" And his gratitude. They pulled together and worked hard. They did what families do."

~strummer6


Question to Clay: When did you realize the Claymates were becoming such a powerful force?

Answer froom Clay: I don't know when it happened. I guess when all of this kind of started for me it was so new and I was very sequestered and very closed away from the outside world. When I finally did get a chance to be released into the wild, it was a big surprise. Where did these people come from?

~Louisville Courier-Journal


Re:Review from SLC:
"Quite honestly, it DID resemble an old-fashioned Christmas Pageant, but not QUITE the way this reporter said it. It was a BEAUTIFUL old-fashioned Christmas Pageant and that is what made it so special. Sure, Clay could have just stood there and sung the entire two hours, which is what early criticism from even his fans was about. But to just sit there and drink in the totality of the performances, the magic created by the performances, whether this reporter thinks them hokey or not, was absolutely enchanting."

~gma23boys


Re: Speculation that Clay is "scared" about how well his next CD will do in sales:

"Scared???? Heck no, he is smart. Scared??? How does a scared, new recording artist stand up to Clive Davis and say NO, I won't call it that? How does a scared new artist stand up and say "I'm changing the line on a song cause I don't like it and won't sing it?" How does a scared new artist tell someone to take a major, expensive project of a new video and shove it where the sun don't shine---it's not being released? How does a new artist go in a Rolling Stone interview and talk about religion? How does a scared boy get off a TV show and less than 2 months later talk to people in Washington DC? How does a scared boy inform a recording company offering tons of money that part of his time will be allotted to finish a college degree--regardless what appearances etc they have planned? How does a scared new artist go on a major headline tour, without ever having been an opening act? How does he then go solo to another headline tour? How does he tell a mega sponsor---talking about major major money---accept my songlist or the deal is off? How does a boy scared of carnival rides drop from over a hundred feet up? How does a scared artist pull a 3rd tour -- for Christmas music no less---out of his butt in less than a year? And gets another major sponsor to pick up part of the tab to boot? How does someone who is scared write a book, telliing all, like it or lump it? How does a scared person admit to being picked on and called names and rejected by others? How does a scared boy accept a position that will take him to a war torn, terrorist place? How does a scared boy take a still new demanding career and say --- I'm taking time off for charity and humanity. How does a scared artist create another tour---with no new songs or CDs---and take on over 50 years of the best music, by the biggest and best artists ever? How does a scared boy who can't dance or play music get up in front of thousands of people and play the piano and dance? How does a scared guy write a small scale play, set it to music, and take it across the country to thousands of people --- for Christmas music again?"

~From TOTLAK



From a recount of waiting for a Meet N' Greet:
"As it got closer to my turn I started to get really nervous. But then something good happened to calm me down a bit, and then something bad happened that just blew it for me. First the good thing. In line right in front of me were two young girls, probably 8 to 9 years old. The distance from the beginning of the line to the table where Clay was standing was about 10 - 15 feet. When it was the first little girl's turn, she was so excited that she threw her arms in the air and literally started to leap over to Clay and she let out a shriek as she was making her way towards him. Leave it to Clay to do something funny. He stood at his table and threw his arms up in the air and started to shriek also! Everyone in the room started laughing. Evern Jerome was laughing on that one! I thought, okay, that was great, a little humor was just what I needed to loosen up a little bit and get the nerves out. After all, I was next. EEEK!! Well, just then, this big burly biker guy who was in line just behind me says to his buddy "Man, I'm so nervous I'm starting to sweat." Great, that was it for me. My fear returned full force. And it was my turn."

~claydb



"What I saw last night was NOT a concert, was NOT a play, was NOT a performance. What it WAS, though, was one of the most beautiful and touching and sentimental and loving and snarky and magnificent visual, aural and emotional experiences I have ever had! Clay was just absolutely, positively, totally and completely the master of his realm, and he had the entire audience in his hands… and oh, those beautiful hands: waving, snapping, creating the magic of the scenes, stopping them to caress our hearts with the most beautiful sound in the world – his unbelievable voice! The totality of this performance has to be seen and heard in person to be believed, no mere words can even begin to describe the wonder of it all… the beauty of it all, the spirituality of it all, the emotion of it all… one can only sit back and let it permeate your being, wind its way around your heart and touch the very essence of your soul"

~gma23boys



"Mistakes? May he learn from them.
Challenges? May he grow stronger.
Risks? May he continue to throw his long arms out and embrace the air, making those impossible, improbable leaps.

~0OIsee



"Clay, what can one say! He wrenches your heart out, puts it back filled with joy, love, emotion- choked; you can't possibly be of this earth. Yet you know you are because there is this beautiful man with the heaven- sent voice cording on every nerve in your body!"

~OnlyTippyToe



"I think that it's important that we allow Clay to grow and develop as an artist. I know that it would concern him if he thought that people were not pleased by the show [Joyful Noice 2005] that he has worked so hard on. (And trust me, he worked harder on this show than he has on almost anything else.) But he would also be disheartened to think that his fans, who are of the utmost importance to him, have come to expect so much of him that they are unwilling to allow him to try something new."

"I'll prepare for the imminent backlash, but...On his behalf, I encourage you to watch this show for what it is. Not a simple concert, but a full WORK."
Pay close attention to the characters. Pay close attention to the dancers. Pay close attention to the "backflashes" (shown in red lighting). They say so much about both Clay, and the story he wants to tell you. This show is an entire piece of art that Clay has crafted for you, that can't be enjoyed in pieces, but must truly be enjoyed as a whole in order to be appreciated."

~Jaymes Foster- Producer of Clay's soon to be released CD



"I think there is a predisposition among Christians that Hollywood is anti-Jesus or anti-Christianity. I was warned I'd have to fight to maintain the freedom to express my beliefs. It's an unfair stereotype, and so far that's been the farthest from the truth. While everyone I work with my not share my beliefs, I have been surrounded by nothing but support."

~Clay Aiken---Today's Christian Magazine



"I think his excitement over the show is unbelievably endearing. It reminds me of when my kids were little and they would have a gift for me (or someone else) and they were so excited about how great & special it was that they could barely contain themselves....and yet, they wanted it to be a big surprise....and yet, they were just BURSTING to see the reaction. I'm thrilled that he is so excited about the show, and that he wants to share it with us, believing that we will love it too. "

~PermaSwooned



"Clay is such a gentle joy of a human being."

~SunshinesGurl



"Right now I see the image they are trying to project is a mature mid twenties guy, that has a kooky sense of humor and sexy...but still geeky and may have a big heart and strong sense of social commitment...but they also show him to be able to have fun and be lighhearted. I think that is why they do the insider and Kimmel appearances...to balance out the humanitarian Clay. In other words, they are presenting Clay in all his contradictions. They are presenting the real Clay....not trying to make him more sophisticated...not trying to make him older or younger...but just apporpriate for his age. Its possible the choices of appearance they make may seem contradictory...LKL and Kimmel...but that is reflective of who Clay really is...he is a very complicated person that is very hard to put in one box. I think this will be very appealing to the 20-30 demographics...and most specially to male audience."

~samtaycai



Clay is the articulate Elvis and God's breakthrough in music and media.

~Mitzi Gill


I have seen Clay Aiken perform in concert and I agree completely. Clay is easily the best Pop vocal talent of his generation.

~Editor AngryCountry.com



 "Trick-or-Treat [for UNICEF]  is more than a fundraising program. For many children, it is their first introduction to philanthropy and the needs of their peers in places far away. It is wonderful to know that I can be a part of that moment."

~Clay Aiken



Clay and what he's been doing, what he is doing, and what he will be doing?

He's such a smart, smart man. Flawed? Certainly. But my money will always be on him to make the most out of his imperfections. He's a master at it. Personally, I love those little nuances. Stutters, overtalking, blinking, laughing, whatever. I love him. I want him to be him. I want to watch him learn and grow. It's part of the enchantment. It's part of what makes the excitement of the little things tingle...and the big things ping off the edges of universal joy.
I am loving every minute of his exploration into multi-media playing fields. Because I know one day very soon he will be moving with great confidence across those fields. He will have learned how to work them, he will be striding with the height of one who knows how to get where he wants to go. Right now, he just wants to go. I can enjoy watching him gallop.

I just love those legs. Because I know they will get him there. And there is a place where none of us can even fathom. That...is what excites me.

So go ahead Clay, blunder and plunder and just enjoy the ride. I love the sparkle in your eyes, the breathless passion in your speech, the purse of your lips, the hitch in your steps. I enjoy your moments of grace and glamore, I enjoy your stutters and stumbles. Every bit of it is true...and you.

And that is what I love.

~calliek



"Yesterday morning, I got off work at 7:00am, and decided to stop in at a local hangout,for an after work drink. I wasn't there 10 minutes when this BIG Burly Guy comes in, and loudly says,:shout " Okay, who is the one with the Clay Aiken, "I'd rather be at a Clay Aiken Concert, license plate bracket, on their car"? ( I was impressed he remembered the WHOLE title).  So, immediately the vision of a row of Harleys being bumped by my car came into view.
Well, I knew that that wasn't the case, so as I slid my Clay Aiken key ring toward the edge of the bar, and debated what to do, a voice popped into my head, saying, " Use Your Voice", "speak your mind."
So, I raised my left hand, and spoke loudly,"That would be me, proud Claymate here".
He then said, "Clay Aiken?", and I said, Yep!!!!
Then he said, "You know, that guy has a d**m good voice, he sure can sing, he should've won that show".
I smiled the biggest smile , and said,to myself, "Thanks Clay".
Found out the guy is a truck driver, and this nice guy, made my day.
Just thought I would share this great story with you all.
Me, I'm still smiling.

~Martigyrl



"TV show The Insider had a new correspondent on the red carpet this year: Clay Aiken. "It's very glamorous — much more glamorous than the music awards shows," he said. As stars filed into the theater, Aiken said he got to meet all of the Desperate Housewives tonight, adding, "They make me sad I'm single." And what is Aiken listening to right now? "Christmas music," he said. "I'm prepping my Christmas tour."

~USA Today



"When I review the tape [of the show] the next day, there's lots of screaming and crying," DeGeneres, 47, tells us via e-mail. "Then I recover the same way I do anytime I'm injured: ice, elevation and my Clay Aiken CD."
-Ellen Degenerous from US Weekend Magazine


Celebrity watch:
Attending his first fashion show, American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken didn't seem impressed at what he saw.

"All these models looked like they were upset," he said. "They should smile more."

From: A mix of supermodels and the superego



"A singer like Clay Aiken comes along, what, once in a generation? Once in a lifetime? Is Clay Aiken that special "one" for these times? It seems melodramatic to ask that question, but all I know is I've NEVER heard a voice like his or seen any performer with his potential. Ever. No voice has ever touched me, no face has ever entranced me, no personality has ever engaged me...like Clay's. He's got me. One by one...and sometimes by groups, I hear Not.Just.Us. stories…I personally watch him "getting" more and more new fans...people who haven't seen him since AI, people who are startled and impressed by him all over again. He's "getting" them...and I have this optimistic feeling that the public is beginning to "get" Clay Aiken...a little bit. Bit by bit."

~OOIsee



"The oh so beautiful 00lsee said:

Quote:
Because Clay really is "my peaceful"...and I really need him right now.
 

Don't we all? Oh yes, don't we all? I know I do. More than ever.

I'm right there with you, even if you are doing a much better job of being there. So eloquently expressed, 00lsee. Where you are is where I need to be, too. Life can be a rough sea, but there are tranquil places full of the very essence of life. Clay is that essence. I say we drink deeply. And longly. And happily. When we are thirsting, we need to drink him in again, and again. It is an easy thing in a complicated world.

And it is completing.

I want to send him to every grieving soul, I want to let his radiance light their darkness and warm everything that has gone cold. As he did for me, as he has done for so many, as is his ethereal way. Maybe I can't. But I can hold him that way and feel it myself. And maybe, just maybe, it will spread a little. Just a little. Sometimes a little is enough."

~calliek



"He reaches out, touches the jukebox, and the music starts. Yes! He’s in great voice tonight! Look at the joy on his face and the gleam in his eye: the sinner/saint, bawdy/innocent, sexy/dorky, jubilant/bossy, heart-full-of-love, one-of-a-kind artist named Clay Aiken. "

"...the sheer beauty of his voice will leave me shaken, mouth agape, stunned. He will pull me from my chair, twirl me around and make me dance. I’ll laugh so hard and smile so much my face will ache --- and then I’ll laugh harder still. I’ll be as still and silent as a mountain when he sings of love and loss with heart wrenching beauty, and I’ll be as buoyant as a cloud in the summer wind when he grabs the mic from its stand, wailing and rocking out, and sings about love and happiness. I will laugh at my favorite redheaded goofball --- and I will feel so much joy and love him so deeply it will feel like my body and soul and mind cannot contain it."

~berkeleylovesourclay



"I love that eerily sparkling stare. Way back in the olden days, someone stated that with Clay it's like magic dust was scattered and it either hit you or it didn't. You either get Clay or you don't - there's not much in between. This guy [reviewer] didn't get it. We did.

<snip> I'm not asking for world domination-
I want Clay to sell a good amount of CD's and get a good amount of airplay and be on talk shows and make guest appearances on tv shows and go to countries [that are] in despair and be around to make me happy for a long time. And maybe work on his tact just a little bit *g*. He doesn't have to be number 1. He needs to stick around."

-nunu


"...He brings such happiness to my life. Where before I would have described my life as gray- monotonous, boring, uninspired, and plain; since Clay I think of my life as filled with color- the richness of his voice fills my soul; the friends I have met through mutual admiration of Clay have enriched my spirit, and the simple, uninhibited joy he portrays on stage and off, have made me appreciate the small things in life which before went unnoticed, or unappreciated. While I sit at his concert I am completely transfixed by him, I don’t think of anything other than the way he can make me feel- despite sitting so far away from him, I can feel the emotions he pours into each song. It makes no difference what he sings, what he wears, how his hair looks, if he’s goofy/snarky/silly that night; all that matters is that he is there, on that stage, singing his heart out for US. It’s amazing to me that at the end of each concert I can feel so physically drained yet so emotionally filled by him. I wonder if he can even begin to understand how GOOD he makes people feel- simply by the joy he portrays on that stage. I can only hope that he has someone/something in his life that brings happiness to him like the happiness he brings to me."

~Wendy Nash



 "My most potent observation that hit me so strongly it brought me to tears, was the fact that I could "see" and feel how much Clay really loves and appreciates his fans. When he points to the audience during Invisible and sings "I am nothing without you", he meant it. I could feel it deep inside my spirit, I was ten feet from him and could feel his fervor and see it in his sparkling eyes. The love between the lover and the loved was so palpable at that moment, as the throngs sang Invisible so loud and passionately there were times you could not hear Clay's voice. We were caught up in a rapture and he so knew it and could feel it. I watched him give his all during that last song, tired and sweating, but absolutely transformed by the enormous amounts of love being poured out to him. In those last moments of the concerts I knew that magic was still alive in the world and its name was Clay Aiken."

~Ananka1313



"When you find a man who likes him [Clay], scratch beneath the surface and you will find a kind and sensitive heart. A human being with love to give and plenty of it. Just like Clay. Which is why we love Clay. He has the sensitivity we want to see in a male. Which is why we love the man we married, because he has these qualities too."

~Nageea


"Finally watched the clips you sent me from GMA and a few venues. Wow. Clay is the real deal. Honestly? I am flabbergasted. I told you I was never a fan of American Idol, so I was only marginally aware of him. I was not prepared for this. No wonder you are so blown away. I am blown away...and then some. Wow. I don't know what to say other than this guy is mega. I have been curious because his name comes up a lot. But I never really gave it a second thought. Now I know why everybody is talking. I am really going to be interested to see what the second album is like. I love Back For More. Killer hit. Killer. And the Elvis stuff? Incredible. I've never been a fan for covers, but this guy rocks the socks off covers. Send me more."

~Business contact



"I think this tour is very different from other concerts I have seen,. This isn't just an hour with a recording artist who is going to sing the songs off their CD. These concerts have everything I like to see from a live performance--the serious, stunning vocal performances, rocking, on your feet dancing songs and a connection with the audience that make it a very personal evening with Clay. I think the experience is even more special because each one has to be taken in context. They have a flow, a totality....which wasn't lost on even those seeing him for the first time since AI.

I think it's brilliant that he can do this night after night, change things up and keep the concerts new and exciting. The people I talked to after the concerts loved everything about the jokes and playful interplay. And for the people we talked to seeing Clay for the first time--they felt like they had seen Clay as a total performer...voice, humor and personality. It is a glimpse into not just the voice but the man behind it and everyone I talked to felt that Clay had reached out to them and entertained them thoroughly."

~Champion124


"Clay Aiken is a complex young man with a faithful focus on the purpose of his unique voice.  At 26, he's a reflective, serious star learning his place in the world.  With a growing foundation and his UNICEF trips, he's even more determined to entertain the world while stirring its conscience."

-Tish Demauro- TV Guide Letter to the Editor



"I'm not easily "moved to tears" in my regular life, even by Clay...but Clay has often wrought an incredible, exquisite shift in my heart...I don't know how else to describe it....sometimes it feels like a painful twist, sometimes a shuddering sigh, sometimes a rush of warmth beneath my breastbone, a swift intake of breath caught on a sob...Often goosebumps...often a flutter in my throat...often a wide, completely involuntary grin of pure joy.

This performance of ICMYLM will be experienced subjectively by each individual...those who were there will naturally feel it in a different way than those who, like me, must rely on media to translate that power. I found myself holding my breath as he sang....mesmerized....and when he wailed toward the end, I felt my heart break open a little...

He's just amazing....to express so much...to move people so much...with just the stillness of his body, the haunting expression on his face, and the pathos of his voice. I can't think of anyone else who has ever touched my heart the way this man does. And he just gets better and better."

~00ISEE



"When I see him from where we were when we auditioned in Atlanta to where he is now. He's grown so much and I'm so proud of him. Because I know what we went through. He's an actual activist now. He's an activist and he's a performer. To be a singer and be able to sing and also a have a meaning and something you really believe in. I think it is the best thing in this world. And I'm so proud of him. He knows how I feel. He knows I'll cry in a heartbeat. He's like "Quiana, don't cry." I say, "You don't understand how blessed you are and how proud I am." To have a book and to be triple platinum. Who would have ever thought this would happen?"

-Quiana Parler (read entire interview here)


"I don't expect Clay Aiken to be a perfect man off stage or a perfect performer on it...but it seems to me in so many ways, whether on or off stage, Clay entertains me perfectly...and often brings sweet moments of something very close to perfect happiness into my heart. It's a pleasing feeling I enjoy carrying around with me, like a talisman in my pocket. I feel as if I'm the luckiest fan alive...because while so many in the world still don't understand the value of Clay Aiken...I recognized the treasure when I found it...and I'm not about to let it go. "

- OOIsee


"That connection Clay has with the audience for this tour is what I was trying to describe in my "Clay Aiken is a star" post on Wednesday. I think he finally realizes that we are not fair weather fans, we will be with him regardless of the path he chooses. He is finally trusting us enough to acknowledge us in many ways. Even the snark in his latest blog about the album title is evidence of this. Clay loves to tease his friends, he does it in every performance with the band and back-ups. The fact that he's openly teasing the fandom is a great sign that he's finally comfortable with us. I still don't think he understands why we love him, but he's finally accepting the fact that we're here to stay."

~txwrite



"The lyrics to BFM [Back For More] really crack me up !  They are soooooooo Clay, because they are layered ........ he is layered in his mind and personality, not just his shirts !

First, it is such a SHOUT OUT  to radio stations and their limited playlists.  What snark.

Then it is Clay acknowledging his rather tempestuous relationship with radio.

Then it has him shouting out "on the radio, on the radio, on the radio" as if it were a mantra that he wants to be on the radio.  When we sing it with him, we are shouting the mantra, too.

Then there is the love song part.  At Tom's River when he first performed the song, remember during the first verse when he sings "..this song is all about us"  ......... he spread his hands out toward the audience, as if it were a love song about him and the love of his fans.  Right there is a reference to his "enthusiastic and creative" Claymates that all the media loves to talk about.

Then, when I sing it, I  think of how I am "addicted" to Clay and his love songs.  That is the only time I can get close to him is when I hear that song I am addicted to.  And, again, snarkily layered, I am addicted to Back for More.  And I am Back for More.............I play it on loop.
 Clay and his layers and snark.  Love the man."

~MyMoam2


"I have gone to [many] concerts before {snip] too many to mention, but that wasn't enough to prepare me for what I experienced. The overall joy, his voice, his looks, his actions were amazing, just amazing. I feel like I have been taken to another planet, the inner joy is unbelievable. It is like he unleashes this spirit in him and it envelops you so wonderfully. He just gives you such joy!"

~debsgarden



"How can the whole world not yet be at his feet? Even when they're backwards."

-Nageea


"I'm being trained to shake the bon- bon appropriately.."

-Clay Aiken [From Access Hollywood interview about tour]



"Northern Uganda is one of the most dangerous places in the world for children," said Aiken. "Children are being forced to commit appalling acts of violence. Children are being killed and raped. It was all too clear that those living in the conflict-affected districts of Uganda deserve much more. The global community must act now with utmost urgency to put an end to these atrocities. No progress will be made until there is peace throughout the country."

-Clay Aiken


Governor of North carolina in May of 2003: "Now Clay, if you could favor us with a few bars of a song from your upcoming album. Now I don't wanna plug your album..."

<snip>
Looking up at the oval of young faces staring down at him, Clay Aiken cleared his throat and for a moment gained the composure of someone totally enlightened and free.

"YES - YOU BELONG TO ME! I'M YOURS EXCLUSIVE-LEE-EEE"

With a force of nature unexpected from such a birdlike chest, Clay's voice rang out rich and true. Preteens and media jackals alike fell silent as his majestic voice filled ever crevice of the historical structure.

"INSEPARABLE IT SEEMS! WE'RE FLOWING LIKE A STREAM"

The VU meter on my camera pegged at precisely the right point, as my wireless microphone on Clay's collar captured every nuance of his incredibly powerful pipes.

"RUNNING FREE FLOWING - ON THE WINGS OF LO-O-O-VE"

Through my viewfinder I zoomed in on the rapturous expression that floated over the psuedo-celebritiy's visage. As he attacked the refrain with a voice that would send Jeffery Osbourne back to his singing coach, I followed his voice with my camera, panning up to the frozen throng of onlookers - their mouths forming tiny O's at the undeniable glory of this unlikely heartthrob's golden throat.

"TOGETHER , FLYING  HI-I-I-GH!

FLY-ING HIGH UPON THE WINGS OF L-O-O-O-O-O-O-V-E!"

As the apparently seasoned showtune-belter wrung the last syllable for all it was  worth, a collective gasp of serendipity floated over the frozen onlookers. Even the ivory-white busts of long-dead lawmakers seemed to smile and sigh. When the expertly bent final note finally echoed to a close, a burst of enthusiastic applause took over the room. I would have clapped myself had my hands not been full of badly-aging television equipment. Trying to regain my well-earned armor of nonchalance, I no longer wondered what made this jug-eared kid special in the eyes and ears of viewers. Simply put, the dude could WAIL - wherever the current craze took him, he would definitely earn his living with his golden pipes. And no doubt it would be a very good living indeed."

-Stewart "lenslinger" Pittman, WGHP, High Point NC


"If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway."

-From a message board post by Sherrygirl


"This article [in TV GUIDE] shows a more reflective Clay; a more self-understanding Clay; a more determined Clay who wants to entertain a world and stroke its conscience at that same time. If we understand now that on some days, it is harder for him to take the spotlight, then we appreciate his efforts more. But know that the music is filling his soul as it does ours. That joy and grace he receives when he sings transforms him and he gives it all to us. It fills and transforms us and we give it back to him and each other. We leave refreshed to go about our work in the world. Many of us are more motivated to use our voices to help those who need it. He loves that. When he says his fans are the best… he means not only to him and to each other, but also for all we can do as a force in the world."

-Tish Demaro (entire article here or here)

[Webmistress Note: Thank you, Tish for this wonderfully insightful article! It has and will continue to comfort fans who were worried and upset by the tone of the TV GUIDE article. You have used your tremendous talent with words to clarify it - and we are grateful.]



"This is a man who can hold the heart of a child in a ravaged country as easily and as exquisitely as he can hold a note in a concert hall filled with thousands...and touch and change lives a hundred times over by doing both."
-CallieK

"In my ideal world, no child would suffer.  Charitable instincts would prevail.  There would be global acceptance of all different types of people."
-Clay Aiken, From Learning To Sing Page 240
 

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