CLAY AIKEN NEWS

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

NEW
1/29/13
"Ten years, and you remain a singer of rare ability, a performer who is endlessly entertaining, an actor who surprises, an advocate who motivates and moves - and a stranger who is one of my loved ones."
~ Living in Turnaround


8/29/12

"Why Buy [Clay Aiken]Concert Tickets? 

Imagine the difference of looking at a picture of the Grand Canyon in your home on the computer compared to standing at the canyon’s edge in person, with a 360 degree view of the majesty before you, wind in your hair, heat on your skin and the spiritual sensation that there is so much more to the universe than your own troubles. 

. . . THAT’S WHY we buy Clay Aiken concert tickets."

~ClayCrazy8



5/13/12
"Maybe this is the harmonic convergence that I have always wished for Clay, even if I couldn't have predicted some of the details. He is a finalist on a high-profile reality show during May sweeps, where people have discovered his intelligence, humor, and talent for puppetry (as well as being reminded of his lovely voice). He is featured on a new album that has pleasantly surprised critics who are amazed at his range and good sportsmanship in doing something unexpected, and doing it so well. He was the most prominent North Carolinian to be interviewed as the state undertook an historic (and staggeringly wrong) vote - and he skillfully broadened the discourse to include same-sex marriage while also framing the issue for how it affects all people. . .and then even defending his home state against critics. And then, while he was already still fresh in most people's minds (and rolodexes), he was right there when Obama made his statement, and his excellent performace in the days prior made him the perfect spokesperson on a variety of talk shows. And that led directly to an invitation to appear on Face the Nation, which I'm sure will lead to even more coverage. 

There will already be more attention on him, and more media bookings, in the week leading up to the Apprentice finale. And now there are so many other questions to ask him - he is a facinating individual, and he contains multitudes. 

Interesting. Very interesting. This is the kind of scenario that you just couldn't write. He is suddenly the right person at the right time, standing at the crossroads of history."
~Oldmoviegal



5/9/12
"One notable contributor [to discussions about the Amendment one vote and North Carolina] was Wake County’s former “American Idol” runner-up and current “The Celebrity Apprentice” favorite, Clay Aiken. He said he hates the amendment, but he still loves his home state.

“I don’t want people talking bad about North Carolina,” Aiken, who is gay, said in a phone interview. “I saw a lot of folks ... on Facebook and Twitter that were embarrassed to be from North Carolina or that people from North Carolina should be ashamed and embarrassed.

“And I think to myself, you know, you can be as mad as you want and think that all you want to, but you have to remember that 30 states did that before we did it and California was one of them. So you can kiss my foot if you want to talk bad about my state.”
~Clay Aiken


4/13/12
" I'm certain that OFC has gained new members and that Apprentice has expanded the fanbase with new fans and returning fans. He's replenishing the ranks by exposing more of himself. Thank goodness he is accepting his fame, because while I know some fans don't think he's that famous, he acquired lifetime fame on Idol. It's my belief that Clay is a very gestalt personality -- it's not just his singing, nor his charisma, charm, intelligence, humor, empathy, humanitarianism, or acting ability -- it's all and more. The total package of Clay Aiken is unquestionably more than the sum of his parts."
~keepingfaith


4/10/12
RE:  'Celebrity Apprentice':  "Next week brings another twist and split that I'm not that happy about! And, if you think you've seen shouting and tears in previous episodes... you ain't seen NOTHING like what happens next week. I think Lisa bursts a blood vessel, and Dayana is even hotter when she cries!!”
~Clay Aiken


1/7/12
[sic]"....since Idol, much of the general public has gotten news about Clay in snippets of gossip shows and other mid-level entertainment media, and they haven't followed him in the kind of sustained way that, say, we have. So Celebrity Apprentice will be an opportunity to see Clay himself -- and that may change some perceptions of him, correct some of the erroneous tabloid-y impressions of him. It certainly seems that his fellow castmates came in with preconceived notions, and found them challenged in a big way. They have been quite generous in admitting that they were wrong, and saying very nice things about him. And I would guess that many in the general audience will find the same: a level of respect, even if it's perhaps a reluctant one, for someone who is very different than the public image that was created by gossip and innuendo over the past few years. Will everyone instantly and madly love him? Will some corners of the gossip-driven media still get on his ass about stuff that seems kind of annoying? Probably not, and sure, respectively. But most people (including those who have no real stake in the issue, so can feel however they want, in whatever fleeting way they want to feel it) will probably find him charming and smart and competitive -- all of the things that the other cast members have been saying this week. And that's a giant step forward. That opens doors for people to be receptive to his music career, and his philanthropic ventures, and just the idea of Clay himself. So I'm happy to let one annoying review or spin by a critic to slide -- because, in the grander picture, this is a chance at the kind of image rehabilitation that Clay's public persona needs, and that can have positive repercussions in all areas of his career. This week has been an embarrassment of riches. Seeing the level of respect and affection that the other cast members have demonstrated has been so lovely to watch. And seeing how this plays out in the weeks and months ahead is going to be a blast. A. Total. Blast. I can't wait."

~oldmoviegal
 


12/18/11
His voice for me is...

the curls
the whirls
the unexpected turns
the catch that makes me cry
the rasp
the moan
the cry
the sound of breathless wonderment
the measured vibrato
the sensual caress of words
the strength
the gentle strokes 
the story
the pitch perfect landing 

~ adrienne1954


11/21/11
[Clay] has a wonderful family and great friends who love him. But we [his fans] are also a part of his life. A large group of steadfast, dependable, enthusiastic  and loving fans who have his back and wish him nothing but the best. When he has a performance, speaking engagement, or project that we know about (or discover!), he can count on seeing a group of familiar faces in the audience, faces filled with love. That must bring him comfort....and joy.

~Brightstar



8/14/11
"I will have the patience to give Clay as much time as he needs. My heart went out for him during the video chat, I just wanted to give him a hug. Whatever the future holds, I'll be here. Whatever path Clay takes, I will follow. There has never been a performer out there who has touched me the way that Clay has - on both a cerebral and a visceral level.. He as opened my eyes, opened my heart, brought music, friendship and fun into my life. Taking into account everything he has given to me, I believe I owe him this time to take stock, regroup and get his passion back. Kinda gives new meaning to "right here waiting"'

~SueReu


8/02/11
"If Clay is the person that I sense him to be, I don't think he's cast in stone. When he rejunvenates, who knows what will come at us! I think I understand why he's not comfortable being a rock and roller, or doing Top 40 Pop -- although he's capable of singing any of it with relevance. We know, but we just can't "know" for him. What I saw last night is a very smart, humble, and extremely sensitive man, who probably internalized rejection for most of his life and instinctly avoids rejection situations. He's so protective of himself and the ones he loves. I know that Idol was a huge kick for him, the business itself not so much. He's wanted to stay in his lane because he feels safe there. He knows who he is there. Maybe T&T was a disappointment, but maybe it also freed him to experiment, and move into other lanes. Maybe this battery-charging time will infuse him with a new energy to take chances and please himself in ways he never considered before. Or maybe not. Self-discovery is a beautiful thing however it goes. "

~KeepingFaith


7/27/11
"Fear and ignorance go hand in hand. So as shows like 'Drop Dead Diva' and the future 'Will and Grace's' of the world and folks like Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie [O'Donnell] and Neil Patrick Harris, and just anybody in the public eye allow us opportunities to see gays and lesbians having productive families and lives. Those fears will abate for a lot of people and I think it'll be easier to change some of those laws." 

~Clay Aiken


7/19/11
"Clay Aiken has one life and he needs to live it as he sees fit. It's his life. I have no reason to believe he will live it for me or for you. We are in no way entitled to it. I spent my time and money freely to be entertained by him, and I was, over and over again. 

Debt paid in full. Joy is not refundable."

~yaknelle


5/11
"The teachers at my school made a very generous donation to The National Inclusion Project in honor of my retirement. I was just "bursting with excitement" over the whole thing and just so touched by their generosity. Caro blogged about it and her blog ended up on the National Inclusion Project's site. 

Well, it happened again!!! Some of my RI Clay friends took me out to dinner last week to celebrate my retirement. That alone would have been enough. They gave me a card. That alone would have been enough. But, when I read the inside of the card, I just welled up with tears. They (eight of them) had made a very generous donation to The National Inclusion Project in honor of my retirement. I continue to be overwhelmed and amazed at the generosity of people. 

Honestly, this is what's important. So much good work is being done and it all started with Clay Aiken. I just could not be any prouder to be a fan of his. He continues to inspire me even when he's out of sight. And my good RI Clay friends continue to inspire me as well. Don't let anyone tell you that Clay Aiken doesn't have the best fans in the world."

~Rhode Island Fan


7/12/11
"There is no one who compares to Clay. He is the only one who can make me swoon, sing, laugh, cry, think, care and take action - often at the same time!!!"

~suereu


6/26/11
"No matter what is going on in my life, my day, no matter where I am, who I am with, no matter what the weather is or isn't, no matter if I am happy or sad, rich or poor at that moment, the minute I hear or see Clay singing a huge unrelenting, unsurpassed, overwhelming smile comes over my face, and I cannot hide it, or subdue it. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, I mean, it's just a smile, but it doesn't stop in my face, I smile from way down deep, if possible, my whole body smiles. It has been that way since the first "take" and I hope it never ends. 

I always wondered why. Now I just know that...it simply is."

~makinaiken1


5/19/11
"Clay has every right to do whatever he wants to do with [snip] his career. 
[snip] I personally think he had every right to take his space from the fans whenever he felt like it. It is intense to be the center of attention like he has been. After all these years, maybe the guy is ready to do something else or maybe he has something lined up in the near future and isn't ready to tell us but I believe he has the right to run his own life. 

 [His fans] may miss him terribly but he is a human being with much complexity and he has responsibilities to a family, a child. Maybe he is tired of the limelight, especially since he is so often put down. There are so many possibilities that I can not make any judgements about this person. I love his voice, his heart and his ability to make me laugh. I hope he is happy but I personally can not know what is happening for him or why it is happening. I think he is quite capable of managing his own life. A life is much more than a career in the insane world of entertainment. All human beings go through changes and need time to regroup and adjust. As other have said, I will be right here waiting."

~skybar



4/14/11
"Clay Aiken blew this song out of the water and pretty much locked it down. Thus putting Jacob at a distinct disadvantage. Although he did some nice things with the song, it’s just hard when you’re automatically compared to Idol royalty."

~Melinda Dolittle re:  Jacob Lusk's  American Idol 10  performance of Bridge Over Troubled Water


4/14/11
"If anyone sings "Solitaire," I hope Neil Sedaka rushes the stage and rips their tonsils out."
 

~hossa



 

3/03/11 
Kathy Twitty Durante - ok......... let me speak for daddy .......... during his career many many artist covered his songs.......lots and lots of his songs...... he considered it a compliment every single time...... he was a humble man and very considerate of everyone.... he would have thanked Clay Aiken for covering is song......I don't beleive he was doing a tribute to dad.....just singing one of his songs....... he did it his way.... dad did it his way..... Ronnie McDowell covered the same song and did it his way...... "daddy always said if we were all alike we wouldn't need each other"..... this world needs all types of music......variety is the spice of life. There is something for us all......... I hope Clay Aiken's fan's enjoyed "It's Only Make Beleive" and his fan's might google Conway Twitty and listen to dad's.... and in some strange way it introduces them to dad.......like Family Guy does...... that's all...... think about it ....bless it.......release it..........and listen to whatever it is your heart needs......... Kathy"

~Kathy Twitty Durante on her Facebook page



 

2/27/11 
"Some of the inner dialogue that's bubbled up listening is me realizing more and more that Clay's exquisite voice and interpretation on impossibly romantic, beautiful songs is connecting to that inside part of me that's also Impossibly Romantic. "Moon River," "Something About Us," "Misty," "What Kind of Fool," "Crying", and even "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" the way he's been doing it. It's in the beauty in his tone and of his vocal expression. When I was first gobsmacked seeing him on Idol, the strength of my appeal and attraction were ultimately somewhat of a mystery (I rarely saw the sexy, but still felt an obviously strong something). I feel like I partially get it now, for me. He's dreamy, not for me as in "such a dreamy guy," but rather as a fellow dreamer whose smooth singing can evoke the passion of that inner romance of life."

~waterbaby


2/27/11
"Clay Aiken’s music has always captivated me, but it is only his calling card, the tip of the iceberg.  Accompanying his song are good will, endearing humor, and an unassuming, down-to-earth demeanor.  Closer observation of this man reveals deep compassion, a resilience and tenacity that overcomes all obstacles, common sense coupled with a rare thinking capacity, level-headedness that keeps him humble, a will to go the extra mile, and inner contentment with his place on this earth.  Clay is both a comfort and a challenge. He enables adults and children alike to face life positively by developing their strengths and by modeling how to forgive themselves for their weaknesses.  He brings out the very best in humanity.  This is Clay’s true gift."

~Mitzi Gill



2/25/11 
"I can always count on Clay [in concert] to make me laugh and smile and shed a tear or two and hug a stranger and love everyone and slap somebody."

~topcat


2/25/11 
"There are many good reasons why I love Clay so much as a singer and entertainer, and there are some intangibles that exist and I don't know why, but the one thing that melds the knowns and unknowns are the risks he takes. He goes for it. He sings difficult to sing songs ... because he can pull it off. 

I hear singer after singer doing repetitious stuff. They have a thing that they do, or a bag of vocal gimmicks, and they do those things over and again until people get tired of them. Then they're done. 

Clay, on the other hand, is an amazing artist pushing the boundaries for a popular singer in the age of fake music. The fake music requires no talent or skill and it's the formula du jour. I think TPTB prefer the assembly-line performer who can be created, exploited and thrown away. Planned obsolescence is the subtitle of the industry now. Clay Aiken can't be discarded, and the sun ain't going down on him. He's just begun to shine in his own right and his own light. 

He's unique. Some people like the singing of Josh Grobin and Andrea Bocelli with their quasi-operatic styles, and there is a market for that. But there are music lovers, myself included, who are bored with the trained voice that only goes certain places, even though it goes there with ease and expression. For me, it's not enough. A song or two and I'm moving along to something with more life in it. And I can enjoy a silly song, something with a big beat and throw away lyrics, but after a couple of those I need something substantive, something with musical integrity. 

Clay, on the other hand can sing deeply and vibrates everything I've got, and then goes to the heights without falsetto. He makes very difficult transitions and varies the dynamics of his singing in an exciting way. He can rephrase a lyric and give it new meaning. He's only getting better. I don't know if I can stand it. But he is, and right there on stage before us he's becoming even more than he ever has been before. And he does this by not playing it safe. He's plays it for all it's worth. That's why someone like me, who never has been a fan of pop singers, preferring instead rock bands and singer-songwriters, beginning with the The Beatles and Dylan, LOVES Clay Aiken. He's expanded pop music as a category that finally includes me. Nobody else ever did that. 

It says everything that there were two birthday girls in the audience the other night, one 13 and the other 94. That's his target audience range. There's a reason he's doing WSN to every genre that we can think of - rock, grunge, a capella, opera, etc. etc. His voice can do anything, and he's determined to prove it."

~keepingfaith



 

2/24/11 
"He’s like the energizer bunny – dashing about the stage bantering at high speed. It was exhausting trying to keep your brain pinpointed on his delivery. Gracious, he’s quick-witted. Loved [that] he made fun of loads of people and interacted with the whole theatre. 
All night long! He’s remembering all the new bits at each concert and then adding to them. 
[snip]
...he goes from high octane tunes, to lush, tear-jerking ballads.
[snip]
No need for pyrotechnics, fancy costumes, flashing lights, and a crowded stage with insignificant dancers. Just pure Clay music and a great band."
~heartracerclay


2/22/11 
"Unchained Melody was magnificent – seeing this live is always amazing, because it’s like watching an elaborate magician’s trick and trying to figure out how exactly they do it. It’s like he’s levitating, or making an elephant disappear, or walking the high wire without a net. The effect is truly shocking, and the crowd responded with sincere appreciation. I should also mention that, when he was introducing the song and talking about the arrangement, the audience was completely absorbed – and, when he got to the final line, “And now I have my own version to sing,” people sort of gasped, and a murmur ran through the crowd. I’ve always thought this was a dramatic and well-crafted line, a mission statement of sorts. But I realized, when hearing the reaction of the audience, exactly how potent that line is – and how well it sets up the amazing performance that follows it. 

When he came out for the encore and explained that he was going to switch up the songs because his throat was getting sore, and then began to sing Both Sides Now, I thought I was going to swoon. I said on the cellcert that it was like finding a unicorn in my backyard, and I really didn’t mean that as a joke. It truly was like stumbling upon something rare and beautiful and unexpected. It made an already perfect night – a clear, crisp, windy night with a perfect full moon – seem even more special and lovely. "

~Oldmoviegal


2/21/11 
"If you ever get a chance-- go see Clay Aiken in concert. He’s not showy, there is no pretense, he just is who is he is. There is something to be said for that."
~ Ron: A Foodie's Life 


2/13/11 
"...but when he sang the oldies – as they were meant to be sung, he was really good. And most of all I appreciated the fact that he didn’t take himself too seriously."

Dana Barrett


2/12/11 
 “Having a family is not something that makes things more complicated; it makes things more wonderful.”

~Clay Aiken


2/08/11 
"For that moment, all the trash talk, tabloid crap, and ugly tweets fade away, and there's just the man, the mic, and the spotlight, center stage. Pure, exquisite singing from a beautiful man with a beautiful soul. And an audience that recognizes real talent and beauty and is not ashamed to cheer and celebrate him. 

It's like the ugly part of the world is far, far away, and the room becomes a haven that embraces talent and the arts. Wonderful and refreshing."

~Brightstar -re: Boradway Backwards performance of 'HOME'



2/04/11 
"I didn't choose to be gay. I choose to be out," Aiken, 32, tells The Miami Herald. "I'm also respectful of people who choose not to be." 

~Clay Aiken



 11/15/10 
"He has given me more smiles than I can count, more laughter than I can contain and more beautiful music moments than I could possibly ever thank him for!"

~cotton



10/25/10 
"Gloch said "The man needs to be heard."

This is so true, and I've seen it, first hand, in the last few months. My best friend has always enjoyed Clay's voice and charitable efforts. But, being a "Grobanite", that's about as far as it went. She went to Spamalot, because she likes Monty Python. She was quite impressed with Clay's acting, and when she had her Playbill autographed, she became a bit "fangirly", though she denied it! I bought her a ticket for the Hammerstein concert, and she figured she'd need to dust off Clay's CDs, so she'd remember the songs. I explained that it wouldn't be necessary. Well, she was blown away, to put it mildly, after seeing Clay "live" and in his element. She declared that it was the best concert she'd ever attended.

Last weekend, we were the guests of a friend, at the [National Inclusion Project's] Gala. VIP tickets! My friend was so impressed with the "talkback" held by Clay & Diane, on Friday night, as well as the young choir.She has always had empathy for the disabled, having worked with them while in college. The next night she was able to see Advocate Clay, Auctioneer Clay and Performer Clay in action. She was so overwhelmed with the experience, and totally "gets" this fandom now. One less NJU [One more new fan]."

~robyn428


9/28/10 
- Clay's career is skyrocketing
- Linda Eder has enough respect for Clay to record with him
- Oprah likes him, too 
- Everyone is jumping on the Clay bandwaggon (or something to that effect)

-DJ Joe Satta WHLI 1100 am (Contributed by Carol Cooke)



RE: Lessons Clay Aiken Taught Me
September 14, 2010

Good read. Clay surprises people constantly because they have this media-driven impression of him that has little to do with the man himself. I do take issue with one thing in your blog: ” even cause the baby-faced object of their Clayfection to stay in the closet well beyond the obvious”. I want to try to say this nicely. I read Mitchell Gold’s book “Crisis” (40 stories of coming out in America). Check it out on Amazon. There’s no way in hell that Clay’s fans had anything to do with his personal timing for coming out. And most of us – hear me – MOST of us – didn’t Give a Damn. But we RESPECTED his right to his personal life, personal decisions. The question should never have been asked of him. He should never have had to answer/dodge/address his sexuality to anyone who wasn’t planning on a date with him! I feel strongly that his timing has WAY more to do with family. He has/had grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, siblings, etc, who have to deal with his celebrity. Not their choice. He is the “star”. He can take a lot of hits. But if you affect someone in his family or inner circle he comes out fighting.
I feel he chose when to come out (and, again, he should have never had to!) according to his personal time table, the people close to him, the people who would have to face the looks, comments and condemnation.
I’m sure he had concerns about the effects on his career. But I think protecting his family was paramount.
Certainly not people like me.
As for me? I love the man. I love his voice. He’s about my son’s age and I think he’s sexy as hell! Doesn’t matter to me who HE thinks is sexy! LOL!
But – I deferred to him to choose what part of his personal life to make public.
Nothing to do with me.
Thanks,
Cotton



 

8/26/10
"I think I'm now... being the person I've always been, but wasn't willing to be." 

~Clay Aiken


8/09/10
"Well,  let me tell you here that meeting Clay in person only enhanced my admiration for this wonderful entertainer.  When he walked into the M&G my nerves melted away and I felt like I was meeting an old friend.  He made it a point to say all of our names and even wanted to know the background of his involvement with my son meeting his new wife. (they met through she and I going to Clay's concerts).  When I told him they met because of him he was very surprised and said "okay, what's the story?" He signed their wedding picture and then we had pictures taken with him and we each got a hug.  Again, he was very warm, unhurried, personal and ABSOLUTELY, INCREDIBLY handsome."

~Kathy


8/08/10
"Later, in a brief lull, I asked the question from the Clack House: "Would you consider setting up a kissing booth to make money for your charity?" and he laughed (entertaining question! he liked it..) and the swift retort was along the lines of, " No, but if you gals set one up, I 'll be there!" (and he was rather pleased with his joke.) Too cute. 

At the end, as he was preparing to leave and no one was talking, I asked if I could ask another question and the answer was "Sure." 
I said, " We love you with Jimmy Kimmel. Any chance you'll be there soon?" 
The answer was swift and predictable: "I don't plan these things, they just happen." 

~LizinToronto (after a Meet & Greet)



8/06/10
"But what makes the [Timeless Tour] show sparkle is the onstage interplay between Studdard and Aiken. They approach it like Martin & Lewis, bantering back and forth, often ad-libbing for maximum comic effect.  You can't fake that kind of chemistry. <snip> "We are opposites," Aiken said. "I don't know what the bond is. We just like each other's company. He's funny, pretty laid back and relaxed, which, I guess, balances out my high-strung uptightness. That's what makes it work."
 

~DAVE RICHARDS--- ERIE TIMES-NEWS


8/06/10
"Studdard and Aiken work seamlessly together -- both have musical stage acting in their backgrounds, and it pays off during the banter between songs. 

This is a concept that could easily be translated to the small screen -- maybe it's time to revive weekly variety television."
~Ted Shaw, The Windsor Star



8/03/10
"<snip> After Clay & Ruben's Idol season, the next time Clay was on my radar was the AI5 finale when he totally shocked me, and I jumped into the net and drank a whole pitcher of orange kool-aid before I ever knew what happened. Everybody's good old days never existed in my world. The good old days are right now for me. It's exhilarating. He's beautiful, he's out there, he's OUT, he's a father, he has his own PBS show, he has an incredibly entertaining tour going on with Ruben, and another tour in early 2011, he's quick-witted and funny, and he's radiating an overall sense of joy that's infectious. I'm loving every minute of him. A newbie about my daughter's age sat next to me in Reno and didn't know a thing about him. Absolutely nothing. She's never watched any season of Idol and had never heard him sing, but came with a friend. She sang every song of the set list from the 60's through the 90's, laughed, cheered, and asked me why the crowd wasn't dancing! At the end of the show she asked where she could find out more information about Clay Aiken. He WAS the show for her. Clay doesn't need help amassing fans, other than the exposure he's getting now. He's a magnet and live performance is the key. That also seems to be the plan. I'm sitting back and loving every minute of it, and it's one hell of an excellent time! I'll never forget this summer. "

~keepingfaith


8/03/10
"Clay's multi-talented, charismatic, gorgeous, philanthropic, famous and gay. He's fascinating and people will always be interested in his life, both professional and personal. Because he is fascinating. And he's one of the still too few famous out personalities. His "gayness" is now just another part of the puzzle. I don't think it's going away.

I've written more than enough about Ben Wener's review over at CH so I won't bore you with it here. Suffice it to say that I think Ben's showing signs of evolution. He was charmed and entertained in spite of himself and couldn't help stating so in black and white. I'm going to give credit where credit is due. It was a definite thumbs up review from a guy who usually shakes his fist."

~idlefan



 

7/28/10
RE: Clay's singing in Timeless Concert
"Tell me which male singers out there can sing Boston, Lover All Alone and Mack the Knife and do it all well, and where it’s just about the music. One Voice. Live. No spare parts needed.

OK, I’ve had my taste. And what a taste it was. It was like those breakapart Tollhouse cookies right out of the oven where you need to keep the milk handy because you’re eating the cookies while they are too hot. And you don’t even care about the stomachache that is headed your way or the chocolate all over your face. This Massachusetts girl is happy."

~Corabeth


7/14/10
"Clay Aiken co-hosted The View, and they discussed Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I was a little surprised to hear that Clay's Marine brother was hesitant about repeal, but at least Clay was honest. I don't think that Elisabeth or Sherri understands why language matters when discussing the survey, but Whoopi gets it, and Joy overestimates how far the nation has come. It's a rather strange conversation where people outside the issue dominate the conversation when someone living the topic is sitting right there."

~Ed Kennedy


7/09/10
"Okay, he's gone now, so I can talk about it. Just got to interview Clay Aiken for some TV pledge breaks for his new PBS concert. Whoo hoo! He's just delightful -- very easy to talk to, very knowledgablee, and a complete professional. Makes me proud I voted for him on Idol back in 2003!" 
~Employee 0f WKNO Memphis


7/6/10
"What other artist today could move from a Kyrie to Where the Streets Have No Name to Rosanna to something like the "classics" medley to a gorgeous acoustic medley, from the intensity of a song like I Survived You to the lightheartedness of a "TV medley" or to the haunting expression of his own written word in Lover All Alone and to the despair of a song like Solitaire and on to the simple beatdriven Back for More or the incredibly beautiful pop ballad Tears Run Dry. And then to place his star on broadway and to have such incredible success...to the more recent choices of Home and Those Magic Changes in Bringing Broadway Home. I love the magic of the changes he makes. I hope he never stops. I hope he never restricts his choices beyond recording songs that he loves. And as always, I hope "anything goes" on tour. 

I'll take a complex personality like Clay's any day. It feeds me. It never bores me. There will always be a place for an artist of his calibre in the world of entertainment. Few, if any, can match him. [snip]. He has strength of character, compassion for others, and he loves what he does."

~anncanada



6/28/10
"Clay is really a funny guy, and is a devoted musician, father, and friend."

~Diana Levine  Photographer


6/28/10
"At this point in [Clay's] life *when* [he came out] is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. He is out. He came out on his own timetable...not on anybody's else's timetable. It was as it should always be for a gay person. You come out (if you come out) when you feel comfortable about it and not before. Anything you might have to say about your sexual orientation before you are ready to come out is said in order to protect yourself and your family. Clay handled his situation the way he did in order to protect those members of his family who would have to deal with the more bigoted in the world after he came out. We all know from what he has said in more recent times that he was extremely worried about that...about the effects on his mother and grandmother, in particular. I totally respect his feelings on that and have great admiration for the way he handled himself right from the beginning of his career. He had great strength of character when faced with those who felt they had a right to publicly ask the questions and expect an answer before he was ready. Shame on them."

~anncanada



6/23/10
"There's a new energy all around Clay. New little surprises popping up here and there (Popeater! Phineas and Ferb!). Twitter, and Fanclub, and Facebook, oh my! A newly re-energized TC. 

And then there's Clay himself. Here's where I'm going to really find that words fail me. He seems renewed, inside and out. He's glowy, and loose, and happy, and relaxed yet energized at the same time. He seems so grounded, but yet he's taking off. It's a mystery. 

And his voice! Where did that voice come from? All the former power, and control, and ease is back but with a new freedom to just run around and explore. It's like the music is INSIDE him in a way that it wasn't before and it's just busting to get out. "

~suziebird7



 
 

6/6/10
"What I loved the most about this interview, besides the focus on his music, was how Clay was able to comfortably share his journey of self discovery. It is so obvious that he feels safe and comfortable in his own skin now. I think he is going to be a wonderful advocate for all the causes he is involved with and especially those in the gay community. His awareness and intelligence are sharp and focused. There is no question where he stands on things and he seems to know himself so well. What a fascinating human being he is. The talent and intelligence and his ability to connect with people openly now gives me the sense we will be hearing a lot more from him on the many topics he chooses to use his voice for. The music is a given. He is going be singing for the public for a long time. He loves it and it shows. "

~skybar


4/19/10
"We trooped over to the late show for Jersey Boys [in Las Vegas]. This was the first time I'd seen the show since the OMG [PBS Special taping] concert. I had had some doubts about Clay's singing 'Can't Take My Eyes Off (Of) You' after the [Golfing for Inclusion] Gala. Doubts that disappeared in Raleigh in March. However, it's a signature moment in the musical, so I listened more intently than usual with comparisons in mind. I've heard Broadway class singers do this performance ten or twelve times now, so my standards are very high. The actor did a very good job on Saturday. 

Clay would have blown him off the stage. Made me smile."

~artquest



3/21/10
"Front and center was Clay’s amazing voice, but coming in a close second was his big heart. This showed up early on in the night when, after the first five numbers, Clay came into the audience looking for Sandy Schmidt. Ms. Schmidt had taken four busses over a 36 hour period from Nebraska, traveling all by herself just to see Clay again. After receiving word of this from her friends, Clay personally escorted Sandy to the front row."

Shauna Moroney- from her article "Clay Aiken reveals new album in Raleigh concert"



3/21/10
Re the PBS taping concert:
"Movement, like the music, just flowed through his body--it seemed completely naturally. The sways, the knee-bends, the movement of his hands out and to his heart were enthralling. And his feet--his feet moved and tapped and kicked and tilted--often. I think he responds to music with his whole self, and that definitely makes his performances even more appealing and mesmerizing."

~Brightstar



3/18/10

Re: the back to the audience pose whith which the concert began:
"Hmmm. . ."the pose". . .It was definitely all about the shoulders -- he was standing solidly, with one shoulder dipped a little, as I recall. One foot [snip ]was angled a bit, with his hip slightly cocked. [snip] The suit fell gorgeously from his frame -- shimmery, lush, tailored in the shoulders, looser through the leg, slightly pegged at the bottom. Matinee-idol hair silhouetted in the backlighting. The way I'm recalling it, it wasn't the same pose but it was definitely the same mood as the old photo-shoot shot of him standing with his head bowed and one hand on the microphone stand. It was retro, sexy, deliberate, powerful. He didn't seem relaxed, exactly, but there was nothing tense about the way he was standing there, either. He was standing like he was born to stand on that stage -- like every moment of his life had been leading up to that one second. And, again, I don't recall precisely how it looked, but I have a vivid sense-memory of how it felt. It felt like success. . .like triumph."

~oldmoviegal



3/18/10
"The band was great – rocking and swinging. I liked the groovy rockabilly hairdo on the guy who was playing the standing bass, but I found myself mostly watching the two saxophone players. They were in the front row, so I had a clear view, and you could just tell that they loved playing this music – they kept exchanging smiles and glances, and occasionally low-fiving each other after a solo or other big moment. One of them was young and very cute (think Titanic-era Leonardo DiCaprio, with perfect cheekbones and floppy blond hair), and he didn’t take his eyes off of Clay the whole night. He stared at him in wonder throughout the concert, often shaking his head in amazement at a particular note, and I was particularly pleased to see that the musicians themselves understood that they were playing for a rare talent. They appreciated great music, thus they appreciated Clay."

~oldmoviegal



3/06/10
"Clay articulates an undeniably positive and persuasive presentation; nevertheless, it is without doubt overshadowed by the influence he possesses purely by being the man that he is.  His example speaks volumes. Prior to coming out, Clay was intelligent, educated, productive, purposeful, philanthropic, courageous, wholesome, compassionate, responsible, ethical, and talented.  Following his coming out, Clay retains all of the aforementioned attributes in an environment of exhilarating freedom and honesty.   Clay’s personal disclosure has to be significantly inspiring to those still struggling with fear that prevents them from tearing down barriers so stifling to happiness and to reaping the rewards of reaching their goals in life.  I envision Clay’s being instrumental in fostering major gains that narrow the gap between the gay and straight communities."

~Mitzi Gill



2/27/10
The power of truth and living honestly is very liberating." 

"We've been waiting on the laws to change... the time for waiting has passed." 

19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote: "It was about damned time." 

Civil Rights Legislation: "It was about damned time." 

Matthew Shepherd Act: "It was most certainly about damned time." 
 

"Like all civil rights movements, our movement is one of fairness, rightousness, decency. Our time is now, and it's about damned time."

~Clay Aiken



2/27/10
"I fell in love with Clay's voice all those years ago. Raised in song, it has made me swoon, made me smile, made me cry. Raised in speech for those causes close to his heart, it makes me proud. We so DID pick a winner all those years ago. One who is absolutely worthy of love and respect. And that I do!"
~onthebrink03

2/10/10
"On a personal note, even though I don't "know" him, *g*, I am proud of the man Clay has become; I was proud of the man he was before he came out...because he is who he always was....a good man, a decent human being, fallible like the rest of us, but trying to do what he can to make things a little better, and I have no doubts that his advocacy will extend into many different arenas, including the LGBT community."

~boo7



2/03/10
"There is never one second that [Clay] is singing that I don't understand completely what is in his mind. He has an incredibly deep . . . acting term coming up here . . . "inner monologue" going on. It's what makes his phrasing so special and unique and what I love about his singing so much. It's coming from an impulse. He's singing these lyrics because "he has to". He can't not say . . . sing . . . what is inside him. The connection to what he sings is unbelievable. Many times, people don't understand the truth behind what he is doing. It's like in a movie - how as an actor you have to do so much less because your eyes are telling the story - there's thought behind them and we see that on the screen. In the theater you go bigger but the "truth" behind what you are singing or saying must still be there. Watching him sing is amazing. I think the PBS viewers will get to see that and "get it".

~Nanjeanne


2/03/10
"Clay stepped up to the podium and said that he welcomed us all and recognized some faces as being at many events and that he'd met nearly all of the audience before. My close friend was sitting very near the podium and he heard her whisper, "Not ME!" so he asked if she'd ever attended an event before. She's been to many concerts, galas, GFI, and just never seemed to get that meet and greet or other opportunity to talk to him. Plus she had worked on this GFI for months now, and figured her luck would be the same. Well, he told her she was meeting him now, asked her name, and then came off the podium to shake her hand and then gave her a big tight bear hug."

~ kbdm3



2/02/10
"This is the "Hey,I'm still here and I still sing better than 99% of the people out there!" album. "And oh by the way, I'm funny as hell."'

~Corabeth



1/14/10
Although "Classic Memories" is a lame "Longines Symphonette" type title, I like many standard or classic songs. Plus, I enjoy many songs when Clay sings them even if I hated other people's versions. I love his voice, whatever he sings (even the horsey song!). I'm pleased to get any CD, a PBS special repeated numerous times, and most of all, any potential tour after this long drought.

I'm also not at all surprised by this direction. Clay gave obvious hints. Clay said he would sing covers and that he loved ATDW and the JBT way back at that Talkback at Spamalot and I believed him. He explained it at some length -- it was not some casual remark. Sitting there at that moment, I thought he was being forthright about where he was going with the next CD and he has given no indications to the contrary since then. I think that was the idea he shopped to potential labels and signed for with Decca. Moon River was another strong indication of what he plans to do.

Plus Clay's musical taste has always tended toward ballads and oldies and slow songs. The demos were mostly slooow ballady songs, and way back on AI we joked about him singing so many ballads. He has said over and over that he and his music are not "cool." I think that is who he is and wanting him to be someone else musically will not change who he really is. I'm fine with it -- I do not need him to be my all-around-music smorgasbrod. If I want rock or "cool" music I have thousands of other songs on my numerous Apple devices! Of couse I think Vivaldi is thrilling, so slow songs with orchestras is not a big stretch for my ears!

Who knows what the market is for this CD? It's hard to tell what most of "the fans" really think from online posts -- one person can say she loves or hates something on six different boards with six different screen names over and over again, but that is still really just one person's opinion. Fans have a variety of different opinions on this and all other topics and some post only once in a blue moon or not at all. Some fans do not even read about Clay online. There are also some people who may enjoy Clay who are not yet fans -- there are people out there who never watched AI! The fact that ATDW outsold "On My Way Here" may indicate a bigger market for Clay singing covers than for Clay singing original music.

Bottom line I'm happy for Clay and for me, because there will be new music and hopefully some live performances that I can attend. I've realized over the years that attending live performances is what I really enjoy most -- hearing that beautiful voice live and the whole concert or theater experience. I love clack but I do not watch it much -- it's mainly a treasured souvenir of the real live experience.

I just want a tour-- any kind of tour, with singing and banter, and me trying to get tickets on Ticketbastard and yelling expletives at my computer, and the little electronic noise when they check the tickets at the door, and the clack gatherers around me, and the overpriced water bottles and even the annoying fans who scream stupid things while Clay is singing. I miss it all. I do not care what he sings -- I just want to hear him sing again!"

~DolcePienza



1/13/10 
"Decca is excited and so are the fans. We've got a new album on the way, a likely tour and a PBS special. And that's just what we know about so far. We're here seven years later {Post American Idol 2.] That's a star to me."

~Corabeth at The ConClayve



1/13/10
Re the http://intl-media.com/ blurb:
  "Yes, I believe they are a production company Decca works with -- they produce the shows and pitch them to PBS, who picks them up for national distribution. I tend not to pay much attention to production companies because all my info comes from a central database on PBS. I just promoted Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra during our last pledge drive, and also the specials from David Garrett, Andre Rieu (extremely popular and a big pledge draw), Celtic Thunder, and others on that list.

I can say that if these are the same experienced people who produce Andre Rieu's specials, the show will probably not have any trouble being picked up by a lot of stations, given their shows' track record for making money. So this is wonderful news!

As for the content...I'm sure that title is probably just a placeholder. And I would guess, judging from when the other artists on that list generally debut their shows, that we'd be talking about August or December (this is the kind of thing they like to run at the holidays but if it's tied in to the CD release, it could happen much sooner). I'd love to know if they're in production NOW."
"Just wanted to say -- sorry if I'm boring anyone with this PBS stuff -- that today I let it slip to a few of my colleagues that it looked like Clay had a PBS special in the pipeline being produced by the same folks who brought them Andre Rieu, David Garrett and Celtic Thunder (all of whom have shown up live in our studio in the recent past). Generally, they were quite pleased and impressed, especially at the prospect of the pledge dollars he could command for us. Certainly I heard nothing negative or derogatory. In fact...

...one young girl asked (if Clay were to come to our station) whether I could get her an autograph. *g* I thought that was pretty cool."

~Pink Armchair



1/13/10 
"[snip]...whatever this new CD is, I'm looking forward to it, I'll be buying it, and I'll be supporting him in whatever way I can. I love his voice. It's as simple as that to me. He's one of very few artists that I will buy without hearing the music because I know he does an amazing job, whatever the genre of music he's singing. I have at least nine songs from each of his mainstream CDs that I will never tire of listening to. And I expect this next CD will produce the same quality and the same beautiful tone that I love to listen to. And if the music contains some added-extra deep register Clay, I'll be in my own kind of heaven."

~anncannada


12/31/09 
"I always see more than a beautiful man in UNICEF photos of Clay. He shows a natural, authentic and loving facet of The Real Me, without the entertainer persona, the concern of business, career, or fan management. Unintentionally he offers a peek of his beautiful soul, interacting with other very unpretentious and authentic souls, with whom he is at ease in the "here and now".

~propounder



12/31/09 
"2009 we mourn the passing of Daddy. Brett finished his stint in the Marines 1 1/2 years ago. Is in school in Wilmington. Mama just had back surgery. Hope she will be home B-4 New Year. My grandson is adorable and the apple of my eye. Clayton. The New Year holds some exciting things for him. Me, the energizing bunny. I keep going and going. Happy New Year and may your lives be blessed in every way."

~Faye Parker on Facebook



12/08/09
"... It's hard to know who means well and who doesn't. It makes it all the more important that you stay true to yourself. 

For example, during my first major meeting about my album, Clive Davis and I talked about the title of the record. He wanted to call it Clay Aiken. I didn't. I felt that the songs on the album, good as they are, didn't define me. I didn't choose them; Clive did. And if a record was going to have my name on the outside, I wanted it to be a project that I had orchestrated. I told Clive that I preferred the title Measure of a Man, because it was a reminder of why I'm here and what I said I wanted to do. 

Clive was not pleased. Clive Davis is the emporer of the recording industry in this country, and I think I had irritated him. 

He swirled around in his chair. He looked out his window onto the streets of New York City. "I know it must be very intimidating to have me here in the room with you," he said, smoothing out his black turtleneck. "I don't want you to feel that way. But you must understand." 

My face began to flush. 

While he was talking, telling me not to be nervous but at the same time trying to convince me I was wrong, I heard my mother's voice in my head: This is what you said you wanted to do. Don't you back down on it. Don't you give in to somebody who is trying to make you into something that you don't want to be. 

So I didn't. 

I thought of my mother, and how she was never afraid of anybody. 

I thought about her independence. 

I thought about how she is nothing if not hospitable to everybody, even those people who are trying to change her mind.

And I said, "Mr. Davis, I respectfully decline to change the title of the album." 

And you know what? He came around."

~Clay Aiken from his book "Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life'

~~~

 
A response to the above:

"I think Clay was naive. And I think he paid the price. Big time. 
And I hope he never ever changes. This is the kind of naivety that comes with values and standards which few people in this industry exemplify. I still to this day admire him so much. Not only for all he's been through and how he's handled it but also for all his faults as well. I love his imperfections most I think. But how he has remained so positive, sweet and seemingly happy given all he has had to endure, from childhood through his dealings with the seedy underside of this business as well as all the manure thrown at him by the media and even some of his contemporaries, has amazed me most! Yeah, I still think of him as the true Measure Of A Man. 
An imperfect and incredibly wonderful man.

~treenuts


12/07/09 
"It struck me that, in my opinion, Clay's Broadway experience enabled him to discover two things: an atmosphere in which being gay held no negative stigma and a male peer group in which, I believe for the first time, he found genuine acceptance and even admiration.  It took a very long time for him to find these things and incorporate them into his life.  I cannot help but think that these factors plus Parker have made Clay complete.  I just want to shout with joy over it all!"
~Mitzi Gill


12/03/09
"Any comparison of the two [Adam Lambert and Clay Aiken] that the AMA fallout has induced got me to really appreciate Clay ever more again. He was the original star runner up from the show and he was about the same age as Adam at the same point. A nobody suddenly thrust into intense spotlight and dizzying buzz, he could have easily grown his head to match the attention. He never did. As much as he was fervently loved by so many ardent fans, he was never the in vogue type media loved to hype, and he never got much support from his label. Nevertheless he handed them record breaking sales numbers, which still didn't win him any love and support. He remained humble, true to himself and lived a rather simple life. No matter, he stayed in the spot light, attracting attention. In view of him not providing scandals and controversies, they were manufactured and spread all over for him. Now I see Adam, unlike Clay, became the cool darling du jour of the entertainment media even before AI was over, partly due to the anticipation created by Clay's success precedence , and his ego got overinflated with all the attention and hype, but ultimately he squandered the golden opportunities handed to him on a silver platter. I am now ever more impressed with Clay's groundedness and shudder to think what would have happened to him if he had actually behaved otherwise and given real causes for disdain. 

Sometimes it takes a contrast to shine more light on what we already appreciate. And I'm so happy Clay has put so much behind him and is continuing on his path. Hatred and obstacles cannot stop a good man and his destiny."

~propounder


11/28/09 
"Some people live responsibly, respectfully, with purpose, with love and consideration, and with intent to make the world a better place.  Others care nothing about others, look only to gaining fame and wealth to satisfy their pride and ego, and strive to feed their own desires no matter how it affects those around them.  Herein lies the difference between people whether or not they are gay."

~Mitzi Gill



11/10/09 
"One measure of maturity in a man is his ability to accept that which he cannot change and to not dwell on the negative aspects of his life and to move forward and not remain mired in anger and hate. I respect Clay's ability to do that, especially at such an early age."

~ellenpoppy



9/25/09 
"As for recent covers of his hits, he [Neil Sedaka] says he loved Clay Aiken’s remake of “Solitaire,” which Aiken performed while Sedaka was a guest judge on American Idol a few years back, and which went on to reach No. 4 on the Billboard charts. 

“Clay has an emotional, strong, beautiful voice. I loved that,” he said."

~Neil Sedaka in 'Sedaka brings his songwriting legacy to the IP'


9/17/09 
"Rehearsed at the same studio as Clay Aiken! Very nice to meet him! Cool kid despite all the drama that surrounded him!"

~From a Facebook post by singer / songwriter Chaz Langley


9/15/09
Interviewer asks Tyra Banks: Any behind-the-scenes scoop on the New York awards ceremony?
Tyra's Answer: Before the show kicked off, I hung out backstage with my good friend Clay Aiken, who presented me with the award. He’s such a funny guy, and he loves making fun of me, so it was great to catch up. 

~Woman on Top



9/03/09
"I'm not worried about Clay. I'm also not going to be comparing Clay's new CD sales figures to any of this year's crop of Idol contestants. He's not coming off of a massive television opportunity with full support of the show and the label. Clay has done that already (the tv part, not the total support bit) and he did it very very well. Right now he's not the flavor of the week or the next new thing. He's a six year veteran of the music business and celebrity life. He's multi talented and able to support himself and his family in a fabulos lifestyle. He might not be where many of us hoped he would be sales-wise, but he's come a long way and his challenges have remained unique to him. As always, the VOX remains one of a kind. Who does he sound like? He sounds like Clay."

~drmchaser614



 

8/12/09
"Clay makes magic. From the Wildcard round to Jesus is Love duet to singing The Prayer with Hannah. One moment like that on TV or a major festival and The Magic Is Back. It's there because that excitement, that cool, that pop star electricity is there. It's not in the style of music. It's who Clay is as a performer. It's the way he sings and performs with everything that's in him. And given the chance, it'll happen."
~austenfan


8/11/09
"Here we have a man who is finally free of the bonds of having to hide who he is in every interview; free of the tyranny of an uncaring and apathetic music label; enjoying a happy and fulfilled personal life with both the birth of a son he thought he'd never have <snip> and is supported by a loyal fan base and a multitude of devoted family and friends dating back to his elementary school years. He's built a solid ground for his career by displaying professionalism and a strong work ethic in every endeavor he's ever taken on. He has formed personal relationships with MANY of the industry's movers and shakers. He has a talent that is so vast and varied that I don't think to this day, we've seen all that this man is capable of doing. Add to the mix his charisma (IT factor), his quick wit, his humbleness, his heart, his caring concern for those who are disenfranchised and his brains, and I feel anything is possible. PLUS, he's so dang easy on the eyes."

~ClayIzzaQT



8/01/09
"Clay has a very special, extremely rare gift. Perhaps it is his ability to connect with the audience, to pull you in and for that short time to make you live in the moment and abandon all your cares. For that short time you become one with the experience. It is a mind- altering experience and when you walk out that door, you are a happier person." 

~lady4clay


7/31/09 
"It is his fluid movements, his sudden flip of a hip, or the guile of a smile, to really see Clay at his best. He transmits his joy in performance to his audience more than any other contemporary singer and seems to embrace all of us with his beautiful voice."

~icame4themusic


7/22/09
"I knew Clay had chosen Bridge Over Troubled Water... and I knew what a difficult song this is to sing... He closed his eyes and sang the first line, and I could actually feel the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. It was incredible. When he finished the audience went crazy.... At that moment, I would have bet my house on Clay Aiken becoming the next American Idol." 

~Simon Cowell



 

7/05/09
"For [ those attending a Clay Aiken concert for the first time]: If you were to take the thrills of the long 16 second note at the end of 'Everlasting lov'e and the Glory Note from 'To Love Somebody' and the moment Clay's voice jumps into hyperspace with the falsetto "NEED" from 'Unchained Melody' and the perfection of the last "Mind" in Bridge Over Troubled Water, add the smoldering look of his eyes at the end of 'To Love Somebody', the joy and fun that shows in him while singing 'Build Me Up Buttercup', his amazing tone when he sang 'I Could Not Ask for More' and wrap it all in a neat fireworks display that bursts into 10 million shimmering specks of stardust...it still wouldn't prepare you for this MAN's absolute beauty, presence, power and beam of love that will transport you to another world."

~Unknown


6/18/09
"While I cannot wait for a tour and a new CD, I'm completely interested in reading (and buying) any book [Clay Aiken] writes. I always enjoy reading Clay's words, hearing him express his thoughts, and learning more about him and how his mind works. I see each word and each "product" as a small piece of a delicious and intriguing puzzle. 

Hmmm....if Clay were a book, I think it would be an adventurous, insightful comedy/mystery/romance/fable, with a bit of Ma and Pa Kettle, a touch of Fatal Attraction and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (in book form, of course), and a happily-ever-after ending. Lots of informative footnotes, of course, and a beautiful CD inside, with proceeds going to the foundation formerly known as the BAF."

~Brightstar



 

6/05/09
"How can you miss someone this much when you don't even know them?"
~merrieee

"I think it's because there are so many Clays to miss. He's compelling. 

There's American Idol Clay, Concert Clay, Christmas Clay, Recording Artist Clay, Kenny/Clay, Spamalot Clay, Unicef Clay, Daddy Clay, Humanitarian Clay, Boy-Next-Door Clay, Perfect Clay, Imperfect Clay, Funny Clay, Smart Clay... and on and on and on....

I love them all. 

And there's so much more to know, to learn, to discover, to remember, to angst over, and to enjoy. 

Clay's an interesting, talented guy...how can you not miss him??? I can't imagine not being a fan."

~imsnoqueen


6/02/09
"I don't get how anyone can compare the whole Aiken & Lambert closet situations: 

Aiken- raised by conservative Southern Baptists, dad neglected him probably because he feared he might be gay (treated his daughter fine), step-dad psychologically abused him probably because he feared he was gay (treated his other kids fine), devout Christian, whole family entrenched in conservative Christian community, was not out to ANYONE in his life when he went on IDOL, told his family, friends & coworkers over a period of time <snip>), happily raising a child as the most prominent single gay dad in show business. 

Lambert - raised by liberal, loving parents in southern California, already out when he auditioned for IDOL, but for all intents & purposes went back in [the closet] for the course of the show. Official coming out part of a marketing plan by his team. 

The difference in their life stories, when they were on IDOL (2003 versus 2009) & their entire familial/social structures are at polar opposites. TPTB at 19E/R/M knew Aiken being gay would not appeal to his fanbase & musical genre. They also know that Lambert being gay will probably serve his image in the industry as a positive. Again - polar opposites. It's a lot easier to say you're gay & an entertainer in America in 2009 than it was to do so in 2003 - 6 yrs is a long time in the social conciousness.

From what I have heard, Aiken was wanting to come out for a long time, but his contract held him back. As soon as he was free of RCA & 19R, he did it. I'd like to see Lambert walk in Aiken's shoes, live his life & see just how "honest" he would be. We all have different journeys & shouldn't bash each other for not coming out on someone else's timeline. Aiken is out & proud now & that's all that matters. He also just wrote a very eloquent opinion on Prop 8, but that's not as important to the entertainment sites as his opinion on one song of Lambert's that he didn't care for. Sad."

~From a message board post


5/28/09
(In reference to Adam Lambert saying, " If he [Clay] wants to ride  my coattails...")
"Actually...if anyone is riding coattails, it might be Adam, thanks to all those other celebrities (including Clay Aiken) who have (painfully) paved the way for him [Adam] to 'be himself' sexually and otherwise. I think at the heart of the current media indulgence of Adam's deliberate ambiguity is his perceived 'coolness' compared to Clay. If this relative 'tolerance' (in articles such as this one: Adam Lambert says, "keep speculating" ) signifies real progress, great...but this media treatment (so far) does feel monstrously unfair to the besieged, private young man Clay Aiken once was. And, whether the media or Adam or Clay himself agrees with me, I think he jammed his size 13s in that American Idol door, to the benefit of those following, whether he himself shares those benefits (yet or ever) or not."

~00lsee



 

5/25/09
"Late this afternoon I fell into an enormous pothole while making a turn off one of the local highways. Unfortunately it blew out my front tire. As I slowly inched the car onto the shoulder with my emergency signals on, another car was following me slowly. It pulled in front of me once I stopped, then got back on the road, drove to a spot it could turn around and came back. We didn't pay much attention and just got on the phone to AAA. To my surprise the car drove up next to us and down came it's window. The driver asked if we were okay and if we needed help. I told him what happened, saying we were already on the phone with AAA, and thanked him for stopping. He looked and sounded familiar and when I took off my sunglasses to get a better look I was pretty sure who I was talking to. I said, "Aren't you Clay?" He replied "yes" with a bit of a sigh in his voice. I thanked him again, telling him how nice it was of him to stop to see if we needed help. Yep, it was Clay Aiken folks!

When the tow truck guy came we were telling him the story and at first he thought we were pulling his leg, but then got really excited and said how cool it was. I'm still bummed about the tire and what the repair is going to cost, especially if I find out there's any damage to the rim or axle, but refreshed by the kindness of this local celebrity! Pretty nice of Clay to offer his help when most ordinary people would just drive on by, wouldn't you say?

Thanks, Clay, for being such a good guy!"

~From a non-Clay ,Raleigh message board


5/24/09
"So, I'm sitting on a bench outside Macy's waiting for Mr AH and this man comes and sits next to me. Middle-aged guy, looks like a trucker (trying to give you a mental image) Plaid shirt, white socks, black shoes, crew cut. We exchange comments about the beautiful weather and he says "You watch American Idol?" This is the last thing I expect from this guy. I say yes and he says "Did you like the results?" WTF? OK. I tell him I thought Adam was better but I was happy with the results. He loved Adam, couldn't understand how he could lose, etc. Told him it's all a matter of taste. Yep. he agrees, plus Adam will have a great career. Just look at Clay Aiken.

Now I feel like you guys are setting me up and I look around for a camera. 

Yes, I say, he wound up doing great. Guy says to me he couldn't believe it when Clay lost, either. Says Clay should give Adam a call, cheer him up. Things are obviously very simple in this guys world. heh 

I take deep breath and say, well, Clay is not exactly a fan. In fact, he jokingly said Adam made his ears bleed. Guy laughed. Oh well, he says., a lot of his buddies don't understand why he likes Clay's music. Says it's the only Christmas album he plays. Each to their own, he says. 

Yes, I agree. Makes the world go 'round and all. 

Mr AH pulls up just then and I wish the man a happy weekend. Mr AH says "what were you and that guy talking about?" I tell him, AI. He laughs. Yeah right. No, really, I say, he's an Adam fan. No way, Mr AH says. Yep, and a Clay fan, too. 

Mr AH laughs, shakes his head. Only you, he says. I wave at the guy, he waves back. I think of how perspective is a wonderful thing. "

:)
~AgingHippie


5/24/09
"I went to a wedding in Cleveland, Ohio, a few hours from where I live. I was seated with some interesting people. The man seated next to me is an electrical contractor our company uses, but I've never met him, since he's the owner, and not usually onsite. I'd say he's in his mid to late forties. There was also a middle aged couple (I'll call them "Husband" and "Wife"), who I didn't know. 

The conversation was lively, and we started talking about American Idol. Everyone at the table likes Adam. So, here's how the conversation went: 

Electrical Contractor: I was so mad when Adam lost, I wanted to throw something at my TV. The only thing that made me madder was when Clay Aiken lost. 

Me: I'm in disbelief and speechless. 

Husband: Did you know that Clay Aiken said that Adam did not deserve to be on American Idol because he is a terrible singer and performer? 

Me: That's not really what he said. I read his exact quotes. 

Husband: But it was in the New York Times. 

Me: Sometimes they don't get it exactly right. 

Husband: Repeats: But it was in the New York Times. 

Wife: I love Clay Aiken. His voice is unbelievable. 

Me: I like Adam, but Clay's my man. 

Electrical Contractor: I went to his concert here. 

Me: Which one? 

Electrical Contractor: The one where the stairs rose up, and he appeared, singing "Where the Streets Have No Name". I love that song. Blew me away. Do you know how many men were there? 

Me: How many?

Electrical Contractor: Ten! 

We both laugh. 

Electrical Contractor: Then we went to the Christmas concert. The one with the Perry Como story(??? lol). I didn't like that one so well. 

Me: I wish you could have seen him on Broadway. He was in Spamalot. 

Electrical Contractor: I know! My son lives in Manhattan. We went 3 times, just to see Clay. He was fantastic. What a performer. 

Electrical Contractor: Leans over, and quietly tells me: I have 4 Clay Aiken CD's in my car. 

Me: I'll bet you never thought you'd be telling anyone that tonight.

Electrical Contractor: I can't wait to tell my wife about this. We're both big fans. 

You never know where you're going to run into a Clay Aiken fan. I'm still smiling about that conversation. :o) "

~imsnoqueen



 

5/22/09
"Clay never dissed Adam [Lambert], the man. He only stated that because American Idol had changed and that it seemed that Adam had very early on been declared the winner, that the over pimping [by the judges] may have contributed to public perceptions of Adam being arrogant, etc. He then qualified it with "may or may not be true." He then stated that since Kris was such the underdog, that view may be attributed to Kris being a nice guy. Again, he then qualified that it "may or may not be true". If Clay was dissing Adam there, then it follows he was dissing Kris too, <snip>. For me, however, I inferred NO diss, since he was only refering to how American Idol's and the media's manipulations were influencing public perception."

~ Remedial 



 

4/24/09
"As someone whose brother works at Idol I can tell you in no uncertain terms that there is no truth to this story. [Referencing tabloid reports that Clay was rebuffed when we went to visit the set of American Idol] Clay came by to show his infant son off to his friends at the studio. That is all. He has a lot of friends there, including my brother. The contestants weren't even in the building and Clay admitted he hadn't been watching the show this season. Never trust the National Enquirer as your source."

~Message board


4/14/09
"Wow. Just: WOW. I totally would have thought it was a fun evening if he had stayed online for 20 minutes and answered a handful of questions. That it went on for hours and hours -- and that his answers ran the gamut from playful and funny to serious and thoughtful -- was an enormous bonus. Some of the things he said surprised me, in a really really good way, because they seemed to reveal so many sides of his personality. Then the blog -- the blog, and the gift of a gorgeous song! I'm stunned. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought to ask so much of him, or expect him to give it. That he chose to do all of this is just amazing."

~Oldmoviegal


4/22/09
"I have to applaud Clay Aiken for his decision to raise his son Parker away from the prying of those whose enquiring minds need to know and from those in the media looking for a boost in ratings or readership.  Being a father does not warrant publicity or scrutiny, and Clay has had an inordinate share of both. 

Raising a child is one of the few portions, perhaps the only portion, of Clay’s life that he can enjoy out of the spotlight.  I can think of no viable reason he should do otherwise.  There really are limits even in these days of the paparazzi."

~Mitzi Gill



 

4/21/09
“I spend my entire life in the media eye and have everybody poke into my life, so I’m going to leave him out of it.” 

~Clay Aiken, on spending time with his son this summer


4/22/09
"I remember when I first heard Clay and was blown away. I called everyone I knew and told them they had to watch the show. There was this guy, this wonderful guy, who sang like nobody else I had ever heard. I was captivated beyond reason. I have loved many singers in my life but none touched me as he did. No voice captured my heart the way his did. 

And then came the introduction to his wit, his wisdom, his commitment to making change where he saw disparity and his great love for children. All again just mesmerized me and gave me such joy. 

But it's the voice that drew me here and it's the voice that has me stay. For me, there is no question that [his is] still the most distinctive, the most moving and the most captivating I have ever heard."

~onthebrink03


4/06/09
Aiken, who was famously remade during his time on "Idol," said he was out of his element for the fashion part of "American's Next Top Model." "I'm wearing a UNICEF T-shirt and University of Tennessee pajama pants," he said. "I can't judge that." 

Aiken's recording contract with RCA has ended, and he said he's considering other labels, while also looking at stage and television offers. 

"All three look enticing, and I'm in the luxurious position of letting them sit down and come to me," he said. 

Washington Post AP article
 
 

***

4/06/09
Comment on above AP Article:

"Of course Clay has offers and choices. Consider:

1) Name recognition. In fact, one-name recognition. 

2) Loyal and supportive fan base. 

3) Multiple talents, some recently discovered and proven. 

4) Work ethics. 

5) Congenialness and charm. 

6) The IT factor that gets people intensely interested. From the time he came to public attention, such interest never wanes. 

I'm not surprised. But very glad to hear him acknowledge his luxurious position. 

I don't think Clay had split personality. Most of the time "we" refers to the team involved in his singing career. But now it is himself that's getting offers and is considering and choosing, especially in regards to non-singing, non-label stage and TV offers. It also indicates his new freedom, with few others involved in his decision making. 

Free at last, indeed."

~propounder


4/01/09
"POP/CLAY AIKEN: DAVID FOSTER TALKS ABOUT SISTER MAKING BABY FOR "IDOL" STAR WASHINGTON (AP) You may have thought it odd. But music producer David Foster says he has no problem with the fact that his sister gave birth to Clay Aiken's son. Foster says the deal "made a lot of sense on a lot of levels," since Aiken is gay and his sister, who had been married for more than two decades, had always wanted to have a baby. The only question in his mind was whether his sister Jaymes, who was closing in on 50, would be able to get pregnant. As for Aiken, Foster says he knew he was gay before the media caught on, but it's no biggie as far as the arrangements with his sister go. Just what are those "arrangements?" Foster himself isn't even sure. He says Aiken, his partner and his sister are "working it out" though he calls it "a beautiful way to have a family." Aiken's son, Parker, was born last August."

~David Foster


3/29/09
"It is his community and that's why these events are so important and why this was such a great thing for him to do. Being famous doesn't protect him from the same discrimination that GLBT people face every day and for him to be such a positive role model of a young out gay dad as well as someone who's had to come to terms with coming out in the glare of the public spotlight, he's in a great position to be a positive influence for tolerance and acceptance. My favorite thing he'd ever worn used to be that black leather jacket from AI and just after, but I'm thinking that white ribbon on his lapel has surpassed that."

~zara one


3/15/09
"He's had a tough life, our Clay. And it began from the time he was very, very young. But "On My Way Here", to me, is about overcoming most of that and standing past all the trials and tribulations to move forward with his life. When I think of him singing Ashes on some major television program and he sings "Turn around and see what love's done for me", I picture the fandom, his friends, his family, his loved ones all there as the support system who helped him walk through the fire."

~Corabeth


2/12/09
"I think the sweet momma's boy persona is one side of his 'real self'. So is the bawdy side. So is the sexual side. The philanthropic side. The daddy side. The recording artist side. The serious side. The smart side. Of course, I want to see more and more of his authentic self...but it seems to me his many sides are 'who he really is', too. Heck, that man's got so many facets, I think he's a diamond."

~00Isee


1/11/09
RE: January 11th final performance of SPAMALOT which Clay attended with his friend, dancer
and model Reed Kelly:

"It makes me happy that Clay is there tonight with so many of the other stars of "Spamalot" as the curtain falls for the final time. It will be great if Mike Nichols and Eric Idle are there, too. I like thinking of all of them on stage, taking that final bow. What a wonderful family they have been, for each other and for Clay in a pivotal year of his life. 

And... Oh, wow. For the very first time, Clay is out with Reed, knowing without doubt they'd be seen by fans, the press, God and everybody. *grin* It should be a small thing, but in this society, this world, it took courage to be his authentic self. 

He's free, y'all. 

I can only hope that 2009 is as transformative, liberating and rewarding for Clay's professional life as 2008 was for his personal life. 

Damn, but I love that man."

~berkeley



 

1/04/09
"Though I was there just two days in March, I wouldn't have missed this for the world.

Thanks to everyone who brought "Spamalot" to the boards, in videos, photos, recaps and cellcerts, for almost a year. 

Thanks to Mike Nichols and Eric Idle, to Jonathan and Hannah and David and Rick and Chris and Tom and Brad and Bradley and Michael and Merle and Wally and all of the Spamalot family. 

Thank you to the Broadway community for all of the love, support and respect you showed a talented newcomer who is now a seasoned actor with a caricature on Sardi's wall. 

Thanks, Clay, for a knight to remember.

On to tomorrow."

~berkeley


1/04/09
"It's here---Jan 4. Clay's final finale [in Spamalot.]  ;-)
A happy/sad, delightful/poignant, hilarious/schmoopie, wonderfully meaningful day, for sure. 

To all who are there--enjoy every second, every word, every move, every funny expression, every scripted line, every ad lib. Cherish each laugh and giggle, the cast's reactions, the thunderous applause, the bows, the glances between cast members, the props they'll give Clay today, the feeling of love and appreciation that will fill the theatre. Hold tight to the memories, the smiles, the tears, the incredible awe of being right there to experience such a time. 
Then bring it back to us---share the special moments. And know we're really there too. Our support, love, laughter, and tears are going out in waves. I know you will feel us there, and I hope Clay will as well. 

From the historian's first words to Clay's final salute, I know it will be magical.
And that's no surprise, really, because we can always count on Clay to bring the magic. 

How lucky we are to "get" him--to see and experience the magic and joy he brings. 

I'm not even there in NY, but I feel like the luckiest person in the world." 

~Brightstar



12/21/08
"There are souls in the world who have the gift of finding joy
everywhere, and leaving it behind them when they go. Their
influence is an inevitable gladdening of the heart. They
give light without meaning to shine." 

~William Frederick Faber (1814-1863) [ He was a hymn writer.   These words were penned centuries ago, but easily could be spoken of Clay Aiken.]



12/12/08 
"I was a bit worried about the E show, but you know, I've come to the conclusion that there is no need to worry about Clay anymore. No need to worry about his career, no need to defend him, no need to respond to every idiot who mocks him. Clay has come out of the closet, he's had a baby with his 50 year-old manager, he's been the target of late night comedians and asshat bloggers for quite a while... <snip> And guess what? Clay is still a star, he's acting on Broadway to great reviews, he's acknowledged for his amazing voice, and he's considered to be a good man and a here-to-stay entertainer/star -- by E (of all people!). 

Despite ridicule and mockery, despite lies and twists of the truth from those who would like to bring him down, he's still here. A spotlight magnet. A huge and growing talent. A solid, down-to-earth man with a good heart and a powerful work ethic. He's lasted five years in an erratic, uncertain industry despite the best efforts of some idiots and haters and the ineptness and short-sightedness of his label. Why?-- because he has the goods. Talent, charisma, wit, intelligence, and determination, just to name a few. 

He can be careful, and a risk-taker--and sometimes both at once. He's experienced the highs and lows of fame, yet through it all, he's managed to keep his uniqueness, his Southern charm, his love of family and hometown, his desire to make a difference, and his love of singing. He's not only still a star, I think he's on the road to being more. And best of all, perhaps, he's found a new degree of personal happiness as a dad and seems to have much love in his life. 

He'll always need fans' support, but their worry? Not so much. I think he's finding his way just fine."

~Brightstar



12/09/08 
"Random observations: 

A friend of mine told me that you don't just come out once, it is an ongoing, forever process, and you come out again and again every day. 

Being gay is still such an issue. It's getting better, but it is still one of the most despicable things about our society...that even though all men are created equal, our laws and our religions still don't really mean it...not yet. Not ALL men are equal. Not yet. Despite the fact that men and women and sons and daughters and mothers and fathers and priests and doctors and teachers and football players and ballerinas and hardware store workers and neighbors are gay...they are still not treated as equal. Not yet. 

[A friend] mentioned that she is in her 10th year of coming out <snip> and still hasn't told everyone. 

Clay Aiken may have been out in his private life, but didn't get the chance to come out on his own terms, at his own pace, to the rest of the world. I can't imagine the gaping hole that tore in his life, his being. 

Ellen DeGeneres is out and married to Portia and open and talking to millions of people every day. She delivers messages with humor and candor and shows the world that she is just a regular girl in love. She is reaching and teaching, and is a source of great hope for me. 

Denny Crane and Alan Shore got married on the finale of Boston Legal last night. Humorous, but beautiful, with amazing, thought provoking discussions during the show. 

The man who won on Wheel of Fortune last night introduced his "partner of 4 and a half years," when asked who was in the audience for him, and nobody in the audience even gasped. They hugged and stood on the stage together and it was beautiful! 

Kevin and Scotty on B&S are being portrayed as a married couple with the same issues of family and finances and careers and health and they just happen to be gay. (and hot). 

Luke and Noah on ATWT are one of daytime TV's most popular couples. 

Everywhere, there are little signs that we as people, are getting it, that people are people and that you love who you love, and yeah, maybe some are TV characters, but they are in our homes every week...as they should be...reaching and teaching. 

The cover of a magazine seems to be the way to go for many celebrities these days. I wish, for those celebrities, that it wasn't the way to go, but for the rest of the world? It's cool, because to me, it means they are reaching and teaching millions of people who wouldn't have even uttered the word "gay" in their homes just a short time ago. 

All these things are little signs to me, that we ARE moving forward. We're not there yet. But we are getting there. 

Clay didn't get his quiet, self-paced, own-terms coming out, and for that I am sorry. Sorry to be part of the society that didn't allow him that simple right. Sorry to be part of the society that still forces it to be an issue that requires a process, or explanation. 

But we ARE moving forward, and I can't wait for the day when there won't have to be lies or perceived lies or self-preservation or hiding or closets or hate or inequality."

~institches



11/29/08 
"If there's one thing I've learned to do in this fandom, it's roll with the punches. So many times the things I was convinced were going to suck turned out to be amazing and things I was most excited about turned out to be kind of meh, that I've gotten to the point where I try not to sweat (too much) the process of getting to the next "there." 

I could never have predicted Spamalot or how well it would work out. If you'd played me "Falling" or "Everything I Don't Need" a year ago, I'd have sworn to you they'd be big hits. So what do I know? 

I want him to keep singing to me. 
I want him to be happy. 

All the rest is just the stuff along the way. 

He's still the most fascinating book I've ever read."

~GBB



11/04/08 
"In my experience online for the past 5-6 years, the VAST majority of Clay's fans, young and old, are exceptionally friendly, compassionate, generous, thoughtful and faithful. I do think they are more so than the fans of other artists. I love how Clay loves us, and I love how we love him and support him and all his "causes" as well. In the long run, Clay and his fans are a blessing on this world. People who were friendless, now have friends. People who were excluded, now are included. People who lacked basic education, have been given education. People who are ill or facing difficulties have been reached out to, supported and prayed for. People who had lost a joie de vive have found it again. <snip>. This is a remarkable love affair we are having."

~pax


10/21/08 
"It's not about age. It's not about sexual orientation. It never was. It's the power of his voice, the power of his personality, and the power of his heart that keeps me a fan."

~MsCrabtree


10/18/08 
US Magazine from AI2 final 3: " A teacher from NC who watched [Clay] teach is quoted as saying "I get goose bumps watching him work with children." then later "one time when a little girl skinned her knee, Clay brought her into the health office. He sang her a sweet, soothing song." 

~Posted by Corabeth



 

10/17/08 
"I always love Clay's clothes. They either make him look great or provide me with a much-needed laugh."

~berkeley



10/03/08 
"It's never acceptable for anyone to make such a decision for anyone else nor to coerce someone to take such a significant step before they are ready. Not a friend, not a stranger, not the media. So, I waited until the time was right for me." 
 

~Clay Aiken


10/09/08
"I read the People Magazine article and watched the Good Morning America interview. I saw an extremely courageous man make a difficult decision for the sake of his child. I felt for an entire family, people I don't even know, when Clay decided it was time to open up about the most private part of his life. I saw and heard the words "I'm gay" but you know what? I just saw Clay - the same man I fell in love with on Amerrican Idol, the same man I've listened to, learned from and enjoyed for over five years. I still don't see straight or gay - I just see Clay."

~suereu



10/07/08
"We are slowly starting to respect this man-child more and more for the things he has to say on the gay issue — his thoughts are eloquent and moving. There's few people who can speak to those who absolutely believe all homosexuals are going to hell without causing some sort of riot, and Clay is one of them. Bravo."

~From the entertainment blog 'Mollywood"


10/04/08
"What a blog! What a man! 

I loved reading his words. The blog was beautiful, sincere, understanding, accepting, and honest. I also love the way he put things into perspective. Look at all that's happened in the last week or two! 

He explained and took us into his journey for just a bit. He made it clear that he was always mindful of his fans. But best of all, to me, is that he is proud of himself. He is comfortable in his skin. He is happy. I couldn't wish anything more for him.

I had a crush on Clay in 2003 
I was enamored with him in 2004 
I loved him in 2005 
I treasured him in 2006, and worried a little 
I adored him in 2007 
I cherish him in 2008, and I am worry-free

This week didn't change who Clay is. The man is the same. But the love is still growing."

~Brightstar



 

10/04/08

RE: Clay's 10/04/08
"I love how self assured he sounds. I love how he expresses his feelings for those who are feeling mislead but also how he says that (paraphrasing here) he never meant for them to feel that way but it's his private life, one he tried to keep private as best he could and since he was not able to do that he chose his own time and place to divulge what he felt was nobody's business."



 

10/01/08
"Being gay is an aspect of who he is, and important as it is, it is not his sum total. So he is still the best voice of his generation, a charismatic and engaging entertainer, a passionate humanitarian and children's advocate, a snarky sexy dorky singerman, a Southern Baptist from North Carolina, a brother, a son, a father, and a man who is gay. I see it as the People First language of who he is. 


9/28/08
"His talent hasn't changed 
His amazing voice can still excite, soothe, and bring joy 
He still wants to help others and make a difference 
He is still charismatic and funny 
He still cares greatly about his fans 
He is the same man he was a week, month, or year ago. 
He just opened up and let us know him better"

~Brightstar


9/28/08
"I have known for a long time, through conversations with many of my gay friends, that the process of coming out is intensely personal, that it can be a major paradigm shift not just for the person who is being told, but for the person who is coming out himself or herself. For those who are in the process, making statements or behaving as if they are straight is not a lie, it is absolute self-preservation."

~berkeley


9/25/08
"We love each other dearly and deeply as friends, but I think as parents now, there's an even greater bond, certainly for me. Our job is to remain best friends for the rest of our lives and that's the most important thing for Parker."

~Jaymes Foster


9/24/08
"For me, all I've ever wanted for Clay was for him to be happy. Life can be so difficult...but I know from experience the added burden of carrying a secret in my heart. There have been times I have said, "They wouldn't love me if they only knew..." and yet, as much as I feared losing people's love, I also felt they COULDN'T love ME...because I had never let them know the real me. As long as I lived behind a mask, they could only love my mask, not me. 

Having the courage to lower that mask and discovering you, the authentic you, are loved anyway is a feeling like flying, like being reborn. Like a new 'once upon a time'. 

I'm grateful for the opportunity to witness his courage. Clay...inspires me."

~00Isee


9/24/08
"While I would never demand that Clay provide an explanation of his personal life to me or anyone, the fact that he is in control of this message -- that his announcement is as deliberate and carefully-considered an act as having a child was -- has hooked me. He is telling this storyy; it's not a forced admission, but something he chose to do, on his own timetable, for his own good reasons. And I am fascinated, and proud of his strength, and eager to hear what he has to say."
 

~Oldmoviegal 


9/24/08
"Now I feel a lump in my throat knowing that he had to live with this for four years. I hope today is a freeing day for Clay. I can't imagine having to live with a secret for that long. 

I hope Parker will be brought up in a world where we are more tolerant of others differences, whether it be race, religion, sexual orientation or having a disability. 

I believe that Clay will help make inroads in teaching this lesson to others."

~FearofH2O



9/22/08
"That Aiken has chosen to come to Broadway and return to Broadway in this comedy says a great deal for his willingness not to take himself too seriously. His fans' enthusiasm and joy in his performance suggest that Broadway should enjoy taking Clay Aiken very seriously indeed. Like Fantasia igniting The Color Purple, or Reba transforming Annie Get Your Gun!, Clay fits Sir Robin and Spamalot like a glove."

~Edith Haight, Broadway Magazine 


9/22/08 
The current radiance that Clay shows in his stage door appearances are reminiscent of AI2 when he was wide-eyed with wonder of the new love lavished on him by his fans as well as the possibilities of what would become his new life.  It would seem that Clay finds his self-worth in loving and being loved rather than in his success, recognition, wealth, or possessions.  Perhaps there has never been a time in Clay’s life when he has experienced so much love simultaneously from family, friends, fans, fellow Spamalot artists, and, probably most significantly, from becoming a father.

~Mitzi Gill


9/16/08 
"When you see him it's never enough. Seeing him makes you want more after you just saw him! I think that's because when he is in a room with you his aura shines so brightly...that IT he has...it washes over you...and when he is gone it's like a light has left the room...like someone blew out the only candle in a room with no other light in it. You can feel it. 

Once is never enough."

~dancermom2



 

9/10/08 
"Best of all was the blog's ending, the simple statement, "I miss you folks. " Those few words jumped right into my heart."
 

~berkeley


9/09/08
"I still marvel at the man, his seemingly endless, not fully tapped talent, his wit, his compassion, his silliness, his wisdom, and his unmatched, versatile, touch-my-heart voice. Sure I'd like more news, more appearances, and more knowledge of what is to come, but I feel sure that what does come will be very worth the wait. In more ways than one, no other entertainer can fill his shoes--or grab--and keep--my heart."

~Brightstar



9/05/08 
"One thing I continue to admire about Clay is he makes friends for LIFE and creates family wherever he goes. That is a rare gift indeed..and somehow he knows how to reach and grab the core of a person. In a world where the superficial seems to rule he is genuine and true to himself."

~luvhisvox



8/27/08
"I think Clay learned long ago that the way to find personal happiness was to do what he decides is best for himself and those he cares for, regardless of what "others" may say. Any others, fans included. Besides, he could live a life of complete perfection, show the world the most beautiful and "proper" of scenarios, and the nasties in this world would twist perfection and make it seem ugly. He can't "win" that war. He can only make his own life and refuse to participate in senseless battles, games, and other nonsense."

~Brightstar


8/26/08
"He [Clay] has said how much he wants children, and he now has a beautiful son in a somewhat untraditional-looking family unit. In some ways, I see it as the family that love and strength and courage (and much blessing) built. 

I see Clay as one who is trying hard to have a regular, normal, happy life within the crazy whirlwind that his entertainer/star life can be. And if some aspects of that life don't always look "typical" to others, I don't think that matters to him. He'll make it beautiful, and he'll make it work. I don't doubt it for a minute."

~Brightstar


8/12/08
"Since leaving Spamlot in May, jokes have just not been funny," Aiken said in a statement. "Food has lost its taste. The grass is no longer green—the sky no longer blue. And babies WON'T stop crying!! I'm so excited about coming back to the funniest show in the world!"

~Clay Aiken


8/12/08
"In live, taped and print interviews, as well as in his book, I've heard Clay talk about so many aspects of his life, for so many years. I do not and can not know his full nature, and I sure as hell cannot predict every choice he'll make, but I do believe I know his heart. This is a good man, devoted to children, and now he has a child of his own. That is a good thing. Since I am human, I may be curious about some things and I wonder a bit about Clay's future, but I believe this child will bless his life.

~berkeley



8/10/08
" Parker will have something that Clay once wished for: a father who will say "I love you" and mean it. "

~berkeley


8/09/08
"Sometimes all of the planets just line up, and everything seems like it is just as it should be. Today is one of those days. Years ago, an international consortium of organizers and leaders chose this day – this special day, with its rare and lucky and symbolic row of eights – to be the start of the Olympic games. The date, that very cool-looking 08.08.08, has been imprinted in the corner of all NBC programming for well over a year. There have been online countdown clocks leading up to this date for just as long.

And it wasn’t just the day. To strengthen the symbolism, the Olympic opening ceremonies were scheduled to begin precisely at 8:08 p.m., Beijing time. That one minute – that one magical minute – was marked as special. So, for years, millions of people have been waiting for this moment to arrive. 

And, at 8:08 a.m. EST – at precisely the same minute that, half a world away, the first Olympic athletes were marching into the stadium – a dark-haired baby boy was born in North Carolina. That special day, that special minute, just became even more unbelievably important. To the baby’s parents, to their extended families and friends, to the larger communities who have also marked this arrival as a special day. 

What an amazing turn of events, and what a joyous one. I was already looking forward to this day, to the minute when the world comes together in a symbolic way to put aside their differences and celebrate. Now, I feel like I have something even bigger to celebrate. Welcome, Parker Foster Aiken. In the spirit of the day of your birth, I hope you always remember the motto of the games that begin today: The most important thing is not to win, but to take part. Welcome to the world."

~Oldmoviegal


8/05/08
"This is what I love to do, I love to sing and to be able to perform in front of an audience," he said. "It does not happen often where someone can do what they truly love for a living, so I feel fortunate to be able to have my dream of singing come true. Music is such an important part of my life. The best thing of course are the fans. Being on stage and seeing their smiles and knowing they are enjoying the music is a great feeling." 

~ Clay Aiken, December 13, 2007



7/30/08
"[Clay] is gifted enough in myriad areas that he can have a career in entertainment for as long as he desires, though it might be at a moderate level instead of at the superstar heights that some desire. That's fine with me, as if I had a vote --- I believe Clay wants to be broadly successful, but I don't think that he has any taste for being the Biggest Thing Ever. The air is too thin up there, and I think he'd rather breathe life in deeply and richly."

~berekley


7/30/08
"Underneath all the silence, mystery and waiting is a hard-working, talented beyond measure, competitive artist. I don't have a doubt in the world, that Clay is planning and working on his career. IMO, he is a brilliant young artist and his resiliency not to mention his versatility will become legend."

~yaknelle 



 
 

7/19/08
"I love the uniqueness of Clay Aiken. He's one of a kind, he's not "manufactured" for success. He just "IS." I don't compare him with anyone else, so long as he sings and entertains, I will be there. If he talks, I will listen. I love his mind, his heart and his soul. I've never had "dreams" for him other than his happiness, and never wanted to know his personal business ...<snip>

I love his charity work and support that totally because it is meaningful to me, perhaps more than any placement on a Top40 or A/C music chart could ever be. More than anything, he wanted to "make a difference." I believed him when he first said it five years ago, and I believe it even more today. The smiles we've seen in the UNICEF photos are not staged, he and those children appear to be totally enjoying themselves and it is wonderful to see.

Only Clay knows what he has had to contend with behind the scenes all this time. He's a man who values being true to HIMSELF more than bowing to the whims of the current music marketplace, including those who profit from it. He's not the boy he was on a TV reality show several years ago, but an adult male with a mind of his own. I love that about him. And he's had the strength to endure all this time, picking his battles as best he could. I think he told his fans as much as he could in his last blog, yet many have chosen not to listen. 

I miss the hell out of the guy, but will be here when he decides to return. <snip> This is a very complex individual who seems to have a simple message: love and serve your fellow man. He has given me more joy over the last few years than I could have ever hoped for: beautiful music; hysterical laughter; dancing (not choreography, Clay); friends; and, a focus on the joy of giving. And, then there's the PANTS......"

~clayzedover


7/19/08
"He's like no one I've ever known. Mad talented, determined, stubborn, highly intelligent, caring, hilariously funny, deep, strong, and kind. And ambitious as hell, I think. He's one of a kind, and his career will be one of a kind."

~Brightstar



 

7/09/08
"No wonder he [Clay Aiken] ignores the tabloid-mentality individuals. He has seen with his own eyes and experienced first hand what is truly important and worthy of his attention and time. How can he waste his life worrying about what low-lives think of him when there is real suffering in the world that needs to be addressed? I admire him more than I can say. He's by no means perfect, but so often he's a model for having one's priorities straight. He essentially says "Don't look at me, look at all those in need. Worry about them, give for them." And then he lives it. He puts his life and his heart on the line on regular basis."

~Brightstar



 

7/06/08
"It makes me thankful for my life," says Aiken of all his work abroad and with children in need. "These kids, many of them struggle with unimaginable hardships and yet they have positive attitudes. They don't feel sorry for themselves. Kids who suffer the most never do. You see that, and it keeps all your own nonsense in perspective."

~Clay Aiken



6/27/08
"While they toss Grammys to Winehouse, with good aim so as to not break the crack pipe in her pocket, Clay Aiken is walking the walk, and talking the talk. Reaching down and extending a helping hand, to people who only know him as a real nice famous American guy who wants to help us."

~Matt



6/26/08 
"...though I do not know this man, I can only observe he is just human. With flaws and foibles, sure. But he is also a young man with a heart & soul like so many others. And a voice unlike so many others. But he uses these in a very distinctly different way than most. I can only surmise that he is trying his best to do what he thinks is right. I recall he said this was what he wanted to use his "celebrity" for way back before it had all but began. 

So I am going to give him props for getting off his ass and continually working to meet his original goal. And in a not so common, comfortable or risk free manner. His environment seems to be continually changing and at his own hand. He says he wants to be back home where he is comfortable. Yet he is always off somehwere else working, giving, growing, speaking for others as well as himself. He is living life and living it large."

~treenuts


6/26/08 
"Just speaking for myself, but when I first heard the news of this trip, [Clay's UNICEF trip to Somalia] all I could think of were those horrible images of "Black Hawk Down." Today, new pictures of mothers losing children to starvation and dehydration are going into my memory bank. One set won't replace the other, but maybe I can choose to focus on the one that asks for and desperately needs help over those that rejected it ...I'm working on it."

~Imtx



6/25/08 
"Ah... {UNICEF] Ambassador Aiken puts it all in perspective again! While fans are angsting over whom Clay REALLY loves and HOW he loves her/them and WHAT he's going to do/say or not do/say about this or that.... 

He's actually DOING and SAYING something about "this or that's" that really matter.... "

~muskifest


6/24/08 
"If I were limited to owning only one CD for the remainder of my life, I would select Clay Aiken’s “On My Way Here”.  Within its melodies are all the elements that deal with our journey through life and how we cope with its inevitable trials and tragedies. 

There are expressions of the agony that is ours when life insists on our choosing between those things that are comfortable and the unknown. The album contains lyrical discussions of perfect love, insecure love, and love gone wrong. Other songs center upon humanitarianism and our relationship to God and our fellow men.  Fear, worry, and disappointment are juxtaposed with joy, encouragement, and faith.

“On My Way Here” is truly a universal, mini-commentary on human experiences as well as a revelation of the heart of its vocalist.  It is as profound as it is musically satisfying."

~Mitzi Gill



 

6/18/08 
"When an entertainer has a life-long career, there will be times when it's hot, and times when it's not. What he/she will never have is non-stop success and non-stop visibility, I don't care who he/she is. I wish folks would learn to be more confident and more able to take the times when nothing is going on, and not get all in a panic or all glum about it. A fandom shouldn't be something to torture yourself with and live in misery over--it should be fun!! I think [the fan's] expectations can be unreasonable at times. As for the lack of appearances, this is exactly how he told us it would be--some promo, then a vacation, and a UNICEF trip. Hopefully there will be another round of promo down the road a bit. A tour is a good possibility. And there may be news of another sort--TV, a movie, whatever. Clay isn't a quitter or a whiner. He's a strong, vibrant, talented man. He's going to be around a long time."

~Claymaniac in PA



6/15/08 
"Right now, I have a CD that I absolutely LOVE...one that shows growth as an artist....by a humble man whose voice I fell in love with five years ago. THAT has not changed for me. But there are many more layers to the man that I could never have foreseen. He's always interesting and surprising, and that is what keeps me here. The new biographyreminded me that he's done more in five years with his celebrity than I could have ever dreamed. It made me proud to read it."

~clayzedover


6/13/08 
"It is not always about performance art, but about receiving positive energy from people with positive spirits," he said. "Sometimes we can see someone's spirit, and those are the people with great energy. Those are the people that get me through the day, especially on Broadway." 

~Clay Aiken


6/13/08 
"A little over 5 years ago Clay was a dorky guy from Raleigh , NC who set his sights on winning a singing competition. Even though he didn't win, he has parlayed his 2nd place finish into a lucrative and exciting career. Here he is, a successful entertainer, who has attracted into his life a major music producer and his not so famous sister along with his recent success on Broadway in a major production directed by the very successful Mike Nichols. <snip>
This is the journey movies are made from and what an interesting movie it will make someday, all of it. 

There really isn't anything odd about Clay's life except for those who want to make it a strange story. I think it is a wonderful story and if the baby news is true it is about to get even more wonderful. Clay is successful and rich. He is a man who transformed his life, by hard work and some lucky breaks, from the average and ho hum into the extraordinary. Talent has been his ticket to all of it but I don't see him sitting around wishing he hadn't traveled this road. He is well loved and cared about and he looks happy. He is supported by those who matter to him. He may lose some of the fans who can't accept his non traditional life but that will make room for others who will see him as worthy of their attention. Life has a way of teaching us what we need to learn and God has a way of presenting us with who and what we need to learn those lessons."

~skybar



 

6/10/08 
"Clay is one-of-a-kind.  He will always be on the side of sanity, good judgement, and morality.  As long as he chooses this road, he is going to have an uphill battle.  He has traveled this road all of his life and seems to be made of something most of us are not.  He is not fearful.  He is not discouraged.  He does not pity himself.  There in the midst of  it all, Clay can be found calm, smiling, eyes filled with joy, and his sense of humor in tact.  He simply perseveres.
He possesses a true gift that allows him to take the worst of circumstances and learn from them rather than being intimidated, joining the crowd, or lowering his standards.  He is far beyond fortitude and appears destined for something that will reward him for all of the obstacles he has faced and overcome.  I think Gladys Knight made a prophetic statement on AI2 when she told Clay he was "magical"and "pure", that she knew something extraordinary was going to happen to him in this world.  I believe he is On His Way There!"

~Mitzi Gill


6/07/08 
“That’s what’s so great about America,” he said, laughing. “One of our valuable amendments to the Constitution — freedom of the press — is also one of the crappiest. You can write anything you want. You don’t need to have any proof or any truth to what you write.” 

~Clay Aiken in a May 29th interview



 

6/06/08 
"You know what I think Clay's trouble is? 
I think he's too damned progressive. 
He has a broader view of the world. How is that possible for a lowly North Carolina guy? An ordinary guy who was going to college and decided to enter reality show/talent contest?
But he is. Progressive. Religious, yet open to a variety of religious views. 
Very aware of current events. Opinionated, yet accepting of a variety of opinions from others. Doesn't seem to be judgmental, yet has high expectations of people. Patient with people with learning differences. Impatient with laziness and unprofessionalism and intolerance. Injustice.
He's intelligent. He's a character. He has a wild sense of humor that sometimes doesn't translate in print.

And - then - he sings "off the chain"! 

People are just used to celebrities who are less substance. More shallow. 
Especially as young as he is. 

It throws people. 

And some people just don't see the intelligence and the snark. Some people don't recognize sincerity. 

So - I guess they are right. He's odd. 

And some people are just greedy bastards who want to sell magazines and papers and they aren't even aware enough of the world to see consequences. Others just don't give a damn."
 

~Cotton



 

6/03/08 
"I remember Clay was recently asked why people hate him so much and he gave a beautiful answer. He said he didn't know in the same way he didn't know why people love him so much. He said that he represents the guy they picked on in high school who is now successful and has women screaming for him. And they can't stand that because it will never be them." 

~Corabeth


6/03/08
"I can't figure out why Clay has been such a target for vitriol over the last years. I  get angry when people who have been given a lot squander their gifts and opportunities. But it is just the opposite with Clay, who has never done anything but work hard and do right. For the life of me, I can't understand it."

~rubychambers


6/03/08 
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." --- Jonathan Swift 
 

"Clay will have a good life, will do good works, will sleep soundly at night, will be loved. 

The confederacy of dunces have sold their souls for a short-term gain. In the end, they will get away with nothing. 

If you had to explain to your children what you did for a living, who would you rather be?"

~berkeley


6/02/08
"Adversity has made him a strong man...and his shoulders are broad."

~propounder



5/31/08
"Clay is a very unique, exceptionally talented, decent man who knows who he is and where he is going.  He will not compromise his faith, nor does his behavior bend to fit the world view or to appease his critics. Sometimes he seems to be like a ship sailing into the storm." 

~Mitzi Gill


5/30/08
"Clay has been the celebrated catalyst to many wonderful experiences, and for that alone I will always be in his debt. But more importantly, my respect for him as he has made his very human courageous journey in the unrelenting public eye has remained intact."

"And though I wish him happiness with all my heart in all areas of his life, 
it is his happiness and has nothing to do with me."

~zena


5/29/08
"I think that Clay is looking forward, and transitioning from The Singer to The Entertainer. His talent is broad and diverse. Singing will become part of who he is, not the sum total of his professional face. Not surprising, really, from the man who has been on the Billboard charts and the New York Times Best Sellers List, a singer who is also a member of SAG and Actors Equity. 

I think Clay is one of the most extraordinarily gifted singers I've heard in my lifetime. Most of all, I love it when he sings. But I was blessed to see him in Spamalot --- there's just so much that he can do, aand he's clearly smart enough and hard working enough to broaden the scope of his marketability. 

That's one very good way to build a lifelong career. 

Regardless of where Clay goes, I will be there. He's always been worth it to me. "

~berkeley


5/18/08
"Jimmy [Kimmel] gave the goodnight, and Clay launched into “Ashes.” Now that is a song and a sound that gets to me. I wish that everyone who loved “Invisible”-era Clay Aiken could see him perform this song: informed by his history and experience, he has moved far beyond that never-the-less captivating performer of five years ago. 

The energy in the room ratcheted up really high. Clay started to groove and, hitting his stride, began to wail. He closed his eyes, threw back his head, hair flying, and sang, “Try and remind me now.” That was the sound of freedom.

Damnation, this song rocks! There were voices everywhere singing along, but rather than disliking that as I sometimes do, it was almost like a part of the performance, a chorus of approval, acceptance and affection for the man on the stage, his voice rising above all. It was one of the strongest performances I have ever seen Clay give and I grabbed every note and held on tight. 

I was so thrilled to be there to hear this. I knew that, somewhere in the first few seconds, a jackass had brayed and put an end to it for all but the few who were there. I hope I’ve captured a little bit of it for everyone. 

Heading out into the warm evening, I called in my final report and headed for the subway. I was smiling then, and I am still smiling now. 

I don’t know what Clay Aiken is doing today. I don’t know where he is. I don’t know when fans will hear from him again. I don’t know how this kickass, magnificent album of his will do over time.

But I’m okay. My life has its challenges, but it’s pretty good. I know that Clay will be around for as long as he chooses to be and, one way or another, sometimes he will sing to me. I will always get that instant smile in response to his, I’ll laugh when I hear his goofy guffaw and I will go on delighting at how well he has grown and how content he seems. 

I will forever be in awe of his extraordinary, blue moon talent. 

Maybe one day he’ll have a worldwide #1. Maybe he’ll settle into a groove that makes him the most comfortable. Maybe he’ll excel in another area of his prodigious talent. I just know that he is not going anywhere --- except for back home for a while. 

So --- godspeed you home, Clay. Sit on your back porch, play with your dogs, drink some sweet tea, enjoy the company of your family and friends, feel the love of someone who knows the real you. Rest, relax, and come back when you’re ready. 

I’ll be here. 

Even when you are in your quiet time, you never feel far away from me. After five years of sharing your journey with me, how could you?

You have your own world, your own dreams, your own plans…

But you’ve left some of your music here, part of the you who is always with me. 

So thank you for letting me share a little bit of love with you. 

And --- just an aside --- thanks for wearing those trousers so wwell. "

~berkeley


5/06/08
Re: 'On My Way Here'
"The sounds, the lyrics, the unique use of his exceptional voice will surprise you. This ain’t American Idol Clay Aiken, it’s the mature, successful yet seasoned Clay Aiken, with just a little bit of cyniscm thrown in. This album has funky R&B, unexpected techno in the middle of a song that starts off slow, driving pop/rock and a jazzy love song that sounds like warm maple syrup poured over cinnamon pancakes. I’ve read “professional” reviews who call this an album of ballads and wonder if they hit the wrong button on their ipod. Or if they had written the review even before they started. It’s congitive dissonance. They expected ballad boy, they didn’t get it. They might have even sorta/kinda liked it. And they didn’t know what to make of it so the reviews become more of a review of Clay’s celebrity or Clay’s fans. Anyone who writs that this is an all ballad album with trite or schmaltzy lyrics, simply.didn’t.listen."

~The ConClayve


5/05/08
Re: Clay's final performance in Spamalot:

"I can't help but think tonight about the people of Spamalot. 

Jonathan Hadary, Tom Deckman, Rick Holmes, David Hibbard, all the knights and the dancing girls. Last fall when they heard that Clay Aiken would be taking over the role of Sir Robin, what did they think? They can be forgiven if they paused and wondered what Mike Nichols was up to. I mean, this guy was from a reality show. And Hannah Waddingham and Chris Sieber, what did they think? Hannah, already a success in London's West End, Chris returning to the role he originated so Hannah wouldn't have to come in alone. How did they feel when they heard some guy from American Idol would be joining the cast with them? 

However they felt, whatever their qualms, these were good people and fair. They welcomed Clay as they would want to be welcomed. But did they have any idea what next four months would be like? How hard he would work? How good he would be? How the fans would descend like a hoard and embrace Clay's Spamalot "family" just as they did Clay? The stage door crowds that didn't fade in a few days but continued to grow? Raising over $250,000 (the first time Spamalot had broken $100k), due in no small measure to the work of Clay and his fans? This last weekend when fans simply took over the Shubert and shook the rafters with cheers and laughter, spilling out into the alley by the hundreds when it was over, cheering as Clay greated the throngs from the roof?

Do you think they'll take a moment to look at each other tonight as the madness dies down and say, "What just happened here?" "

~GBB


5/02/08
Q: Why do so many people hate you?

A: I have no idea why they hate me, and I sure don't have any idea why they love me. I'm completely clueless all the way around. In some ways, I'm sure, to a lot of people I represent that dorky kid in high school and middle school that everybody thought was a loser. And now there are plenty of people in the world who are bitter because that dorky kid became successful and they did not. It's kind of threatening when that nerdy guy you've been making fun of for all those years has somehow become famous. 

Q: You've obviously given this some thought. 

A: I've been thinking about it for a long time. 

Q: Does it make you sad? 

A: Ah, I don't care. Whatever. I've been around people who are too cool for me for almost 30 years now. I don't know. I don't think I'm very threatening, but I do threaten the notion that you must be good-looking and athletic and cool in order to be successful. I kind of screwed that up for some people who thought they were going to fly by.

~Clay Aiken in an interview



5/02/08
"And let me just say that I absolutely flove the answers Clay gave to Aidin Vaziri, the genius who writes the Chron's Pop Quiz. (I've shared my opinion about him before. This is the guy who famously asked legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker, "So what's the best cure for the blues?") 

How much do I love that Clay has this guy's number? 

"I don't take crap as much as I used to." 

No, he doesn't. From what I've read, Jesus showed that there was a time to turn the other cheek and a time to turn over some tables.

"And now there are plenty of people who are bitter because that dorky kid became successful and they did not." 

Yup, has to gall them that this AIloserwannabefifteenminutesuntilhe'sgone has accomplished everything that Aidin (to his credit, I'll admit) lists in the first paragraph of the article. 

"Ah, I don't care. Whatever. I've been around people who were too cool for me for almost thirty years now... I do threaten the notion that you must be good-looking and athletic and cool in order to be successful" 

Yup, except for one point. Er, um, Clay? You're quirky, you're distinctive, and you're not some cookie cutter Joe College Football Captain, but you are good-looking. But you don't have to see that. I do.

And then the people who have the image of this guy with the big ears whop was built like a lamppost get directed to Clay's MySpace... I would love to hear the reactions of some of the people who haven't seen him in a while. 

I feel happy. 

There's no better revenge than success. 
 

RE: The Billboard Review:  No, that review isn't bad at all. Read it again without the word "housewife" (ugh --- as if there are any women who are married to a house.) Yes, there are definitely songs that could break hearts. Then eliminate that inane fan term and, while the reviewer doesn't think the CD is groundbreaking, Kerri does think it is a solid work for people who've liked Clay's music before. 

Nothing in that review that would make someone who was inclined to like Clay pass on it, and a few words of praise that might be enough for fence-sitters to listen to the snippets. 

In a world where I rarely expect Clay to get the credit that he deserves, at least it appears to me this reviewer listened to the album. After some recent exposes of other artists being "pre-reviewed," that's more than I expect from some!"

~berkeley




5/02/08
I can imagine Clay just plugging along, year after year, getting better and better--getting some, but not necessarily loads, of widespread praise and official recognition, but putting out quality CDs and giving superior performances, time and again. Maybe he'll still get disses and jokes and crap thrown at him off and on, but he'll just stay confident, do his thing, and gradually win over more individuals and lots of knowledgable folks in the industry as he goes along.

Then one day, years and years from now, people will realize that he has become an icon, a beloved and multitalented entertainer who has built a virtual library of beautiful music and performances. And even though he may still have detracters, most of the jokes may be told with affection, and he will finallly be seen as the treasure he is. 

It's possible. And even though I have dreams of the "magnificent, hawt, superstar who rocks the world," I don't think that's in the cards--and it's not really the best outcome for Clay, the man who likes both feet on the ground, either. The other scenario can happen though, and it would be the better one in the long run. 

Perhaps he can go for forty years without breaking a sweat. :)
 

~Brightstar


5/02/08
"Aiken, who debuted on the Great White Way this year in "Spamalot," sings like a theater veteran: almost too perfect, with a self-aware showmanship. But that doesn't make pop-rock nuggets like "Ashes" any less catchy, or the ballads—on which Aiken's breathy tenor could break housewife hearts—ring any less true."

~Billbooard Magazine



4/05/08
[The name "Clay Aiken was mentioned at a gathering in Memphis: Someone asked "Who's Clay Aiken?"]

"Before I could answer, an older gentleman sitting with us smiled at me and said "I know who he is". He then said, "Let me tell y'all a story". 

He proceeded to tell about when he was a young man and was trying to get a group to go with him to hear a young singer he was crazy about. When they wanted to know who and he told them his name...everyone's response was, "Who's Elvis Presley?"

He patted my hand and said for me not to worry...I won't have to answer that question much longer. He said Clay Aiken has the same charisma and great talent as a young Elvis Presley. He said hold on...you're going on a great and long ride."

~DeepSouthGurrl



4/01/08
"Clay has had to reinvent that little-known special ed teacher enjoying a rather sheltered life in Raleigh to become the magnificent entertainer that he is, all the while holding onto his beliefs and his purposes and remaining what he calls "a decent human being".  It just may be that if we read between the lines of the lyrics on OMWH, we may catch a  glimpse of his journey - both the triumphs and the trials.  The CD could be the sequel to "Learning to Sing"!"
 

~Mitzi Gill


3/29/08
"Since I got into this business, I've learned so much about myself and about life and the world. I'm nowhere near an expert, but this album has taken on the form of addressing how far I've come in those five years and how I feel like I've found myself."

~Clay Aiken


3/27/08
"I honestly have heard very little of Clay- other than the tabloids..then I actually met him. 
He made a point of meetin' us all..right down to the ticket takers...he blew me away. He was nothing like what I had read.. He truly is a great guy.. and he is just an average guy that has been blessed with a great talent.. he really impressed me.. and I have already ordered on Amazon.. lol.. this guy is truly going places.. and we are all so grateful he is here at Spamalot."

~Schubert Theater Employee


3/27/08
"One of the great things about this engagement for Clay has been his treatment by those producing the show. [Broadway's Spamalot] From the very first report of his involvement, he has been treated with respect and enthusiasm. He has been presented as the desirable star that he is. The promotion, marketing and advertising for his Spamalot gig has been first rate. He has stepped up to the plate with professional precision and is shining in this role. <snip>  Clay is shown such genuine respect and admiration for his talent and work ethic."

~Barnett2


3/21/08
"I definitely see in the new [picture] the very, very beginning of a smile playing on the edges of Clay's lips. He is comtemplative there, but when I look at his expression, I see a quiet satisfaction with where his road has taken him and a recognition of good things to come. And his glow. I've never know someone with such a glow. I definitely saw it at the stage door last week. 

Berk said she and her sis can picture the smile that is on the way. I can too. In fact, I picture him starting to smile as he stands up and steps into that light. It grows brighter, turns into a spotlight, and he flashes a killer smile as he grabs the mic and steps into the light to deafening cheers. "

~Brightstar


3/18/08
"The word that comes to mind most strongly when thinking about Clay's [Spamalot] performance is "natural." He is totally natural in this role. It seems as if he's played on Broadway forever-- singing and dancing almost effortlessly (and at the same time!), delivering comedic lines with perfect timing, playing several very different roles and making each one unique and memorable, speaking with an English accent (several different ones, in fact), and fitting seamlessly into an ongoing ensemble of seasoned and skilled stage actors. What a great--and gifted-- performer! I swear the man is so brimming with talent, someone probably has to sweep up what must spill over every night.

I loved his portrayal of the suprisingly intellectual, and somewhat bored, tower guard. His wedding guard is pee-in-your-pants hilarious (how on earth does he manage to keep a straight face?), and Brother Maynard is completely unexpected and priceless. And what more can be said about Sir Robin? I've heard several people who saw him during the opening weekend say his current Robin is not as naive or innocent and that may be true, but I thought there was a lot of innocence in his portrayal, as well as sweetness, fearfulness, and an endearing hopefulness. I guess I'd say his Robin was sure of himself when doing things he already knew. But when he was faced with a new experience, depending on the nature of it, he might be at some times eager and amazed, and at other times unsure, even fearful.

I was impressed at Clay's ability to stay completely in character, attentive at all times to the words and actions of others while adding nuances to his actions while not center stage. For instance he sometimes bites his fingernails nervously when fearful and looks awestruck and gleefully amazed while watching the goings-on in Camelot. He shares a lot of remarks with other actors-- as part of his acting and reacting-- but I couldn't hear or figure out most of them. I did hear (and see) him say "Can I touch it?" when standing close to one of the Camelot girls. He just seems to live the role, and that is probably one of the best things that can be said about an actor."

~Brightstar


3/01/08
"As I'm signing autographs, a very petite, pretty girl walks up to me and says, "Your 'Invisible' video made such an impact on my life." I didn't want to argue with her, but I thought she must have gotten that confused with some other video I'd done. "

"I thought it couldn't have been 'Invisible.' That was just a self-congratulatory video of me singing on the stage in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard with a bunch of people cheering. There was no story line; there was nothing inspirational about it. How in the world could that video have impacted anybody?" "Are you sure you don't mean some other video?" I asked. 

""No, I'm sure it was 'Invisible," she said. I asked her to please explain, and she did. "Well, Clay, I used to weigh about 200 pounds." She paused. "You look great, but what does that have to do with 'Invisible'?" "When I saw the girl on the stage with you in that video and you put your arm around her, it made me feel so much better about myself, because you had an overweight girl in your video, and you accepted her. "

"Because of that, I was finally able to accept myself. After that, my whole life changed, and I lost 90 pounds." Then it dawned on me what she was referring to. While we were making the video, the music director had pulled someone out of the audience and put her on the stage with me. She wasn't hugely overweight; she was just a healthy-looking girl, but I guess she didn't exactly fit the image of what people usually see on music videos. " 

"She wasn't stick-thin or model-gorgeous, but I never thought anything of it. " "Thank you so much for sharing that with me," I said, but a simple thank you was hardly adequate for the gift that young lady had given me. Her words led me to the realization that you never know the one thing you do that is going to impact someone's life. I try to set the right example, but that day I realized that even things I would never think would make an impact do. "

"I never would have thought that video would have affected anybody in any kind of positive way, and lo and behold, it did. The person it affected most was me. I realized that from then on, I was going to have normal, average, everyday-looking people in all my videos. I literally had to fight with the people from my record label. They were not going to let me do it. "

"They said that the video wouldn't sell, but I wouldn't budge. When we made the video I told them I didn't want any anorexic-looking girls or model-perfect guys. If we did have beautiful people, I wanted the beautiful girl to be with the overweight guy, and the average-looking girl with the model guy. I wanted people to know it doesn't matter what you look like, that everyone is good enough. " 

"I realized that's why "Idol" has the impact it does. You never see a contestant with that music-video look. It's about real people, and I think the reason why Season Two was so exciting is because not only were Ruben, Kimberly, and I all from out in the middle of nowhere, Podunk, but we were all extremely normal, average-looking people. We would have never gotten record contracts if it weren't for that show: Ruben being such a big guy; Kimberly, who was gorgeous, but a plus-size woman; and me. I was a dork, and I still am a dork. "

"We're all just normal people from down the street and around the block. The final realization I had that day in Atlanta is that it's not just people who are in the public eye who have an impact on others. You don't have to make a music video to make a difference in someone's life. You can be a bagger at a grocery store or a teller at a bank. You never know when something you do is going to impact someone's life without you even knowing it. "

~ Clay Aiken in Chicken soup for the American Idol Soul


2/25/08
"I'm glad that he got another great review and I think my favorite line is the "this is not a debut for cowards" because that is spot on. If he had taken a role with a big voice, big song "that goes like this" in Phantom or a similar vehicle, his reviews would have been "he sang well, as expected". This role stretches him, smashes stereotypes, opens up people's eyes to his comedic talents and establishes him as an actor and singer, not just a singer who can act a little. 

I laughed at the aging cherub line. Earth to the rest of the world, he's almost 30. If everyone would stop using pictures from 2003 where he looked younger than he was, it wouldn't be such a surprise." 

~Corabeth


2/22/08
"I have always wondered, and been exasperated by, the fact that many never seem to see/respect/acknowledge publically (shock!) just how incredibly hard Clay has worked, how concrete his work ethic is, his commitment to, well, his commitments. Heh. All the dues paying spouting and whatnot that goes on....his dues? I think he's earned it, and not in an easy way. He might have started with a lot more exposure than some but he frickin' ran with it, didn't hesitate to put in the time, the effort, jump on the learning curve and soak it up, and he is gracious about sharing his face time with other artists. I'm so happy to see him get a bit of respect from some who it really counts coming from. I do think it's overdue, yet, all things progress in their time, as they say. It's his time."

~boo7



 

2/21/08
"Dishing With Clay Aiken" 
In PEOPLE MAGAZINE

The Idol singer, 29, is starring on Broadway in Monty Python's Spamalot. He chatted with Scoop about: 

SPAMALOT: It's smart, intelligent and almost highbrow humor. The punch lines don't slap you in the face. But for someone who's not a dancer, it's kicking my rear end! 

HIS NEW CD: We're hoping [to release it] May 6. In the past five years, I've learned a lot about life. I would like to wrap a lot of the music around that theme.

A NEW IMAGE: Last time I came out with dark crazy hair. We don't have any plans this time. But I've got the red wig... 

AMERICAN IDOL: It's something I wouldn't be here without. But I haven't watched it in three years. I've got other things to do!"



 

2/19/08
One of those woolly-tighted knights is being played through May 4 by Clay Aiken, the runner-up in 2003's "American Idol," whose various parts include the neurotic and cowardly Sir Robin. Aiken has drawn his own largely female fans - the "Claymates" - who are besotted by whatever he does onsstage at the Shubert. 

"It's hilarious," said Waddingham. "He's so sweet about them backstage. He says, 'Ah'm sorry, they're embarrassing me, y'all.'" She went on to add, "He's taller than I thought he was and he's also quite strapping. I expected him to be 5' 6" and quite puny." 

~Hannah Waddingham



 

2/15/08
"With an artist like Clay it is hard to tell whether RCA is keeping information [about the upcoming CD] tight to the vest because they may be hedging their bets on the release date, or if they are creating a sense of drama and mystery. They have to know by now that Clay has a very dedicated fan base that will sniff out every detail and morsel of information regarding an upcoming release. The only information we have about the upcoming CD has come from Clay himself. We know that he wants it released, hopefully in May, and that the material will be original songs. He has hinted that the sole executive producer is a well-known, highly regarded person, likely male, and possibly British. Clay has said he is going for personal expression over radio friendly material. Intriguing and mysterious. "

~Barnett2



 

2/12/08
In 'The Singer, The Albatross and the Promise of the Future [first posted in January of 2005 ], berkeley wrote:

"I fervently hope, with all the ports you will stop in and all who you will meet along the way, that you will find the songs that speak to your soul. 

And may the day soon come when what you have created is a true reflection of the self you are trying to reveal, in sound and in message. Then you will have built the vessel of your own creation, one that will carry you safely and confidently to the destinations of your choosing. It will be a ship of surpassing beauty and elegance, with a nimble touch as it moves through the waves. It will be built with your own hand, with the willing assistance of this band of crewmates who are happy and eager to travel with you. 

And when you are ready to name it, there will be just one name that comes to mind. It will not be a compromise or a promise for the future. That name will no longer limit you, no longer be a minuscule part of who you are and what you will become. It will be, through toil and struggle and sacrifice, through vision and courage and artistry, the ship that deserves to be called, quite simply --- 

“Clay Aiken.” 

There is a lamp in my window, and I wait for your return. Enjoy your journeys, and Godspeed."

~berkeley- first posted in January of 2005

***

"Right now, I am loving what I see on the horizon."

~berkeley- posted February 12, 2008



 
 

2/11/08
"The truth is, Clay is a smart guy who knows what works for him, and he was shrewd enough to realize that Spamalot, in its own nutty way, would be a good match for his talents and his sunny sensibility."

~Kathy Henderson 


2/11/08
"Everybody knows that Clay Aiken can sing, but—surprise!—he can also hold his own on a Broadway stage. To be more precise, he can hula, ogle scantily clad girls, discuss flying coconuts in a British accent, pretend to poop in his tunic, do a Cossack-style line dance and perform a lightning-fast patter song ("You won't succeed on Broadway if you don't have any Jews") without dropping a syllable. "

~Broadway.com


2/11/08
If I ever hear Simon Cowell insult someone on the show by using "You belong on Broadway" as a put-down, he can kiss my butt for that!"
<snip>
"People on Broadway are, without question, the most talented people in the country because they're doing seven things at once! They're dancing and they're singing and they're acting and they're speaking in tongues and they're playing piano and tapping. I mean, if Simon uses that as an insult again, he can kiss it! If you think about the people who are most well known for being phenomenal at their craft—Glenn Close as a prime example—the reason they're so good is because they started on stage. If you can do this Broadway thing, you can do anything. I'm considering running for President! [Laughs.] "

~Clay Aiken in interview on Broadway.com


2/07/08
****************URGENT PRESS RELEASE*********URGENT PRESS RELEASE*************

NEW YORK--Singer/actor/philanthropist Clay Aiken revealed last night that a red-haired woman code-named “Shannon” removes his clothes, specifically his trousers, several times a week and twice on Saturdays and Sundays. Aiken made this announcement at the Shubert Stage Door to thousands of his adoring fans (widely known as “Attractive Independent-Thinking Enthusiastic Women and Men of Above-Average Intelligence and Discerning Musical Tastes") with his arm around the shoulders of the beautiful and petite “Shannon”. Shannon The Clay Stripper had no comment, but she did have a big ol’ smile on her face. 

*****END OF URGENT PRESS RELEASE******* 

~Jemock (Who else?)


1/30/08
"After reading, "The Happy Hickster" I was moved to add my own comment, and I quote " this is one of the best article/interviews I have read about Clay Aiken". You can read it there if you like. And then I went on to read the other comments and could not believe the storm of controversey that had been unleashed by this article, and I mean on both sides....our own Claymates and the Clay-haters. What really impressed me about the writer's perspective was that she was bright, insightful and well-versed on the Aiken background since the AI days, and even before, and had tried to approach this unique personality with some measure of New York sass, coupled with her own sense of his enormous talent and studied self-promotion. (Now I know that description will alienate some fans, but ALL entertainers worth their salt are constantly exercising self-promotion whether consciously or unconsciously.) Ariel Levy, the writer, seemed to maintain a kind of tongue-in-cheek attitude with Clay, pointing out his foibles and then balancing that with kudos for his obvious talent. I have a feeling that Clay was aware that he was talking to a well-versed New York writer and responded to that.
I loved the challenge she presented him with open and honest questions, and Clay's quirky and sometimes hilarious responses. If she jabbed at him a bit, he seemed to take no offense, so it felt a bit like they were sparring partners, a jab here, a jab there, and then a hug. Not once did I feel this interview was a set-up, or pre-arranged, or conceivd with malice in mind. I think the genius here was that she got Clay interested in talking to her, and that is one great accomplishment. If there is anything that Clay responds to it's intelligence.

She may have probed a little more deeply than most of his fans would like, but that is always what makes a great and interesting interview.

I was more than delighted to read <snip> that quite a few fans felt as I did, and welcomed the freshness of a brilliantly written piece about Clay after all the drivel we have been forced to read, and Clay's funny, surprising, sometimes heart-breaking, and snarky, but never defensive, responses. A very well-matched team."

~icame4themusic



 

1/28/08
"I found the article to be hit-and-miss, positive and negative, with the typical New York tone actually dialed down a bit. I also think there were a couple of errors of fact and a couple too-convenient juxtapositions of quotes, but with a bit of grudging respect for Clay's talent. 

The second I read the line about voting for Jesse Helms, I thought that was probably impossible due to how long ago he last ran. (I see others saved me the Google, so thanks.) Some people, though, vote the way their families do, or vote for the old lions. But that might well be an error, because Levy writes that Clay is "now" a Democrat when I believe his voting records show that he has always been. He's spoken well much more recently than 1996 of Jimmy Carter and Tom Harkin, both very different politically from Helms. 

There are plenty of people who are determined to paint Clay as some dumb hick. (Raleigh is about as "country" as Seattle, in terms of population, dominant professions and people holding advanced degrees.) I like that she saw through Clay's schtick and other people's misperceptions and wrote that he is an intelligent and thoughtful person. 

There are people who think Clay is ugly (or, alternately, fat or scrawny.) I like that she wrote that he isn't, that he is instead perfectly normal looking and of average weight. 

The "quite the little activist" comment was patronizing (matronizing? *g*) and the term "special needs cases" was stunningly rude and dismissive. 

For a woman who professes to be a feminist to write glib, insulting generalizations about an entire generation of women is a disgrace. 

Everybody has an accent. Levy must not be able to hear her own accent, but I bet Clay could mimic it better than she can his. 

I think stereotyping is thoughtless and lazy --- but what do I know, I'm just a shallow, headline-seeking, soul-ignoring denizen of Los Angeles. 

Basically, I think Levy couldn't find her "hook" and couldn't draw it out of him. She had a couple of interesting insights, but her lack of time or ability to penetrate her subject showed in the extensive quotes from LTS. Four year old quotes in a current article should only be used as a jumping-off point, not as the gospel of Clay's thoughts and life today. 

I don't think Clay discusses details of his private life with anyone outside of his own circle, and I think he answers those questions in whatever way the mood strikes him that day. She carried in some preconceived notions she wasn't able to put down, though she did qualify them. That tells me about her world view, not his. 

I am glad that she saw that Clay fit well on Broadway rather than not being able to handle the weight of New York, even though she threw in a little aside about Broadway being a little piece of "Regular America." 

She must not be a theater fan. Anybody who thinks that modern theater is devoid of eroticism must not have seen anything more edgy than "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown." 

I'd say that Clay is a guarded person, that self-deprecation is a shield and that he probably doesn't even hear the "us" and "we." It isn't impossible to get him to open up, though I imagine that, with all the crap flung at him before and after fame, it can be difficult. Levy failed to do it, and that tells me as much about the writer as it does the subject. 

For Elle, Alison Glock succeeded in presenting a fuller picture of who Clay Aiken is, as did Matt Ehlers in his "New Measure of A Man" N&O piece (a balanced one for that publication for a change.) Considering that New York has made a couple of snide swipes just in the last few weeks, that this article is not relentlessly negative is the best that I can expect. 

So glad to hear that Clay continues to grow in the part(s), that general audiences are enjoying his performance and that his cast mates seem to like and appreciate him."

~berkeley



1/28/08
"I rather enjoyed the second page of the New York article; I especially liked that Ariel Levy acknowledged that Clay is smart and well-informed. I thought the wardrobe discussion at the beginning went on too long, but the scene-setting in the studio was entertaining. The last third of the article was kind of mixed for me...I really enjoyed reading Levy's reaction to Clay in Spamalot, but egads, I find discussion of Clay's sexuality approximately as interesting as I would his opinion on rutabagas versus other turnips. Dullsville USA.

I think Clay came off as unnecessarily high-strung, but no biggie there. For the most part, I don't think Levy was sneering at him. I also didn't get contempt, regionally based or otherwise. She came off as just wanting him to relax, which is fair enough. The "promosexual" bit made me giggle, actually. I think Levy's point might be that Clay has come to believe his own schtick about himself, so the schtick is actually genuine but, in her view, it masks that there's more to this guy and she's wondering if he'll ever relax enough to let it through. I think she has an idea of what Clay would be like if he would relax, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't agree with her idea, but whatever. I will concede that there's no warmth to her writing, but I guess I wasn't expecting that from this particular magazine, anyway. 

I don't know...I'm not really bothered by the tone of the article. I'm not enamored of the article, but I don't think it's bad. And I'm not saying that it's not bad in an "it could have been worse" way. I really don't think it's bad. I'm not even going to try to predict the fallout, though, as I can only imagine what the comment section is going to become."

~43dudleyvillas re:  The article in the New York Magazine




1/28//08
"So what is the article telling this audience?: 

-That Clay is a successful artist that has sold over 6 million records 
-That his success extends beyond the recording industry and he has even had a best-selling book. 
-That he is a UNICEF ambassador.
-That he established his own charitable foundation. 
-That he performs quite well in his Spamalot role (and if this author could have attacked his performance in any way, I've no doubt that she would have) 
-That his appearance in Spamalot is attracting a lot of his fans to the show 
-And (IMO) most importantly for this particular audience - that the "dorky" and "geeky" is just part of a self-deprecating image, but that people shouldn't buy into that description because Clay is in reality a very successful artist, is considered a sex symbol by many (including People Magazine), and is no ignorant hick but rather a rather shrewd artist who is very aware of his career and his publicity and promo. 

I agree that the article didn't present any of Clay's warmth or humor, and it's not the type of article that will cause people to go "oh, he's so funny," "he's such a nice guy," "he's so cute and lovable" or even "he's so talented." It's not the type of article that will make people fall in love with his personality or his talent, simply because the author never really presented either. However, it's the type of article that may cause those who look down on Clay as too cheesy/geeky/dorky/uncool (take your pick) to look at him with new eyes and see a very successful artist, and if there is one thing that can earn people's respect among the more snooty and snobbish crowd, it's success. The article may not earn Clay tons of friends, but it may earn him another look and some respect from those who thought of him as a hick or those who thought he had disappeared after idol and his 15 min were long over."

~kellykellyk



 
 

1/27/08
"His accents, his faces, his background chatter ( rhubarb,rhubarb,Hail Caesar!), his interactions with everyone and that FACE! Oy! And he said "goyim"! He IS a dancer- a natural- it just had to be brought out properly , given permission, coaxed. And can he shimmy and shake! "

"He does not disappoint. Again, he is in brilliant company who lift him higher"

~Divayenta, after seeing Clay in SPAMALOT



 

1/25/08
"I asked him if he's met Clay and he said he did and that Clay actually manned the ticket booth for them once and they all had a break! The ticket guy said that no one's ever done that since James Earl Jones! He also said that Clay's such a nice guy."

~zippy888



 

1/25/08
"Clay Aiken bristles at questions from newsmagazine reporter".

"It's almost as if they weren't interested in his position on Kenyan political unrest." 

 "Funny thing is, he probably HAS a position on Kenyan political unrest *g* "

"And would compare and contrast it with the Darfur situation with specific references to his UNICEF trip."

~From a message board discussion



1/22/08
"Associate director of broadway's SPAMALOT Peter Lawrence says Aiken has been no idle diva; the singer asked to be treated like any other company member and has been surprisingly fearless." 

"Clay really surprised me. When you meet him, he's this sweet kid from North Carolina with an accent. And you think there's no way he can do Cambridge material. And then he does," says Lawrence. 

"It's been a total delight and a surprise for me and everyone in the company to work with Clay because he can do things you'd never imagine he could do."

~Associate director Peter Lawrence re: Clay Aiken and his role in Spamalot


1/21/08
"The Broadwayworld website itself is very useful for photos, interviews and general news. Broadway.com is advertiser driven, but it has a lot of the same features. Playbill is considered the elite among the bunch, going back more than a hundred years. It's pretty wonderful to see Clay being featured on all of them. 

These places are part of Clay's world now. It appears that he has proven himself to Mike Nichols, Eric Idle, and the "Spamalot" cast and crew, and it can be expected that they will speak well of him. Clay will, as time permits, be part of theater-related events from now on, from shows to benefits to panel discussions. I haven't seen him in "Spamalot" yet, and my mind is already drifting to when he might be asked to originate a role! 

His life will get increasingly busy, between recording, pop and Christmas tours, BAF and UNICEF activism and now acting roles. (Something in film will come up, too, I have no doubt.) I just don't have time for the buzzing of gnats, when the real buzz about Clay just gets louder and louder!"

~berkeley




1/20/08
"Clay appeared to me to be totally and completely committed to this production. He was an actor amongst actors; he was not Clay Aiken, American Idol runner-up playing a role. He is Clay Aiken, actor, and has assumed the role(s) of a character in a Broadway show that was certainly not created with a 'wannabe' in mind. "

~STPteach



 

1/19/08
Re: Clay Aiken's January 18th Broadway debut:
"The word on the street in NYC among the NJUs [People who weren't already fans of Clay Aiken] is that Clay was GREAT."

~jojoct


1/11/08
"I think the thing that attracted me to this show is how different it was and anti-Broadway it is. I barely sing. They've written some new parts for me to sing a little. But it gives me the opportunity to try different things. "

~Clay Aiken about SPAMALOT


1/11/08
" I treasure the moments that he makes people feel .... transports them, even if for moments, to somewhere beyond the hassles and obstacles often encountered in daily living."

"...the beauty of the dance of love and laughter and joy in the exaltation of life and the vibration of the music and being of a man who aids in transporting you there is a hard attraction to resist, especially when it may also be savoured in the camaraderie of other seekers journeying in to participate in moments of time suspended in joy and a mysterious love."

~DancesOfSpirit



 

12/27/07
"We had a nice Christmas at my sister-in-law’s house. Just the five of us listening to some CDs and talking away. Then after our dinner we all went to bed early. On the way to her house, I heard a song on the car radio that captivated me? Mary Did You Know? It was a haunting rendition of a song that has been done many times since it was written in 1984. This voice was dark and mysterious, something like Alison Moyet in her prime. I searched through different versions of the song and discovered it was actually sung by a man called Clay Aiken. What a haunting voice and a delight to listen to! He was a finalist on American Idol in 2003. As I don’t watch these TV shows, I really missed out on something there."

~Echos Across Time


12/21/07
"For me this is a shining example of Clay's humor, he said it so casually. I didn't laugh until I was driving home and was remembering my M&G and I remember this: For our pictures Jamie assigns us a number and we get in line for our picture. Clay talks through all the pictures. After we were all done with our pictures Clay said "All done and all six of you smelled nice! "

~GodBlessedClay



 

12/13/07
"This is what I love to do, I love to sing and to be able to perform in front of an audience," he said. "It does not happen often where someone can do what they truly love for a living, so I feel fortunate to be able to have my dream of singing come true. Music is such an important part of my life. The best thing of course are the fans. Being on stage and seeing their smiles and knowing they are enjoying the music is a great feeling."

~Clay Aiken


12/09/07
"Perfection is for God, not for people. 
Ever look at the tags on a fine tussah silk blouse? like when it says that the imperfections are proof of its weaving authenticity? If you don't want imperfections, you should buy a synthetic blouse... but if your taste is for the genuine, and for the real-deal, expect imperfections. The lack of them is a sign of homogenized anaesthesia. 
Same goes for live concerts".

~likesclayspriorteeth



 

12/06/07
" Simon Cowell interviewed. Interviewer threw out names for him to comment on. Clay: " A classic example of somebody who was incredibly aware of the process; what you say, how you act. He was on the internet, I think, just about every hour, on every kind of poll available, knowing he was doing well. During the results show, they'd come to him, he'd put his hands together and look up and ask heaven, knowing full well he's going to sail through". 

~December GQ magazine (Bill Clinton on front) 


12/06/07
"Honestly, the man has the most dangerously subtle eyelids I have ever seen. Yes, he often employs them with frankly seductive skill...but when he caresses with them...ah...it's a mix of tender and intense. That slow blink, those drifting lashes, the sidelong glance. All seemingly gentle, soft, soothing, safe...until he drops his chin and openly looks...and the unwary are suddenly trapped by a stunning direct gaze. Inviting. Deadly. Those eyelids. Those eyes. And then...he smiles."

~00Isee



 

11/30/07
Review of the Waukegan Concert:
"Clay Aiken gave a grown up Christmas concert at Waukegan last night, and I was amazed at the virtuoso performance. Clay is a musical instrument in this performance as surely as the violins are. The physical positioning of Clay on the platform allows the music to rise up, to swirl around him and to join with his voice and float out to the audience and wrap it in the sound. 

I witnessed the physical beauty of Clay's hands literally move with the music. The passion flowed out of his fingers. There were times when he used these hands to pull the music up to him, and to pass it out to us. There were times when I noticed his feet move to the rhythm and literally move the music through his body.

Then there was the face. The light that comes out of that face, the joy, the pleasure was overwhelming. He lost himself in the music, but never lost control. 

There was such an artistic connection between Clay and Jesse and the music. There was non-stop music. It was holy and secular. It was majestic and fun. It was melancholy and joyous. It moved at such a rapid pace, that surrender to it is the only way to enjoy it. 

Quiana and Angela gave beautiful performances. They too, were caught in the moment. The ending of "O Holy Night," stunning, just stunning.

If you were blind, you could hear the beauty. If you were deaf you could feel the vibrations. This concert is a physical, visceral experience. It foretells what we will see from Clay, and it reflects his immense growth as an artist in charge of his own career. God, I'm glad, I'm along for the ride."

~yaknelle


11/27/07
"I love that Clay is always thinking, always coming up with new and different ideas, continually showing us his heart and his artistry. I love that he knows his fans are diverse and will love/hate/like/dislike/be enraptured with/be turned off by/feel meh about/adore, adore, adore his shows. Some may feel all those ways at the same time! And that's okay with him, he seems to say. It always has been and may always be that way.

The quirky, beautiful, mega-talented man loves us-- his sometimes quirky, almost always interesting and devoted fans. He keeps telling us that. I love that he wants to put together a special show each holiday season and entertain us --working hard on each one until he is happy with it, until he thinks it is just right. Then he presents us with his gift, every year a different one, each one uniquely his. 

He knows reactions will vary, and that's okay. He is proud and happy with his gift regardless. 

Those who aren't enraptured this year may love the show in 2008. It's bound to be different. He's told us his childhood stories. Does anyone really expect him to present the same gift to us two years in a row? *g* 

He's endlessly fascinating to me. Such a unique and talented man.

~Brightstar



 

11/27/07
"Someone said anyone can just stand up there and sing. I beg to differ. No one stands up there and sings like my BF. No one. Each time I think he can't possibly sing that song any better or make me feel it any more than I already do he proves me wrong. I expect that to happen this tour as well. "
~beagle3

"I was thinking something like that...That he's not "just standing there" even if he appears to be still and in one place. He is energy, he is emotion, he is blood, he is oxygen, he is light, he is sound...flowing in, and out, and through...pouring, illuminating, swirling, sparkling, tugging, persuading, convincing, touching, triumphing. It's a mysterious thing he does, really. Seeming to stand still and "just" sing...and all the while doing, and being, so much more. "

~00Isee


11/26/07
"Remember when you were a kid and the girl next door had a crush on Bobby Sherman or Shaun Cassidy? It's like that, only now we have credit cards."

~ Karen Bellows as quoted in an interview in the  Kalamazoo Gazette article


11/26/07
"When I spoke to Clay, he seemed like such a good, warm-hearted person. I really got the feeling that he did philanthropic things because he wanted to, not because someone forced him to seem passionate about a cause. It made me like him even more!"

"Clay DOES talk quickly. I do too, but most people who are being interviewed tend to speak slower because they know the reporter is jotting things down. Not Clay. Not always at least. 

I did have to leave some things out for size and relevance. At the very beginning of the conversation, I asked how he was, and he said well. And I complimented his grammar, and we talked about how he's a stickler for grammar and sometimes corrects people. We talked about the causes he is a part of, and they're all things that he personally chose. He said you can't force people to be passionate about things. So if he was working with organizations that he wasn't passionate about, you'd know. Going along with that, he said he used to work with his church, but he's able to volunteer on a greater scale now than he was then. We talked about how his job is getting easier, how after five years he's gotten used to the different aspects of his job. 

Those were the things I had to leave out. It was a really nice conversation, and he was very genuine. He didn't just spit out stock quotes like some artists can be known to do. It wasn't rehearsed, and, as a writer, I appreciate that."

~Lisa Sokolowski in reference to the article she wrote:  Christmas in the Heartland



11/21/07
"This will be new music, new songs that will become signature songs. They'll stand up against some of the mess in the market nowadays. "
 

~Clay Aiken about his upcoming NEW album


11/20/07
"You of course, have a beautful voice and I think the fact that you do so much with children and so much with various charities, I think that puts you above some of the other singers and actors and performers, because you want to spend time.. and you want to do whatever YOU can to give back to the community whether it's here in the states or in Africa or South America- that's very commendable that you spend so much time helping less fortunate."

~Maureen from WASHFM Radio to Clay in an interview


11/13/07
"I haven't come through the front door of a building in 5 years." 
[Words spoken by Clay at a November 12th Special Education Concerence as he was trying to tell the thousands of educators in the audiance where to find The Bubel/Aiken Booth.]

"This line goes right along with a memorable spot in the AI Rewind Hollywood segment. At the end of the show Simon [Cowel] is chastising the entire group of guys, telling them how badly they blew that day's audition. He says something like, "you are going to be in limos, you are going to be in fancy hotels, you're going to be famous" just as they show the entire group of guys just standing there on stage listening to him.

It is amazing to watch that piece and realize that the guy on that stage for whom that all becomes a reality is that skinny dude on the end!"

~sugrbugr

***

"Not only that but it's amazing to think that those big old feet of his that haven't been able to walk in a front door for five years now have trod stages coast-to-coast during his multiple headlining tours,been in recording studios all over the world,the sets of how many television shows (including his own special),onto the ice with Olympic skaters,and will soon take him to Broadway. 

They've also taken him to how many events to help the world's children including those of his own foundation, to testify before Congress on their behalf, and to Presidential committee meetings that he has been appointed to.

They've walked the devastated ground in Banda Ache after the tsunami, the war-torn fields of Uganda,and the dangerous mountain slopes of Afghanistan. 

They've "walked the line" for how many miles, night after night, just to touch our hands and thank us because we love him and have followed those footsteps. 

He may have stopped walking in front doors five years ago but OH, the places he has walked instead. "

~Rocky's Mom



 

11/11/07
Comments  about the newly- seen footage of Clay from American Idol 2 Rewind:

"Amazing how it takes only a second for Clay's voice to engage one in the most lovely, transcendant aural trance. That Superstar clip is four lines, but it is so rich with that "essence of Clay," similar to that old clip of his part in "Hello" (about the same length). It's an effort to tear oneself away even after multiple on multiple viewings. As for what he was like then, all that comes to mind between the beautiful hazel eyes, the lashes, the lanky body, the sincerity, and the unique vocal tone and timbre, is that he was a totally dreamy guy. 

Paula and Randy are rocking back and forth to the rhythm of the music, entranced by Clay's voice; Simon is rocking a bit faster, with an edge of agitation seemingly. I think not only is he thinking how the hell can it still be any kind of a competition with this voice in the mix, but Clay's just so incredibly good and so polished already vocally that a part of Simon must have sensed that his own dominance on the show was challenged. Clay had the ability to do nothing but be polite, thoughtful and sing, and in the process naturally soak up every drop of attention in the room. Simon was confronted with someone that maybe he sensed was intrinsically more than him, more conscious, more intelligent, more passionate, more compassionate, and way more talented. And Clay's standing there, probably only part of him really knowing how much talent he already had. What an interesting dynamic and drama between the two of them that had begun. And it will end with Simon's near-irrelevance, just another man with a lot of money, while Clay still has all the real goods that make for a fascinating person with a multitude of ways to entertain, thrill, soothe, and influence people."

~waterbaby


11/10/07
"I love watching these old clips. [video from American Ido 2] Not really old, just 5 years, but it seems longer. I fell in love with that skinny, geeky-looking kid on the American Idol stage with this huge, unique voice who sang with so much love and passion that you forgot anything else. Now the voice and the body match. The contrast is so great watching America Idol Rewind that I am blown away. It is like the Sandecki [American Idol 5] Finale night being replayed over and over. What a transformation, but my love for that skinny kid is still there too. I do miss the confident, yet innocent expression of sparkly anticipation that used to be in Clay's eyes, which has been replaced by a more knowing and experienced wariness. He is one truly amazing man, as fascinating and mysterious as ever."

~Barnett2

~~~~~~~

"One part that I love is about 30 seconds into [the] Superstar [video] when they had just finished singing. For just a second, he looked unsure. It was a rare hole in his confidence and I wanted to hug him and tell him five years later it was going to be OK. That he would be a millionaire with a devoted fanbase and tremendous opportunities on the horizon. That he would have the opportunity to tour the world and feed both his creative soul and his devotion to children."

~Corabeth


11/03/07
"...this week, I am exceptionally proud of my association with Clay. I am particularly honored by the way he chooses to put his strong convictions in the forefront of his life."

~makenaiken1


11/02/07
"You are a quality human being and a man of character."

~Jeff Foxworthy to Clay Aiken as they shook hands after Clay won 300,000 dollars for his
Buble/Aiken Foundation on 'Are You Smarter Than a Fifth grader'


10/29/07
Unsent letter to critic who wrote an  ill-informed and erroneous report about Clay's appearance  at The Neil Sedaka Tribute -neglecting to even mention Clay's spectacular performance:
 

[Webmaster note: Chances are good that the critic wrote it to intentionally incite angry responses from Clay's fans.  The writer of the letter below didn't send it because she believed that the critic did not derserve that satisfaction.]

"Yes, <snip> (or insert a variety of names here), it's true. Clay is taller than you. And much more good looking. And so much smarter. And mega talented. Did I mention well known? He turns heads. Oh, yes, and much more successful. And respected-- by those who matter. He has a much nicer physique too. Trim in the right spots and large where it counts. Yes, he has a huge heart. And huge other wonderful things. Heh. I suspect that he's also much, much, much richer than you are. And loved. Oh boy, is he loved! Ticks you off, doesn't it? 

How much money did you raise the last time you signed and sold one of your shirts? No? Why not? I see, no takers. Well the last time Clay did that, he made thousands and thousands of dollars. Not for himself, mind you (did I say he was rich?), but for his charity. What’s the name of your foundation? Oh, you don’t have one. Too bad. Giving, helping others, encouraging, praising, and celebrating accomplishments can be so rewarding. You should try it sometime.

Well, I could say more, but I must go buy some tickets to Clay's skating show. And his Christmas concerts. And of course Spamalot. Can't wait to buy his new CD! Of course he's still selling his first three. And his book. And the audiobook. I hear he has a speaking engagement soon, sharing what he's learned about Afghanistan--you should check it out. Maybe he'll share a bit about his travels to Uganda and Indonesia, etc. too. Don't be surprised if he's hard to reach for comment, though. He may be busy on the phone with someone from UNICEF. Or his Presidential committee. Or Tyra Banks. :) Maybe he'll give you a wave. Nah, I doubt it. He's learned to ignore a-holes. 

Must suck to be you."

~Brightstar


10/28/07
"Looking at pictures of David Foster with his arm around Clay reminds me of the story about the Rockefeller: When someone asked to borrow $30K from him, he said, "I'll do better than lending you $30K. I'll walk for 15 minutes on the floor of the stock exchange with my arm around you. Then you can borrow any amount of money from anybody." With association with and respect from the likes of Foster and Sedaka, all the gnats are not even worth noticing."

~propounder



 

10/27/07
"I hear nothing tentative about the beginning; I hear Clay taking the excited energy in the room and softly and tenderly calming the audience down and drawing them into the beautiful poignancy of the song. The tone on the first high "Solitaire" note - gah! And the purity of the high notes mixed with the deep, full richness of the low notes, with Clay moving so fluidly in between the two; Clay has the consciousness of everyone listening suspended in time with him as he moves them along on the song's journey. His eyes and lips give even more depth and color to the tenderness in his tone, then his hands begin to also reflect the anguish in the message of the song. I wonder if he could sense all the hearts pounding with him on the climax glory note and final notes. 

I think Clay celebrated before the high five with David, as he broke character and did the fist pump and cute bounce on the final note. He knew he'd done an amazing job, and I loved watching him celebrate it.

So we have a version of Solitaire now that is an exquisite work of art, both vocally and visually. What is more amazing is that we have the equivalent work of art for many other songs as well that Clay has blown out of the park over the years.

~waterbaby



 

10/27/07
"Clay was born to perform. Period. He was born to be where he is now. He has the talent, of course, but he also has the intellect, the character, the heart, the passion, the perspective, and the wisdom to do this. No matter what opposition he faces, no matter how loud the haters and the clueless can be, he is destined for greatness, I believe. Maybe not as a pop star, but greatness none the less. And I don't think he has even begun to plumb the depths of his abilities. It's almost scary how talented he is. 

I just feel so lucky to be here now, following and appreciating him. I hope I'm "frightened" and enthralled for decades to come. He's no angel, thank goodness, yet he's a delicious bit of heaven on earth."

~Brightstar


10/26/07
"Being a Clay fan is just the most fun in the world! --listening to a muffled CV cellstream and sharing gahs and giggles and sighs and sobs with fans literally across the world, brought together by love and appreciation for an amazing man with an indescribably beautiful voice.

Thank God for modern technology. Yes, it provides a place for gnats and crazies to spout their garbage, but it can also allow a huge group of really good people to come together, take a cyber trip to NY, and hear (in real time or just a bit later) a really good man, standing in the midst of established celebrities and superstars, blow the roof off the place.

There are so many troubles in the world these days, far away and close to home, but tonight I'm just all smiles and gahs and goosebumps and giddiness. "

~Brightstar


10/26/07
"Clay Aiken is amazing beyond that glorious voice. Turns out he is an excellent comic actor and a master of character. People will be surprised by his wide ranging talent, since the first impression is of great country charm and a singer to remember. This guy is not only a star, he is a lot more. We are lucky to get him for SPAMALOT." 

~Director Mike Nichols



 

10/13/07
(In reference to 10/13/03):
"Four years ago I took my first trip to NYC, and I went alone. Clay empowers, y'all.

I slept with my first Clay fan (woohoo). I saw my first nekkid singing cowboy. I stood in line at 3 a.m. for a wave and a "hey guys!" from the most beautiful creature I had ever laid eyes on. I ran all the way back from Virgin Records to the hotel, trailing the pull-out poster of Clay like a banner, to watch the most incredible performance of Invisible I've ever seen. 

Gosh, that was a really great night. So full of hope and promise, and bittersweet vindication and fulfillment."

~Jemock


10/10/07
"[Clay] is a grown man. 

I respect him enough to stand back while he handles his own professional life, private life and especially his security. 

I'll use my voice to natter on about how much fun this choice or that one would be, and I'll ignore the issues that affect his life -- as per his specific request. 

I'll deal with the larger issues of racism, sexism, homophobia and religious intolerance as I see fit, but I won't use him as a poster boy for anything. "

~berkeley



10/01/07
Re: Clay's Narration of American Idol Rewind: Season 2
"I've written narration for documentaries, commercials and lifestyle projects, editing and rearranging the words to better support the pictures. The narrator can be directed to say the words in a certain rhythm to coordinate with the action on the screen or with the cuts (edits), use tone of voice to help create a mood, foreshadow upcoming action, summarize the theme of the piece and sometimes suppy in words what is missing in pictures. Because the narrator is (or can be) an additional "character" in a production, it is essential that the narrator vary his delivery, from rhythm to pitch to speed to intensity, and suggest a mood as well. He should be clear without overenunciating, which is at least as distracting as the viewer having to ask, "What did he say?"

I try to be objective about Clay's professional accomplishments --- there's no point in me thinking that everything he does is perfect, because he's human and it just isn't always so. As a narrator, though, I would rate him at least a strong A-. He really did a superb job with all of the above factors."

~berkeley


10/01/07
"The way for Clay to genuinely make an impact with new music does -not- begin with radio penetration. It will begin with songs like [Measure of a Man] and "Lover All Alone" that people genuinely believe reflect his persona and personality. Those songs will show up on his myspace page, on AOL Music, YouTube, etc., maybe on a TV show, and Clay will perform at least one of those songs on a TV show or three. If his music is connecting, we'll start to see positive word of mouth, and a measurable impact via consistent digital downloads performance (leading up to or accompanying decent album sales). I'm not talking about flashy initial or weekly numbers, but steady and growing numbers on a week to week basis. If that keeps up, radio may very well follow. The way that pop radio is these days, I don't think it's the logical starting point, whether you're the artist, record label or management. The management in particular would, I would hope, be looking for creative ways to generate positive word of mouth."

~43dudleyvillas



9/28/07
" My husband and I agree that there is the special something about Clay- his voice and his persona- that just makes people happy.  I feel a sadness for those who "don't get it" because they are missing out on this wonderful feeling of - as a4a beautifully described it-- "the link to hope".  In other cases it is like a re-awakening that just makes people happier, and in turn their happiness spills over to the people around them.  Sometimes, all it takes is that voice to touch something inside us which blooms and brings a smile to our faces or a thrill that is indefinable.  Many people will never get it.  But those of us who do are the lucky ones."

~Janwhatever
(posted after several e-mailed requests)



9/26/07
"Yep, he's just a singer. And just a humanitarian. And just a comedian, just a witty, snarky, bawdy man, just an entertainer. Just a teacher, a writer, a presidential committee member. Oh, and just a dorkie/hawt/humble/deliciously sexy guy. 
That's all. 
No biggie."

~Brightstar


9/26/07
" As the House Manager of the Community Arts Center, I am so pleased to welcome Clay Aiken and his fans back to our beautiful venue. The entire staff of the CAC had such a wonderful experience with not only Mr. Aiken, but with his wonderful Claymates and Claymaniacs last year. I believe that myself and the rest of the staff were moved not only by his talent, but his kind and loving nature. Not only is he an very talented artist, but a gentleman as well!"

~Lara Collins Breon
Williamsport Community Arts Center 



 
 

"Count me in as one who thinks Clay wouldn't flaunt his success among his high school friends. He was a popular, well-liked student, and wouldn't have anything to prove by showing off how much money he has, or by name-dropping or by thumbing his nose at anybody. I think he, probably more than most people, knows that there are things much more valuable than riches.

But I do hope he looked hawt."

~Jemock


"Clay's first blog yesterday about Fantasia while everyone was expecting a comment about the tour rumor was the cyber-equivalent of leaving the toilet seat up in the middle of the night."

~Rocky's Mom


9/11/07
"Clay has a terrific voice and he uses it well. But he's always been an entertainer. Take another look at the much maligned Hometown Connection stuff. Singing is just one part of who he is as a performer. What he does requires a complicated skill set and singing is just one tool in his arsenal, albeit a powerful one. He's also a storyteller, and a comedian, and a teacher, and a commentator, and a promoter, and a producer. Lots of characters up there on that stage every time he picks up a mic. "

~idlefan4ca



8/30/07
"He came across not just as smart. He was not the memorized facts and figures and book smart stuff. Yes, he was smart and confident. But more than that, he clearly was well informed and very knowledgeable. He came across as experienced, even worldly. It was obvious he was well rounded and grounded and very much a man worthy of respect. He was the kind of man you’d solicit and value his opinion if you were looking for someone who really “gets it,” someone to believe and trust and put your faith in. He came across as the kind of many that you’d sit up and notice. His responses were reasoned, well thought out and were based on what he knows; not guesses. No ego; he was focused, fully responsible and there to do a good job for his children. And that he did!

He was real, totally authentic and congruent and very much in the moment. I was talking to xxx4clay afterward in the car on the way home. She said she would love the world to see Clay as he really is, the way we see him. I think yesterday was all that and a bag of chips! This is the closest he’s ever come to that, certainly on television. You get to see ALL sides! ALL! Really, really, “REAL and CLASSIC” Clay in the best possible way.

This appearance will serve Clay extremely well. The people who already loved him going in will be absolutely thrilled and love him more. The people who liked him will really have their eyes opened and find a new level of respect and admiration. The people who don’t “know” him will be really impressed. They will see a multi-faced, multi-dimensional MAN. And the people who are neutral will be nudged into really thinking he is pretty damn OK--a grown man who handled himself very, very well. Some will quite frankly be shocked—certainly out of their preconceived notions about that Clay Aiken guy. The people who didn’t like him going in will be quite surprised and the LEAST they could walk away with is, he’s really, really smart. "

~gareem- (after watching the ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER taping)


8/29//07
"Four years later, this fan has borne witness to the evolution of a man…a man in possession of a voice unique, unmatched by any of his generation. However, this man is so much more than a participant within the musical landscape of today. No, he has emerged from his boyhood into a man of complexity, inner depth, and contradictory traits awash in unabashed courage. At once, seemingly naïve and yet knowingly sexy, sensitive and impatient, funny and wise, Clay’s persona is revealed. From an unsubstantial youthful build, he has grown into broad shouldered, narrow hipped young man ideally suited for designer attire and fashion forward hair cuts…handsome and desirable. Initially tentative, he confidently commands the stage, poised to banter with any and all who evoke his mirth."

~Clayharmony


8/20/07
"I love dangerous comedy that really kind of skewers people and situations, and what's amazed me this tour (and last Christmas tour) is that Clay really has that same ability that Jimmy Kimmel has, to be able to sluice people with rapier sharp wit, but due to their overall demeanors being so warm and affable, it doesn't come across as at all mean, even when it's quite a cutting observation. For instance, picture someone like Dennis Miller saying one of my favorite Clay lines from last night: "They may not know how to punch a hanging chad, but they can sing a TV theme song." Out of Miller's mouth, it's funny in a confrontational way that attacks the intelligence of Floridians; but with Clay it's even funnier because it retains all of its connotations, but with him delivering the line with that sunny smile and modest demeanor, it becomes more of a gentle observation of human nature that even Floridians can laugh at, with layers beneath that available if you wish to enjoy them."

~waterbaby


8/20/07
"The fifty2thirty family has finished another successful journey down this street. And I thank you for Philadelphia, Meadowbrook, Newark and most especially, Asheville. Memories of the faux catwalk, the jumbotrons, cussin Clay, incredible M&G reports, the duet with the cello in "Lover All Alone", bats and bugs and rolling laughter. And voices in song....Oh, such voices. No one compares. No.One.

Rest well, Clay. Hug your two sisters tight, they have reached new heights in their showmanship. Stop teasing Jesse for a day. He is a master for someone so young. Give Jerome a slap on the back. So tough when he needs to be and then 10 minutes later leads a kindergarten line of adults in a circle. Never leave him, Jerome. 

Search far and wide, Jaymes. This man deserves the best that is out there. Well, he wrote the best that is out there. Please honor it and find more."

~Corabeth



8/19/07
 Clay Aiken is a funny guy. Whether leading the crowd through a medley of television theme songs, including Diff'rent Strokes and Growing Pains, or mocking his uncoolness with OPP or SexyBack (yeah, you read that right), the boy's got a comedian's timing and deft touch with a zinger. 

~Leslie Gray Streeter


"Hi friends...I just came back from watching my first "Clay Aiken" concert here in West Palm Beach...The boy can sing...And he has a sense of humor...He should advertise his concert as more of a "variety" show...I truly think the guy can sing, dance, tell jokes, rap, and actually act cool...I went to the concert expecting to leave bored; however, I was highly impressed...I give it 4 out of 5 stars..."

~From a blog by a 38 year old man


8/18/07
"And in the past, he [Clay} had indicated that he wanted a talk show, not a variety show, not anything else. But I see now that he’s open to other types of shows… I think he wants the opportunity to be on TV because he’s an entertainer, period. A talk/variety show that is a hybrid, that would allow him to sing, to entertain, as well as have conversations with people of interest to him (I don’t think he’s interested in talking with too many “useless celebrities”) would be what he wants, I imagine. I can’t help but think that Team Clay must put together its own audition tape from our clack [fan videos taken at his concerts] … there are so many wonderful moments that the clack-gatherers of this fandom have captured that would serve Clay well in meetings around town. His voice is a given… he needs to prove that he has the magic, the personality, to carry his own show. The shows could be taped on a 3-day a week basis, leaving him time for his singing career; I don’t think he wants to give that up. I’m thinking now that if the show comes first, he would have the opportunity to bring the singing back to the forefront with the public (that singing that—for some reason—we haven’t seen in primetime TV for years) and thereby get the publicity for the NEXT CD that he sure as hell didn’t get for the last one."

~ellenpoppy


8/13/07
Re: The Asheville Biltmore Hotel busline to touch Clay's hand:

"I wonder if Biltmore people realized they were going to have 2000 people in the lawn. (My guess is the lawn is about the length of a football field but a little wider. We completely filled the perimeter and then Jerome came out. I think I said to Karma4clay that Jerome [Clay's bodyguard] must sit in the bus with graph paper and figure out the best way to make the line work. Jerome came out and walked the perimeter and then grabbed someone's hand and we did the kindergarten walk so that there was an additional line the full length of the lawn! As I walked hand in hand with Invisible926 and a lady I never met but who had watched him sing as Clayton Grissom years ago, I passed security guards. One was saying "Red Rover, Red Rover". I said, "I bet you do this for all the shows" and he shook his head in amazement "No, we don't." 

Even walking hand in hand like that which under normal circumstances might seem very silly, just felt good. It felt like a combination of grade school recess and peace march. It was an amazing site, nearly 2000 people standing there in the pitch dark for over an hour on the lawn with the amazing backdrop of the house."

~Corabeth


8/11/07
"Thanks to everyone who made last night possible -- in real time, and now in retrospect, too. To those who have brought still and moving and word pictures to round out the experience, thank you in a thousand different ways. To Jerome, for earning his paycheck and a big fat bonus last night. To Mary, for writing the blog and not dancing around the reason for it. To Quiana and Angela, for providing multiple levels of back-up and support. To everyone who waved a glowstick, although I'm not typically pro-glowstick. 

And to Clay. For being class and dignity and fortitude personified. For shining a spotlight on truth, and leaving the lies in shadow, where they belong. For doing something that I imagine had to be very, very hard, and making it look easy. Last night was the perfect metaphor for the past year and a half: the heat was cranked up, but Clay came out of it cool -- off the chain, in fact. 

Wish I'd been there. Thanks to everyone who fleshed out the experience for me, so I feel like I was.

~OldMovieGal


"A young African-American serviceman in front of me was loving the show. At intermission he said (paraphrased), "It's like a symphony show, and a stand-up comic, and a REALLY GOOD concert all together." 

Why yes it was."

~suziebird7


"Someone recently reported (and I am paraphrasing) they were told that Clay loves meeting fans but does not like it so much when fans are, for lack of a better term, "gaga" over him. He doesn't "get" that degree of emotion or the extreme attraction factor. So I think this meet &greet format helps fans see Clay as a person rather than just a star, while it also lets Clay see fans as thinking, caring, smart, funny, not-scary individuals (well, most of them *g*). I would say it helps break down the barriers, assuming there are barriers, on both sides. Brilliant. 

I love the sense of "equality" there. Clay sits with the fans, interacts with them, answers all types of questions, and is not behind a desk or table "receiving his subjects" and just saying hi and signing something. It sounds as if these m&gs may lessen the "starstruck" factor, while, ironically in a way, (possibly) intensifying the love and caring and connection. They sound very "real" and very Clay.

Add to all that the opportunity to hear Clay answer at least some burning questions, to deflect myths and conspiracy theories, and to have his words posted online for all to read, and I find myself looking for an adjective bigger than brilliant. 

He's a big man, but his brain and savvy are just all out of proportion huge."

~Brightstar


"Clay Aiken is a riot. There's something genuinely comedic about the singer, care-free and, well, likable."

~ DAVID GRAVES
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 


"And yet, let me tell you …..he can sing like a son of a gun. When he isn’t sounding like God’s most precious choirboy, he approaches Luther Vandrossian levels of soul pop."

"But our boy Clay was singing from the fist-sized organ in his chest. He’s no dummy. In fact, I figure him to be quite shrewd. The placing and pacing of “Arms” woke me up and won me over."

"Aiken sang those soul-numbing lyrics with every ounce of focused emotional force he could conjure. Every hurt, every slight, every deep yearning to be loved when he wasn’t came out in that song. And let me tell you, we’re talking utterly convincing. I would’ve dabbed his eyes myself if he’d been teary. "

~John Petric
Ohio Press
 


"If Clay can keep touring and bringing in new people, he is going to continue to win them over, many of them, one by one. He has a knack for finding a balance, a well chosen variety in his set. Viewers can only hold out for so long before he delivers a moment that delights them, in spite of any preconceived notions. And once he's found their "soft spot," he'll reel them in and and have his way with them. Heh. He's popping the bubbles of scorn then blowing their minds."

~Brightstar


"His mother couldn’t have known it…but the name she chose for her baby boy suits him so well. Clay is a substance that is firm but pliable. It can be molded to take new shapes. Clay takes new shapes every day, every night when he steps on stage. He is forever a work in progress. He takes ad lib to new levels. Onstage and in life. 

Listening to him, watching him, is like watching an artist with a brush. Dabbing at colors. Mixing them. Adding texture. Building a picture. Creating a masterpiece. Some abstract. Some clean and classic. But all are variations of the original. A push here, a push there. But always a new shape. 

While he holds the line wherever he is at a given point of time, he manages to create a new arc. He plays to his strengths. One of his biggest is…us. He is delighting in that now. He has always known. Sometimes he has been a little in denial. But he has always known. And now we are one of his Aces in the hole. He massages that strength. He knows what he can do with it. 

His voice, his presence, his personality all find their niche. But the clay is a work in progress. He works it, but so do we. His strength, his muse. His life is evolving, his brushes are changing. But we are his constant, his canvas. And he loves the color. 

It’s a beautiful creation. The man. The voice. The sculpture that is all of it. And we are part of the compound that is… 

Clay."

~callieK


"I think people like to put performers in a box and categorize them somehow-this person is a comedian. This person is an actor. This person is a singer." Aiken explains. "It is very rare that you'll find someone who is known for more than one thing."

"So right now, people see what I do as singing." I'd love to change that a bit and kind of branch out and be known as other things."

~Clay Aiken


"Aiken's strongest moment was his performance of Lover All Alone, for which he wrote the lyrics. In spite of jarring intonation problems from his guitarist, he loosened his grip on the polished, practiced stage manner and truly connected with his own soul.

And for those few minutes, the squealing fans, the strong-willed women, the devoted husbands and the rest of the audience fell absolutely silent in appreciation."
 

~Lynn Green with the Columbus Dispatch


"'Lover All Alone' was fantastic. I read all the reports that said you could hear a pin drop while he performed this song, but I guess I didn't really believe it. Before the song started, I was still half-expecting someone to yell out something during the song. Was I ever wrong. There was no shouting, there was no talking, there was hardly any whispering. Over ten thousand people, that engrossed in a song... it was unbelievable."

~va_1587



 

"Regarding the Soft Rock in a Hard Place Tour, Clay has definitely brought “sexy” back.  At last sexuality has been lifted from the manufactured and marketed, suggestive, lewd, and pornographic to a level that can be celebrated and enjoyed wholesomely and, at times, with marvelous humor."

~Mitzi Gill



"He [Clay]  has been warm, funny and sincere. This recent interview was particularly entertaining. I often laughed out loud, as did he."

~Joey Guerra of The Houston Chronicle about his interview with Clay
 


On Idol: The Musical: 

"I just heard about it not too long ago. I don't know what to think about it. I think it's kind of flattering, a little bit. Someone put some money into it. They think people are going to show up. I kind of want to see it. That way if they do make fun of me, they'll have to deal with me sitting right there. And then I will boo them loudly."(spoken with a laugh)

~Clay Aiken


"If I were the desperate and threatened children of northern Uganda, who also have gotten almost no attention from the press (again, with the same exception of ET), I would be upset and dismayed that a stupid celebrity non-story is the top story on most news sites today.

Then again, as much as the media seems to screw up the actual facts in a situation, maybe they're better off anyway."

~Clay Aiken


"I've come to expect the extremes of love and hate [for Clay Aiken]. What I find amusing is that the media seems just as fascinated by him as the fans and the haters are. He's an unexpected twenty-first century pied piper--his fans know why they're following him (figuratively and sometimes literally [snip]:  the others I picture trailing behind him, confused and not pleased to be there, but helpless to leave. Maybe that's why they sound so cranky."

~Brightstar


"I think what makes many people truly admire and "love" Clay Aiken is this very real, human quality he has.  I think he is absolutely sensational as a singer--I could go into all sorts of high minded music major talk about the timbre of his voice, it's color, where his breaks are, etc.  But he has a great natural sound, no bad habits or affectations, and he sings the music, not messes up with vocal gymnastics.  You can relax and enjoy the emotion you feel when Clay sings.
But just as much, he has this wonderful quality of basic goodness, decency and warmth to his personality.  He's kind of a boy next door with a great personality and lots of talent and his decency is what makes you want good things for him.

He is really a special talent."

~A Music Major


"As I was listening to the show unfold last night, it occurred to me that, except for when he's singing to the Lord, Clay is probably always going to be more about being an entertainer (and a teacher, and a philanthropist, etc.) than purely a singer. I get the feeling that he isn't content just to have a singularly gorgeous, distinctive, pitch-perfect voice that is so facile that he can switch from singing a serious ballad to snarking on schlocky TV themes to belting out a patriotic anthem without missing a beat. The kind of addictive voice that makes anyone hearing it live eagerly anticipate their next fix. Having a voice like that would be plenty for some people, but not Clay. He's got to draw you in, make you laugh, win you over. It's who he is. And even at his young age, he knows himself and isn't afraid to let us know him, too, with all his foibles."

~Pink Armchair


Question: "What one record would people be surprised to find in your collection?"

Answer:  "My brother's a Marine, and he's into this group called Breaking Benjamin. I don't know much about them, but I own that. I wanted to kind of see what he was listening to. There's a song called Diary of Jane that I think is pretty good. . . . Breaking Benjamin is going to kill themselves because they got mentioned in the same article (as) Clay Aiken. There goes the rep."

~Clay Aiken


RE: The unusual spong choices for the Frisco Concert:

"So these choices are not conservative ones. He is taking a chance. However, if he perfects the show, it is conceivable that the payoff could be huge. Many of us have often commented that he's an entertainer, and not just a singer. If he can prove himself not just amusing but screamingly funny, it could help open doors in other media. If 'Lover All Alone'  starts to get noticed, not just by fans, but by others, it could help raise his credibility as an artist.

Clay took a risk when he tried out for American Idol. He could have been rejected and sent home on national television. It would have been easier to stay home and do his little Hometown Connection show, pick up his regular paycheck at the school district, and go to bed at night knowing that at least some people liked his music. However, he took a shot, and it paid off big." 
 

~JennaZ


"Lover All Alone" has changed the dynamics forever. No matter how great the cover song or how well Clay sings it, we have been exposed to something else. We now have a real, honest, Clay-written song, that is glorious, personal and showcases his fabulous vocal range. It was a major achievement and changed Clay forever, whether he realizes it or not. We are hungry for more. Clay can't go back doing what worked before. Clay has to go forward. He must continue writing and exploring that side of his talent. 

Clay, you are no longer solely a singer. You are a writer of songs. Your songs."

~Barnett2



 

"My guess is that it is most people's hope that Clay writes more songs that mean something to him and that he doesn't write songs just for the hell of it. He may, he may not write for the next CD. He may have a slew of stuff in a journal somewhere just waiting to be put to music. He may not. None of us know. But considering what he has said in the past, I would think he will never just write songs because a fan, or fans, want him to. That doesn't change, for me, the gift of "Lover All Alone" and it's just my humble opinion, but I don't think it's the only song Clay has in him. The simplicity of the words is an art. It's very difficult to strip away artiface. That's a sophisticated and complex song disguised in simplicity. So it has changed the dynamic for me as before this song, I didn't know Clay could do that. Now I do. From what Jaymes said about Clay being an awesome lyricist - I would think that she and, hopefully, David and Eman and anyone else that has worked with him on songs in the past, would be encouraging him to stretch himself in that direction. I love hearing that part of Clay that is his to share with us."

~Nanjeanne


I am more convinced than ever that Clay Aiken, is the bravest, most self-aware man in show business.

He totally does what he wants, how he wants to do it, and says a pointed, ___ you to all who would mock, insult and demean him. 

He's really, truly my hero.

~cindilu2


Re: Clay's iPhone blogs

"iLaughed! 

He is the biggest dork who ever dorked, and I love him."

~berkeley



"I think about how hard people have worked through the years to design a musical instrument, any instrument-- to make it play just so and bring forth a beautiful note. Then I think how amazing it is that Clay was just born with his voice, as beautiful as any instrument, to me at least. In fact, I think Clay’s voice is like a hundred instruments, all beautiful, and I don’t even think we’ve heard them all yet. Yes, he can practice, learn more, and improve his technique, but the natural gift, even miracle, of his voice was there at the beginning. It’s no wonder his voice can blend with the cello and other instruments. It’s one of them, only better. Like the best instrument, played by the most accomplished musician, his voice can inspire feelings of love, peace, excitement, haunting sadness, calm, and most of all, joy. It is a voice which should, IMO, be recognized, acknowledged, respected, and celebrated-- and by many more than "just us." 

~Brightstar


6/09/07
"Let them say it. It doesn't make it true."

~Clay Aiken



6/04/07
"I must say that if somebody in Canada hadn't heard of Clay before this past week, they certainly have now. It was almost as if he was on a press junket the last few days. 

I don't think that National Post article is a dig at Clay at all. The writer is doing a comparison of Clay to the new wing. The new ROM wing is very controversial. You love it or hate it. But you have to have some kind of feeling about it. Which means it is not boring. And that is like Clay. There is nothing worse for an entertainer than to be boring. The writer certainly gave Clay a lot of press space."

~Jank


"I loved the Post article. It's all true - not everyone loves Clay Aiken. Personally I'd be very upset if he was so boring that he didn't inspire intense feelings. Not to say I appreciate the truly insane ones - but having a strong enough character to not please everyone is one of the things I adore about Clay. And daring and not-ordinary are great ways to think of Clay. I thought this was a great mention. Love the new wing or hate the new wing - it's something that is being written about and talked about. And I agree with the writer, human architecture is fascinating. And Clay's is complex, stunning, with great bones and a solid foundation."

~ Nanjeanne



 

"CLAY AIKEN, the American Idol super-graduate, stole the show by singing at Arnold Schwarzenegger's appearance at the Stanley Park Pavilion Thursday."

~The Vancouver Sun


"My God, he looks good in these press mentions, so happy and glowing. I love the patronly look on Foster's face and the friendly hand on the shoulder. Clay is sure hobnobbing with the elite. He works with a President's committee, meets a Premier, and performs before a governor. Clay is class personified. I couldn't be prouder to be a fan."

~Barnett2


"It's been a good day. We got a mussed up, packed-in, wide shouldered, jean-clad hipped, gorgeous faced, arm furred, blog-writing Clay. I'm happy."

~EmeraldEyes


"You know, I keep tryin' to work up some fear and trepidation about this tour, and I just can't. The only thing I've learned to expect from Clay Aiken is.....the unexpected. I learned my lesson back in 2005 with the JBT. God knows I pissed and moaned to my friends once we learned that Clay was going to be including selections from every decade, including the dreaded Fifties. "No, no, NO! I HATE the music from the Fifties. AND I don't LIKE Elvis music," I whined. Well, many of us who attended those concerts know how THAT turned out. Yeah, I loved it. A lot. Times seven. 

I'll never doubt his choices again. How will he make his entrance? Whether he uncoils himself from the tympani or merely strolls in, I know that, either way, my eyeballs will suck him into view and my pulse will do that little stutter-step. Nah, I don't expect pure Symphony Boi. Make no mistake, there WILL be a symphony orchestra behind him, with all that connotes. (I'm trying to PleezeBabyJeezus a stool, a spotlight, an open-throated shirt and Lover All Alone into existence.) But really, those musicians can play ANYthing. It must be amazing to have that full, rich sound behind you. And our Boyfriend can sing anything...and he LIKES to surprise us. 

I've seen orchestras break out of that "Symphony #11 by so-and-so" mold, haven't you? I love when an orchestra "pops." They seem to love it. It's like they simultaneously turned the page on their music stands and there was......pure pron. They play for their lives....am I imagining that their eyes are just a little brighter and they're leanin' in just a little closer? They finish, and seem to smirk sidelong at each other and there's a little smug "Well, how do you like THAT?" in the air.

And, as for Clay, I expect the usual. I expect him to seat me, heat me, and street me...several times. I imagine he might just grab us by the eardrums, have his way with us...and then we'll suddenly find ourselves on the now-dark sidewalk.

Those orchestras and Clay? I think with at least SOME of the songs, it'll be like............well............ 

............like layin' rubber with a Rolls Royce."

~Whatever



 

"I printed out the criteria for UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors & found the following attributes...sure fits Clay to a T!

1. Widely recognized talent in their public field;

2. Integrity, strong desire to mobilize public interest re: UN programs, etc.;

3. Personality & dignity to be a good representative;

4. Influential beyond own national borders;

5. Knowledgeable about UN goals & activities;

6. Good judgement, discretion, respect the UN, refrain from incompatible activities;

7. Good citizenship, reputation, prestige, talent, presence;

8. Passionate, courageous, inspiring, caring, principled, credible, capable, influential,committed;

9. Leadership, willingness to use professional prestige & networks to promote the cause of children;

10. Positive role model, compelling, eloquent;

11. Articulate, genuinely interested, willing to learn;

12. Ability to reach specific audiences & to touch people's hearts.

UNICEF is VERY SELECTIVE in making their choices. There are only about 200 Goodwill Ambassadors in the world!  "

~dardar1126


"I teach in a preschool (4's) and most days at lunch I play Clay.They love the All Is Well CD. The kids calm down and they even say to each other "shush, the big note is coming." The best part is that it is a Jewish preschool, and pretty religious, so they call Emmanuel "The Israel Song." If I don't put it on then they request it, saying "Can you please play the Israel song? How can I say no? "

~clayamour
 



"Not too long ago a young man full of hopes and dreams and heart , auditioned in South Carolina singing "Over The Rainbow". He was a little shaky and looked mildly geeky. He had suffered for years as a child who was not "macho" or "athletic". He felt like an outsider in his own family at times.. 

Jump to almost five years(?) later and we see after almost winning a talent show and a makeover of sorts, this same heartfelt and intelligent soul out and aout , making a huge difference with UNICEF, his own foundation and his glorious voice and gifts as an entertainer. He has millions of devoted fans. He meets lovely women like Tyra Banks for dinner! The "makeover" was immaterial- if the substance wasn't there, the heart, the talent, this amazing story would not have taken place. 

He is an uplift and inspiration to many of us who have felt rejected, undecided, like "outsiders", unattractive according to current standards. He IS "Cinderfella". But there was no fairy godmother here- there was character and the expression and sharing of his many gifts." 

~Divayenta


"UNICEF has 60 years of experience dealing with children's issues.

The President's Commitee for People with Intellectual Disabilities was founded 46 years ago.

The National Center for Learning Disabilties is celebrating their 30th anniversary. 

All three organizations deem Clay Aiken to be an exemplary advocate for children, worthy of recognition for his work --- at the age of 28. There simply is no disputing that. 

It is deeply satisfying to me that, on Wednesday of all nights, Clay was quietly being recognized for his years of giving back."

~berkeley



 

Re: theWNCY Interview:
"This was a fantastic opportunity for Clay to be introduced to the NPR audience, speaking with knowledge, empathy, humor and charm about a humanitarian issue that is likely to be of great interest to WNYC's core audience. It is exactly the kind of thing likely to demonstrate Clay's intelligence and gravitas to an audience that includes members disdainful of broadcast TV and reality shows."

~berkeley



 

"Clay has been to places where 35,000 people were hastily buried, and he did not complain of the smell. He talked about resilience and hope.

Clay has been to places where there are no sanitary facilities, where tens of thousand of people are herded together like cattle, and he spoke of the need to end the war and get children back home and back to school. 

Clay has been to places where many people do not know the fundamentals of hygiene, and he spoke of how warmly he was welcomed and how the people he had met were the country's greatest resource. 

Africa is so much more than tinpot dictators, starving babies and the AIDS pandemic. Unless one sees the people first, what hope is there to solve the problems? 

There is much healing to be done across that great continent, true, but I am so grateful for people like Clay who are able to look beyond the crises and see the beauty."

~berkeley


"Sometime during the month of April (forgive me that I do not recall precise dates), I noticed an advertisement on tv about the Oprah Show and Sidney Poitier going to be on it the next day. As a long time admirer of Mr. Poitier, and because normally I am working when Oprah’s show is on, I set my dvr to record it. Finally, last week, my husband and I sat and watched the recording. When I listen to Mr. Poitier, I feel as though I am listening to a very special presence, a classy, elegantly eloquent human being, not unlike what I have occasion to feel about Clay and see in him from time to time, though it be perhaps in a somewhat more fledgling state, and expect to feel more often about him as he ages and grows even wiser. 

During the show, Mr. Poitier conversed with Oprah and others in attendance during an Oprah Book Club Dinner discussion honoring his book, “The Measure of a Man.” At one point their discussion went back to the time in 1964 when he won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in the movie “Lillies of the Field,” and how, in spite of this acknowledgment represented by the Oscar, he knew he still remained an “outsider,” for he knew that he was the first, but still the only African American to have been honored thusly, and that there was still work to be done and, indeed, not all had been overcome. One of the participants at the dinner spoke, “You mentioned in your book that you felt you were an outsider back then ....” And, so, he reflected: 

Quote:
“Well, I am an outsider by instinct. I have always had a sense of myself as the observer, but I don’t mind it. An outsider, to me, is the person who, by instinct, prefers to walk on the edge. So, I’ve done it and I didn’t fall off. I survived fairly ok. I am who I am and whenever I am treated in a way that I feel that is contrary to how I hold myself, I will defend myself by improving myself. The more I improve myself, the more of a man I become, the more of a humane person I become.” 
 
 

I cannot speak for others, of course, but when I heard him speak these words, I thought of our Clay and how my very subjective observation sees him reacting and using adversity and challenges in his life as places from which to grow and improve and, indeed, become a more “humane person.” I am so very proud of him for every occasion upon which he is able to make this choice. May he never fall off the edge, the precipice upon which he walks, and may he always be, at the very least, “fairly ok” (for if he remains as “fairly ok” as Mr. Poitier has been able to do, he will indeed have been blessed in his journey at the edge) and able to remain true to himself. 

Human beings who strive to walk their paths in truth and honor, even though the rockiness and stones strewn upon it may make it difficult not to stumble and fall off the edge, give me cause to reflect upon what is good in life, what is good in people, and upon what potential we all have when we choose to improve and grow from our experiences. "

~ DancesOfSpirit


RE: the videos of Clay Aiken working for Unicef in Afghanistan:
"Along with the classroom shots, the singing and sitting with the children, being on their level, putting them at ease, it truly exhibited why he was chosen for this work, the attention to respecting another's culture and customs, the very much in evidence compassion for his fellow man, the joy he radiates with children, his honest attempts at truly making a change. No wonder those that count respect him. I recognize that he's not perfect, has his faults like we all do, but he sure does make a concerted effort to walk the walk, and that's certainly commendable in my mind."

~boo7



 

"When Clay came through the gate, wearing the garb of a distinguished Afghan man, I just sat back stunned. There was the teacher, in his bigger classroom. 

He made himself familiar to these children, he showed respect for their culture and, when he spoke, he demonstrated a deep understanding and a profound respect for the people and the issues they face. 

There is a reason that Clay Aiken is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and another, who isn't a fraction of the man Clay is, is wasting his precious time on earth mocking this good man, his mission and the culture of the people he has gone to serve.Which man is making a difference in this world? 

Both.

But one is making a difference that brings a bit of the sublime into this world, while the other tries to drag clouds of contempt over a sun of hope.

In the end, the sun always breaks through. 

Thank you, Mr. Ambassador."

~berkeley
 



 

"One young man who brought tragedy and death. 

One young man who embraces and upholds life.

More and more reason to nurture the loving part of all of us."

~berkeley



Yes, a welcome and needed (to me) reminder. Like so many others, I am struck by the contrast of two men. One was apparently without hope, without perspective, without courage, with a desire to do harm to as many as possible. At the opposite end of the scale is a man with a strong desire to help others, an immensely courageous man who often chooses to look beyond the negatives he sees and experiences in his attempt to stay true to his goals, a man who sees possibilities where some may see problems. Clay seems to look at a desperate situation and find the hope, the potential, and the sparkle of the strength of the human spirit amidst the rubble of war, tragedy, and devastation. 

The sparkle of his spirit is, to me, a beacon of hope.

~Brightstar



 

"I have been feeling so blessed that I have this man "in my life." I've been alternating between being impressed by his soul-deep compassion --- and his mature good looks. *g* There is something about his bearing, a combination of humility and strength, that I find both touching and reassuring. 

Clay is the epitome of the servant leader. When I saw him among the children, touching his heart as he bowed his head in the Afghani tradition , I thought of how much it means to him to serve. 

And through his dignity, his giving, and his all-encompassing love, I heard a simple phrase:

"For you, a thousand times over."

~berkeley


"And as we were approaching Bamiyan on the plane I was told of the promise of the grass and the promise of green. When the summer comes there would be grass over the hills and that it is so beautiful and lush in the summer yet I didn't see that and some were skeptical that any grass grew in Bamiyan. When we flew out today and I looked out of the window and I saw a little grass peeking through. And I think that has been a kind of capstone experience for me here in Afghanistan that there is so much promise and it has been a long winter for Afghanistan and it is spring time finally."

~Clay Aiken


" Clay is not "a singer who used to be a teacher". He has taken his role as educator very seriously, and refused to accept that he had to choose one career over the other. 
I love that he isn't just showcasing a one-time "Giving Back" campaign, but that he takes his work with BAF, Unicef, and the president's commission, seriously. Not just supporting the people who do the work, but actually doing it himself."

~Judy



 

RE: American Idol 6:
"Watching all these performers, I realized how hard they work to map out every footstep. They go up the stairs, down the stairs, on the "catwalk" behind the judges, all around the stage in every corner, and you can tell for many of them, it's rehearsed from step 1 to the end. Literally.

It's comical someimtes, especially when you think about how freakin' AWESOME Clay and Ruben were. Just standing there. Singing. 

You know what? I bet neither one of them would even be put through by the judges these days. They weren't gimmicky enough, nor were they "commercial" .... we know Clay got there because WE voted him in on Wild Card, but I really think that they'd both have a hard time making the cut these days, and what a SHAME that would be. Two of the most beautiful voices EVER on that show."

~ Erin



 

"A few thoughts: 

First of all, in The Fellowship of the Spitty Ring video, you can actually SEE Clay's brain shift gears when everybody starts squealing over the lip/tongue action. That glint in his eye is him realizing he was wrong way back then when he stated: "they just want to tuck me in." I think he finally bought a rhyming dictionary. 

Secondly, I think he has never looked better. On the Jemock Sliding Scale of Droolage (tm), I give Auction!Pimpin' for the Chirren!Clay! five out of five buckets, PLUS a bonus drop cloth. If he gets any handsomer, he's going to become a pure beam of light. *cue magical unicorn music* 

His hair is CAP-approved perfection, his smile is mega-gigawatt brilliant, he looks happy, his nails aren't bitten, and the eyebrows are absolutely beautiful. His supraorbital ridge is to die for. 

Sa-WOOOOON!!"

~Jemock


"Through the internet I reconnected with an old friend who lives out in the general Pala area. I've thought he'd like Clay (his hero is Mr. Rogers) and he's come up a few times but he really doesn't know much about him. Out of the blue about a month or so ago, he asked if Clay had any live CDs, because you can get the personality better than on a studio CD. Ah HA! My chance! I burned him a video disk of clack from 2003-last Christmas and sent it off. Today I got a message that he had just watched it. He said Clay is "Damn good!" and that "Bridge Over Troubled Water was unbelievable." Then he asked about Pala tickets. 

Clack sells tickets."

~poshpenny



 

"... Find something that you are passionate about that gives back to your community. I think there's a misconception that really upsets me when people say, "If you're in the public eye you have an obligation to let me know when you're gettin' married, who you're gettin' married to and who you're dating." That's bull. But you do have an obligation to be a role model. From the beginning, I realize I got this only because God wanted me to be here. I think anybody who has any microphone to use who doesn't use it for the benefit of those around him is remiss. "

~Clay Aiken- March 31, 2007



 

"I despise the intrusion into the private lives of celebrities. I cannot stand that there are people, including some in the media, who cannot distinguish between being brutally honest and being outright rude. I think "brutal honesty" is often about brutality, not honesty. I think it harms society not to respect a person's right to privacy, whether or not they are in the public eye. I'm an honest person, but there's no freaking way I am going to tell all and sundry everything about my life --- spiritual, medical, financial, sexual issues are my business, and I share them only with those I love and trust. Many people in the public eye, from George Clooney to Clay Aiken, are saying enough. Is it criminal? That's public business. Is it a hypocritical action by someone who affects public policy? That might be the public's business. But why does a person's sex life or sexual orientation have anything to do with whether or not they can act, sing, write, dance, bank, teach, defend, build, treat, preserve, etc? 

When one sees what happens to the relationships of some of the people who have dated in the public eye, I wouldn't blame anyone for keeping this to themselves. Even if Clay is one day photographed walking down the street holding a woman's hand, both wearing rings that look like wedding bands, pushing a stroller with red-headed, floppy-footed, wonky-eyed, singing twins, I still don't understand why he should have to talk about it to me.

I think the fictional private life that was invented to try to harm Clay (and I am talking about the lies about abusive, irresponsible behavior) simply made him decide that he will not waaste his life trying to wrestle a shadow and he will not expose the people in his real private life to scrutiny just to "prove" his truth. 

In his younger and more naive days, Clay told the truth about one aspect of his private life: his sexual orientation. Back in 2003, he told Rolling Stone and he told Diane Sawyer on PrimeTime Live. Several times in other interviews, he mentioned getting married one day, what kind of woman he was looking for and wanting to have children. 

Some believed him, some did not, and some provided him with an imaginary life filled with tawdry details. 

"People are going to believe what they want to believe." --- and invent what they want to invent.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that saying "ENOUGH" is the smartest thing he could have ever done. 

Clay knows the truth, the person he loves will or does know the truth, and I absolutely believe that Clay is always very, very aware that God knows the truth."
 

~berkeley



 
 

"He mentioned “family” toward the beginning, referring to all of us there. [At the Bubel/Aiken Gala] I truly think he does think of his fans fondly now, as an extended family perhaps. Some are quiet and sweet, some get a little hyper at times, and some may be considered his “crazy Aunt Bernice” or something. But he is so free now with what he will say to us, and joke about with us, imply with us, and even scold us about. There is a lovely close feeling there, at the best times at least, and that bond, that flow of love and caring, from us to him and back again, is one of the very best things, to me, about this fandom."

"And yes, sitting so close to him was powerful and awesome, but he was also very real---a happy, beautiful, charismatic man, but also just Clay, the Raleigh man who made good, with an incredible talent but a down-to-earth, down-home demeanor—the jokester, the teacher, the boy next door, the caring, earnest man with a heart as big as the room. How anyone can not love him is beyond me. He has me for life."

~ Brightstar


"When I was in line for "coffee" (I don't drink the stuff) at the coffee bar right by Clay's table, a general announcement was made about the rest of the evenings events. And the Claytinis were mentioned. So, Linda Loveland turned to Clay and "What's a Claytini?" 

Clay replied, "It's a martini with a little bit of me in it. It's a little bitter."

OMG! How funny is he? "

~scrpkym


"You must be the change you want to see in the world." 

That is what Diane [Bubel] and Clay have done. I hope that I can be the tiniest part of the change that will make this a more loving world. "

~berkeley


"Think of it Clay Aiken singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” backed by a full orchestra - what a spectacle. 

Before you ask why the Houston Symphony Orchestra is so quick to pimp themselves out as the biggest (and most well educated) back -up band in the universe, we already did. Here’s what a symphony spokesman told us:

Quote: 
“We consider ourselves to be Houston’s orchestra, and that means across the entire breadth of music. We’re proud on an artistic level to be able to present a wide spectrum of repertoire thereby making the Houston Symphony approachable to a broad and diverse audience. 

“(You can hardly be a “back-up band” for an artist like Elvis Costello or Ben Folds or k.d. lang, all of who have written specifically for the power of a full orchestra.) And, by the way, all the artists who appear with us have invested substantially large sums of money to have symphony arrangements of their material written so they can perform their shows with symphony orchestras all across the country.”  '

~Houstonpress.com
 


"The Houston Symphony's phone lines were jammed Monday with calls inquiring about tickets for American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken's July 6 appearance with the orchestra. 

The symphony sent e-mails to its subscribers and to Aiken fan clubs, prompting the onslaught. 

"We've never seen response like this," symphony spokesman Art Kent said. "Not that we're unhappy about it. The response has been great. But I haven't even put out the press release."
 

~Symphony spokesman Art Kent



 

"Today a rep from Creative Artist addressed the group about bookings, etc. One of the questions afterwards about the talent/performers was why they would never schedule two shows....afternoon and evening. The reply was that most of them don't have enough material. He said that for instance they handled some of the American Idols and most of them can't do more than five songs...let alone two shows....with the exception of Clay Aiken who could probably give you three hours without breaking a sweat."

~DeepSouthGurrl



 

"Starbucks sells music that skews to a somewhat older audience, lots of buyers who consider themselves intelligent, educated, discerning, interested in social activism and definitely supportive of artists who aren't just fluffy pop. This is one reason I would love to know what Clay is going to do next. To so many in the music world, Clay is neither fish nor fowl, so they don't know what to do with him. He's described as a teen pop singer in one article and as an artist for boomers in the next. Some think he's disposable, some marginalize him and a few see him for the extraordinary song stylist that he is. Fortunately for Clay, the people whose opinion of him is the highest are the ones who know what they are talking about, from Gladys Knight to David Foster. They respect Clay, even if --- or especially because --- he defies description. 

No, neither fish nor fowl. I'd say he's more of a rara avis. "

~berkeley



 

"I hate to brag, but I would say that I am quite musically trained. I have a pretty strong background in music. And in all my years as a musician, I have NEVER heard a vocalist more brilliant than Clay Aiken.

I admit, I'm not a fan of American Idol. But I will not deny that it is a great part of American culture and can actually wring out stunning singers. And, I believe, that Mr. Aiken is the best singer ever to emerge from the show and will likely continue to be the benchmark for techinical perfection in the coming seasons.

This kid -- he's talented beyond compare. Amazing range. Pitch-perfect vocals. Stunning lung power. This all sums up to a jaw-dropping vocal prowess. 

And what sets him apart from other singers is that he can convey emotion through his voice and can change his sound to suit the feeling. 

In this case, it is heart-felt reverence. Clay Aiken brought tears to my eyes when he sang the US National Anthem -- and this, coming from a non-American, is a feat all in itself.

Basically, all I'm trying to say, is that this man is an absolutely phenomenal vocalist. You should get used to Clay. He's going to be around for decades to come, making his mark in the music world." 
 

~Mike


"I've never been one to say, "If Clay sings it, it is perfect." I always try to be objective and listen with an open mind. For example, while I know many of you have loved A Thousand Days from the first time you heard it, as I have said before, I haven't been a big fan of the song. It has grown on me, especially the video perfomance and the ATDW track, which brings me to the subject of the entire CD. I enjoy it each time I listen to it, which is every day. And depending on my mood, my favorite track changes constantly. One day it's Because You Loved Me and the next it's Here You Come Again. On another day, it could be When I See You Smile. Clay's voice sounds great, the production quality is excellent and the orchestrations are wonderful. Sometimes I agree with critics (and even Idol judges i.e last night's results) and sometimes I don't. In the case of ATDW, as I listen to it, I truthfully don't understand those critics who have slammed it. I think it has nothing to do with the music but rather with the cultural phenomenon that is American Idol. I think some critics just absolutely refuse to give Clay his due because he is an AI alum. Their opinions won't stop me in the least from enjoying this beautiful album."

~OLMass


"I'll clear up a misconception people have. When I watched the show last year, [I've heard it said] I said to myself, "I'd much rather be the second-place winner because the first-place person is tied into the contract and the second-place person can go and shop their own." Well, that's not the case. I signed with RCA—there was a right of first refusal with RCA so I signed with RCA automatically at the end of the show. But there's definitely not a downside to that at all. I'm happy with that. Every person who's been on the show at some point wants to distance themselves a little bit, but no matter what, I came from there. I'm only here because of that show and so I can't help but be appreciative of that. Any time that they want me to come back, I'll be happy to. [Working with Simon Fuller] has turned into a really great relationship. I mean, he's really exactly what anybody would want in a record label head. We auditioned for the show because it looked like fun. I think every year after that, the fourth and fifth [season] especially, you found people who got into the show because they knew something big was going to come out of it. I kind of liked seeing contestants come up out of obscurity. It's lost a little bit of its innocence and so it's not as much fun for me anymore."

~Clay Aiken- from an Interview with Billboard Magazine, January, 2007



"I think what he's doing <snip> is he's raising money for his foundation and working on its programs, he's getting ready to go on a trip for UNICEF and reflecting on the success of the big internet campaign he launched for them, and he's planning a tour. He's working on his career in ways we never see or hear about. He has a personal life, which he intentionally keeps very private. He's also watching CNN and reading good books about genuinely important issues in this world we live in."

~Annonymous



 
 

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