Sunday, August 24, 2008


Before Clay Aiken appeared on the second season of American Idol in 2003, he was only a local celebrity of sorts in North Carolina. He had appeared for years with his band Just By Chance in Benson and Dunn and with the Johnston Community College Country Music Showcase. As a child, he was a member of the reknown Raleigh Boys Choir and as a teenager, he performed with school and church choirs and at various weddings.

It was upon joining American Idol at age 23 that Clay Aiken became an international celebrity. Arguably, Season Two of American Idol was the best season of the realty TV show. The competition and rivalry between Clay and Ruben Studdard and the fans voting for each contestant made the show the blockbuster it is today. Clay appeared in every show of that season, ultimately becoming the second place winner with Ruben Studdard beating him out in a statistical tie.

In the five years since Clay's television debut, he has not stopped working. He has toured all over the United States and Canada, participating in ten tours for a total of 234 concerts. He has appeared in 126 performances in Spamalot on New York's Broadway. Clay has appeared on more than 50 television shows including Leno, Letterman, Regis and Kelly, The View, Oprah, Tyra Banks, Good Morning America, Today, two soap operas, numerous entertainment news shows including a stint as a reporter for The Insider, and acted on Ed and Scrubs. He has performed the National Anthem at The Capital Fourth, The World Series, and a NASCAR race. He cooked with Martha Stewart, Paula Deen, and Rachel Ray. He appeared in a Disney Christmas Parade, The Rose Bowl Parade and was the Grand Marshal for the Raleigh Christmas Parade. He performed on the Miss America Pageant and was a contestant on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, winning $300,000 for the Bubel/Aiken Foundation. And he produced and performed in A Clay Aiken Christmas. Clay has appeared on more magazine covers, print interviews and radio interviews than can be counted.

Even with all these entertainment appearances, Clay has not neglected his charitable pursuits. After completing his degree in Special Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte while touring the country in the fall of 2003, he founded the Bubel/Aiken Foundation to benefit special needs children. The foundation has awarded grants to numerous organizations to establish summer camps for the inclusion of special needs children with typically developing children. Clay has performed in numerous Galas to benefit the Foundation.

Clay was appointed a Unicef Ambassador for the Education of Children and has made several trips on benefit of Unicef, traveling to Indonesia shortly after the tsunami, to Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia, war-torn Afghanistan, and flood-ravaged Mexico. He has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Unicef.
Clay has appeared in numerous other charitable shows including David Foster Foundation Gala, Roslyn Carter Gala, and Broadway Cares and has performed for President Bush.

In the midst of all these activities, Clay has recorded and released four full length CDs, Measure of a Man, Merry Christmas with Love, A Thousand Different Ways, and On My Way Here, two singles This is the Night and Solitaire, and a Christmas extended play All is Well, breaking music industry records with sales. His inspirational book, Learning to Sing, Hearing the Music in Your Life, written while on tour, reached number two on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2004.

Clay Aiken will rejoin the cast of Broadway's Spamalot on September 19, 2008 for another round as Sir Robin through January 4, 2009. Clay, Jaymes (sister of Grammy winning composer David Foster), and their son Parker live in California, North Carolina, and New York City.

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