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BurberryAiken's CDD | Home & News

Latest News From CDD

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Fuller suing Cowell

IT'S SIMON V SIMON Sep 11 2004
Pop gurus in rip-off row

By John Mceachran

X FACTOR'S Simon Cowell could lose £7million after the creator of Pop Idol began legal action against him for ripping off his reality TV show.

Furious Simon Fuller accused Cowell of breaches of contract and copyright - and demanded tonight's episode of X Factor be pulled.

But lawyers for Cowell and ITV spent yesterday frantically working behind the scenes to ensure TV's newest talent show stays on our screens.

Cowell could now lose out on contracts for two more series of Fuller's American Idol, which are worth £7million in total.

A TV insider said: 'This is war. Both sides are gunning for each other.'

Fuller's production company 19 TV yesterday delivered four writs to Cowell, his companies Simco and Syco and X Factor co-producer Fremantle Media.

They claim several members of X Factor's production team worked on Pop Idol and have clauses in their contract preventing them from working on rival shows.

They also claim X Factor has the same format as Pop Idol, down to the lighting, the positioning of the judges behind tables and even the way Kate Thornton waits by the door to speak to wannabes.

The source added: 'Fuller's lawyers compared one minute of Pop Idol to one minute of X Factor. There were 25 similarities. It's nine-tenths the same show.' But last night Cowell was not taking the accusations lying down.

Speaking from Mexico, where he is taking a break before filming American Idol, he said: 'It's totally absurd.

'As far as the writ from Simon Fuller is concerned, it's now in the hands of our lawyers." And Cowell's spokesman Max Clifford said: 'I'm surprised that when Pop Idol started they didn't get a writ from Popstars, Opportunity Knocks, New Faces and all the other talent shows that went before it.'

AnX Factor production insider said: 'It's not the same show at all. It might look similar because it's still at the audition process and we're limited in whatwe can do.

'Give it a few weeks and everyone will see it's totally different. Fuller is just jealous and wants a piece of the action.'

Clay: 'I have the best fans'

Clay said he would fight ANYONE if they ever doubted he has the best fans in the world!

Clay confirmed for this year's Miss America Pagent

Courtesy ABC-Media:

100311_001 -- MISS AMERICA - Multi-platinum recording artist Clay Aiken will be a special guest performer on this year-s live -Miss America- telecast, on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the first -Miss America- telecast, which also aired on ABC. (- KEVIN SCOTT HEES)CLAY AIKEN

Clay in new TWIST magazine

From the Clayboard

Twist Magazine - Its the October/November issue. Britney Spears, Chad Michael Murray, and Beyonce are on the cover.The 1st mention is on page 12 the Shout Outs section.Its a small pic of Clay smiling at the GMA performance - adorable pic. The quote:"I would call myself the mayor of Nerdville. I'm not really a wuss; I'm more of a dork. There's a big differenc."-Clay Aiken, on the subtle distinctions of geekdom.The 2nd mention is on page 36 "Just Like Us" It's at the bottom in in a mini section "Geek to Chic".Another small pic from his Atlanta audition.Clay AikenClay might have been runner-up on American Idol, but we think he's number one for daring to be different and refusing to fit the pop star mold - and apparently his fans agree!

Operation Christmas Spirit Site Launched


CDD General Promo 9/11

Clay in INtouch magazine

From the Clayboard

What a surprise! I opened up the new In Touch (Sept 20th, J Lo on cover), and there was Clay on the index page (pg 6), with a picture of Barry Manilow, for a story called "Seeing double", saying "These singers are emulating their idols [get it?] in more ways than one."Now, I doubt if Barry Manilow was Clay's idol, but it's very typical that of the seven sets of stars in the pages 46-47 "Return of the Rock Stars" story, only Clay/Barry made it to the index page. In Touch knows which star to showcase.On page 47, there is a picture of Barry in a white tux, short jacket, white bow tie. Clay's picture is from the AI Christmas special, all white, with the white sweater, white jacket, white pants, white shoes. Full-length shot of both. Similar poses, not identical. Caption says: "Barry's Born Again! A geeky guy with powerful pipes - could it be magic or haven't we seen Clay before? Even Barry admits he sees similarities: "This is what he'll look like in 30 years!"(Now I like Barry. I've seen Barry in concert. Barry, Clay looks nothing like you. And Barry, Clay's voice is much better than yours. Sometimes you barely hit the notes, but we loved you anyway. But I think you need to retire that comment, and I'd like the media to do the same.)But "powerful pipes" is good - and it's always great to see Clay mentioned positively in the press!

Friday, September 10, 2004

Second show for Raleigh confirmed

From the Clayboard
The assistant director of the North Carolina State Fair returned my call this afternoon. He said that Yes, a second Clay Aiken show has been booked for Monday, October 18, at 3:00PM. He also stated that he has been told that all of the hotels in the area are booked solid for Sunday (10/17) and Monday (10/18).

Way/Solitaire Available on Amazon again!

Go order! It's up to the 290's range already!

Interesting Article

State fair performers ask for various perks

By Mary Clarkin
If Kansas State Fair entertainers appear especially energized when they take the stage, at least some credit may belong to the energy drink Red Bull.

A number of Grandstand acts - including, for example, .38 Special, Chris Cagle and Pomeroy - specified a supply of Red Bull in riders attached to their state fair contracts.

The fair opens Friday and runs through Sept. 19. As of late last week, Friday's Ben Jelen/Clay Aiken concert and Saturday's .38 Special/REO Speedwagon concert posted the strongest advance ticket sales, selling about 4,000 each. The Grandstand can accommodate about 10,000 people.

The fair pays entertainers a base fee - such as $100,000 for Aiken and $50,000 each to the next most expensive acts, REO Speedwagon and Trapt, a rock group performing Sept. 18.

Among country music acts - Tracy Lawrence, performing Sept. 17, and the Oak Ridge Boys, taking the stage Sept. 14 - each is guaranteed $27,500. Fees for Brad Paisley and Cagle, both appearing Sept. 16, are $40,000 and $20,000, respectively, while John Michael Montgomery will receive $32,500 for his Sept. 17 performance.

Some, but not all, entertainers will earn an additional percentage depending on the strength of ticket sales. Also, the acts keep a majority of the proceeds from concert souvenir sales.

Typically, concert venues furnish food, beverages, support services and amenities to entertainers. Artists performing at the Kansas State Fair, however, don't always get what they want.

Most acts requested wine, beer, vodka or champagne. REO Speedwagon also asked for wine glasses and corkscrews.

Fair officials nixed all alcohol requests.

"A lot of them want it to load their buses and take it with them down the road, and we're not going to do that," said state fair General Manager Denny Stoecklein.

Ditto for requested post-concert repasts.

"We feed them while they're here," Stoecklein said, "but not to load up the buses."

Fair officials also said no to a request for a carton of Marlboro Light cigarettes for Tracy Lawrence's entourage.

And they rejected a request on behalf of Christian singer Mark Schultz that they telephone local churches to make them aware of his concert.

However, they did mail notices of the Sept. 13 concert to churches, Stoecklein said.

Aiken's agent asked for five dressing rooms for the entourage. They'll get four rooms "because that's all we have," Stoecklein said.

As for meals, the representative for .38 Special noted that most of the band and crew are on "low-fat diets," pushing fried foods off the menu. Trapt wants a vegetarian entree, and the rider pointed out that vegetable side dishes shouldn't be considered a substitute.

Cagle wants peanut butter - low-fat - and grape jelly, while the Oak Ridge Boys like morning newspapers - the local paper and USA Today - served with breakfast.

It's important to Paisley that concert security personnel are courteous, his representative stressed. And Montgomery wants his dedicated fans to be able to grab premium seats near the stage, instead of the venue awarding those seats to holders of complimentary tickets.

Local "runners" handle errands and provide transportation for the visiting entertainers, and Montgomery wanted a runner with a clean van who will show up "without friends, relatives, children or pets."

Members in the REO Speedwagon party hope to snag convenient tee times on the golf course while in Hutchinson, and they are willing to trade concert tickets or passes.

That detail is pending, Stoecklein said.

Christmas tour to hit Michigan: The Flint Journal


Other confirmed or nearly confirmed fall tours include Green Day's "American Idiot" tour (Nov. 6, Cobo Arena, on sale Saturday) and a Cobo appearance by the Beastie Boys, who can get pretty political themselves. Expect the Jay-Z/R. Kelly tour to hit an area arena within a couple of months. "American Idol" star Clay Aiken is expected to bring a holiday show to the area to support his new Christmas CD, due next month.

Clay on Jeporady Again

Clay rad a clue with the song 'Somewhere Out There' which he sang on AI2.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Aladdin Sountrack with Clay's PROUD OF YOUR BOY instores September 28th

Disney is releasing an Aladdin soundtrack with Clay's new song, PROUD OF YOUR BOY on September 28th!


Clay declares:


Billboard Charts

Solitaire/The Way

Hot 100 Single Sales - #2 (last week #4, 25 weeks on the charts)

I Will Carry You

AC - #25 (moved up 2, from #27 last week, 2 weeks on the charts)


Clay Aiken, Cherie
Ervin J. Nutter Center
Dayton, Ohio
Aug. 28, 2004
$236,114 (gross ticket sales)
5,442 (attendance)
6,120 (capacity)
$46.50, $36.50
AEG Live-St. Louis

Clay Aiken, Cherie
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Aug. 29, 2004
$45, $35
AEG Live-St. Louis

Clay Aiken
U.S. Cellular Arena
Milwaukee, Wis.
Aug. 27, 2004
$47.50, $37.50
AEG Live-St. Louis

SUMMARY as of 9/8/04 (by walkiki from CH):

Shows/Venues: 16/16
Total Gross: $2,933,012
Total Attendance: 76,589
Average Gross: $183,313
Average Attendance: 4,787
Average Capacity: 6,984
% Capacity: 68.5%

Clay in an anti-Bush book

From the book SORE WINNERS

"By the end, nobody was talking about race. Even though the white runner-up, Clay Aiken, actually outsang him in the final shows, Ruben won American Idol 2 and the series was a populist triumph... But Ruben's victory proved far muddier than Kelly's... His first album, the soulless Soulful, was outsold by Aiken's debut, Measure of a Man, which instantly shot to number one. Despite finishing second, Clay proved to be the show's de facto winner.

If Clarkson's post-9/11 victory felt like a vote for Bush, Aiken's enormous popularity became something of a public uprising. In a show designed to manufacture a pop idol, the ungainly Clay - who got a makeover deep into the series - was so resolutely unmanufactured that something amazing happened: He was carried aloft by an audience that genuinely cared whether he won. A moment of commercial pop culture suddenly took on a huge emotional dimension. And inspired controversy: Not only did some fans think Clay had been unfairly torpedoed by [certain speculations], the final tally was so close and so ineptly explained that some viewers began claiming that Fox had tampered with the results. You kept waiting for Katerine Harris to show up to certify the vote. The belief that Aiken was robbed in the contest's finale spawned gigabytes of Internet recrimination and debate, even prompting the creation of a People's Republic of Clay website, where his devotees could express their passion. As a friend joked, the only difference between the 2000 election controversy and the one on American Idol was that Clay Aiken's supporters really did like their man."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

BAF General Promo 9/8

CLAY: There will be A Christmas Tour


Just heard a radio interview in Texas with Clay. From Clay's mouth, THEY ARE TRYING TO GET A CHRISTMAS TOUR TOGETHER!!!!!!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you Clay!!!! He said he wants something classy!!!!

Clay: Do not use 'the CLAYTON'

Clay doesn't want us to call him 'Clayton' apparently. He said this in an interview yesterday: "I kind of save it for my mom and the friends who were there before this whole thing happened." finally puts up Clay's Book cover on the listing


Clay #2 on Lycos top 50

Yet Again! Kepp searching! We want #1.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Clay: I'm a Skinny Dork

Clay Aiken Says He's A 'Skinny Little Dork'
(LAUNCH, 09/07/2004 3:00 PM)

By LAUNCH Radio Networks

Clay Aiken is still not completely used to his popularity--mainly because he still thinks of himself as a "skinny little dork." The 25-year-old singer, who was named one of People magazine's sexiest celebrities, told the Houston Chronicle that he has no idea what all the hype is all about. He said, "I would not get that worked up over me at all. It's all very baffling to me." The North Carolina native added, "I guess that's why it's so hard to wrap my mind around it when people are waiting outside the venue after a concert and cheering. I'm amazed that they're actually doing that because I would never do it. I especially wouldn't do it for some skinny little dork."

Aiken is already planning his sophomore album, the follow-up to 2003's Measure Of A Man. Don't expect too many mushy songs on the next set, however, because Aiken revealed, "I don't need to keep oozing heartbreak. I think I'd like to find some stuff that's a little more upbeat and up-tempo and also a little more positive."

The American Idol star told LAUNCH that, no matter what he sings, he enjoys performing songs that people can relate to: "When people hear them, and I think that's a lot like what they saw on the show, they were able to put themselves in the singer's place, and that's what made the show so cool. They won't be able to put themselves on the stage with me in front of Simon and ready to be criticized on by Randy, Paula and Simon with me like they were on the show. But they're able to put themselves hopefully in the place where each one of these songs is, you know, where the songs are coming from."

Aiken is also releasing a holiday album, along with an inspirational book called Learning To Sing: Hearing The Music In Your Life.

He's out on the road and will stop in Houston, Texas Tuesday (September 7).

Kelly: 'Raleigh is FAT!''

Transcript of Kelly's Ellen interview from yesterday:

Ellen: We’re back with Kelly Clarkson. And, uh, So, You’re back from a sold out tour with that Clay Aiken fellow.

Kelly: Yea,

E: So, how was that?

K: No, it was fun. He’s a goober. (laughs) Actually had dinner with him like,t last night. He is! You have no idea

E: And by goober you mean…?

K: GOOBER! Like, I mean, nobody knows his personality, But he is hilarious. He’s like smart, witty, funny. Like, he’s just really…

E: And you traveled together on a bus?

K: Yea, we shared the same bus, just because we, you know, were both pretty anti-diva, so we, but yea, it was kind of hard, because at points I would be like, falling asleep and he would be like ‘Kelly’ (Making a shaking, “wake up” motion) and just start waking me up because he was awake

E: mmmm-hmmm

K: yea, that’s not nice

E: It’s hard to sleep on a bus anyways, don’t you find?

K: Not for me. I love the enclosed, I don’t know if I’m some kind of vampire, I love the enclosed space. And like, just dark.

E: It is, it’s just like

K: Like some kind of coffin

E: A curtain that closes and your just laying down like the loge. Your just traveling down the road

K: Yea, exactly

E: Yea, so, and why is he a goober? Like what kind of things does he? Tell us everything!

K: Oh god! Well, he’s allergic to everything! Like, all his fans know that by now. But yea, he’s allergic to everything. Air, like, nuts.

E: AIR! Wait, wait. He’s not allergic to air!

K: No Shellfish. I can…hold on, let me still do it. He’ll yell at me if I don’t memorize this. It’s like, Shellfish, mushrooms, umm, nuts that grow on trees. Um, oh, and then, Oh, and then you have to take a course, cause I rode with him on the same bus. And anytime your near him, you have to know that you have to like, SHOVE this needle in his thigh if anybody touches him that has, like, touched nuts or anything. It’s horrible!

E: Who walks around touching nuts?

K: Who walks around with that kind of…(Laughs a lot!)…I have so many things to say! But, I’m gonna keep them in. SOO many things, but I’m going to keep it family friendly.

E: Oh god, alright. So that will be edited. Listen….There’s no transition, but. And you got a little puppy…did you bring the pup…Cause he has a puppy, right?

K: Oh, he, That’s why I got my puppy.

E: Did you bring the puppy on the…

K: He had Raleigh, and that’s his dog, which now is FAT! His dog is fat!

E: Yea

K: He feeds it too much.

E: Uh huh

K: But mine is little and cute! And I bought it

E: What is yours?

K: A little tiny Yorkshire terrier.

E: Uh huh

K: Emma. Her name is Emma. She’s so cute

E: And how old is Emma?

K: Um…she’s like…oh…(looks out into audience) just like nine months? Nine months? Well my friends here…sorry

E: Are you asking the audience?

K: No! My friends here! She’s actually the one who’s helping me! I’m having a bit of a potty training problem…yea, she poops and pees everywhere…

E: The dog is…not you…

K: No! WAIT! Yea…not me!…I’m wording everything wrong today!

E: So…so…the dog is not potty trained at nine months?

K: No! isn’t that awful! I know! But, ok…I have a dog

E: At least it’s a small dog…

K: Like, how am I supposed to like, potty train it when I’m gone…I’m at the studio. And you can’t take a dog that like, poops and pees all over the studio, like pee all over their studio, you know like “Hey, I’m just making my place, my mark”

E: Yea, um… the dog is…tiny, so it’s not a big problem. But, it should be potty trained for sure by now

K: It should be! It should be!

E: I know. And they told me. Because you thought I’d have some kind of advice for you since I’ve had dogs. And I don’t have. But what I do have is um, little, uh, diapers for the doggy. (laughs) Little Ellen underwear

K: Oh my God!

E: And um, you just put it on the doggy. And then if it pees it doesn’t really matter!

K: Did you like have the made…like how?

E: Um, yes. Little diapers for your doggy

K: Oh my god that’s so cute!

E: Yea, there’s a whole bunch of them in there. So..

K: But isn’t that kind of nasty. They just walk around in it…? But I guess they won’t do it then, until you take them out…

E: Well, I wear them, I don’t mind


K: I mean, thank you!

E: No, I do have some information for you. Cause, you should be able to potty train your dog.

K: I know, I’m horrible at it!

E: Yea…no, it’ll be better for everybody…yea

K: Yea, then you don’t step on it in the morning and your like “Hmm...present”…

E: Yea, no, that’s not good at all

K: No

E: No…Alright, uh, the dog will be fine, I promise you! You can log onto our website and purchase a copy of the Princess Diaries 2 soundtrack. Everybody in the audience is getting a copy today. AND, we’ll be right back!

BMG Canada says Christmas CD hits stores on November 9th in Canada

In reply to an e-mail I sent:

In Canada it's scheduled for November 9th.


----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, September 04, 2004 3:26 PM
Subject: C2M FEEDBACK - Artist Question

> comments = When will Clay Aiken's Christmas be hitting Stores in Canada?
(I've heard both Nov 9, from the Calgary Sun and Nov 2 from the New York
daily Press) Thank you.
> name =

Cl'eh'mates Scrapbook was handed to Clay!

Cirrus02 made this fantastic scrapbook from entries from Claynadians from across the country. She presented it to Clay recently.

Clay mention in the Sept 12-18 edition of TV GUIDE

The Star ‘Mangled’ Banner

I was surprised that Fantasia Barrino’s rendition of the National Anthem merited a Cheer (Cheers & Jeers, 8/18), considering she sang the words incorrectly. Is it too much to ask that our American Idol know the words and sing it with a modicum of reverence? Let Clay Aiken sing it next time.

Lauren Kleinfeldt, Glendale, NY

Monday, September 06, 2004

Update on York Fair...

Seats still available for all grandstand shows at York Fair

Sales for all shows have surpassed last year's tally.

Evening Sun Reporter

Ticket sales for this year's York Fair - the "Grandstand of Stars" - have already surpassed last year's, said Cres Ottemiller, entertainment director for the York Fair.

"Tickets sales are far, far ahead of last year because of the artists we have been able to confirm," Ottemiller said.

Nevertheless, there are still seats available for all of the fair's shows.

So far, Clay Aiken has been the biggest draw in ticket sales, Ottemiller said.

Only 25 percent of the seats for Aiken's show are still available, he said.

Kid Rock's performance has been the second most successful show, Ottemiller said.

"The Kid is selling a lot of tickets," he said.

In fact, many of the ticket orders for Kid Rock's performance have come from a "long way off," Ottemiller said.

The York Fair begins Friday, Sept. 10, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 19.

Ottemiller expects ticket sales to stay strong.

"This year we are pleased to say we have a strong grandstand program and every show is selling well," he said

Rumored songlist for the Christmas Album:

From Red Hot Topic/Clay Aiken forum

O Holy Night
Ave Maria
Little Drummer Boy/Clabing duet
Do you hear What I Hear?
What Child Is This?
Silent Night
Joy to the World
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Let There Be Peace on Earth
White Christmas
Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee
Home for the Holidays

The Best Music, Still to Come!


Album release dates are a slippery thing, and in the age of downloading, they tend to change more often than ever. But the following list at least provides a rough idea of some of the artists who can be expected to deliver new product to record stores this fall.


The Black Keys, John Cale, Col. Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains, Kurupt, Christine McVie, Medeski, Martin & Wood and Silkk the Shocker (Sept. 7); the Datsuns, Helmet, Papa Roach, Nelly, Willie Nelson, Tears for Fears, the Thrills, Paul Weller and Lucinda Williams (Sept. 14); Mark Chestnutt, Elvis Costello, Green Day and Brian McKnight (Sept. 21), and Johnny Cash, Hilary Duff, Interpol, Mark Knopfler, Nancy Sinatra, Joss Stone, the Used and Brian Wilson (Sept. 28).


Cake, Minnie Driver, Fatboy Slim, Good Charlotte, the O'Jays, R.E.M., Raphael Saadiq, George Strait, Toby Mac and Tom Waits (Oct. 5); American Music Club, Lou Barlow, Camper Van Beethoven, Duran Duran, Mos Def, Olivia Newton-John and Ruben Studdard (Oct. 12); Vanessa Carlton, Jimmy Eat World, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Le Tigre, the Music, the Neville Brothers, LeAnn Rimes, Linda Ronstadt, Elliott Smith and Rod Stewart (Oct. 19), and Nick Cave, the Donnas, Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald and Michael W. Smith (Oct. 26).


Clay Aiken, the Black Swans, Rammstein and Darryl Worley (Nov. 2); Tony Bennett, Black Eyed Peas and Neko Case (Nov. 9); Eminem, Destiny's Child and Snoop Dogg (Nov. 16); Mars Volta, Jessica Simpson and U2 (Nov. 23).

Jim DeRogatis

The Way/Solitaire #1 pop album on iTunes!

As of 12 Noon Monday, Sept 6, Clay is the #1 on the iTunes pop albums chart!

MDA Telethon played Clay yesterday night

They re-aired the performance of BOTW from last year. Kimberley is scheduled to sing '8th World Wonder' today.

Weird listings of 'LEARNING TO SING' at both Amazon and Barnes and Nobel

Amazon link
Barnes&Nobel link (thanks to Clayscience21)

Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life
by Jerry Golden

List Price: $5.95
Price: $5.95 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. See details.
Availability: This item has not yet been released. You may order it now and we will ship it to you when it arrives.

Edition: Hardcover

Young Jacob (sang with Clay in Albany) wins competition

From the Clayboard
If I am correct, the young man (Jacob) who sang with Clay at the Albany concert competed at the talent showcase at the NYS Fair this week. Today were the finals of the competition, and he won. Not an easy feat - over 450 acts (all county fair talent winners) compete daily at the fair. He will take home $500.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Clay discusses movie, book, CD... CLAY CAME TO CANADA!!!!!!!

Published Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Aiken goes one-on-one

By Jan Biles
The Capital-Journal

Multiplatinum recording artist Clay Aiken talks at the speed of lightning.

In 10 minutes -- and speaking with a Southern drawl that surely helped him win InStyle magazine's "Sexiest Singer" title -- the 25-year-old pop star will give you the scoop on his 50-stop solo tour; his inspirational memoir, "Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life," out this fall; his untitled Christmas CD, also out this fall; and the Bubel Aiken Foundation, which he founded a year ago to provide opportunities to bring together typical children with children who have developmental disabilities.

A self-professed nerd from North Carolina, he'll tell you about one of the things he does that drives his tour mates crazy. And he'll dispel rumors: No, he hasn't done any screen tests for the movie version of "Rent."

Aiken, who has moved beyond his "American Idol" roots and seems unaffected by his celebrity, also has a reputation for having a wicked sense of humor. Aiken will appear Sept. 10 at Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson.

Here is a transcript of the interview done with singer Clay Aiken before his concert Aug. 19 in Buffalo, N.Y.:

Aiken: Hello?
C-J: Hey, Clay, how ya doing?

Aiken: Is this Jan?
C-J: It is.

Aiken: How are ya?
C-J: I'm OK. How are you?

Aiken: Pretty good.
C-J: Where are you calling from today?

Aiken: Ohhhh, Buffalo, N.Y.
C-J: Buffalo, OK. Well, I want to ask you about the tour, and the book, and the new CD, and all of this sort of stuff.

Aiken: OK.
C-J: Now, the tour's about halfway through, right?

Aiken: Right, I think we're right at the halfway mark.
C-J: How would you size it up so far? What's been the biggest challenge for you?

Aiken: I think there's a lot of pressure that goes with being on your own, to some extent. ... On the two other tours -- I had a whole bunch of other people with me on the "Idol" tour obviously. Then with Kelly, it was just she and I, so if something went wrong, I could always blame it on her. (Laughs.) Being on your own, all the pressure's on you, right? So if I mess up, it's all my fault. There's a lot of pressure to make sure everything's (going right).

C-J: Now, the Topeka concert was canceled and, of course, we were all upset over that. But your ticket sales have been going pretty well haven’t they?
Aiken: To the most part, yeah. We've had a lot of success. We're doing the show in Hutchinson at the state fair.
C-J: Right.

Aiken: So I think that had a little to do with why sales in Topeka we're not so hot. We actually had initially scheduled two shows in North Dakota, two shows in Kansas, and some of the more rural, smaller states have trouble selling two shows.
C-J: So I was wondering, you do the same material most every night --

Aiken: That's right.
C-J: So how do you keep the performances fresh for you, and the backup singers and the band?

Aiken: Well, usually I make fun of them onstage. (Laughs.) Just last night, we were driving to Toronto to see a friend of mine from "Idol" -- she was Vanessa Olivarez, from the top 12 of my season of "Idol." She's the lead in "Hairspray" in Toronto. So I thought I'd drop by and see her up there.
And Quiana (Parlor), one of the singers from the show with me, we were driving up to the Canadian border, and she said: "Oh, I don't have my passport. They're not going to let me through. They're not going to let me through." And I said, "Well, you don't need a passport to get into Canada, you just have to have your ID." And so she was like, "Yeah, you do." And I said, "You'll see. You don't worry about it, you'll be fine." And she said, "What about when we go to New Mexico this summer, are we going we have to use a passport?" I said, "You've got to be kidding me. We don't need a passport there." (Laughs) So I make fun on them onstage.

We change the songs up a little bit, too. We've been on the road for a little over a month, about a month and half now. I kind of try to -- we just added a new song this week ("Chain of Fools") that Quiana and I sing on the show. ... So the show changes every night to the most part. We rarely do the same show every night simply because it, you know, keeps it fresh and new when it's something kind of different.

C-J: Well, let me ask you about the book that's coming out this fall, "Learning to Sing." You've been working with Allison Glock with that, is that right?
Aiken: Right.

C-J: Tell me about the process of writing this book. When in the heck did you find time to do it in the first place?
Aiken: Well, I kind of had the opportunity to start to work on it about a year ago. ... I kind of put it off. I didn't want to do a book about a biography or a behind-the-scenes process of "Idol." And so I wanted to make sure we had a real thing to write about, something that was worthwhile. So we started the whole process -- started working on it in April. And, yeah, there's not too much free time involved.
So I'd think about working on some stuff, and then Allison would come out. Allison came out a few times when we were on tour, and she kind of helped me piece it together. A lot of the stuff that I had was in the wrong places and didn't flow so well, kind of a bunch of crazy thoughts here and there, kind of mushed together and it didn't flow at all. So she would come out, she came out a few times, and, you know, (her) expertise in writing kind of helped me get it all in order.

C-J: OK, so she helped with organizing and ...
Aiken: Well, she helped with writing, as well.

C-J: What do you hope people take from the book, you know, after they've read it? What do you hope they learn from it?
Aiken: I kind of feel like it's an opportunity for me to share some experiences. You know, I think a lot of people have similar experiences in their life. ... There are people who are stepchildren. There are people who were picked on when they were in school. I was one of those. It's just an opportunity for me to kind of share those experiences and what I've learned.
I had a mother and a lot of other friends and family who were big on making sure I took the positive lesson from everything, whether it was good or bad.
It's just a chance for me to talk about that, and if people come away from it saying, "You know what? That's the same thing I went through, and I can learn the same thing and that's a good way to look at things," then great. If they can read it and think it's funny and entertaining and like to find out a little more information about me, that's fine with me.

C-J: OK. Is this something you think you'd like to do more of in the future -- writing books?
Aiken: Writing?
C-J: Yeah.
Aiken: It's not so easy (laughs), not at all, so I don't know whether it's something in the near future, you know. Maybe in 30 years, if I do have a biography, we'll put it together, but right now I don't think so.

C-J: The Christmas CD's coming out. Describe that a little bit, and does this mean we'll see you on a lot of holiday specials this season?
Aiken: The Christmas CD, we have to finish. We have to do a few more songs on it at the end of the month. We just have to finish wrapping it up and put a lid on it. It's a very classic Christmas album. We didn't want to do anything that would be dated in a few years, like with a lot of original stuff, lots of original production. It's very classic, with orchestral arrangements ... compare it to an Andy Williams' type album that can be sold year after year, you know, and people can put it on and it feels like Christmas and feels like the holiday.
And so, that's what we've done. ... I'm sure I'll be on some specials every once in awhile, at least on "Good Morning America" and that type of stuff. Other than that, I'm not really sure what's in the works. All that stuff kind of comes with when the album comes out and you see what's available.

C-J: OK. I also wanted to ask about your relationship with Disney. I know they're sponsoring the tour and you've got the "Aladdin" DVD coming out. Do you have other projects in the works with Disney?
Aiken: Right now, the biggest project we have with them is their sponsorship of, their work with the foundation. They're partnering with the foundation on some of our initiatives and helping us get the word out, helping us do quite a bit of marketing with the media, strategizing I guess, to make sure we get the information out about the Bubel Aiken Foundation and some of our stuff.
They partnered with the tour -- with the foundation first actually, sorry, and then with the tour second after I sang the song on the "Aladdin" CD, or DVD, sorry. So right now, that's all that we have in the works. You know, if there's something I'd love to do at one point and if they're ever interested in wanting to see me voice some character from a movie, maybe I'd do it.

C-J: Well, speaking of movies, you know, there's some rumors out there that you've done some screentests for "Rent" and ...
Aiken: There's a lot of rumors.

C-J: Yeah.
Aiken: You are the biggest person I've spoken to in months on rumors. (Laughs.) ... I mean, I've heard the rumor, but there's no truth to it.
C-J: There's no truth to the fact that you are involved in any movies?
Aiken: Not right now.
C-J: OK, all right.
Aiken: Now, maybe in the future, I'd love to do it. Right now, I've been on tour. I've been on the road.

C-J: OK, well, let's talk about the foundation. A year now in existence, and it's done wonderfully. What would you like to see happen in the second year?
Aiken: You know ... it's really exciting to see (our) camp programs that are being successful in Kansas City, and in Charlotte and in Raleigh. And next year, we're signed up (to be in) other cities. Miami is one of them, one of the places where we could work with the foundation's summer camp program. We've had success with Youth Service America, giving out grants to individuals with disabilities who are giving their time and their effort to help to do community service projects in their communities. That's been exciting to watch.
There's just been so much more success in one year than I ever thought there would be. Of course, I'd love to see that continue to grow. I'd love to see that continue and then flourish and be successful, for obvious reasons.

I think it would be wonderful -- you know, I don't know how long I'll be doing this singing thing. I'm enjoying it and would love to do it as long as people let me, but I'm not so sure that I'll be doing it for 30 years. The foundation, what I'd love to see happening, is for it to kind of spread its own wings and take on a life of its own. And, therefore, in 30 years if I'm not, (or) in two years if I'm not doing this, that it will be able to be successful.

Aiken's personal assistant interrupts, saying there's time for one more question.

C-J: OK. Well, this is a silly question, all right?
Aiken: OK.

C-J: You've said that you're ...
Aiken: You're wasting your last question on a silly question?

C-J: This is a silly question, yes.
Aiken: (Laughs.)

C-J: I won't ask about InStyle, OK?
Aiken: (Laughs.)

C-J: Here's the silly question. You've said you're, you know, a big nerd, so what's the nerdiest thing you've done lately?
Aiken: Oh, lord. The nerdiest thing done lately, what is the nerdiest thing I've done. The nerdiest thing I do traditionally is -- everyone always makes fun of me about stuff -- when we get to a city, I usually grab the magazine in the hotel room. You know, there's a visitor magazine that tells a bunch of stuff about the town?

C-J: Right.
Aiken: I always do the research on the town. I want to know when it was founded and how it got its name. I want to know all that sort of stuff (laughs), and then when we get on the bus I tell everybody. And they get tired of that. (Laughs) So we know Buffalo ...

C-J: Thank you so much, Clay.
Aiken: You're quite welcome, and thank you.

Update on York Fair...

Seats still available for all grandstand shows at York Fair

Sales for all shows have surpassed last year's tally.

Evening Sun Reporter

Ticket sales for this year's York Fair - the "Grandstand of Stars" - have already surpassed last year's, said Cres Ottemiller, entertainment director for the York Fair.

"Tickets sales are far, far ahead of last year because of the artists we have been able to confirm," Ottemiller said.

Nevertheless, there are still seats available for all of the fair's shows.

So far, Clay Aiken has been the biggest draw in ticket sales, Ottemiller said.

Only 25 percent of the seats for Aiken's show are still available, he said.

Kid Rock's performance has been the second most successful show, Ottemiller said.

"The Kid is selling a lot of tickets," he said.

In fact, many of the ticket orders for Kid Rock's performance have come from a "long way off," Ottemiller said.

The York Fair begins Friday, Sept. 10, and runs through Sunday, Sept. 19.

Ottemiller expects ticket sales to stay strong.

"This year we are pleased to say we have a strong grandstand program and every show is selling well," he said

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