The fanclub's board is down, as reported on the CB.
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Saturday, April 23, 2005
Friday, April 22, 2005
The Clayboard Summer Tour Member Pass Contest has received 15 entries so far. GO.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
BACKING AN IDOL
DR. MICHAEL M. KROP SENIOR'S LIGHTNING SINGERS GOT TO SHARE THE SPOTLIGHT WITH FORMER AMERICAN IDOL STAR AND MULTIPLATINUM ARTIST CLAY AIKEN
BY BEN TORTER
Every performer dreams of that lucky break that catapults them into the big time.
That spotlight shone Saturday night for the Lightning Singers of the Dr. Michael M. Krop High School Magnet program when they performed with famed, multiplatinum American Idol recording artist Clay Aiken.
The vocal music students said the experience was nothing short of inspirational.
The high school chorus belted out with smiling confidence every note of Paul Simon's Bridge Over Troubled Water in front of a packed ballroom at the Florida Voices for Change gala at the Broward County Convention Center.
''I think Clay is so nice and I can't believe we actually had the opportunity to sing with him,'' 17-year-old Krop senior Jennifer Milton said. ``I'll never forget it.''
The $200-a-ticket gala was organized by Today's Caregiver magazine and benefited Aiken's Bubel/Aiken Foundation, which provides grants, services and inclusive programs to children with special needs.
The event was emceed by Deco Drive anchor Louis Aguirre and facilitated by dignitaries like Miss Florida Jenna Edwards, Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman, State Rep. Susan Goldstein and Broward County Commissioner Lois Wexler.
Dr. Michael M. Krop High School Music Director Lawrence Davidson was nonchalantly confident when he explained how his chorus secured the gig.
''One of the parents was in a conversation with people from the Aiken Foundation, and she suggested us and we were invited,'' Davidson said.
That was right before spring break, which gave them only about three weeks to prepare. ''That's the entertainment world,'' Davidson said. ``Sometimes you have very short notice.''
The kids rehearsed with Aiken for the first time the afternoon of the show.
''It was unworldly,'' 18-year-old Krop senior Natalie Schapiro said. ``It was so cool.''
She said Aiken's personality made the experience all the better.
''I was pleasantly surprised with Clay Aiken,'' said Schapiro, who has been accepted to Florida State University's School of Music to study opera. ``There are 30 of us and he shook all our hands. That's how I want to act when I'm famous.''
Simply being a member of the Lightning Singers didn't earn a spot on stage with Aiken. He could only take 30. The Lightning Singers are 90 students large, so Davidson held an audition.
They were judged on pitch, accuracy, dynamics, tone quality and memorization. Given the talent pool, the choice was difficult. The Lightning Singers all recently received straight superior (the best) ratings at the Florida District Music Assessments.
The teenagers lounged around backstage before the show. Some slept, others played cards and still others sat on the floor in their tuxedos chatting about school and what it will be like when they're famous.
If any were nervous, they wouldn't admit it.
''If you love what you do, there's no fear,'' 18-year-old Krop senior Christopher Clark said.
They held up that fierce attitude onstage before a crowd of serious Aiken fans.
''Claymates'' is a term coined to describe diehard Aiken fans.
One of them, Donna Cusolito, flew in from Plaistow, N.H., to see her 20th Aiken performance. She once sent Aiken's dog a hat.
''The kids were great,'' Cusolito said. ``You could tell Clay and the kids really connected.''
After the show, Aiken, a former special education teacher and mentor, led the students through a couple of more verses of Bridge Over Troubled Water.
It was that one-on-one rapport they developed with the pop star that seamed to have the greatest affect on the high school students.
''He's not like regular pop stars,'' 16-year-old Krop sophomore Ron Barhai said. ``He treats us like regular people, like adults.''
For others, like 18-year-old senior Gaby Jacobo, who has been accepted into the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the admiration was more technical.
''He knows the fundamentals of music, and that's so important that he doesn't just yell into a mic,'' Jacobo said. ``It was exhilarating.''
From the CB:
A post from fifty at CV that puts a very interesting spin on the Simon Renshaw deal. Mostly educated speculation, but still very interesting:
I am way behind but wanted to post this little tidbit...
I have posted in the past that my daughter's future husband is in the entertainment business and books international concerts....
I emailed him today and asked him about the Firm situation. Here is my email to him and his response....
What do you think about
Strategic Artist Management
Simon is breaking away from the Firm company
and is taking Dixie Chicks, Anarsarcia, and Clay Aiken to mention a few...
Hi! Yes, I read it on the industry dailies this morning. The Firm may be in trouble financially as they've laid off a bunch of people recently. Interesting to note that Robert Sillerman is on a new buying spree of management companies and is in the process of a merger with Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment and also getting ready for an IPO. Personally, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they made a takeover bid on The Firm. That was exactly his MO when he was building SFX Entertainment which he ended up selling to Clear Channel. Thats how Clear Channel got into the concert business.
Perhaps, Simon Renshaw did not want to be in a position where his one of his main clients would be back in the hands of Simon Fuller through a series of takeovers. It wasn't a pretty divorce to begin with by all accounts. The only way to protect that was to leave. Just a theory though...
I thought this was very interesting
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
The day after effect. Dr. Phil praised LTS yesterday during Clay's appearance on the show and it has soared on Amazon.com up to 188!
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Apparently Clay has gotten himself a new management, according to HitsDailyDouble:
SIMON SAYS: Insiders relate that manager Simon Renshaw has sent out an e-mail announcing the formation of a new management company called Strategic Artist Management. Artists Renshaw will manage under his new shingle include Clay Aiken, Anastacia, the Dixie Chicks and Miranda Lambert. (4/18p)
Media should be forthcoming from today's episode of Dr. Phil.
Monday, April 18, 2005
From Yahoo Music:
As the top-selling Idol, Clay's proof that nice guys finish second. He's a winner in our book!
From the CB, a transcript from WRAL's news:
Volanda C. (anchor): Spotlight Raleigh's own American Idol runner-up is on tomorrow's episode of Dr. Phil. (shows Clay sitting on couch beside another adult and appears to be 2 teenagers across from them with Dr. Phil seated in center back in his own seat).
V: Aiken will talk about his experiences with bullies as a child. It's a subject he addresses in his new book Learning to Sing.
Cuts to actual interview
Dr. Phil: You say in your book "When I was young, I was teased by other kids like it was their job".
(Shows the pic of Clay from LTS where he's in backseat of car)
Clay: (laughs that giggle of his) I think it was ...at...sometimes they would've been rich if they had gotten paid for it!
(Shows young pic of him with his head between limbs of tree)Cuts back to Clay and he sees these pics on screen and says
CA: Look at that dork on camera...(he gigles and says) there's another one right there (when they show second pic)
Cuts back to him with a beautiful smile and he giggles that cliggle!
CA: Both times (referring to dork shown both times). But... umm...you know it's about trying...about being comfortable with who you are and once I found out...figured out...WHO CARES what people think about me(was kinda demonstrative and looking at the kids across from him).
I know my parents love me. I know I have friends who love me. I love MYSELF...you know. I think once you have that and you carry it with you...people...everybody else wants to know what he's got that I don't have because everybody is insecure. They are picking on me because they didn't have anything about them that they could be prouse of so they decided they'd make themselves feel better.
Dr. Phil starts to comment again and WRAL cuts away and anchor Volanda Calloway says "you can see the rest of the interview tomorrow at 9am on WRAL".
Title: Mary Did You Know
Performers: Clay Aiken
Contributor: Buddy Greene (Lyrics by)
Mark Lowry (Lyrics by)
Publication Date: September 2005
Publisher: Brighter Minds Children's Publishing
Country of Publication: United States
Market: United States
Item Status: Active Record
Binding Format: Board Books
Edition: Gift, illustrated
Price: $9.99(USD) Retail (Publisher)
Age Range: 3 to UP
Bowker Subjects: CHILDREN'S SONGS
General Subjects (BISAC): JUVENILE NONFICTION / Music / Songbooks
MUSIC / Genres & Styles / Children's
General Subjects (BIC): SONGBOOKS
Children's Subjects: SONGS
Physical Dimensions (W x L x H): 6 x 8 in.
Sunday, April 17, 2005
From the CB's Okclayhoman, who was on the receiving end of last night's 'galacert' from Florida:
Clay took one of his hands and ran it down the length of his body.........just hearing about it made me thud........and there is lots and lots of clack coming........Hold on ladies......we have a treat coming our way.
And... we've got a picture
The Miami Herald
POP SINGER HELPS PLANT TREES WITH STUDENTS REFURBISHING LINCOLN PARK
BY NATALIE P. McNEAL
Dressed in Nike running shoes, navy blue cargo shorts and a lilac-colored polo-style shirt, pop star Clay Aiken was a hit again on Saturday.
This time, though, the former contestant on Fox-TV's American Idol was not singing, but planting trees and laying fresh mulch at Hollywood's Lincoln Park alongside a group of student volunteers.
Now the neighborhood has a slew of new trees on its streets, fresh mulch for its park and memories of a pop star visit.
Aiken visited the north central Hollywood neighborhood Saturday, boosting morale for National Volunteer Day participants. At the event, students with learning disabilities planted Foxtail palms along with mainstream school students.
''It's amazing to see the kids with disabilities and without disabilities working together,'' said Aiken, who is a former special education teacher. ``Everyone is different and functions at a different level, but can still work together.''
Aiken, who was in South Florida receiving an award for his work with special education children, decided to join the students as they volunteered.
For just under an hour, Aiken gathered mulch, shook hands and held hands, and took photos with the more than 40 student volunteers at the park.
He made new friends with many of them, including Danny Wieder, 18, a special education student at Cypress Bay High in Weston.
Aiken helped Danny put on oversized work gloves to put down mulch. He made sure the gloves fit over the boy's five fingers.
''Good job, high five,'' Aiken told Danny. ``You want to throw some more dirt?''
The student volunteers came from Pembroke Pines and Weston.
Fans of Aiken, also known as ''Claymates,'' came from as far away as Baltimore and New Jersey to watch him work.
The women -- some of them much older than the 26-year-old Aiken -- traveled to support their favorite ex-American Idol contestant.
Lynn Martin, 35, of southern New Jersey, traveled to South Florida to see Aiken speak at a conference on Saturday at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale.
Aiken also performed there Saturday night with vocal music students from from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School in Miami-Dade.
Martin learned that Aiken also would be making an appearance at the Hollywood tree plantings, and decided to show up there, too.
''Most of our husbands dislike him because much of our attention and money goes to seeing him,'' Martin joked.
''I love his voice,'' said Pam Cloonan, 60, of Plantation, who waited at Lincoln Park Saturday morning for Aiken to arrive. ``I love what he is doing for the kids of America.''
Saturday's group of volunteers were a mix of Flanagan High Navy Junior ROTC students and others from both Flanagan and Cypress Bay high schools who participate in the Best Buddies program. The program pairs students with intellectual disabilities with mainstream students.
Flanagan High student Adonis Lebada, 17, of Pembroke Pines, helped break down dirt on Fillmore Street for the tree planting.
''It makes me feel good,'' Adonis said. ``When I plant a tree, I can come back when I'm old and see what I did.''
PICTURES FROM THE CB:
Click to enlarge