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Saturday, May 21, 2005
Friday, May 20, 2005
Clay will play the Chastain Park Amphitheater on August 2nd. Additional information is not currently available, including prices and onsale date.
Today marks the 2nd anniversairy of the American Idol Season 2 Top 2 performance show where Clay shined with Bridge Over Trouble Waters.
Here's a trip down memory lane courtesy ClassAktMK:
The Next "American Idol" Movie - Zap2it
Rooting for Ruben or Clay? - USATODAY.com
Raleigh's Clay Aiken Falls Short Of 'American Idol' Title - WRAL.com
Clay's Fame Brings Awareness to Autism - WRAL.com
Can Singers Stay In The Spotlight After 'Idol'?
Right this minute, if you've been following "American Idol," the fortunes of its contestants may seem very, very important.
That's fine. In fact, it's exactly how the show's producers want you to feel.
If you're interested, for example, in what's going to happen to Constantine Maroulis - the sexy Greek godster beloved by millions but booted before his time - the Fox reality series has done its job.
You're invested. Committed. Absorbed.
But when Season Four cools down, will Maroulis' hottie status still matter to you?
Will you care about the program's top 12 finalists when their faces aren't beaming onto your TV screen every week?
That's the million-dollar question for all "Idol" graduates, win or lose, record deal or no record deal.
And it remains to be answered.
As the credits roll at the end of each season - as they will on Wednesday's finale - "Idol" turns into a precarious springboard for singers instead of a solid platform. Through the immense power of television, a crop of unknown vocalists has been made famous. Temporarily.
Their next steps depend on a wide, wild variety of factors, most of which are a mystery to anyone outside of the entertainment industry. We can only guess at the opportunities, disappointments, temptations and pressures tossed into the paths of people like Tamyra Gray, that elegant showstopper, or Bo Bice, currently the long-haired hope of Helena.
Everyone knows, however, that music careers are extremely dicey, no matter how they're forged.
The hopefuls who emerge from the "Idol" machine - which is tightly controlled by producer Simon Fuller and his company, 19 Entertainment - can't be stamped with any guarantees.
Consider these names: Nikki McKibbin. Jim Verraros. Charles Grigsby. Vanessa Olivarez. Matthew Rodgers. Leah LaBelle. Jared Yates. Sarah Mather.
Heard anything about them lately? Um, even remember what they look like?
That's the danger - and perhaps the real, eventual lesson - of the "Idol" experience. It's pushing out quickie household names aplenty, but where's the staying power?
Of course, a small handful of "Idol" wannabes - especially its winners over the past three seasons - can be tracked fairly easily.
Season One diva Kelly Clarkson (a definite success story, for now) has achieved the desired pop-star status with her second album, "Breakaway." She's got a bunch of singles on the radio and is a regular on the Billboard charts. She's thinner, blonder, more fashionable. Her vocals have been given a coat of polish, as well.
Season Two champ Ruben Studdard (whose momentum appears to be slowing) reportedly has been recording his third album for J Records, "The Return of the Velvet Teddy Bear." His fortunes have gone up (Grammy nomination, double-platinum debut, gold gospel disc) and down (plane-seat snafu, management lawsuit, botched weight-loss campaign on "Extra").
The Birmingham resident will be in town this weekend for a big-bucks concert to benefit his music-scholarship charity for children. But what message is his label sending with that skimpy official Web site, so devoid of information and in dire need of updating?
Season Three queen Fantasia Barrino (yes, we insist on using her last name) has one platinum album to her credit, called "Free Yourself," and a U.S. tour with Kem on her summer agenda. She'll open for him here on June 10 at the BJCC Concert Hall. She's done quite well on the R&B charts with the song "Truth Is" and apparently remains a devoted "Baby Mama."
Standing out from the rest of the pack - by a North Carolina mile - is Clay Aiken, the second-season runner-up. Oh, that skinny guy is smart. Shrewd, savvy, solid and smart.
Others might sit idle after "Idol," but Aiken appears to be one of the hardest-working men in show biz. He's wholesome and in demand: Andy Williams for the 21st century, Pat Boone for the millennium, Barry Manilow for the future.
Two top-selling albums, including a boffo Christmas disc. Tons of TV appearances. His own holiday special. Concert tours, ringtones, Web sites, fan clubs, magazine covers. That active Bubel-Aiken Foundation for people with developmental disabilities.
His A-plus resume includes a self-help guide, "Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life," published in November with coauthor Allison Glock. But Aiken really could write the book on how to make the most of what "Idol" has to offer. He's actually learned how to use the show, instead of allowing it to use him.
When Aiken's contract with 19 Entertainment displeased him - apparently because the company's cut was too large and their policies too restrictive - he hired a tough lawyer and cut loose from it. Then he signed with The Firm, a management powerhouse that offered a sweeter deal.
That's darn good business sense, and it bodes well for Aiken to become the "Idol" who remains while others fade away.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
DEAR AMY: I am a 15-year-old boy. I am a sophomore in high school, and no one likes me. I am so worried that there is something wrong with me. I get good grades and am in the choir. All the guys in my class make fun of me, because I am the only male in the choir. The girls in my class think I am a geek because I get good grades. Amy, I love to sing and get good grades, and I would be so sad without it. Should I quit singing and fail on purpose, just so people will stop making fun of me? Tenor in Chicago
DEAR TENOR: I have two words for you: Clay Aiken.
Clay Aiken, the pop singer and "American Idol" star, could have written your letter when he was in high school. Like you, he was the only male in the school choir, and, like you, he was bullied.
In his book, "Learning to Sing" (2004 Random House), Aiken outlines his struggle with high school bullies. "I was teased by other kids like it was their job," he says.
If your choir has a travel choir or madrigal group, try out for it. These activities are where you will find other smart and accomplished kids like you who no doubt get picked on by other kids who are jealous of their success in the classroom.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Clay will appear on American Idol tonight, as will Clay's boss. Tonight's theme is Judges Choice/Clive Davis' Choice/Contestant's Choice.
Monday, May 16, 2005
From the CB:
Clay is Everywhere!!
My son brought over to the house the DVD of Blade Trinity. Perhaps some people have seen or heard of the movie?
On the special features, there is a part where the character, Hannibal King, played by Ryan Reynolds, is giving the name of three groups that are on the other characters MP3 player (or whatever he calls it). Then Hannibal King, who is in the driver seat of a vehicle, says, "but I listen to Clay Aiken, people say I look like him!!!
Other shots of the same scene have him saying he listens to Celine Dion, a Canadian treasure, Andrea Bocelli, did you know he's blind?, and I can't remember who else.
Has anyone seen it? If you get a chance, watch for it on the special features!
Clay is everywhere!!!
From the CB:
Jan Whatever from Ideal Idol spoke with Faye and she said that Clay is going to be going to Uganda at the end of May and staying for a week. She posted this info on her message board at ClayDream Believers. FINALLY we got some confirmation, woo hoo! Let's pray for him as he embarks on the next round of his amazing journey. It just occurred to me, this may not be the "Amazing Race" that Clay had hoped to do, but it's something far more amazing than he has ever considered!