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Saturday, September 10, 2005

UNICEF "Trick-Or-Treat" Program to Benefit Katrina Victims

UNICEF announced yesterday that it will donate half of the proceeds raised through this year's Trick-Or-Treat program. Since Clay is a UNICEF ambassador and is the designated spokesperson (.doc file- PR from UNICEF) for this year's program, Clay might be invited to various TV shows to promote this UNICEF effort. No TV appearances relating to the "Trick-Or Treat" program have been scheduled as of 9/10.


Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF and Hurricane Katrina

NEW YORK -- In recognition of the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Katrina on hundreds of thousands of American children, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF will direct half of the proceeds from the 2005 Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign to help Katrina's youngest survivors. In addition to the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF is also actively encouraging direct donations to its Hurricane Katrina fund.

This marks the first time, since its inception in 1950, that funds raised from Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF will be used for programs in the United States. To date, the program has raised over $127 million to fund UNICEF's lifesaving work for impoverished children in developing countries.

In the United States and other industrialized nations, UNICEF typically does not operate child survival and development programs, instead engaging in advocacy and fundraising efforts in support of UNICEF's mission. However, the extraordinary nature of the Hurricane Katrina emergency demands that all of us play a role in responding. UNICEF will contribute to the recovery effort by working with the U.S. government and domestic aid organizations that are providing direct relief services.

Likewise, millions of children around the world depend on UNICEF's lifesaving programs, and UNICEF will continue to honor its mandate of providing health, education and protection to the world's poorest and most vulnerable children.

In the areas affected by Katrina, thousands of children have literally seen their lives washed away -- they have lost homes, schools, communities, and with that, their sense of security, normalcy and well-being. Many children have witnessed a breakdown of the very structures that are designed to protect and sustain them and have been witnesses to unprecedented scenes of destruction.

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF began in 1950 when a small group of children from Philadelphia decided to use milk cartons to raise funds for children in post-World War II Europe. That first year, they raised $17 for UNICEF, and the program has been sustained and beloved by children, teachers and community groups ever since.

UNICEF is non-partisan and its universal mandate is to ensure the fundamental survival, protection and well-being of children, regardless of race, religion, geography and gender.

This year's Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF spokesperson is UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken, a former U.S. schoolteacher who witnessed the reopening of tent schools using the School-in-a-Box in Indonesia after the tsunami struck there in 2004.

September 9, 2005

NJ Star Ledger Interviews Clay About Fashion Week

Clay was interviewed by the NJ Star Ledger for Fashion Week, which Clay took part in yesterday.

Fashion week: Cole, Clay and Katrina converge
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff
NEW YORK -- Where do you find singers and socialites, protesters and policemen, etiquette experts and emaciated models all happily munching doughnuts together?

At Fashion Week, of course, where the unveiling of next spring's clothing styles kicked off yesterday with a breakfast presentation by designer Kenneth Cole.

Famous for adding a hefty dose of altruism to his fashion shows, Cole was true to form, opening his show in Bryant Park with a short video featuring

In the film clip, Goldberg was arrested by the "Fashion Victims Unit -- FVU. Or as we like to say, Fah-Voo." They took her to task for her red-carpet fashion disasters, and she chastised them for caring about fashion when the world has so many other problems -- like people left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

Although unrepentant ("I've been on the worst-dressed list my whole life and I'm proud of it -- nobody else can say that but Cher!"), Goldberg gets off with just a short stint at Vogue. And Cole announced that the models and other participants in his show were donating half their fees to hurricane relief; Cole matched their donations and took his bow at the end of the show in a Red Cross T-shirt.

"We stand bayou," the screen read as the clip ended.

Stanley Tucci and Clay Aiken were among the celebrities in the audience; it was Aiken's first fashion show.

"I was in town, and I wear more of Kenneth Cole's clothes than of any other designer," said the "American Idol" heartthrob.

But his own style was, he said, "codependent. I need somebody else to put it together for me."

Still, Aiken's a fast study. After watching Cole's collection of loose, unstructured outfits in muddy neutral shades of brown and gray -- leavened with a bit of brighter green and purple -- he quickly picked out a favorite.

"That first brown outfit, I like that," Clay said backstage after the show, pointing. "It's nice, it's the kind of thing I would wear."

He didn't render a verdict on the women's outfits -- high-waisted, loose pants and some surprisingly frilly dresses in bright, sheer, crinkled chiffon -- that paraded down the catwalk. But Cole's more adventurous options for men -- fringed and patterned bags that looked suspiciously like pocketbooks, and men's shorts so short they'd require the use of specialty underwear -- did not win the star's approval.

"See that?" he said, pointing to one shorts outfit. "You couldn't pay me enough money to wear those shorts."

Negative Clay Mention in Sept. 16 Entertainment Weekly

From the September 16 issue of Entertainment Weekly. Very rude comment. Do not read on if you're sensitive to this kind of stuff :)

I'm reading Entertainment Weekly Dated Sept. 16th. There is an article on a new show "Three Wishes" hosted by Amy Grant. The blurb:

"No dream is too big-or small-for Amy Grant and her band of genies to fulfill. Unless it involves Clay Aiken. They have to draw the line somewhere".

In reading the article, they mention a young girl who listens to Clays music to help her cope with a neighbours illness, that wanted to meet the singer; sadly (?) they had to pass on Grant-ing that particular then says "i was like Clay aiken? don't laugh .Don't laugh. Don't laugh"

Free Image Hosting at

Friday, September 09, 2005

AD: Thank You Clay for the Jukebox Tour (September 9, 2005)

Free Image Hosting at

Clay Took Part In NY Fashion Week

UPDATED 9/10 (originally posted 9/9)

Clay was present yesterday at the Kenneth Cole fashion show, which took place at Bryant Park in New York City. There is also a complete schedlue of the event, available here. We are not sure if Clay will be at any of the other fashion shows.

Pictures of Clay in the audience at the Cole show are available at Getty Images.

These HQ 'red-carpet' pictures from the show (not to be reported anywhere copyright is an issue) are courtesy the CB's mee2u:

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

This NY Newsday Article gave us the heads up yesterday:

Fashion Week is back in full effect

September 9, 2005

Fashion Week is going to be a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll.

With the Country Music Awards weeks away and the Stetson crowd in need of New York-style duds, the Spring '06 shows are likely to draw as many boot-shod two-steppers as black-clad glamazons.

"I just watched Tim McGraw rehearse, and it was astonishing," raved "Without a Trace" star Poppy Montgomery, who co-hosted last night's Fashion Rocks concert, the unofficial Fashion Week kickoff, at Radio City Music Hall.

From McGraw to Lee Ann Womack to high-energy hitmakers Big and Rich, country singers are joining Beyonce, David Bowie and the like for Fashion Week at Bryant Park.

Opening the semi-annual runway shows this morning is Kenneth Cole, whose front row will include Womack, Clay Aiken and "Entourage" star Jerry Ferrara.

A certain deep-throated A-list starlet will be in good company at this evening's Imitation of Christ show, but her ID is top secret for now.

And there are gargantuan expectations for Friday's Tommy Hilfiger show back up in the park.

Hilfiger, whose celebrated house is up for sale, acknowledges his 20th anniversary with a men's and women's show, and the night's hot party ticket, a bash at Crobar with guests such as actresses Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon and Jamie Lynn DiScala.

Kimora Lee Simmons takes over Radio City tomorrow night for her highly anticipated Baby Phat presentation.

On Sunday afternoon, editors will ogle Diane Von Furstenberg's wraps at her 12th Street studio, then come to the tents for Luca Luca at night.

Monday's highlights include the latest collections from Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Cynthia Steffe and Marc Jacobs; Tuesday's are Monique Lhuillier and Bill Blass; Wednesday's are Michael Kors and Anna Sui; Thursday's are Vera Wang, Calvin Klein and Zac Posen.

Fierce and funky Gwen Stefani closes out Fashion Week on Sept. 16.

Stefani, this season's celebrated entrant into the celebrity-designer wars, is forsaking the tents for a supposedly "intimate" event showcasing her L.A.M.B. line (Love Angel Music Baby) at the Roseland Ballroom.

The final Friday's other big attractions are Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Scrubs Repeats Tonight

Clay's February guest-starring episode of the NBC Hit Scrubs will be reaired at 9 PM EDT. Check local listings.

Official Fanclub Posts Notice About Christmas Tour

This was just posted to the official fanclub's homepage (accessible to the public):

09/07/05 / Christmas Tour Update
Rumors are will hear it
officially here first! Details for the second annual Clay Aiken Joyful Noise
Tour are quickly coming together and the fan club will be able to give you
further details in mid-to-late September. Fear not loyal followers of all things
Aiken! Members of the fan club will have first access to tickets for this tour.
The tour will cross the entire U.S. in November and December (with a date or two
in Canada as well), and a new show is already in the works before the Jukebox
has even cooled down.

One venue mistakenly put a Clay Christmas show on
Ticketmaster along with dozens of their other upcoming shows as part of a
massive onsale. This was a mistake and it was caught in time, so even though the
show may still show up on the website, it has not gone on sale and is not sold
out. Posted by mca

KBGX Program Director Apologizes to Clayfans

KBGX, a radio station in Sprintfield, MO followed the lead of other radio stations and started taking donations for the Red Cross in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. For $45, they would play any song they had in their system. When the CB's CLAYPERFECT requested Clay's Bridge Over Troubled Water and donated $45, the song was not played. This occurred 4 times, according to the program director, so to rectify the problem, KBGX played the song at 6 PM yesterday and dedicated the song to Clayfans.

Telephone call transcript from the CB's CLAYPERFECT:

The Program Manager for KBGX 105.9 here in Springfield Mo.Tony Matteo..just
returned my call..this is how the conversation went: Let me warn it it was a 22
minute conversation so is a bit long..I kept notes while we chatted don't think
I missed least I hope not.I did not want to turn this call into a
conversation about Clay ..but he kept asking and I kept replying..and it did
turn into a Clay conversation.

TM:Hello Jeanene this is Tony Matteo of
KBGX 105.9 how are you today
Me:..I am just fine..glad you returned my call
and email
TM: first of all let me apologize to you for not playing your
request and if you would like we will gladly refund your money
Forbid NO...thats not the point..I want that money to go to the convoy of
hope..I would never dream of asking for it back they need it a whole lot more
than I do and I was glad to help even in a small way
TM:..thank you Jeanene
it was such a success and we are so thankful to everyone who contributed to the
fund let me explain to you what I have found out...I did go back and
check all the incoming calls personally...and yes your request for BOTW by Clay
Aiken was not a matter of fact we had 4 request for Clay Aiken and
none of them were played...
ME:..and can you explaine me to why was that
TM:.well we had so many request that day some just got lost in the
shuffel..we had request for Ozzie Osbourn..and several other artist that also
did not get plalyed
Me:..I can understand this happening occasionally but
now explaine to me is it possible to lose in the shuffle 4 request
for one would think that at least one of them would have made the
air..due to the lack of airplay for Clays songs ..I really thought that this
time you would have to play him..since it was for such a great cause..
TM:..I can't explaine...................
Me: my point exactly!!! be honest with you I personally like Clay Aiken and BOTW is one of
my favorite songs by him and it would have been perfect for the fund
raiser..again I apologize
Me:..I understand payolo and some of the workings
of the radio industry ...and I feel most radio stations are really missing the
boat..there are millions of fans out here who like many artist that never get they like me have reverted to satillite radio and streaming..and of
course our CD players
TM:..I can assure you that I am aware of payola and we
here at KGBX do not practice or get involved in it at all..
we play by most
requested from our listening audience
Me:..not necessarily true Mr. the past there has been a lot of request for Clay's music and it get
ignored..every time..when you call back and ask if they are going to play get one excuse after ran out of time..etc.
it isn't we just turn off our radio's .. and I might add your DJ's
especially Woody seems to take great pleasure in making fun of Clay and using
for the brunt of his stupid jokes..sorry to be so frank but it's true..I would
never request a song by Clay Aiken from Woody or anyone on your early morning
show..they seem to get great pleasure out of making fun of people and its just
not my thing
TM: so you are telling me that Clay is not played on the radio
Me:..only if you live east of the Mississippi or the west coast
TM:. why
do you think that is
Me: your the Program Director you tell me true...I had no idea there were so many fans in our
there a local fan club here in Springfield
Me:..there are a lot of fans here
and yes we do have a local fan club that meets once a month
TM: I had no
idea..why don't we get more request
Me: cause you won't play our request
like I said earlier..we have gone to satallite or streaming..
TM:..I hate to
hear that..any suggestion on getting some of you back to listing to the radio..
Me: our request occasionally... I have a motel here in Lebanon and
I play your station in the office along with Clay's CD's 24-7..have to admitt
more CD's but you would be amazed at the comments I get daily on that voice
coming out of the stero..people have actually asked me why you dont hear him on
the reply is always payola
TM: what is the name of your motel and
where in Lebanon is it located..I visit Lebanon often or just pass through
Me:..Historic Route 66 Inn..we are located at exit 127
TM: I will be
sure and look you up next time I come through..I am glad to hear that our
station reaches your area far as.payola goes it is not something we
practice here but I can understand where you are coming have really
enlighted me on a few things..and I do appreciate have definately given
me a few things to think about here and possibly correct..I wish more of our
listeners would take the time you have to voice your concerns..tell you what I
am going to do
( mind you now I have not asked for anything YET lol)..I am
going to play BOTW..what time do you want to hear it..
Me:..I want to hear
it at your peak time..that way more people will be able to enjoy it not just me
TM:..6pm is a peak time for us..I will play the song at 6pm and dedicate it
to you and all the local Clay Fans..not only will I do that but I promise you
that I will make sure that every request made for Clay will be played in the
future and not put on the back burner..and I will also promise you that no less
than once a week Clay Aiken will be played on this radio station
you so much Mr. Matteo..that is more than I ever expected and I am grateful
TM:..I understand that Clay just finished his tour and is getting ready for
the Christmas tour
Me: yes
TM: last Christmas we did play a lot of his
MCWL and we will most definately do that again..the response was very positive
last year and our viewers seemed to enjoy it
Me:..that would be great I am
looking forward to it..he also will have a new albumn out after the first of the
year and gave us a taste of a few of the songs that might be on it..I hope to
hear some of these on your station as well
TM:..yes I do know about his
sophmore albumn coming out and the feeling is that it will do very well
Me:..thats means a lot hearing that from you and I want to thank you for
your time and your concern. I have to admit I was very surprised to recieve your
email..made me feel as if you were really sencere and and cared about your
listing audience.
TM:..your very welcome and yes I do care and I appreciate
your comments like I said you gave me a few things to think about..laughed..and
Clay Aiken is a lucky guy to have such devoted fans like you
Me:..Clay has
millions of fans..unfortunately we all get thrown into the "Claymate"
catagory..which I am proud of ..but most DJ's..Woody included... and people in
the industry think the claymates are old worn out women or crazies..which we are
not..his fan base ranges from 2yrs to 100 years old.and includes thousands of
men as well both young and old...and thousand of fans out there that arn't so
called claymates but enjoy his music and talent and the radio stations are
missing out on a golden opportunity to increase their listeners by not playing
TM: you may have a good point there ..laughed again
Me: again I
want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me ..I know you are a busy man
and I really do appreciate it..and I am really looking forward to hearing BOTW
this evening..
TM:..your very welcome Jeanene..I have really enjoyed our
conversation ..and I want to thank you for your donation and be assured you will
hear BOTW at 6PM..I will also be tuned in..laughed again...and you will hear him
on our airways weekly I promise.
Me:..It was great to talk with you thanks
again and have a great day too Jeanene..I'll look you up next time
I come thru Lebanon..laughed again.
me: I will be looking forward to

Interview with Jacob Lutrell (Clay's Backup Singer)

Sorry... we missed this when it was originally posted.

A fantastic interview with Clay's back up singer by Dianne Austin.

Jacob Luttrell On Backing Up, Breaking Out and Building a Solo

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

By Dianne Austin

this point in time, Jacob Luttrell is not a morning person. If you call him at
11 a.m., he sometimes doesn't know where he is--and I mean literally. If you
wait, and try again at noon, you may get a bit more clarity and expression, but
not a lot.

Cut him some slack though, because it might be that the
morning disorientation is simply due to his having to sleep in "a box". The box,
as he puts it, is the bus. Because for several months out of the last couple of
years--this month included--he goes on tour. Luttrell is one of three backup
singers for Clay Aiken, and he sometimes can't be sure where he is when waking
up for the day.

No worries though. The tour has less than a week to go
and on the day after it closes, Luttrell will be doing his own show in New York
City. When he gets back to his Hollywood home in September and starts tending to
individual career endeavors, he's sure to be extremely clear on the particulars
of each day as he picks up where he left off with building his own solo image.

I was able to grab some time with him at one of his venue stops along
the road. I wanted to know a little about his life before the Aiken gig, and how
he sees his career developing when looking down the road a little bit.

"I've been singing, playing, dancing and songwriting for a long time",
he said. "My uncle had a recording studio when I was growing up and I used to
love to hang out there. He was the one to encourage me at that age."

Singing since he was 3 or 4, with church providing his musical roots,
Jacob's talent emerged and became obvious. He began instrumental music in
elementary school, and at 10 years old, he was writing songs. The saxophone was
the only instrument he ever studied formally. However today, there are four or
five others he plays.

His dance skills are also noteworthy. Again, no
formal lessons, but just watching him leads one to believe that he has had dance
training. Lanky and lithe, Luttrell can move to the music with the best of them.
It's well known he's choreographed some of the numbers for Aiken's tours.

When asked about all of these musical skills he states (with a very
beguiling smile on his face, I might add), "Music runs through my veins. I love
it. Really, I love it".

The love brought him the opportunity at age 16
to travel (he seems destined for life on the road) with "Godquest", a Gospel
youth group that toured the U.S. and England. He was with the group for certain
months out of the year, for a total of seven years. This became his basis of
professional experience until he landed his first big gig with the Clay/Kelly
Independent Tour in the early part of 2004. Since then, Luttrell has
consistently toured as a backup singer for Aiken whenever Clay has gone out on
the road.

The early experience of life on the road for that length of
time has made him one. When asked about it he said, "It's just part of me--it's
what I was meant to do."

Jacob's exotic looks, courteous and caring
treatment of others, and sense of humor will help him to succeed in a business
and a world where you're lucky if you meet someone with a couple of those
traits. He's warm and laid back, and although you get the impression he would
never mislead or mistreat anyone, he also makes you feel like he's no-nonsense
and savvy about looking out for himself and keeping his own goals as a top
priority. In other words, he's driven and focused. This kid isn't letting anyone
get him off track. And in this tough world, that's just what you need to make

How does he feel about the latest tour group he's become so attached

"I know it's unusual in our business and today's world for backups,
musicians and a name artist to be so close, but we're all kind of like family.
We keep each other grounded. And when we're home working on our solo careers, we
keep in touch. We miss each other."

They'll be missing each other soon.
The present Jukebox Tour ends this week on September 1st, with the last concert
at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Luttrell will be going to
Manhattan the day after it closes to do his own show at The Cutting Room on 24th

He's looking forward to it. It'll be his time to pour out what's
been brewing inside of him. It's a chance for him to showcase the myriad of
musical talents he possesses that have been bursting forth for so long. Luttrell
will feature his own pop/funk (with a hint of jazz) style by presenting some
original songs while accompanying himself on piano, keyboard and acoustic guitar
for some of them. He'll also have the added plus of a backup band (two members
coming from Aiken's band--Daniel Pearson and Felix Pollard) for the rest of it.
Luttrell will also do some Stevie Wonder covers. Wonder, along with Sting, Harry
Connick Jr., John Mayer and Radiohead remains at the top of his list of musical

His promotional CD will come out in another couple of weeks.
In the meantime, you can become familiar with him and his music if you take a
look at his artist's development representation: The Vocal Corner Store, Jacob is fortunate to have the opportunity to grow
with a company that encourages creative diversion and obvious emergence of a
definitive style. The attention to this type of detail is evident when one
listens to the musical wonders emerging from this young man so far. Be sure to
check out his sound--you will be amazed.

EW: In your opinion, what's
needed to make it in this business besides talent, which you so keenly and
apparently have a lot of?

Luttrell: Drive, persistence, faith, courage
and passion. I believe I have them all, but sometimes, I find the courage
dwindling. The music business today is one of the toughest professions there is,
and so many people, after being in it for awhile, find themselves giving up and
saying, "I just can't do this. It's too hard." So, I have to often refuel the
courage part of it.

EW: Are you comfortable living in Hollywood now?

Luttrell: Yeah. I lived in Fresno, CA all my life before this, and
although it's an area that's grown, it is still a rural town. I moved to
Hollywood a year ago and was living with some cousins and sleeping on couches so
that I could be in LA. Now, I have my own place, and it's fine.

You're really ready to launch this solo career now, yet there are continuing
opportunities to still do backup gigs. How difficult is it to go back and forth
between those "opposite end of the spectrum" endeavors? When you're working as
backup, are you bursting at the seams, so to speak, to get your talent to the

Luttrell: No, I've learned to do it all. It's baby steps,
really. It's all good, and I feel like I'm right where I'm supposed to be at
this point in time.

EW: But, do you ever get impatient? Do you ever feel
just a bit of frustration when you're "in the back" and you feel like it's your
time to be "in the front?"

Luttrell: Sure, there are times. Because I've
been payin' my dues since I was 15, and sometimes I lose it a little and wonder,
‘When do I get my turn to step out?' But that's where faith comes in. When I
feel the negatives, I take a deep breath and then put it in God's hands. That's
what I've done before, and He's taken it where He wants me to go.

Luttrell is going to New York. Now, there's a CD coming out. Both of these
efforts are giving him the ability to express who he is. Singing songs with his
own accompaniment, Jacob will find ultimate expression for his musical self with
the words and music he's written. While cementing a musical style, he'll be
wowing the public with an intense, total package of talent.

Jacob is in
it for the duration. He's worked too hard to give it up now.

Catch Jacob
Luttrell at:

The Cutting Room
September 2, 2005, 7:30 p.m.
Street, New York City


Writer: Dianne

Now an entertainment writer, Dianne Austin is a former Social
Worker and teacher living in Southern California. Her present endeavors include
dance, travel and raising a family.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Clay In Danger of Falling Out of Lycos50

Clay is in danger of losing his Lycos50 Elite status (granted to a searched term that has been on the Lycos50 for 50 consecutive weeks or more) after dropping to #43 from #32 on the Lycos50 most searched terms. Please keep searching at

Clay Mention in TIME Magazine Online Article

Um.... i'm not sure what to make of this. From


BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN songs may mostly remind fans of their proms. But more than 500 academics, clergy and journalists planning to attend a conference at Monmouth University in New Jersey this week think the Boss warrants deeper reflection. Papers to be presented at Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium include "A Marxist Perspective on Darkness on the Edge of Town," "Steinbeck and Springsteen" and "The Boss and the Bible." Speakers include rock critic Dave Marsh, touted as a "Louie Louie expert," and Frank Stefanko, who has photographed Springsteen a lot. Attendees may also visit the Stone Pony, Springsteen's storied hometown rock club; alas, he's not on the bill. Next semester at Monmouth: Desconstructing Clay Aiken.

UNICEF Helping in Katrina's Aftermath

UNICEF today announced that they will take the unusual step of sending volunteers and money to the Gulf Coast region hit hard by last week's Hurricane Katrina. Clay has been a special ambassador for UNICEF since 2003, which means that Clay may visit the region. You can donate to the special UNICEF Katrina fund here. Here is the letter sent out to UNICEF supporters:

Since we wrote to you on Saturday, the U.S. government has accepted UNICEF’s offer of assistance for children and families struggling to survive the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Thousands of children have seen their lives literally washed away. They have lost their homes, their schools and communities, and some have even lost a parent or grandparent. Many children have witnessed a breakdown of the very structures that are designed to protect and sustain them…and they have witnessed mass destruction, death, suffering, and civil unrest.

Please click here to make a donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF right now to help the children devastated by Katrina.

UNICEF’s expertise in recovery efforts
In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, UNICEF offered assistance to the U.S. government for hurricane survivors. This offer was accepted on Sunday. UNICEF staff are now among a UN team assembled in Washington, DC, working with the U.S. government to coordinate the international response.

As you know, UNICEF has almost 60 years of experience in the special survival, protection, and emotional needs of children who experience disasters like Hurricane Katrina. This marks the first time, since its founding in 1946, that UNICEF has been asked to assist with an emergency response in the United States.

Please donate now.

UNICEF is prepared
UNICEF keeps pre-packed emergency supplies in its global supply hub that can be deployed quickly, along with technical experts able to coordinate logistics, conduct rapid assessments and maneuver supplies - all critical aspects of emergency response.

UNICEF's immediate concern is the survival and protection of affected children, ensuring that adequate food, water, medicine, sanitation and shelter are available for all children and families. It is also imperative that separated children are reunited with their parents, family members or guardians as soon as possible.

Once the acute survival phase has passed, UNICEF will support the restoration of educational settings. In times of disaster, getting children back to a learning environment is one of the most effective ways of helping them to feel safe, cope with trauma and begin their emotional healing.

Thank you for your help.


U.S.Fund for UNICEF

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

ABC In Talks with Clay's Reps for Clay Talk Show

Break magazine is reporting that Clay might get his own TV show, to be aired on ABC. If you recall, Clay registered the name of a possible TV show called Everyday with Clay Aiken with the United States Trademark and Patents office in March of this year.

Break Magazine is published by the folks at the North Carolina Collegiate Association who also publish Collegiate Standard (a mag that featured Clay on the cover last year).

We posted scans from the same magazine last week, which can be viewed here.

Many thanks to the CB's CTLover1 for typing this up for us.

Clay TV Discussions

Not a coincidence that Clay Aiken has been
making his guest appearances on television shows that are broadcast on ABC-TV
i.e. All My Children, Oprah, Jimmy Kimmel, etc.

An executive inside
Touchtone Television which produce "The View" for ABC says that confidential
discussions are underway that involve Clay hosting or co-hosting a variety/talk
program. According to the source, whoe asked not to be named, "Buena Vista
reported back to Disney that they were very impressed with Clay after last
year's arrangement. His performances were professional and the way he carried
himself through the tour onstage and at the Disney appearances impressed
marketing. They believe he has the personality to go long. He connects with
people. Like Oprah. And his fan base is the definition of the day time

Last year was Buena Vista Entertainment's first as a tour
sponsor when they backed Clay.

Dan Kellison, of Jackhole Industries, who
produces Comedy Central with Touchstone and has worked with Jimmy Kimmel was
deliberately coy when contacted about the Clay talks.

"Uh...yeah...maybe...I may have heard some talk about it. But this is a
call from Jimmy (Kimmel) and Touchstone. Check with me later and I'll see if I
can talk about it."

Roger Widynowski, of RCA, said he had not received
any formal announcement on anthing specific. "But I handle his publicity. Clay
has discussions and makes arrangements on matters all the time that I'm not
aware of."

Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. is the marketing, sales
and distribution company for Walt Disney, Touchstone, Miramax, Dimension and
Buena Vista videocassettes and DVD's.


American Idol Idol Poll

Clays picture on the top half of the page with
the caption, "Clay is a 1st class talent and more...a man with compassion for
those the world has forsaken."


Still the One


As you read this, hundreds of dreamers are lining up in
Memphis or Denver to try and become American Idol 5. Here in the NCCA collegiate
community Clay Aiken is the all-time favorite American idol contestant based on
the recent NCCA Favorite Idol Poll. Not entirely surprising as Clay is a UNC
Charlotte alumnus, but not so fast. Our demographic is also outside NC and is
also younger than the median age of Clay's fan base. Would we have published the
results if Clay had not been #1. Maybe.

Out of the 7,068 email votes
cast, 1,344 went for Clay. Comments that accompanied the ballots show that
Clay's popularity transcends American Idol. His willingness to bear the burdens
of celebrity for the sake of those he loves appears to be as appreciated as his
extraordinary talent. A voter remarked, "The treasures of fame and glamour to
Clay are the least of it. He wants to help make the world a better place for
others who are not as fortunate."

New Poll At has posted a new poll on the non-fanclub message board.

Best Part of Tour

Sadly, the Jukebox Tour is now
over *sniff*, We all had parts of it that we loved the most.

What was
your favourite part of the JBT?

  • The new and improved WDC dance
  • Introduction of possible new songs for the cd
  • Stump The Band
  • Clay's witty banter with the crowds
  • Meeting and spending time with friends/board members
  • Abstain

  • Clay Falls to #4 at

    Clay has taken a fall to the #4 most searched artist on the House Of Blues website. Since the Jukebox Tour is over, and there has not been a Chriatmas concert announced that will be promoted by HOB, this fall is not unexpected. In the meantime, you can continue to search Clay at and

    AD: Learning To Sing Paperback (September 6, 2005)

    Free Image Hosting at

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    "Chirpy-Clay Aiken Type"

    Nice mention in this article on NBC-TV's Fall 2005 comedy shows' actor/actress roster.

    NBC Continues to Build Midseason Comedy Roster
    By Brian Ford Sullivan

    LOS ANGELES ( -- NBC continued to build up its unusually active midseason development slate over the weekend as the network had greenlighted the Greg Grunberg-led comedy pilot "Grand Union."

    Grunberg ("Alias," "The Catch") stars as Tom McBride, a blue-collar family man who manages a local Long Island neighborhood grocery store in the project, which previously ran under the title "Father of the McBrides." Also cast in "Union" is Beth Lacke ("ER") as Grunberg's wife, Pat.

    David Israel and Jim O'Doherty ("The Tracy Morgan Show," "Grounded for Life") are behind the project, which comes from NBC Universal Television and executive producer Tom Werner. It's believed Werner will produce through his Warner Bros. Television-based Werner-Gold-Miller banner along with Eric Gold and Jimmy Miller.

    As for Grunberg, his involvement stems from an overall development deal the actor recently signed with the network.

    Meanwhile, casting has begun on the Peacock's Tina Fey-led comedy pilot, a semi-autobiographical look at Fey's tenure on "Saturday Night Live."

    Among the details revealed in the casting notice: Fey will play Lisa Lemon, the head writer of "Friday Night Bits" (the show-within-a-show), while the characters include Jack Donaghy (NBC's new VP of development), Pete Hornberger (Lisa's long-time producer and friend), Toofer (a Harvard-type staff writer), Frank (a heavy-set, working-class staff writer who butts heads with Toofer), Josh (an adorable young cast member known for his flawless impressions), Sarie (a Paris Hilton-esque assistant), Kenneth (a chirpy Clay Aiken-type NBC page) and Jonathan (Jack's nerdy assistant).

    Lorne Michaels, David Miner and Joann Alfano serve as the executive producers of the NBC Universal Television/Broadway Video-based project along with Frey, who wrote the pilot script.

    "Union" and the Fey project join the Peacock's already busy comedy development roster for midseason, which also includes the previously shot pilots "Filmore Middle" and "Lies and the Wives We Tell Them To" as well as the cast-contingent "I Love Faron Hitchman," "Bearaboo 2010" and untitled Mike Markowitz project.

    Already on tap for midseason are the new comedies "Four Kings" and "Thick and Thin," not to mention the fifth season of "Scrubs."

    Clay Returing to Toronto

    According to reports from the CB's pamforclay (who spoke with Jaymes Foster-Levy at the Toronto concert), Clay will be back in Toronto for the upcoming Christmas tour.

    Toledo Blade Article on Clay fan's First Concert

    Another little article on one of Clay's fans:

    An 'Idol,' up close
    Clay Aiken is the star of teen's first concert

    This is the ninth in a yearlong series offering a look at various "firsts" for people around the region.

    Image hosted by

    Sarah Hansen's bedroom is like a shrine to her favorite men: Clay Aiken and Batman.

    Pegged to a corkboard behind the door, next to assorted buttons and a purple Quiz Bowl ribbon, are some posters and pictures of Clay, a couple of which include Sarah.

    See, there's Clay and Sarah sitting on the bronze turtle statues at the zoo. And there's the two of them together for a Christmas-time portrait. A little photo manipulation never hurt anyone, did it?

    "It's not so much liking Clay as being a little obsessive," the 15-year-old high school sophomore said.

    Tall and thin, her hair in a ponytail curled like she was ready for prom, Sarah gave this tour as she prepared to leave for her very first concert -- Clay Aiken's recent Jukebox Tour performance at the Toledo Zoo.

    As a member of Clay Nation, she dressed the part. Little Clay faces stared out from buttons along the neckline of her white T-shirt. Another Clay face hung from each of her earrings. Clay crooned on the front of her homemade shirt and grinned on the back in more photos.

    Sarah, a student at Notre Dame Academy, has been a fan of Clay since she saw him on the Fox television show American Idol in 2003. He actually finished second to Ruben Studdard, but that matters little to Sarah and his legions of fans, who bought more than 2 million copies of his debut disc, "Measure of a Man."

    Admittedly, not everyone agrees with Sarah that Clay is a perfect 10 on the "hotness" scale. (But they're wrong: "10. There's no question," she said.)

    "Ever since the seventh grade, my friends all laughed," Sarah said. "They liked Clay too over Ruben, but they still didn't think he was handsome, for some reason. I don't know. I don't understand them."

    The concert started at 8 p.m., so Sarah wanted to leave a little after 7. Her father, Rick, drove her and a friend from school, Emily Gedert, 14, to the zoo. On the way, dad went over the rules while they sat in the back and fiddled with Emily's iPod and its 374 songs: Call me when you sit down, at intermission, and as you get up from your seat when the concert ends.

    As he pulled up to the zoo's Broadway entrance, Rick, whose first concert came years ago during the rockin' jams at the Toledo Speedway, surveyed the crowd.

    "They're wild."

    Um, yeah. No worries about confusing this with an AC/DC show. In fact, it was probably closer to years ago when Sarah's mom saw Barry Manilow for her first concert: lines of teeny boppers dressed in bubblegum pink, soccer moms holding red and white "Clay" pennants, blue-haired grandmothers. And maybe four guys.

    Many wore T-shirts announcing their devotion to the messy-haired singer: "Aiken for Clay," "Claymates," or, for the more straightforward, "I love Clay."

    One of the first orders of business was for Sarah to buy a shirt ($35) and a blue rubber Clay Aiken bracelet ($5). Emily, who had been to two concerts previously ('N Sync and 3 Doors Down), got some chocolate ice cream and promptly spilled some on her light blue shirt.

    "Oh, I got it on myself!" she said. "That is so not cool."

    A half hour has passed by the time Sarah remembered something.

    "Shoot, I was supposed to call my dad." She picked up her cell phone (ringtone: "Invisible" by you-know-who) and dialed home. Within minutes, the show began with Clay's version of "Twisting the Night Away," and Sarah needed to put up her homemade sign: "Doin' the ZOO with CLAY AIKEN!"

    The girls sat perched on the edge of their seats, looking blissfully happy. While Clay donned a black leather jacket on stage and danced with some women in poodle skirts, those in the front part of the audience stood and swayed; those back with Sarah and Emily (section G, row S, seats 1 and 2) were content to sit and smile.

    "I guess I'm not really a screaming type of person," Sarah said later. "I'd rather listen to him. That's what I paid my money for." And pay she did; tickets in her section went for $47.50.

    As Clay performed medleys of songs from the '50s to today, Sarah took out her digital camera from time to time, trying to freeze a moment of greatness. When the singer waded into the crowd to pluck someone to dance in the show, she popped up in excitement.

    "I was really hoping that he would pick somebody by me so I could get a better picture," she said.

    Behind Sarah, an old man sat still, stodgy, arms-crossed. A few people closer to the stage had lighters that they flicked on in salutation, but others just waved their glowing cell phones.

    Clay did it all over 2½ hours and countless costume changes: "Bridge Over Troubled Water," a gospel-ly version of Prince's "When Doves Cry," an Elvis medley, and -- to the ecstasy of both girls -- Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca."

    Both girls, who picked up snacks at intermission, liked the idea of Clay working his way through the decades and always seemed to know a couple of songs from each time period. Clay sang a few songs from his upcoming CD too, then boomed above all the squealing women to announce that he had one more performance in the state coming up in Cleveland. Somewhere a few rows ahead, a row of girls exploded in screams.

    "That's our field trip! We'll be in Cleveland anyway!"

    More screams.

    Even if they weren't screaming, that's how Sarah and Emily felt when it was finally over -- after Clay closed with "Invisible." Both finished the concert by standing and singing along. Sarah took some last pictures of her first concert scene.

    Then it was time to go. But Sarah kept looking to the stage, kept smiling.

    "Oh, I should call my parents," she said. Flip-flip went the cell phones one more time. Turned out dad was already in the car with the rest of the family wait-ing to pick them up.

    "It was so good!" the girls said as they met up with the car.

    Later, Emily pronounced the show a complete success. "I really liked the whole thing," she said.

    And Sarah, well, she was still in nirvana hours after the show.
    "I especially liked when he held his high and long notes, and it reminded me how much I like him," Sarah said. "It was sooo good!"

    So good that the adrenaline was still pumping through her body into the wee hours of the morning.

    "I stayed up until 3 o'clock last night. I couldn't get to sleep," Sarah said the next day. "I don't know if it was because I was so excited or because of the popcorn I ate."

    Contact Ryan E. Smith at: or 419-724-6103.
    Image hosted by

    NC Fans are "Achin' for Aiken" published this nice article on a few NC fans.

    Achin' for Aiken

    American Idol runner-up thrills north state groupies

    By Christy Lochrie, Record Searchlight
    September 4, 2005

    Judie Bechtle doesn't want to be known as an obsessed Clay Aiken fan.

    "He's a hobby," the Redding woman insists.

    A hobby that had Bechtle, a retired San Jose schoolteacher, on an Atlanta-bound airplane in July. She had four reasons for the cross-country trek: Clay Aiken Jukebox concert tickets for performances in Atlanta, Greenville, S.C., Cary, S.C. and Vienna, Va.

    "Someday I will have the chance to meet him," Bechtle said. She leaned back in her dining room chair and twirled her hair around her finger. "My turn will come."

    Scattered across the table were two three-ring binders brimming with Clay Aiken articles, photos and ticket stubs. A stack of CDs towered near a squat orange "Judie's Clay Stash" jar. Some of the mementos she collected in person, others on eBay and still others from likeminded "Claymates," or Clay Aiken fans.

    "When you go to Clay concerts, it's like going to a family reunion," Bechtle said, adding that the "American Idol 2" runner-up is the family member that everyone seems to know. And has stories about.

    Her husband of 40 years, Carl Bechtle, stayed home for her cross-country concert tour. He accompanied her to one of the seven live concerts she attended. And he's grown used to her wardrobe: Clay Aiken T-shirts, 14 of them.

    "Tongue and cheek ... we tease her a lot about needing to be enrolled in a 12-step program," Carl Bechtle said. "I'm nowhere near the fan she is."

    Judie Bechtle's "hobby" started with "American Idol 2," a show her husband watches "only if I have to."

    Judie Bechtle and thousands of other fans tuned in May 21, 2003. That's when Clay Aiken, then 24, was voted off the show. Ruben Studdard was voted the American Idol that season.

    But fans will tell you Clay Aiken, a "geeky" young man who was studying special education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, stole their hearts with his soulful crooning.

    Record deals and concert tours followed. So did multiplatinum recordings and fan clubs.

    Clay Aiken's official fan club charges $29.95 for a one-year subscription. For the cash, Aiken hobbyists get a T-shirt (Bechtle has one), an Aiken photo, access to pre-sale tickets, a welcome letter from Aiken, access to his journals, blogs, photos and a chance to meet him, etc.

    The club's mum on fan club members. Kat Darnell, a spokeswoman for the club, in an e-mail offered only "... I can tell you it is extremely successful and that Clay is very active in participation."

    For Bechtle, logging onto the site is a daily ritual. And on a recent mid-morning weekday, 142 fans were logged in as well.

    But beside the fan club site, Claymates, like Bechtle, also scour the Internet, newspapers and magazines for any Clay-related scoop.

    And the mania has fans waving goodbye to family and friends as they leave to crisscross the country to attend concert tickets -- sometimes paying quadruple the face value for ticket.

    "We're willing to spend big bucks to sit up close," Judie Bechtle said.

    Dale Kosko, a 53-year-old Redding woman, said she's only been to six concerts "because I can't afford to go to any more."

    Kosko, too, recently traveled to North Carolina, leaving behind her husband, Bob.

    "I have to keep reminding her one is a fan, two is a stalker," Bob Kosko said, laughing.

    But what's with the scrawny guy who studied special education?

    "He just makes me feel young again," Dale Kosko said, gushing.

    Kosko recounted a recent dream she had about Clay Aiken. He was sick. She tucked him bed, fed him soup and read to him.

    "I have a motherly interest in him," Kosko said.

    Maybe a crush, too? "If I was 25 years younger, you bet."

    Bechtle, meanwhile, denies the crush factor. "I wouldn't say I have a crush on him. It's a hobby."

    Bechtle flipped to the last page in her Clay Aiken scrapbook, pointing to photo of a youngish Harrison Ford.

    "This is my former hobby," Bechtle said, adding she saw each of his movies.

    But while the women waver about whether or not they actually have a crush on a man half their age, they say there's a difference from the concert days of their youth.

    The five bucks to see the Beatles in concert was too much for Bechtle's college budget.

    "Typically the more mature ladies seem to be represented more because we have the funds available to us," Kosko said.

    Meanwhile, both women anxiously await the winter Aiken concert series. And news relating to Aiken, like his plans to move back to North Carolina and sell his Los Angeles home.

    "You can call me a Claymate and I'm proud of it," Bechtle said.

    Currents reporter Christy Lochrie can be reached at 225-8309 or at

    Autographed T-Shirt

    An autographed 2004 Summer Tour t-shirt is being auctioned off for Hurricane Relief. 95% of the final sales go to the Red Cross. You can bid here. Clayfan Donate $2500 to the MDA

    The Clayfans at have donated a total of $2500 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association via its annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon which is being syndicated by various TV stations today. Clay appeared on the telethon in 2003, when Clayfans donated $30,000 to the association.

    MOAM Soars On Amazon

    Measure Of A Man soared today to 777 up from yesterday's high of 1800 on following Clay's appearance on Larry King Live on Saturday. You can see more Amazon stats at CDD Charts/Stats.

    Sunday, September 04, 2005

    Clay's Single Sales Mentioned in Houston Chronicle Article

    We are posting only the Clay part of the long article. To read the full article (a very informative article, BTW), click on the article name.

    Music's new sound system
    Twenty bucks is steep for a venti coffee, even with a flavor shot.
    But throw in a rare, live Bob Dylan recording, and it's a deal.

    Singled out
    When the Supreme Court ruled this summer that record labels could sue companies such as Grokster, whose software facilitated illegal file-sharing, the labels partied like it was 1999. And that, they'd want you to know, was one of the last great sales years for CDs.

    "We know that file sharing began around the same time that our losses began," said Mitch Bainwol, chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America. Over the past five years, he said, album sales have fallen 20 percent, 7 percent during the first half of 2005.

    And, the major labels hope, if illegal file-sharing goes away, their troubles will be over. In 2003, the industry tapped Bainwol, an experienced Capitol Hill lobbyist, in hopes that he could frame Internet piracy as a Washington-worthy topic.

    But angry consumers might say that file-sharing is a symptom, not the disease. The underlying problem, it can be argued, is that music now costs too much.

    Through the '90s, CD prices climbed and peaked a few cents shy of $19. A Rolling Stone story from October 2004 put the actual manufacturing and packaging cost at 80 cents. The industry justified its massive markup by citing the massive costs of breaking an artist -- the expense of recording, touring and promotions (which, presumably, also include deejay payola of the sort recently investigated by New York's state attorney general).

    But $19 is a lot of money -- especially for an album with only one good song, which, too often, was the case. The industry has shown almost no interest in selling singles since the late '80s, when the 45 rpm platter went the way of the iguanodon. But even now, when consumers are offered a chance to buy singles, they do: American Idol stars Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard sold hundreds of thousands of CD singles before the release of their full-length albums.

    And, it can be argued, selling singles is key to one of the industry's biggest recent successes: iTunes, which in July topped 500 million song downloads in the U.S.
    Associated Press
    Death Cab for Cutie gained huge recognition with a guest spot on FOX's The O.C.

    Bainwol, and the industry's big players, love iTunes, since they see it as a defense against piracy. "If our option is to sell singles rather than to have them stolen, then we'll sell a track at a time," says Bainwol. "The important thing is to reinstate the concept that this property deserves compensation."

    Some in the industry seem eager to scrap their old models. "Whether that's the iPod, the cell phone or a PDA, I don't know, but I think the future of delivery will be digital,"says Andy Gershon, president of V2 Records, an independently-minded imprint of Virgin. "And I believe the faster we kill off the CD, the better we'll be."

    But even in a world without piracy, it seems unclear that a flurry of $1 downloads will offset the loss of $18 CDs. If the major labels are to survive, they will have to do more than just offer singles.

    CDD supports:

    Bubel Aiken Foundation GoodSearch for TBAF UNICEF