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Saturday, October 08, 2005
Dianne Austin recently conducted an interview with Clay's back up singer, Quiana Parler.
Quiana Parler Back Up Singer for Clay Aiken-The Girl Who Could Be Queen
The South Carolina country girl who is best known at this time as a backup singer for Clay Aiken could one day take her pick-Pop, Soul or Jazz and probably become the new queen of any of those music genres. She's that good. But is that what she really wants, and will she give up certain things in life to attain it?
When I first met Miss Quiana Parler in Interlochen, Michigan it was August 2005. She was on tour with Clay Aiken and her fellow backup vocalists, Jacob Luttrell and Angela Fisher. This was The Jukebox Tour, and they were having lots of fun with it.
With Jukebox, Quiana had the opportunity to experience several decades of music from the 50's through the present every night onstage with Aiken and the band. Each tour that she does adds another sprinkle of seasoning to the talented singer's mélange of musical skills. She has been hitting the road with him since his beginning in the business, and is now gaining a following herself because people are moved by her voice.
Why would this be? How could anyone possibly evaluate vocal talent in a backup artist? Well, it's because Aiken has always given his backup singers duet and solo opportunities in all of his shows. In this last one, Quiana had two--Midnight Train to Georgia and I Will Always Love you. With the first, she'd be warming up. With the last, she'd bring the house down each and every night. The standard reaction for that song (to which everyone who saw her perform it will attest) was goose bumps and a standing ovation.
I had the privilege of speaking with her since then about her hopes and dreams as a solo artist, the upcoming Joyful Noise 2 Tour with Aiken, and what she has derived from working with Clay over the past two and a half years.
EW: Quiana, I'd like to draw a parallel between you and Clay. Both of you are young American artists with Southern roots. The difference at this point in time is that Clay is a huge star. He was living in Los Angeles for some time, and has recently decided to move back to his hometown in North Carolina. This relates to a question I had on my mind when I first met you. I was wondering if your plan was to eventually come out to L.A., or if you think you can run your career from where you are in South Carolina?
Q: Well, I have to say for me it's been "so far, so good." I've been successful living here. I kind of feel the same way Clay does about it. I'm a country girl. I love working in L.A., but God has blessed me to be able to work out there and come back home. If I don't have to move out there, I probably won't. (laughs)
EW: I see.
Q: That's just me. I'm a homebody and I have my family here-I have a life here with people I love and people who know me.
EW: I can understand that. I mean, look at what Clay did. He was in L.A. a while and then I guess he felt like he just needed to sell the house and. . .it's funny though, because it seems like he's been doing a lot more in Los Angeles now that he's decided to move back home.
Q: Yeah. (laughing)
EW: I understand how you feel about your home. But your goal is to become a recording artist, is that correct?
Q: If God sees fit, yes.
EW: Great, because I think that's what your fans want to see happen. Now let's talk about the Joyful Noise 2 Tour, which is coming up during the Holiday season. When will you be starting rehearsals for that?
Q: Probably in October. It should be October, because the first show is November 2nd.
Read complete interview HERE.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Congratulations to the Clayboard's
A Beautitul Mind on her winning Member Pass!
The pass can be downloaded and printed at home, or ordered from the Clayboard's Georgia's Red Clay for a cost of $6, including a lanyard.
Additional information about the pass, and runner ups are available HERE.
Clay was present last night at a special event held to honour long time CNN reporter and anchor, Larry King. The event was held in Los Angeles.
Wireimages and Getty Images have both posted several images from last night's event.
Clay is in LA working on the new album and rehearsing for the Joyful Noise Tour.
From the CB:
it was about 9:15 pacific time. DH said you just missed Clay. It was at the CNN dinner last night in LA.....honoring Larry King. He didn't know who was doing the interview but interviewed Morgan Fairchild and then Clay. He was ask what he thought of Larry King and he said he was one of the coolest guys he had ever met.
Did anyone else see it?????? So he was at the big dinner last night and that is where the wire image photos are from, so neat that they picked him to interview. Might have been a CNN spot that they showed local...Keep you eyes alert, may be shown on one of the CNN stations today.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
The Official Fanclub has received it's 10,000 th registration, less than 4 month since launching.
Clay's recent stint with infotainment show The Insider is not coming to an end, notes this article from the Raleigh News & Observer.
New name in TV talk: Clay
Clay Aiken has done three stints as a celebrity interviewer on 'The Insider.' *
By DANNY HOOLEY AND JOYCE CLARK HICKS, Staff Writers
Singer Clay Aiken seems to be training for a new career lately -- as a TV interviewer.
In the style of Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, now a co-host for "Extra," Aiken is a semiregular celebrity correspondent for "The Insider."
Since Aiken's Sept. 18 debut as red-carpet interviewer for the Emmy edition of Pat O'Brien's syndicated celebrity show, he has appeared on the show twice more, covering the "Dancing With the Stars" dance-off and visiting the set of "Reba."
Clay Smith, supervising producer of "The Insider" for Paramount Pictures, says that, so far, Aiken is hired on a story-by-story basis, and that nothing is planned for him in the near future. That may change, though.
Smith says Paramount and Aiken's camp may meet this week to discuss extending the relationship.
"I think that Clay aspires to many things beyond his recording career, and I think he's just investigating possibilities right now," he says. "He is such a natural, and so good at what he's done here at the show. Viewer reaction has been amazing."
That reaction, he says, has come in e-mail, letters, phone calls and ratings, which he says are up four-tenths of a percent from when the show premiered in September 2004.
"When you're up almost half a point in this competitive market, I think you have to attribute a lot of that increase to Clay's appearance on the show," Smith says.
Aiken's stint with "The Insider" was sparked by a friendship between Smith and Roger Widynowski, Aiken's publicist at RCA Records. Smith says that one day, when Aiken's name came up in conversation, Widynowski mentioned that if any openings for a celebrity correspondent occurred, Aiken was game to do it, "whatever that may lead into."
As the Emmys approached, Smith thought of Aiken.
"He [Aiken] was ecstatic, because he is apparently a television junkie. He knows every single thing about TV," Smith says. "He loves it. The Emmys are his favorite awards show, and he just knew the nominees forward and backwards."
"The Insider" airs weeknights at 7:30 on WRAL.
Aiken fans can get an up-close and personal look at the singer when he plays the RBC Center in Raleigh on Dec. 22.
If you missed legendary Kinston-born horn man Maceo Parker (James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic) and his band assuming house band duties at NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly" this week, you still have two more chances, at 1:30 a.m. Friday (that's tonight if you're still up) and Saturday on NBC-17. The band includes Parker's son Corey Parker, whose Corey Parker Band is scheduled to play Oct. 15 at Kings Barcade in downtown Raleigh.
Truth becomes fiction?
The lady lies dead at the bottom of the stairs as a cop at the scene makes a grim Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" joke.
Anyone who has seen the commercial CBS is running for tonight's "CSI" episode may notice a similarity to the Michael Peterson murder case in Durham (Peterson, a novelist, was convicted in the bludgeoning death of his wife in 2003 and sentenced to life in prison).
Read this CBS synopsis for the episode titled "Bite Me": "The overwhelming amount of blood evidence in the case leads Grissom and his team to discover several revealing secrets within this 'typical' American marriage -- secrets of adultery, blackmail and a biting fetish that may have ultimately contributed to the housewife's death."
Biting fetish? That one doesn't ring a bell, but a CBS spokesman confirmed Tuesday that elements of the Peterson case were used for the show. See for yourself tonight at 9 on WRAL.
Here's a reminder for TV viewers: PAX TV is no more. The network is now simply known as "i."
Pax, a family-oriented network, announced the name change this summer as part of the network's strategy to run more original programming, movies, sports and specials to widen its audience.
The name change soon will be reflected in Channels, our weekly TV guide, and the daily prime time grids in Life, etc., and Home & Garden. Keep your eye out for the i network in our listings beginning Oct. 16.
A new interview with Clay was conducted by CelebrityParents.com.
Star Power Shines a Light on Special Needs Kids
By Leanza Cornett
Have you watched any television lately? Heard the radio? Seen a magazine? Well, in case you haven't, I'll tell you that there is one young man who is burning white-hot these days. He's an unlikely hero, a surprising icon in this age of flash and sex appeal. His voice is smooth and powerful and his persona aloof and at times even awkward. He is Clay Aiken and I had the opportunity to spend some time with him, which is an amazing feat since time is what Clay has the least to spare these days.
When I spoke to Clay, he was in the middle of his nationwide concert tour, The Joyful Noise Tour, and also promoting his book, Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life (Random House, 2004), as well as his Christmas CD, Merry Christmas With Love. He's one busy guy, but he's also a guy with passion -- for his music, and for children, with and without disabilities.
His charity, the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, was formed by Diane Bubel, whose son was diagnosed with autism, and Clay, who has hands-on experience and education in special needs children. Their mission is to bridge the gap between young people with developmental disabilities and typically-developing children. The foundation helps to provide education and financial assistance, and works toward full inclusion for children with special needs. It is also dedicated to breaking stereotypes and barriers so that those with disabilities are recognized as fully functioning individuals. If you haven't heard of inclusion, or what is sometimes called collaborative education, Clay Aiken wants to make sure you are hearing of it now, and will help spread his message.
LC: What drew you to work with special needs children?
CA: When I was working at the YMCA, I met several children who needed special attention and the Y was not equipped to handle them. Kids were being turned away because there weren't enough volunteers to handle the special cases. Most of the kids being turned away were being turned away because there weren't enough volunteers to handle them, and no one who was specializing in special needs.
I started working at the Raleigh House, part time and there were three children who had severe autism. These are the children I fell in love with, and I stayed one year longer than I had intended.
LC: Did you meet resistance?
CA: Yes! The folks at the Y really didn't want to include kids with special needs. In fact, they passed out a form to parents, which allowed the Y to kick kids out if they couldn't be "handled" by the staff. Basically, it was a form telling parents that if there was a child who had special needs, then the Y reserved the right to boot that child out of a class.
LC: How did that make you feel?
CA: Sad -- and mad. I decided I would take on the cases that no one else wanted. There was one girl, Renee, who had a severe mental disability. No one wanted to work with her. She was a handful, to say the least. But I wanted to keep her in the mainstream of kids, and it was beneficial to her and to us, as well.
LC: Who taught you about "mainstreaming"or "inclusion”?
CA: I met and worked with an amazing woman named Tina Trent. She took over the class I'd been teaching and she really believed in including kids with disabilities into a typical classroom. I watched her teach and saw the results. Kids with disabilities model kids without disabilities. They learn social behaviors from other kids -- they learn what is and is not socially acceptable. Tina Trent taught me so much about inclusion.
LC: How are you using your fame to bring awareness to inclusion?
CA: Well I think the first thing that happened is while I was on American Idol, I mentioned I worked at the Y and they got a lot of attention because of it. Donations started coming in and I thought, 'Wow, I could really use this to generate the right kind of attention.' I'd also really love to get rid of the stigmas attached to disabilities. One big way to do that is to teach people to use the right terminology, and stop using words like 'retarded' when you're talking about something silly or stupid. It's one of my biggest pet peeves. People who know me know that's one thing I will not tolerate.
LC: What are some misconceptions about inclusion?
CA: Teachers who don't know better think that they have to slow down the teaching to accommodate the slowest learner. I totally disagree with that. Teachers and parents need to understand that they can speed up the teaching for the fastest learner and modify for each child. I saw first hand how inclusion helps everyone in the classroom. The special needs child learns social skills from the typical kids and the typical kids learn tolerance and respect from the ones in the classroom with disabilities.
LC: What advice would you give to parents who've just found out their child has a disability?
CA: I don't have any clue what I would tell parents. I'm not a parent myself and I don't pretend to know what it's like to be one, or to try and raise a child with or without disabilities. I would feel more comfortable with sharing ideas with principals, or educators. And in that case I would encourage them to think less of the disabilities a child may have and remember that a disability doesn't define the child. That's why inclusion is so important, so that a child feels like part of a social group, no matter what their special needs may be. I would also tell teachers to become equipped to handle all sorts of children, and to help parents understand as well. That's the next group to be conquered, I think, in terms of the philosophy of inclusion. Teachers are starting to get it, and schools are beginning to as well. Now we need to make sure that parents of children with or without disabilities understand what the benefits of inclusion are. They should know that their typical child's education or socialization is not being compromised if he or she is in a classroom with a child with disabilities.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
According to this report from a gaming website, a new gaming service is being tested at some of Clay's concerts.
Turner's GameTap Service Launches
Turner Broadcasting has made available to the public the North American version of its GameTap 'all you can eat' PC-based monthly subscription game service, with early prices set at $14.95 per month for unlimited play, but an initial offer giving subscribers the first month free, and the next three months for $9.95 per month.
The service is also setting up a 'Gaming Den' to try out GameTap as part of a number of major concerts across North America, setting up at gigs from Beck, My Chemical Romance, Audioslave, Clay Aiken, and Bauhaus, to name but a few.
This shows that Clay is mentioned in the weirdest of places... Today, we found this, an article about the Catholic's Church's opposition to homosexuality.
by Steve Wiecking
I did manage to get away with the first 10 rules, which will no doubt rid the Catholic Church of homosexuals for centuries to come:
1. All skirts must be worn below the knee.
2. No idol worship--except for Clay Aiken, who is so good to his mother.
3. Novitiates must stop describing his holiness' gowns as "fabulous."
4. Conversation between seminarians may not include the question, "So, what do you think of the new talent?"
5. The new talent is to be divided equally among only those cardinals who have proved their discretion.
6. All future ecumenical council disagreements are to be voiced with decorum, free of disparaging comments such as, "Look who has her panties in a twist."
7. Marathon screenings of The Thornbirds are hereby terminated.
8. Angelina Jolie is not a potential candidate for sainthood.
9. "Madonna" refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary and nobody else.
10. Similarly, "Mary" is the mother of our lord and not a term of endearment.
Voting has re-started for the 2005 Clammy Awards after glitches caused by massive amounts of votes forces the Clammy team to re-start voting. CDD is in the running for best website. Give us a few votes here (you might have to refresh your page).
From the CB:
Jane Kaczmarek was on and was talking about the auction. Jimmy mentioned that Clay's tux was the #1 item and she confirmed it with the $15,000 bid and the $8000 for the shoes. Jimmy said that the Claymates are crazy!!!
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Clay was mentioned in a column posted on UndergroundOnline.com, a music website.
When doing research for this article we spoke to several people whose musical opinions we respected and asked these people what songs unexpectedly resound with them. The results were surprising. "Tommy and I really like this one 'Puddle of Mud' song. It's got this bass line that really rocks. We can't explain it," said one. "Anything by Clay Aiken," said another. "'You Win Again' by the Bee Gees," confessed someone else. "It's got a really good beat."
Clay is featured on the UNICEF website for the 2005 Trick Or Treat campaign. Clay is spokesperson for this year's campaign.
October's issue of American Teacher magazine has a small piece about Clay's work with UNICEF and this year's Trick-Or-Treat campaign which Clay is the spokesperson for. A small picture of Clay in Uganda was published.
"Recording artist Clay Aiken, official spokesman for the program this year is a former teacher. 'Your talent as an educator is essential to the children's development,' says Aiken, "just as students are essential to UNICEF's efforts to advance the rights of their global peers.'"
Click to enlarge.
From the CB's Claytrain46:
Hi all! I am working on the magazine thread but wanted to let you know Clay is in the Oct 11 issue of ABC Soaps and in the October/November issue of Twist magazine!
Let me tell the story of how I discovered them! First, ABC Soaps.....I was in the grocery store getting ice cream to soothe my sore throat. I had stood in line for a while and as I stood there I realized maybe they had a mention of Clay being on All My Children. Low and behold, they even have a picture! Then, when I was next in line and I was kind of distracted, I realized the song starting was kind of familiar. My heart beat faster...my body and subconscious knew what it was before my brain could process it... it was TITN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got out of line and went to the magazines just so I could listen to it! The cashier knew why I left the line, because, as always, I had on a Clay shirt!
His songs are back in rotation, I just know it. The other day it took me a couple of seconds to realize The Way was playing on the radio! CT never plays Clay and lo and behold there he was on WRCH 100.5 I was thrilled.
This past weekend The RBC Center in Raleigh hosted the
taping for the Jeopardy college championship. There was a category called
"Raleigh People" (or something like that). I knew one of the questions had to be
about Clay. So I listened and watched, and nothing about Clay. But the $400
screen in that category was still up as the contestants called on other
categories. As it turns out, it ended up being the very last one to be called.
As they pulled the "answer" up, I was thinking, "it's gotta be about Clay!" As
soon as the "answer" was revealed, my eye caught "American Idol" and bingo! A
Clay question! The question was something like, "This 'American Idol' contestant
native to Raleigh came in second to Ruben". The contestant who chimed in first
answered quite enthusiastically with a smile, "Who is Clay Aiken!?!" and then
the audience began clapping and cheering!!! It was great! We love Clay.
I don't remember which show that was exactly, since they tape their
shows one after another, but the college championship shows are airing on
November 7-18 on WTVD (ABC).
From the CB:
In honor of their format change next week TVGuide has a retrospective of
pictures and quotes from each of the decades since it was first published. In
the 00's page, on the bottom left corner is a picture of Clay and Ruben--the one
where Ruben is tying Clay's tie and Clay is laughing with his head thrown back.
(Also a quote from Simon---this message brought to you as a public service
Some 'new' Clack from Clay when he was just a regular guy is now up at the Clackhouse and Vivavoice. Songs are from the Country Music Show, Dunn NC, March 24, 2000. Many thanks to CDD's GranNC and Clayscience21. We are not allowed to link to these sites here, so if you wish to download the audio/video clips, click here.
- Blind Hearted << solo - note that the crowd loved him even then!
-Go The Distance (Hercules) << solo - (not the same as the other
Go the Distance) low register AND soars!!!!! I think there may even be a bit of
a yodel there! ....a L O N G note. VERY dramatic - VERY Gahhhh
The One << - solo - different version I think
- Elvira <<
Group - giddyup!
- On the Wings of a Dove << group - boy Clay sure
stands out, don't you think?
Video Go The Distance (Hercules) up. That's
our glory note guy
Video Still the One up. Trouble with the backups even
Video Happy Birthday up. BWAH! Indescribable!
Video On the
Wings of a Dove up.
Video Elvira up.
Video Blind Hearted up.
Videos are in large, normal and dialup wmv format.
Article from Vindy.com, a local Youngstown, OH Portal. Clay performs in Youngstown.
Aiken plans holiday show here
Part of the ticket revenue will benefit the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Pop singer Clay Aiken will bring his Joyful Noise holiday show to the Youngstown Convocation Center at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27, Belkin Productions announced Monday.
Comprising all holiday music, this year's Joyful Noise tour will include some theatrical elements in addition to more than two hours of music.
TV work expands
Aiken has also recently expanded his role as a television personality, this time working on the other side of the interviewer's microphone. People accustomed to seeing him singing on television, or doing guest roles on shows like "Scrubs," were surprised to find him co-hosting "The Insider" backstage and red-carpet coverage with Pat O'Brien of the 2005 Emmy Awards. So impressed were the producers, "The Insider" asked him back to host several more feature segments on the new Fall television season.
Aiken spent a good portion of the summer on the road with his summer Jukebox Tour, which featured songs from the '50s and '60s, all the way up to the '90s and '00s. He has also been busy choosing material with executive producer Jaymes Foster-Levy for a follow-up project to the multiplatinum "Measure of a Man" release.
Belkin Productions also announced that, in cooperation with their television media partners, 27 WKBN-TV and FOX 17/62, $1 from every ticket sold will benefit the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley.
Through the station's community promotional campaigns, Caring for our Community on WKBN and Fox and Our Family on FOX 17/62, the money raised will help provide physical and spiritual assistance to the needy in Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull Counties this holiday season.
Reserved tickets are $53.50 and $43.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at www.gettix.net, www.belkinproductions.com, all gettix.net locations including the temporary box office in the City Centre One Building at Champion and Federal streets in downtown Youngstown; Skate Zone in Austintown and USA Cinema in Niles, or charge by phone at (866) 443-8849.
Little Clay mention in a press release put out today by ABC Entertainment.
ABC ANNOUNCES THE FOURTH SEASON PICK-UP OF "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE," THE POPULAR
LATE-NIGHT TALK SHOW, THROUGH THE 2006 SEASON
The ABC Television Network
announced that it has extended the late-night talk show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live,"
featuring host Jimmy Kimmel, through 2006. This announcement was made during a period of tremendous ratings success for the program. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" has
featured such high profile guests as Robin Williams, Britney Spears, Eminem,
Jennifer Garner, Hilary Duff, Matthew Fox, Alec Baldwin, Clay Aiken, George
Clooney, Diane Sawyer, Kanye West, Johnny Knoxville and Quentin Tarantino since
its premiere on Super Bowl Sunday, January 26, 2003.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Short article from the Raleigh News & Observer.
By DAVID MENCONI, Staff Writer
One of the weirdest recent Clay Aiken sightings happened on last week's "Monday Night Football" on ABC. During halftime of the Denver-Kansas City game, talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel interviewed the Raleigh "American Idol" star on the subject of how a struggling quarterback can regain his form -- as though Aiken were a quarterback.
The spot was apparently a riff on how close Aiken's name is to former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman. Aiken was introduced as a three-time Super Bowl winner (the number of Super Bowl rings Aikman won). He wore a jersey bearing Aikman's No. 8 while staying in character as a quarterback, demonstrating the basic mechanics of throwing a football. Yes, Aiken threw the ball to Kimmel; no, his throw would not have impressed football scouts who might have been watching.
Back on the day job, Aiken's next scheduled Triangle performance is a Christmas show Dec. 22 at Raleigh's RBC Center.
Clay's new fanclub blog is now up for members. Clay talks about Brett coming home from Iraq and a few other things.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Press release from Belkin productions, who is sposoring part of the tour.
Tickets on sale for Aiken concert
Tickets go on sale Oct. 1 for Clay Aiken's concert at the Mid-America Center on Nov. 18.
Aiken's Joyful Noise holiday show is his sixth tour and is sponsored by Belkin Production. Comprised of holiday music, Joyful Noise 2005 will also include some theatrical elements.
Aiken has also recently expanded his role as a television personality, co-hosting "The Insider's" backstage and red-carpet coverage of the 2005 Emmy Awards.
Tickets are from $39.50 to $59.50 at all Ticketmaster locations, the Mid-America Center ticket office, or charge by phone at (402) 422-1212 in Omaha, (402) 475-1212 in Lincoln, or (712) 252-3434 in Sioux City.