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Latest News From CDD

Saturday, December 03, 2005

More Info About School Visit

More news about Clay's visit yesterday to New York Public School #3 was posted today on oanmedia.com. We reported this yesterday. Photos of the event can be found on yesterday's post.

Clay Aiken Back in School

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken adresses students at a NYC public school

New York, December 2, 2005 -- "You can probably tell from my accent that I'm not from around here", Clay Aiken told kids at a New York City elementary school on Friday. The UNICEF Ambassador showed off a "school-in-a-box", a kit containing materials for students, screened a short video of his visit to tsunami-ravaged regions, and he explained the plight of Ugandan children forced into the military. Challenging the kids, Clay asked if anyone knew how many countries there are in the world. "Thirteen?" one guessed. Aiken said that there are more countries than that, but didn't actually know how many; he had to ask one of the teachers.

The whole visit lasted about forty minutes, and then he immediately left the Greenwich Village building, without signing autographs.

UNICEF Broadcast Mentions Clay


Click to enlarge

A special UNICEF broadcast last night on select CBS stations, called "Lighting Up For UNIFEF" briefly mentioned Clay. You can find video links on this CB thread.
From the CB:
Clay was shown for just about 15 seconds, in a montage of UNICEF ambassadors visiting different countries. They showed Clay visiting Uganda. First he is shown in looking out the window of a car at the children sleeping all over the sidewalks, while the voiceover said "In neighboring Uganda, Clay Aiken witnessed the plight of the so-called night-commuters." He then is shown walking around a room with children just sleeping in every possible corner, saying "It's a little hard to watch children have to sleep [pause and big swallow] and live in conditions like this." You could tell he was a little choked up. The entire thing lasted 15 seconds, but that is about what each ambassador got.

Fly Magazine Interview

Philly's Fly Magazine interviewed Clay recently.

CLAY AIKEN spreads the holiday cheer
The "American Idol" fave talks to Fly about the most wonderful time of the year
by Jeff Royer

When Fly Magazine tracked down "American Idol" alum Clay Aiken in late November, the spunky singer was one week into his annual Joyful Noise holiday tour.

Maybe it was all the eggnog, or maybe it was the fact that he'd been sitting on his butt all day doing interviews, but Aiken had more energy than a toddler with a sugar rush. He giggled, he bounced, he talked at about a thousand words a minute. In other words, even after selling millions of albums and becoming one of America's biggest pop stars, it appears that Clay Aiken is still the same lovable goof we first met three years ago. There's something strangely comforting about that.

Fly took the opportunity to pick the animated Aiken's brain about his holiday tour, his pet goat, and what it's like to be the world's least likely sex symbol.

Fly Magazine: So, by this point in your career, have you gotten used to the lifestyle that comes with being a pop star?
Clay Aiken: Strangely enough, yes. It's not something I ever thought I would get used to. When I first started doing it, it was like, "Oh wow! An interview! A signing! Yay!" Now an interview or signing is like, "Oh, god ..." [laughs]

FM: [laughs] Well, let me ask you the same question you've been getting all day then: What can we expect out of the Joyful Noise Tour?
CA: We did the Joyful Noise Tour last year. We did a full-orchestra run with a 30-piece orchestra onstage and sang the songs from the Merry Christmas With Love album.
I didn't want to do the same thing that every other artist who does a Christmas tour does. During the holiday season you can pretty much pick any day in most cities and go see some artist's Christmas concert. [laughs] So I was trying to figure out a way to make it different, to maybe string all of these songs together with some type of dialogue, or figure out a way to make the stories connect. It changed from me talking to having someone else do it, to having characters do it, to having specific characters doing it. It became a storyline, really.

FM: Do you feel like you're able to wrap your head around everything that's happened to you so far?
CA: Yeah. It took a while. I don't ever want to get to a point where I can wrap my head around it all. If I ever get to that point, I think it's time to quit. Every day there is something new and different and there's something exciting.
There are plenty of times I could stop and say, "Wow, look at what I'm doing now!" I could stop right now and think, "This is completely different," even though I have done 55 interviews today. [laughs] It's still something I wasn't doing in North Carolina two years ago. I have to be thankful for it. It becomes a little more routine and you become accustomed to it, I'm sure like any job. When I was a teacher, the first time I did it was much harder than the third and fourth times. This is kind of the same way.

FM: Another thing that's changed is that you've become this full-on sex symbol for a lot of people!
CA: That part scares me! I haven't wrapped my head around that. [laughs] That just frightens me. I'm worried about America's taste! [laughs] That's probably something I'm not ever going to quite get. It's flattering, so I won't complain, but I'm baffled.

FM: In a position like yours, everybody's so interested in your personal life. Suddenly I'm reading things about you, everything from stories about your childhood petsto speculation on your sexual orientation and everything in between. Does that weird you out?
CA: It's tough. At the very beginning of the process, it's quite a shock. You don't understand why people are asking these things. I had a goat -- who cares? And I didn't tell anybody that. There are times that I look on the internet or read a message board and they'll know things about me that I didn't know. [laughs] "I never told anybody that! How did they find out?" So at first it's a shock. And then later on it's not as shocking but still upsetting. And then after a while, it's just like having a gnat in your nose. You just want to kill it. [laughs] It becomes unfortunately a negative part of what you do, and you need to kind of live with it. But if you could get up your nose and kill it, you would do it. [laughs] It's not so easy sometimes.

FM: You're almost becoming as known for your humanitarian work as you are for your music. Why is that so important to you?
CA: I kind of came into this not necessarily wanting to or knowing how to be a celebrity or whatnot. I mean, I was a teacher! And I made a promise to myself as I did it. "If I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna try to be something other than self-serving." I think that every single person who's in this industry and who's a celebrity and making money off the public -- I make my money directly from the public -- has the responsibility to pay them back in some way. I think each person in my position is a role model whether they want to be or not. Somewhere out there are kids who look up to you. And some people take that seriously, and some people don't. To me, I don't understand why people don't take it seriously.
UNICEF does amazing work. I thought I was a worldly person, and then I started working with them and realized I don't know as much of my world as I need to. And if I don't know as much about my world as I need to, then many, many, many people don't. So I'm thrilled to be in a position to be able to talk about it. And so I'm gonna.

FM: Do you think about the kind of things you still want to achieve in your career?
CA: Everything that's happened so far has been because I've kind of been available to opportunities. I don't like to set plans. It's kind of a strange thing to hear come out of a teacher's mouth, but I don't like to set goals because I think when you set specific goals you end up losing sight of other opportunities. I had the goal of wanting to be a teacher. I wanted to continue being in education for a long time. Had I made that a hard, fast goal, then I would not have had the opportunity to do this now.
We do want to have an album out in the first half of next year, and then we want to make sure we can go out on the road again at some point. But other than that, I kind of just let what happens happen. Let go and let God.

FM: So if somebody wants to put you on another TV show and make you the world's most famous dancer or something, you can do that next!
CA: [laughs] I said I'd be open to opportunities and I'll take a look at them, but just because I'm looking doesn't mean I'll do 'em!
Clay will spread the holiday cheer at the Tweeter Center, Philly, on December 11.

Clay A Pioneer of New Cellphone-Concert Technology

Billboard article about the cellphone-SMS @ concert technology Clay used during the Jukebox Tour.

Acts, audience connect via text messaging
Sat Dec 3, 2005 3:07 AM GMT

By Antony Bruno

SAN FRANCISCO (Billboard) - About an hour into a typical show on U2's Vertigo tour, Bono tells the crowd to hold up their mobile phones, in what has become the modern-day equivalent of flicking on a lighter. Instantly, thousands of blue-tinted screens illuminate the darkness as he marvels at the spectacle.

"Is that a 21st-century moment or what?" Bono asks.

Soon the video screen atop the stage flashes a five-digit number above the word "UNITE."

"Time to do a magic trick," he says. "These little devices -- these cell phones -- they can do all sorts of things."

Then the band launches into the song "One," and Bono encourages the audience to use their phones to send a text message (also known as an SMS) to the one.org Web site, a sort of digital petition voicing support for poverty relief in Africa. Later, during the encore, the names of all who did so are scrolled on the same screen, and each receive a message of thanks from Bono on their phones.

This is one of the most visible examples of how the mobile phone is being used as a communication tool between artist and audience, turning the concert event into a much more interactive experience.

"It's the perfect intersection of pop culture and technology," says Andy Sheldon, a senior director at Sun Microsystems who implemented the system that manages the U2 SMS campaign.

BORN AT LIVE 8

The one.org SMS initiative began at the worldwide Live 8 concerts in July, where fans at each show were asked to text their support of Live 8's anti-poverty message to the one.org petition. More than 26 million responded. (Sun also implemented that campaign.)

U2 then picked up the concept for its Vertigo tour. The U.S. leg of the trek averages about 10,000 responses per night, totalling more than 250,000 so far.

While Bono and U2 are using wireless text-messaging for altruistic purposes, other efforts are more profit-oriented.

"This year was definitely the year of mobile at concerts and live events," says Nihal Mehta, founder and CEO of Ipsh, another company facilitating interactive messaging campaigns. "This is the year that we've felt the most traction."

Ipsh powered the SMS messaging campaigns of more than two dozen events this year, including the Austin City Limits music festival in September, Lollapalooza in July and Heineken's AmsterJam in August.

Lollapalooza mastermind Perry Farrell used SMS to engage concertgoers to join in a massive scavenger hunt, awarding successful participants with tickets to an exclusive after-party.

During the AmsterJam concert, organizers used SMS messages to direct fan attention to unfolding events, such as the arrival of Snoop Dogg's helicopter. And fans were asked to text in the song they wanted to hear for the encore.

Simon Renshaw's Strategic Artist Management earlier this year tapped Boomerang Mobile Media to manage SMS campaigns at events for several of its clients, including Ghostface, Clay Aiken and Anastacia.

As at the U2 shows, fans attending these concerts were invited to text messages to a pre-set code that let them post messages to large screens near the stage, as well as compete in trivia contests for the chance to win better seats or VIP backstage passes and to buy concert merchandise.

NEW REVENUE STREAM

For artists and their management, this new capability adds yet another layer of potential revenue to the concert tour. They often charge up to $2 (1.15 punds) for fans to send their messages during the show. Fans are notified of the fee in advance and given the option to continue. Revenue is split with the company managing the service.

U2, however, charges nothing. SMS airtime charges will always apply, and vary by carrier and subscription plan.

Rather than waiting in line to buy a concert T-shirt, fans could simply text in the code for the shirt they want, with the charge billed to the mobile phone and the product delivered by mail.

Next year, expect to see acts offering fans ringtones or full-song downloads of live performances, or the ability to pre-order an album. One proposal would send fans an SMS with a digital coupon worth $2 off the cost of the artist's CD, redeemable at participating retailers.

Kevin Wall, CEO of Network Live and executive producer of the Live 8 concerts, says interactive text-messaging will soon become as commonplace at concerts as T-shirt sales.

"The location-based SMS business is at a primitive stage, but will be incorporated into shows in a lot of different ways," Wall says. "Two years from now, it'll just be a standard thing to do."

Reuters/Billboard

Friday, December 02, 2005

ET Crews Sighted At Beacon Today

Crews from Entertainment Tonight were sighted shooting at the Beacon Theatre in New York City tonight. The official fanclub just announced that Clay will appear on ET December 5.

Clay on ET and GMA Next Week

The official fanclub have announced 2 more TV apperances in addition to the Monday morning appearance on CBS' Early Show.

  • Dec. 5 - Entertainment Tonight (syndicated , backstage @ JNT NYC -- Cellcert reports confirm that ET crews were present at tonight's concert in NYC.)
  • Dec. 9 - Good Morning America (ABC, performance)
From the OFC:
12/02/05 / More Clay TV Appearances!
Clay will be making special appearances on the following TV shows:

Date Show
December 5 Entertainment Tonight
December 9 Good Morning America


Pending breaking news, it’s possible the Entertainment Tonight story could get bumped back a day to run on Decmeber 6th. Be sure to tune in and check your local listings for exact show times and channels.

AD: Boston, MA

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

CBS Early Show E-Mail

CBS has asked us to post this e-mail regarding Clay's appearance on the CBS Early Show Monday morning.

To Whom It May Concern:
The Early Show would like to invite Clay Aiken fans to join us on the Plaza Monday 12-5-05 in conjunction with Clay's appearance on the show. We are located at 59th and 5th in NYC, near FAO Shwartz. All interested groups would need to contact our audience coordination department to confirm their attendence and would need to arrive on the day of filming at 7:30am. We are on-air live at 8:00am and 8:30am.
Please let me know whatever you might need from us, here are some additional features we can provide.
  • A chance to be on live, national television and to meet our weatherman, Dave Price
  • FREE studio tour after the show
  • FREE Dunkin Donuts coffee and donuts
  • FREE transportation on the Grayline CBS Fun Bus from Times Square (47th & Broadway) to the show
  • Posterboard and markers to make signs
  • A tape of the show sent to your home after you return from New York
Many thanks for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Blaise Gomez
Assistant Audience Coordinator
CBS "Early Show"
W. 212-975-2890
C. 845-800-6222

Kenneth Cole's Website Features Clay


Click to enlarge

Clay's Kenneth Cole designed outfit he wore on GMA this past July is featured on the designer's website!

New York School Gets Clay Aiken Suprise



12/5: New photos -- click to enlarge

Clay and UNICEF visited New York City Public School #3 today, to the suprise of many of the students. WireImages has posted pictures onto it's website. Clay is currently making a 3 day stop at the Beacon Theatre in NYC. We'll have more info on this as it becomes available.

12/3 Update: More photos here.

Clay On Dear Santa Commercial

FOX has aired a commercial for next week's Christmas special Dear Santa, which Clay is appearing on. More info on the show can be found here. Video of the ad -- here.

From the CB:

I can't seem to find the first Dear Santa thread, but anyway...

I was just watching Trading Spouses on Fox (and of course, reading my various Clay sites at the same time) when I looked over at the TV and saw the little girl that asked to meet Clay. I recognized her right away.

Then they showed Clay speaking at the end. I can't remember exactly what he said (I was in my usual dead stare), but he looked extremely nice.

Maybe they will show it several times in the next few days.

I'm looking forward to this show.

About.com: Clay Has 4th Best Christmas Album of Last 20 Years

About.com music critic Bill Lamb says Clay's Merry Christmas With Love is one of the best Christmas album of the past 20 years! Clay beat other A-List singers such as Mariah Carey, 'NSync and Barbara Steisand. Only one non-compliation album beat Clay's disc- Celion Dion's 1998 holiday hit These Are Special Times.

Top 10 Pop Christmas Albums
Guide Picks

From Bill Lamb,
Your Guide to Top 40 / Pop.

The best in Christmas albums released over the past 20 years.

4) Clay Aiken - Merry Christmas With Love (2004)

Former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken's warm, engaging vocal style is a perfect fit for holiday music. He has put together one of the most eagerly awaited Christmas concert tours in both 2004 and 2005.


Complete list:
1) Now! That's What I Call Christmas! (2001)
2) Celine Dion - These Are Special Times (1998)
3) A Very Special Christmas (1987)
4) Clay Aiken - Merry Christmas With Love (2004)
5) Vanessa Williams - Star Bright (1996)
6) Barbra Streisand - Christmas Memories (2001)
7) Mariah Carey - Merry Christmas (1994)
8) Chris Isaak - Christmas (2004)
9) 'NSync - Home for Christmas (1998)
10) Kidz Bop Kids - Kidz Bop Christmas (2002)

POYB Mention

Proud Of Your Boy mention in this article about a new Aladdin theatre adaptation. Clay performed Proud Of Your Boy for last year's special edition DVD of the Disney classic Aladdin.

More performances added to DHT's 'Aladdin Jr.'
By John Berger
jberger@starbulletin.com

It looks like another merry Christmas for Diamond Head Theatre.

DHT's new seasonal production, "Aladdin Jr.," opens this weekend, and more performances have already been added to the schedule, pushing the closing night to Dec. 22.

The original "Aladdin" was, in 1992, the top grossing animated film at the time. The theme song "A Whole New World" won a handful of awards, a Golden Globe, Grammy, and Oscar for Song of the Year.

The success of "Aladdin" was followed by two made-for-video sequels, a Disney stage version that included a new song for Jasmine, a Disney "Special Edition" DVD with Clay Aiken singing a song for Aladdin's mother, a special-edition soundtrack featuring another song that was not included in the original movie, and now "Aladdin Jr."

Entertainment Tonight: Clay Attends UNICEF Celebration in NYC

According to Entertainment Tonight, Clay will attend "Lighting Up for UNICEF", today in New York. Clay is a UNICEF ambassador. ET will show clips from this event on tonight's show. Check Local Listings

There are conflicting reports on whether this is a taped event or will occur live. Rumors have it the event will take place at 7 PM at The Star in New York City, 1 hour before Clay is scheduled to go on stage down the street at the Beacon Theatre, but there is also rumor that the event was taped on Nov. 28. In any event, tune into ET tonight to see if Clay appears.

Clay Cancelled Broadway Appearance Last Night

Clay choose to not attend last night's premiere of the new Broadway Show, The Colour Purple, as previously announced. Although no official reason was provided by Team Clay, the most likely reasons are probably: (a) Clay seems to be catching a cold, and is resting up for his 3 show run starting today at the Beacon Theatre in NYC and (b) Clay was tired of flash photography, and there was a ton of that at the premiere, reports CB members who were there last night. Get well soon Clay!

JNT A Ticketmaster Holiday Pick


Click to enlarge

The tour is one of Ticketmaster.com's Holiday picks in its 2005 Holiday Guide to Concerts and Events.

New Collegiate Standard

Another special edition issue of Collegiate Standard came out today with Clay on the cover. Clay has graced the cover of the magazine on various occasions in the past. You can order your copy here for $7.99 + shipping. The magazine is published by the student body of the North Carolina College Association. Clay received a degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 2 years ago in Dec. 2003.

Sensational Alumni featuring Clay Aiken! Special Collectors Edition
This one-of-a-kind edition includes as the main feature our most popular and favorite alumni CLAY AIKEN! Plus photos never published of Clay! This may be the BEST EVER collegiate issue that features Clay as the main subject!
Also includes the untold stories of our other sensational alumni including, Sandra Bullock, Billy Crudup, Marion Jones, Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm, Ava Gardner, James Taylor and a whole lot more!
Sensational Alumni featuring Clay Aiken is not sold in stores or available anywhere else. Only a limited printing is available outside the NCCA.
Don't miss out! Order your copies now before CHRISTMAS!
Use the BUY NOW button. (Or refer to other payment instructions below)

Aiken "remains a pop culture phenomenon" -- NY Post Interview

An interesting new article/interview from the New York Post. Clay plays the Beacon Threater in NYC today, tomorrow and Sunday.

THERE'S NO HEART-AIKEN FROM ANGELIC IDOL

December 2, 2005 -- IN a Christmas show, you might expect ex-"Ameri can Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken to play the role of Rudolph � you know, the underdog reindeer who eventually gets to pull Santa's sleigh.
But when Aiken plays the Beacon Theatre for a three-show engagement � tonight through Sunday � don't look for antlers: The boy wears a halo playing a singing angel.

Aiken, completely unhip, old-fashioned and nerdy to a fault, remains a pop culture phenomenon who can deliver a chestnut-roasting vibe. His singing is guileless and, if last year's Christmas album was an indication, he has a genuine love of the holiday classic, religious and secular.

After this Yuletide foray, Aiken heads back into the studio to complete his new album, due out next summer (CDD editor's note: This is incorrect. Clay has said various times recently that the album is due out in the spring).

Post: Is this show a concert or a theatrical production?

Aiken: It's something in between. I don't have a speaking role. I'm a singing angel who tries to get another character back into the Christmas spirit. It's theatrical, but we all just sing.

Post: In concert, one of your strengths is how you gab with your fans. Are you afraid that without your usual patter they'll be disappointed?

Aiken: I was concerned about that, but since I wrote the script I feel like I get to talk through the characters. The point of the show is to string all this Christmas music together in a story line.

Post: So you're an angel?

Aiken: Yes, God help me.

Post: Is it hard to be an angel?

Aiken: It's hard for people to think you're an angel, that's for sure.

Post: But you have a winged advantage over most other singers.

Aiken: It's funny to me that my fans think I'm this sweet kid. I'm not mean or anything, but everyone thinks I never do anything wrong.

Post: You're not perfect?

Aiken: No.

Post: OK, how have you been bad lately? Arrests? Tattoos? Have you gotten pregnant?

Aiken: Not to my knowledge.

Post: What appeals to you about a show like this?

Aiken: I like the family atmosphere of the band and the consistency of knowing where I'm going to be every day. I'm happy with this kind of life. To me excitement usually means something's going wrong. I'm appreciating no excitement.

Post: Is romance included in the no excitement?

Aiken: I'm not looking and I'm kind of happy with that � no stress, no drama, no pressure.

Post: Come on, you don't want to meet up with someone under the mistletoe this year?

Aiken: For a minute, I thought I'd like to find that special person, but I'm not worried about it right now. I'm sure one of these days I'll start pining, but right now I like the position I'm in.

Clay on New SONY BMG Christmas Disc

Clay's The First Noel appears on a new SONY BMG Christmas compliation, Do You Hear What I Hear?. Thanks to Hours.ca for the heads up:

Naughty and nice
Jamie Ho Ho HO'Meara
Hour.ca's annual guide to Christmas CDs comes with all the trimmings and more than a few slim pickings

1/5
Various artists
Do You Hear What I Hear? (Sony BMG)

Do You Hear What I Hear? I hope to God you don't. As my gal remarked during Jacksoul's album-opening drooler: "Is that a Christmas song?" Indeed. Though Jacksoul likely won't have occasion to regret the 10 seconds it took him to sample the six notes of the title track - caught in an endless loop after he apparently died of boredom face down on the mixing console - you definitely will. Other highlights: Macy Gray gargles marbles through an utterly unconvincing version of Winter Wonderland. It's plainly obvious Gloria Estefan wouldn't know what snow was if she was buried up to her neck in it on Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Reindeer dropping in your stocking or B2K With Jhene's Santa Baby - tough call. Clay Aiken's The First Noƫl is one of about two songs here that has anything approaching a Christmas feeling. He must die regardless.

Great Mention in Bo Bice Review

Great mention of Clay in an article about this month's best entertainment ideas from NinerOnline.com.

Break entertainment ideas
by Josh Lanier
UT A&E Editor
December 01, 2005

- Bo Bice - "The Real Thing" - Here is one more of the slew of "American Idol" contestants who didn't win the show, but released an album to great fanfare. Bice, who has a quazi-southern rock/country appeal, will be putting it to a disc Dec. 13. Many fans of the show have already said that this album will be the best to come from the third season of "American Idol" contestants, and many hope he will have the staying power and singing ability of Clay Aiken, a former contestant of the show.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

AD: Albany, NY

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Clayboard Fundraiser Raises $10 00 for BAF

The 2005 Clayboard Birthday Drive for the Bubel Aiken Foundation wrapped up today, with over $10 000 donated by Clayboard members to the Bubel Aiken Foundation. The goal was to reach $5000.

From ClayNation:

The Clayboard Birthday Drive is officially closed!!! We wrap up this gift of $10,422 with lots of love and rejoicing this day after Clay's 27th Birthday! I'm going to close this thread until the donor list is complete with today's donors up until this point.

Thank you to everyone who participated in whatever way you did. This was a really great month long party and we have great reason to celebrate! Clay's Birthday and a loving gift to his Foundation.

Blessings to all. Greetings to Clay and the donor list will be entered in the first post of this thread when it is ready!

Big hugs,

ET, Showbiz Tonight Mention Clay's Birthday


Clay's birthday was mentioned at the end of ET's show yesterday in it's daily "Birthday"section.

Video is now availble thanks to Gerwhisp: HERE.

Clay was also mentioned on CNN's Showbiz Tonight, reports the CB's clayzycarol:
On ShowBiz Tonight, they have a young girl doing a Birthday shoutout to Clay! She wishes him a Happy Birthday and says she loved him on AI!

Still Accepting Birthday Wishes For Clay

We are still accepting belated Birthday wishes for Clay. A booklet of everyone's comments will be handed to Clay at the Baltimore concert on December 14. You have until December 5th to enter your comments HERE.

amNew York Interviews Clay

Click to enlarge

This interview appeared in today's edtion of amNew York, a free daily distributed in New York. Thanks to NYMom4Clay for the scan.

11/30 Insider Recap

Clay appeared on The Insider yesterday to go behind-the-scenes at the Joyful Noise Tour.

The segment lasted about 1 1/2 minutes. It showed Clay at reheasals in Chicago and flirting backstage with fans, and Clay's dancer, Partica. Clay also showed us Raleigh and we got to see Clay teach Gregory, a Raleigh student hired to be an actor with the tour. Video should be up soon at Allthingsclayaiken.com. Video is now up at Vivavoice for those of you with the address to that site.



Do Not Use Flash

Looks like Clay has had it with flash photography, after numberous attempts to curb the use of flash (including a pre-concert) speech have failed.

From the CB:

What should have been one of the nicest nights of the tour to celebrate Clay's birthday, unfortunately ended in a blaze of flashes during "Good News" which Clay sang with his head down during the entire song. Five minutes before, he had mentioned about the camera flashes blinding him and people still did not listen! Clay did not finish the last word of the song and made a hasty exit.

Reportedly the fans who had meet and greets were told by Jerome that Clay was upset because of all the flashes that were going off. There was also a rumor that Clay was ready to "pull the tour." Remember that this thread clearly states "reportedly and rumor."

I was one of the approximate 40 fans who waited for Clay after the show. After about 2 hours, Clay did walk out and as he was walking up to greet us, once again, some fools flashed their cameras again. With this, Clay shook his head and had a look of pure disgust on his face. I was standing on the side with about 5 other fans and we called him. He glanced over and waved in a way that some of us saw as being brushed off. I saw a look of total disgust on Clay's face because of this flash issue.

Please fans, if you love Clack, love the tours, and especially love Clay, DO AS HE IS ASKING US TO DO.

What part of the words "please do not use a flash" do you not understand?????

Kathy Griffin's Comments About Clay

In this article, posted by Get Out Arizona, Kathy Griffin was quoted as saying "I love Clay Aiken, he's a really sweet guy, but it makes me laugh every time he says he hasn't found the right girl yet." Clay presented with Kathy at the 2004 American Music Awards and had an 'encounter' at the 2003 Billboard Music Awards.

NBC Comic Has Potential to Be 'The Next Clay Aiken'?

Clay mention in this article about NBC's hit show Last Comic Standing.

Comedian Alonzo Bodden finds success after performance on NBC's 'Last Comic Standing'
By KELLY WILSON
Get Out

Don't call Alonzo Bodden the next Clay Aiken. Though he came in second to John Heffron on NBC's reality competition “Last Comic Standing,” Bodden isn't fond of Aiken comparisons.

"That's a little shaky," he says. "God bless Clay, but that whole 'Is he straight, is he gay thing' I could live without. But success-wise, it's a beautiful thing."

And success-wise, the jet-mechanic- turned-standup-comic is on top of the world.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Clay Mention on NYC's Z100-FM

From the CB:

This Morning Z100 gave away 8 tickets to see on Saturday Night at the Beacon theatre. The guy that won the tickets said "I would rather have a weeks worth of scrubs (they give away hospital scrubs from the hospital that sponsors them) then see Clay Aiken is concert, its too painfull" and Danielle one of the DJ's who is a Clay fan said "EXCUSE ME I LOVE CLAY AND I WOULD LOVE TO GO SEE HIM!!" and then Elvis another DJ said "Well I'm sure you know someone that wants to see Clay" and the guy was like "no I don't think so" so Elvis gave him the tickets anyway with the scrubs. Then another girl called begging for the tickets and they were like "you really want to see him???" and she was like "YES" so they gave her the tickets and then another girl called and said todays was Clay's birthday and they didn't even mention that! and they were like "Oh we had no idea it was his birthday today!" and Danielle the clay fan was like cheering in the backround.

Then another girl calls and shes like "I don't want to share my birthday Clay Aiken" and Elvis was like oh well "Happy Birthday Clay"

Elvis did say a few other mean comments but Danielle was yelling at him and sticking up for Clay.

ConnectionsWeekly.com Article

This new article appears in today's ConnectionWeekly.com, a sister site of the Atlantic City Weekly.

Heart Aiken
Overnight success takes a long time.
Loretta Jackson | Editor

Clay Aiken, once a diamond in the rough, ain't so jagged anymore. This diamond was honed in a prime-time fire pit fueled by critics' barbs and acid-tongued Hollywood gossips. He's a man who's been forged into a well-polished performer and now, he's golden. And he's traversing the land on a lengthy road trip, a musical journey that will take him to 36 cities including Camden, NJ.

The "Joyful Noise 2005 Tour" starring Clay Aiken stops on Sunday, Dec. 11, in South Jersey at the Tweeter Center on the Waterfront. The Tweeter is one of the foremost attractions on the Camden waterfront, which also is home to Adventure Aquarium, Wiggins Park, The Camden Children's Garden, Campbell's Field and the Battleship New Jersey Museum.

Aiken's newest tour - the latest of six - is comprised of 40 shows, features a conductor and a 30-piece orchestra. It has a Christmas theme with lots of sparkle added by local choirs from various middle schools and high schools. The tour was launched in Canada and has been well received or sold-out in some places. Big crowds are expected at the Tweeter, too, where nearly 8,000 guests can be accommodated indoors during the winter season and 25,000 guests seated amphitheater-style, outdoors during the summer.

Clay Aiken well may draw the max when he comes to the Tweeter. Gone is the gawky semi-nerd with the flyaway hair who staked claim to fame and fortune by enduring the rigors of the American Idol television show. Ruben Studdard slid by Aiken in the final cut, triggering howls of protest from Aiken's fans. Controversy roiled and many criticized the show's voting system, whose apparatus seemed unable to handle the overwhelming number of attempted calls.

Today, Clay Aiken's evolution into a solid performer and somewhat of a dreamboat seems completed. He's made the most of some makeovers that sharpened his fashion sense and added a touch of finesse. He has been at the forefront of charitable causes and is the year's UNICEF Ambassador. Aiken graduated college with a bachelor's degree in special education, an interest fostered while directing YMCA camps in his teens. Later, he was a teacher of kids with autism.

Clay seems to be the kind of guy who inspires others to go for the gold. He's got the try-try-again attitude it takes to keep focused on success in the face of long odds. He knew he had a voice. He knew he could sing. And so did others, as soon as they heard him. Today's successes were won with hard work.

How many of us aspire to a dream as big as his? How many of us do the prep work? Take singing lessons? Take dance lessons? Go for a makeover or adopt a new hairstyle? The first steps can be small ones; we might volunteer to participate in activities that put us in front of a crowd or on stage. We can join organizations that teach skills such as public speaking, acting, dance or whatever strikes our fancy.

If you're one who isn't afraid of the hard work it takes to succeed in the performance arts, there are things you can do to further that dream: go to see live performances at every opportunity. Get involved. Catch the Clay Aiken "Joyful Noise" tour and study how his movements and demeanor encompass all in the hall. Notice the way that he makes eye contact with the audience. Be mindful of how he seems to be vocalizing to those in the most distant seats, as well as to those in the first row. Stage presence, familiarity with the music and words, clothing and accessories - they all do a lot to smooth the edges of any diamond in the rough. Are you, too, a diamond in the rough?

Tickets and more information about Clay Aiken and the "Joyful Noise 2005 Tour" can be had online at the website for the Tweeter Center at The Waterfront: www.tweetercenter.com. Clay Aiken's official website: www.clayaiken.com. Take PATCO's River LINE to the Tweeter; see www.drpa.org.

--------------------------------

Dance or sing, if that's your thing

Do you have star power? If you have a yen to see what it might be like to perform in front of an audience, get a little training. Take some lessons in dance, singing, acting or any combination that offers you your own unique brand of satisfaction. Clay Aiken did it; he followed his dream and it came true. The following are just a few of many resources available to the stars of tomorrow who would like to get started today on their walk toward fame. It's up to you to make your own dream come true.

AD: New York City

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Thumbs Down to AI DVD, Thumbs Up to Clarkson, Aiken

Positive mention of Clay in this generally negative review of the new American Idol DVD.

'The Best & Worst of American Idol: Seasons 1-4'

Reviewed by Jennifer Armstrong

There's no denying the guilty-pleasure appeal of "American Idol" -- but this clip reel of highlights and lowlights underscores how fleeting and watercooler-driven it is.

OK, it's a little bit fun to revisit Kelly Clarkson's and Clay Aiken's style-challenged beginnings -- before the dye job and straightening iron -- and to reminisce about Justin Guarini as a heartthrob on the upswing.

Beyond that, though, not enough time has passed to make "The Best & Worst of American Idol: Seasons 1-4" a nostalgia trip worth taking. And now that William Hung has proven there can be too much of a bad thing, those ap-pawl-ling "worst of" auditions should never have resurfaced after serving as the requisite warm-up each season.

EXTRAS As for the interview footage, let's just say we'd rather hear the contestants sing than talk. (Clarkson: "Waitressing isn't the funnest job in the world.") And Paula's backstage chats with season 4's finalists on their "Idol" concert tour does nothing for Carrie Underwood & Co.'s street cred. Shocking revelation: They often didn't have time to pray together before the show!

EW Grade: C

Review of WOW Christmas

Short review of WOW Christmas. Clay's rendition of Mary Did You Know appears on the album.

Various Artists "WOW Christmas" - 3 1/2 stars (Word/EMI/Provident)
The WOW creators are back with another Christmas album. This one features 30 familiar Christmas tunes performed by 30 different artists that are on the A-list of Christian music.

It must be nice to be the producer who gets to cherry-pick the best of the best. It pays off in this collection.

A few of the artists pitching in on the project are Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, Clay Aiken and the David Crowder Band.

If you like your Christmas favorites with a more contemporary sound, you'll enjoy this release.

Merry Christmas With Love Peaks on Billboard's Pop Catelogue Chart

Merry Christmas With Love peaked this week on Billboard's Top Pop Catelogue Chart, a collection of bestselling older pop releases. Clay was #12 this week, up 2 spots from last week. It's the album's 10th week on the chart.

Rolling Stone Picking Up Amazon Story

Music mag Rolling Stone has picked up the Amazon.com charity drive story we first broke yesterday. This was also reported by BizNewOrleans.com.

In Brief: McGraw, Aiken
Tim McGraw, Clay Aiken and others helm Amazon charity drive

Country star TIM McGRAW will kick off Amazon.com's charity drive for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on Wednesday with the online release of his new song, "Louisiana." Each weekday, through December 20th, different artists will release new material through the Web site, along with a related charity organization of their choice and an accompanying donation link. Content will range from tour footage from CLAY AIKEN and BON JOVI, behind-the-scenes music video footage from KELLY CLARKSON and FAITH HILL, and a drawing by ROB THOMAS . . . The stage version of Billy Elliot, which features music by ELTON JOHN, was named best musical in London's Evening Standard Theater Awards on Monday . . . CHRIS CORNELL filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife and SOUNDGARDEN manager Susan Silver on Monday, alleging that she mishandled his former band's royalty checks. The current AUDIOSLAVE frontman is seeking $1 million from Silver, and a number of items he claims are wrongfully in her possession -- including two Grammy awards, and a range of recordings and music lyrics . . .

Happy Birthday Clay!





HAPPY BIRTHDAY CLAY!
What a special year it has been!
On behalf of all our visitors and employees, we wish you the very best in the future!

>>Sign our Birthday Wish Book, if you have not already
>>See the LBFCA's "Happy 27th Birthday Clay"
>>Read Clay Aiken The Ideal Idol's Birthday Article

Clay's birthday was also reported to have been mentioned in various newspapers and TV stations nationwide (the Associated Press ran a wire story last week... it's being picked up by many media outlets today.. see this Washington Post AP story.) we even have reports a Singapore newspaper mentioned it! It's a perfect time to buy the new paperback edition of Learning To Sing, or buy a copy of Merry Christmas With Love to boost Clay's sales for his birthday week.

Today in History - Nov. 30
By The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 29, 2005; 8:02 PM

-- Today is Wednesday, Nov. 30, the 334th day of 2005. There are 31 days left in the year.

Today's Birthdays: Movie director Gordon Parks is 93. Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is 88. Actor Robert Guillaume is 78. TV personality and producer Dick Clark is 76. Radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy is 75. Country singer-recording executive Jimmy Bowen is 68. Movie director Ridley Scott is 68. Singer Rob Grill (The Grassroots) is 62. Movie writer-director Terrence Malick is 62. Singer Luther Ingram is 61. Rock musician Roger Glover (Deep Purple) is 60. Playwright David Mamet is 58. Actress Margaret Whitton is 55. Actor Mandy Patinkin is 53. Musician Shuggie Otis is 52. Singer June Pointer is 52. Country singer Jeannie Kendall is 51. Singer Billy Idol is 50. Rock musician John Ashton (The Psychedelic Furs) is 48. Comedian Colin Mochrie is 48. Football and baseball player Bo Jackson is 43. Rapper Jalil (Whodini) is 42. Actor-director Ben Stiller is 40. Actress Sandra Oh is 35. Country singer Mindy McCready is 30. Singer Clay Aiken is 27. Actress Elisha Cuthbert is 23. Actress Kaley Cuoco is 20.

Oprah & Clay Among Guests For Broadway Premiere

Our Clay and other 'A-list' celebrities such as Sidney Poitier, Tina Turner, Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Joel, Leontyne Price, Clay Aiken and Jason Biggs will be at New York City's Empire State Building tomorrow, December 1, to celebrate the opening of a new

Broadway show, called "The Color Purple".
'Purple' primed for Broadway
By WENDELL BROCK
Cox News Service
Wednesday, November 30, 2005

ATLANTA -- With promotional help from Oprah Winfrey and the Empire State Building, a revamped "The Color Purple" gets its Broadway unveiling Thursday, a little more than a year after its Atlanta world premiere.

Lead producer Scott Sanders spent nine years and $11 million developing the musical version of "The Color Purple," based on Georgia native Alice Walker's beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. He now promises a glitzy opening-night event.

The Empire State Building will be bathed in purple light, and the purple carpet outside the Broadway Theatre will be plush with A-list guests: Sidney Poitier, Tina Turner, Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Joel, Leontyne Price, Clay Aiken and Jason Biggs, to name a few.

The evening's biggest star, of course, will be Winfrey, who appeared in Steven Spielberg's 1985 film version and invested $1 million in the show -- in exchange for an over-the-title producing credit.

"The Color Purple" also will heighten the national profile of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, where the early version played to sold-out houses last fall. But Sanders says the musical, which features a director and songwriting trio who are new to Broadway, will look much different than it did here. The changes include new choreography and new material for lead character Celie, played by Broadway favorite LaChanze, a Sept. 11, 2001, widow who amassed a loyal fan base while performing in Atlanta.

On the financial side, Sanders says that Winfrey's decision to back the musical, made just eight weeks before its opening, has been a box-office catalyst.

"We've done a tremendous amount of ticket sales since the ["Color Purple"] cast was on the Oprah show on Nov. 11," Sanders said, "and several million dollars' worth of tickets in the last 10 days or so." Early this week, a production representative said advance ticket sales were between $8 million and $9 million.

It won't hurt that the queen of daytime television is making a rare appearance Thursday on CBS' "Late Night With David Letterman," her first interview with him in 12 years.

All in all, it has been a fairly smooth creative journey to Broadway, with only a couple of personnel changes -- not bad for a process that requires enormous amounts of time and money and exhaustive, last-minute revisions.

Librettist Marsha Norman (a Pulitzer Prize winner for " 'Night, Mother") replaced original playwright Regina Taylor before workshops began in New York in early 2004, and modern-dance icon Donald Byrd stepped in for ousted choreographer Ken Roberson after the Alliance tryout. But director Gary Griffin and songwriters Brenda Russell, Stephen Bray and Allee Willis have survived the process, as have the entire design team and the bulk of the cast.

By comparison, Disney's "Aida" -- the last Broadway musical to get an Alliance world premiere -- had a much bumpier trajectory, including a second out-of-town tryout in Chicago and a new director, librettist and designer after its 1998 Atlanta run.

The Alliance will receive a small royalty from performances of "The Color Purple." Once the producers' investment is recouped, it will earn a small percentage of profits. Neither Sanders nor Alliance managing director Thomas Pechar would spell out the details.

"They do have an ongoing royalty participation in the show," Sanders said. "Inasmuch as the show will hopefully and eventually be profitable, they will benefit financially. We clearly are not anywhere close to recoupment or making a profit at this point, and while we are happy with our ticket sales, we have a long way to go."

The $11 million investment would be made up in a year if they sell an average of 75 percent of the tickets at each show, Sanders said.

The tradition of an out-of-town run, in front of a live audience but away from the glare of the New York critics, is not unusual. It allows for public feedback and private tweaks.

A recent BusinessWeek article said that Winfrey and Sanders felt that Celie's songs could be better. On Monday, Sanders clarified that report, saying they had been fretting over the "character arc" of a heroine who is invisible at first -- but ultimately invincible.

Since Atlanta, "Celie's music has definitely changed," he said, from lyrics to orchestration to her duet partner. Celie's new song, "I'm Here," is now the "11 o'clock number."

No further changes are expected.

"We froze the show last Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving," Sanders said. "We did work right up until the end and feel very happy with the changes we made to the show."

Wendell Brock writes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clay Sing For You

For paid fanclub members only! A new greeting from Clay -- includes a bit of a capella singing -- has been posted. You can listen to it after you have logged into your fanclub account from the main page.

Clay Confirmed for CBS Early Show Dec. 5

The Official Clay Aiken Fanclub has now confirmed the CBS Early Show performance we reported yesterday.

From the Official Fanclub:

11/30/05 / Upcoming Clay TV Appearances
Clay will be making special holiday appearances on the following TV shows:

Date Show Network
December 5 The Early Show CBS
December 9 Dear Santa FOX

Be sure to tune in to see our favorite man spread some holiday cheer! Check your local listings for exact show times and channels.

Insider Postponed to Tonight

Yesterday's scheduled appearance on The Insider was postponed to today, according to the show's website. Tune into The Insider tonight to see Clay go behind-the-scenes at the Joyful Noise Tour. The segment airs 7 minutes into the show, according to reports from the Clayboard.

If you can't wait, a video from the afternoon edition of the show is now up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Learning To Sing Paperback Now Available

The paperback edition of Clay's New York Times bestselling Learning To Sing is now available at bookstores and through online booksellers such as Amazon.com. The suggested retail price is $7.99 or $11.99 CDN, though many stores will be offering discounts.

Idol Renewed for Additional Seasons

Clay mentioned near the bottom of this Press Release today from 19E owner CKX Inc about the renewal of American Idol for an additional 5 seasons and the development of AmericanIdol.com.

CKX Announces New American Idol Agreements With FOX and SonyBMG
FOX Guarantees At Least Four Additional Seasons of Hit Television Show;
SonyBMG to Continue to Serve as Record Label for Idol Artists

NEW YORK, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 19 Entertainment Limited, a
wholly-owned subsidiary of CKX, Inc. (Nasdaq: CKXE), together with Simon
Cowell, Fox Broadcasting, FremantleMedia and SonyBMG, issued a joint
announcement today confirming they had reached agreements that will guarantee
at least four, and as many as six, more seasons of American Idol beginning
with American Idol 5, which is set to air starting in January 2006. As part of
the deal, Fox announced that it had reached an agreement with Cowell to keep
him on the hit series for at least five additional seasons.

SonyBMG will continue as the designated record label for winning
American Idol contestants and 19 Entertainment will receive from
SonyBMG a larger percentage of the revenue from the sales of recorded
music from future American Idol artists.

19 Entertainment, based in the United Kingdom, is a leading creator and
producer of entertainment properties, including American Idol in the United
States, Pop Idol in the United Kingdom, as well as versions of the Idol format
in more than 30 countries around the world. The company has recording
contracts with and/or manages or has managed former American Idol and Pop Idol
participants, such as Carrie Underwood, Bo Bice, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken,
Ruben Studdard and Fantasia as well as some of the world's best-known
musicians and other artists, including the Spice Girls, Annie Lennox and
S Club 7. 19 Entertainment created and co-produces the hit television show
So You Think You Can Dance? which aired on Fox during the summer of 2005 and
was the number one rated show in its time slot. The company has also entered
into an exclusive global joint venture with David Beckham, one of the most
recognized athletes in the world, and Victoria Beckham, an influential symbol
in both the fashion and music worlds.

'New' Video from October 2003's MOAM Release


For some reason, a new video about MOAM's release surfaced today on WASH-FM's website. Click here to have a peek.

Sanford Radio Station Plays Clay

Clay radio play mention in this article from the Sanford Herald.

Sounds of the season
By JUSTIN STORY
The Sanford Herald

SANFORD - At this time of the year, the Christmas bug can bite anyone that comes in its path.

One local radio station is ensuring that nobody within its frequency will be spared exposure to the holiday spirit, as WDSG-FM (107.9) last week began broadcasting Christmas-themed songs non-stop.
Since Thursday, the low-powered FM station on Gordon Street has been playing Christmastime music that spans several decades and musical genres.

WFSG-FM General Manager Steve Gordon, who co-founded the station two years ago with Burke Buchanan, said the all-Christmas, all-the-time format has been in effect during each of the last two holiday seasons.

Gordon culls his playlist from a number of different sources, including songs purchased from companies, Internet downloads and Gordon's personal collection.

One 10-minute run of songs Monday afternoon featured holiday tunes from early rocker Chuck Berry, country legend Buck Owens and current-day pop singer Clay Aiken.

WFSG is designated as a low-power FM station, meaning the station's signal broadcasts within a highly limited radius.

Lycos 50 Column: 1 Year Ago

Today's Lycos50 article mentioned Clay on its chart exactly 1 year ago today. Clay is #33 this week.

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:
With only four weeks before Christmas, it was Clay Aiken who was at the top of everyone's wish list last holiday season. Even Santa couldn't top the Aiken juggernaut. He dropped a Christmas CD, had an NBC Christmas special, not to mention his Joyful Noise concert tour, Web users were Aiken for Clay...

Aiken, Amazon.com Raise Money For Hurricane Victims

Amazon.com posted this news release today. Clay will be providing special behind-the-scenes tour footage to help with Amazon.com's Holiday Hurricane Fundraiser.

Amazon.com Partners with Celebrities to Raise Money for Hurricane Victims During Holiday Shopping Season
Tuesday November 29, 8:30 am ET
Tim McGraw to Kick-off Fundraising Efforts Today at St. Bernard Parish City Hall near New Orleans

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 29, 2005--Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN - News):
Additional participants include former president Bill Clinton and celebrities Clay Aiken, David Beckham, Blondie, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Faith Hill, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Rob Thomas, Christy Turlington, and Trisha Yearwood
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN - News) today launched the "Amazon.com A-List For Hurricane Relief" - a partnership between Amazon.com and more than a dozen celebrities and former president Bill Clinton to raise awareness and funds for non-profit organizations helping victims of Hurricane Katrina and Rita. The program will begin on Amazon.com tomorrow, November 30, with the exclusive premiere of a recently recorded unreleased song entitled "Louisiana" by superstar Tim McGraw and will continue every weekday through December 20 with a new celebrity partner's gift of exclusive content. Amazon.com customers will have the opportunity to make donations to the hurricane relief non-profit organization selected by each celebrity.

Tim McGraw is visiting the St. Bernard Parish City Hall today near New Orleans to kick off the project and meet with hurricane victims. In addition to hearing his song, beginning tomorrow Amazon.com customers will see a personal message from McGraw and be able to donate to his designated charity, Habitat For Humanity. Other non-profit organizations selected by Amazon.com's celebrity partners to receive donations include the American Red Cross, Save The Children, UNICEF, Sidewalk Angels, and the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund.

"People in my home state of Louisiana still desperately need our help after their lives were changed forever by Hurricane Katrina. To help us all remember that the losses caused by the hurricane remain, me and some of my fellow artists have partnered up with Amazon.com," said McGraw. "As a special way of saying thank you for making a donation to one of the many worthy causes in the affected areas, each of us is making something special available. I just ask that people find it in their hearts to help any way they can. It is very much needed and will be appreciated."

Amazon.com's partners include former president Bill Clinton and celebrities Clay Aiken, David Beckham, Blondie, Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson, Faith Hill, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Tim McGraw, Carly Simon, Rob Thomas, Christy Turlington, and Trisha Yearwood. Content made available by these partners ranges from unreleased songs to behind-the-scenes tour footage to drawings. Examples include never-seen-before videos of the making of music videos by Faith Hill and Kelly Clarkson, tour footage from Clay Aiken and Bon Jovi, and a drawing by Rob Thomas.

Amazon.com provides a safe and secure platform for making financial contributions to non-profit organizations. Amazon.com customers have demonstrated their willingness to use this platform and their generosity towards worthy causes, evidenced by contributing more than $12.5 million to the Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina and $16 million for tsunami relief efforts.

"Rebuilding the Gulf Coast has just begun," said Kathy Savitt, Amazon.com Vice President for Strategic Communications, Content, and Initiatives. "Amazon.com is happy to give customers a convenient way to continue their support while celebrating the season with exclusive content from their favorite stars."

Clay on CBS Early Show December 5

Clay will be stopping by CBS' Early Show first thing Monday, December 5 for a special performance. Check local listings- the Early show normally starts at 7 AM Local time, with performances scheduled after the news in the 8 AM-9 AM slot. Clay last appeared on the show in July 2004 where he sang songs off MOAM.

Insider Tonight

Don't forget Clay will be appearing tonight on syndicated infotainment show The Insider to go backstage at the Joyful Noise Tour. A special video preview and article is now up at The Insider's website.

Backstage with Clay

Following the success of last year's tour in support of his festive album Merry Christmas With Love, CLAY AIKEN is once again spreading holiday cheer with his "Joyful Noise 2005" stage show.

"We've had a fun time with this," says Clay during a break from rehearsing at the Chicago Theater in Illinois, the latest stop on the cute crooner's 36-city jaunt. "And it's been an interesting trip for us. We're learning how to move around on stage as the stages get smaller in certain cities and we have to adapt. So, it's been a learning experience, but it's more and more fun as the group and the cast get closer together."

Part concert, part play, the 40-show tour is being performed at community theaters throughout the country and actually utilizes the talents of local thespians.

"It's kind of an opportunity for people to support their own theater," says the former "American Idol" finalist, "and we're able to give a little money to the community theaters to help them with their programs, and it really gives each show a local flavor."

But Clay isn't just singing for his supper. He's also utilizing his teaching background to tutor GREGORY ELLIS, one of the young boys in the production.

"He's doing great," says Clay, who taught in his native North Carolina before becoming a pop sensation, about his young pupil. "It's a difficult transition to go from being in school every single day, all day long, to have a really thrown-off routine, but he's done really well."

The tour, which kicked off November 2nd in Vancouver and runs through December 30th, will have its last show before Christmas in Clay's hometown of Raleigh and will culminate with two shows in Clearwater, FL.

So, with the holiday less than a month away, does Clay have any big plans yet? "The tradition for our family has always been to get together on Christmas Day," says Clay. "It's very simple, but it's one of the few times during the year when the whole family comes together."

And as far as any New Year's resolutions are concerned, Clay points out that while "resolutions are nice, people give them up by the second week of January. So, if you find something that you need to change, don't wait until New Year's Day to change it. If on October 3 you realize you need to eat better, on October 4th start eating better," adding with a laugh, "then give it up on October 7."

For more with Clay, watch tonight's "Insider"!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Claynadian Reporter Mentions Clay on Canadian Infotainment Show

In an interview with Rock Star: INXS winner J.D. Fortune and the rest of the band that aired on Canadian infotainment show Star! Daily, one band members commented on how there had never been a reality singing competition winner who co-wrote a #1 song. The reporter, Danielle, one of Clay's unofficial Claynadians, picked up on the comment and countered it saying "Yeah... like that's never happened before", before turning to clips of Invisible, A Moment Like This and Canadian Idol Kalan Porter's Single which have all topped the charts. Danielle last interviewed Clay for YTV's Hitlist in a one-hour Clay Aiken special that aired in December 2003 and from Detroit during the Independent Tour in spring 2004.

Have We Clayverted A Radio Station?

KGBX FM of Springfield MO looks like it's keeping its promise of playing Clay, at least once a week, writes CLAYPERFECT.

From the CB's CLAYPERFECT:

Just recieved a call from Clayishope..some of you may remember few months ago I had a conversation with the program manager of the station in regard to not playing a request during the Katrina disaster.. we had quite a lengtly discussion on Clay and his music and why it wasnt played.. he promised to play Clay weekly.. and come Christmas promised to play his music as well...he just played MDYK..one of Clayishopes co-workers heard it and is in absolute awe of it .. she is running out to buy the CD.not only that but they also played Silver Bells by Clay and Kimberly... and the best part you may remember Woody the DJ who has not been so nice to Clay..after MDYK played .. all he could say was WOW.. just WOW..

Candid Interview From Pittsburgh Trib-Review

The Pittsburgh Trib-Review dared to ask some pretty hilarious questions to Clay, including one we're all dying to get answered - "Have you ever made a Claymate faint?"

Playing with Clay
By Josie Roberts
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, November 28, 2005

Clay Aiken, the unlikely heartthrob who snagged fame as an "American Idol" runner-up, brings his Holiday Tour to Heinz Hall tomorrow.

Seriously.

Although his most famous song was about being "Invisible," this is one reality star who just won't go away. So the Trib p.m. tracked down the southern-bred, spiky haired crooner to see what all the hype was about. And he's just as darned politically correct, overly polite and cliche eschewing as his public persona suggests.

Q:Let's get right to the point. I see that there are Clay Aiken thongs for sale on your Web site. Has anyone ever asked you to autograph one while wearing it?

A: When I started touring, people were constantly throwing thongs and underwear onto the stage. So it was kind of a joke when we decided to sell underwear, but then they sold way too well to stop selling them.

Q: Do you think that will happen at Heinz Hall? I'm guessing no. What do you know about the Steel City?

A: Pittsburgh's one of the few cities where we've had a day off each time I've toured there. I'm not a big sightseer, though, but I usually remember what the inside of the auditorium looks like.

Q: What song won't you be singing at your Christmas concert?

A: Well, we don't do "Frosty the Snowman" or "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" or anything like that. It's an orchestral-type show, and we try to make it a little more theatrical.

Q: You tend to attract teenage girls and middle-aged women as fans. Did you know they call themselves Claymates?

A:At first I did not love it that much, I thought it was kind of risque. But if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Now, we're accepting of the name. I'm just amazed they're supportive and still around. Everything that happens is always bigger and better than the last time and it's always surprised me.

Q: Have you ever made a Claymate faint?

A: I hope not!

Q: "American Idol" made you famous. What other reality show would you want to be on?

A: I think I'm reality-ed out. I don't know what reality is anymore.

Q: What the weirdest thing you've read about yourself?

A: Honestly, it's the stuff on the fan message boards, where they think they know what's going on and have all these theories about what I'm doing. They'll say, "He's not working on his new album yet because he's doing a country record in Mongolia."

Q: That might not be too far off the mark, though. I hear you do some work in third-world countries as the UNICEF ambassador for education. How'd you land that?

A: UNICEF does a lot of work with HIV/AIDS awareness and clean water campaigns. They didn't have anybody for education so they gave me a call and asked me to be their education ambassador because of my background as a teacher. It's probably been the biggest and best thing that's happened to me so far. I grew up in a small city in North Carolina and never really went anywhere my whole life. To see the way other people live on the West Coast was strange for me, so to see how people live in Uganda and how they're living in conditions far worse than anything we have here was eye opening.

Q:Do they wear Clay thongs over there? Kidding. So jumping from Uganda to Hollywood, who would you want to be seen with on the red carpet?

A: You know, I hate red carpets to be honest. I cannot stand people taking my pictures. To some extent, I understand celebrities who date other celebrities because they're on the same page. For me, I want to find someone from my hometown, someone down-to-earth and not jaded by the Hollywood scene. I plan on moving back to Raleigh as soon as I get a chance.

Pittsburgh Claymates can still get tickets to see him live in concert tomorrow. Tickets to "Clay Aiken: A Joyful Noise 2005 with the Pittsburgh Symphony" are $45.50 to $125.00. Purchase tickets at the Heinz Hall box office, call 412-392-4900 or visit www.pittsburghsymphony.com.

Josie Roberts can be reached at jroberts@tribweb.com or (412) 380-5609.

Greenies For Raleigh?

Apparently, Raleigh likes Greenies - the popular doggie treat. However, the credibility of this is being raised, because the last sentence doesn't 'sound like Clay' in addition to the fact that various media outlets have reported that these treats are 'harmful' to a dog's digestive systems.

From a CH member who met Clay at a M&G:

One of my friends had a meet and greet with Clay. She took him two "Greenies" treats to give to Raleigh. She said he was very excited to see the treats, and told her, "I don't give Raleigh any of the other things people send for her. But she loves Greenies! Please go back to the messageboards and tell everyone to bring her Greenies!"

'Dear Santa' With Clay Aiken In TV Guide


Clay's appearance on FOX's Christmas-reality special, Dear Santa on December 9 is mentioned in this week's TV Guide magazine. Many thanks to the CH's QueenofP for this scan. For more information on the show, click here.
<< Click to enlarge.

Dear Santa
(Fox, 8 pm) Move over, Kringle, Clay Aiken, Raven Symone and Tony Hawk bare their Claus to help answer real-life letters to the North Pole.

Mention in MSN Money Article

So you want to raise a rockstar
The chances are slim, the payoff is huge and getting there is half the fun -- and very, very expensive.
By Bankrate.com

So your kid wants to be a rock 'n' roll star? Great for him -- but what's it going to cost you?

Poll America's preteen population, and a hefty number of them will say they want to be a rock star when they grow up. Insert here Mom's old punch line: "You're going to have to choose one" (either grow up or be a rock star).

For good or ill, MTV, "American Idol," "Rock Star: INXS" and the advertising world have convinced even tone-deaf toddlers that becoming the next Britney Spears or Clay Aiken is not only possible, it's almost inevitable.

New Interview From TIME for Kids

The kids' version of TIME magazine recently interviewed Clay.

Clay Aiken On a Mission
TFK Kid Reporter Avery Hardy talks with the music star about his work with UNICEF

On Halloween, I interviewed Clay Aiken about his job as a UNICEF Ambassador. As a UNICEF ambassador, American Idol runner-up and music star Aiken visited Indonesia and Uganda to help those in need. As a former teacher, Aiken is also interested in helping those with learning disabilities become more accepted in society. He is about to begin his new tour, Joyful Noise 2005. Clay carried his Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF box on Halloween and he hopes you did too!

Aiken visited Banda Aceh, Indonesia in March 2005. During the trip, he met with students affected by last year's tsunami.

TFK: How does one get named a UNICEF ambassador?
Aiken: I think UNICEF goes about and tries to find people who it feels matches...their philosophy and what it is they do. I was a teacher before I started singing and they were looking for someone to be an education ambassador. There was an obvious connection that I'd be an ambassador for education so they gave me a call and asked me if I'd be interested.

TFK: What are your responsibilities?
Aiken: My goal was to learn as much about UNICEF as I could, so that I could tell other people what UNICEF does. There are such important stories that happen all throughout the world. The UNICEF ambassador program takes advantage of people's celebrity because the news will talk to celebrities, even though half the time we don't have anything to talk about. They'll take advantage of us, because the news will talk to us and then ... we have an opportunity to talk about something that's important and we can tell people what UNICEF does.

TFK: On the UNICEF website, I watched your virtual fieldtrip through Uganda where the children are suffering from over a decade long civil war. If you could do one thing for the children of Uganda, what would it be?
Aiken: If I could do one thing for the children of Uganda it would be to end the civil war. The Lord's Resistance Army has been terrorizing kids in these villages and all of these districts in northern Uganda for the past eighteen years...when people are made aware of (the situation) hopefully they'll put pressure on their government to get this problem solved. Children who are ten years old, who are your age, have never known what it's like to sleep at home at night.


TFK: You visited Banda Aceh in Indonesia. What was the purpose of that visit?
Aiken: Banda Aceh was the hardest hit area during the tsunami. It's one of the most populated areas in northern Indonesia. It was an opportunity for me to learn what UNICEF does. Most importantly, it was really a chance for me to go and on behalf of UNICEF say thank you to the Americans who raised money to support victims of the tsunami. It was one of the biggest fund raising drives ever. It raised more money than most anything else that UNICEF's ever done. And it was an opportunity for me to go and say ‘Look, here's what your money did, here's the benefit that people in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia had from the money you gave them.'

TFK: You are just about to start a new tour, Joyful Noise -- 2005. How would you describe the tour?
Aiken: It's a Christmas tour. It's a little more theatrical. Last year, we did some shows with orchestras and we had a full orchestra on stage and it was a real majestic production. This year, we decided to try to make it a little more like, a “Home for the Holidays” type show...Our goal is to try to get people all warm and fuzzy for the holiday season as early as we can.

TFK: Where will you go on tour and do you like being on tour?
Aiken: I love being on tour. I actually like it quite a bit for a number of reasons. One, because there is a consistency to what I'm doing every day. I know where I'm going to be. I know what time I'm going to be there, what I'm going to be doing, and also it's a great opportunity to see the country...we start the tour in Canada and I do it in Vancouver, Canada and then we head all the way down the West coast and head up through the Western part of the Rocky (Mountain) area and on into the Midwest, the Northeast and we end in the South.

TFK: Who are your favorite musical artists?
Aiken: Growing up I never knew that I wanted to be a singer. I always thought that I wanted to be a teacher or a reporter myself or who knows, something different. So I didn't really have any musical artists that I followed or idolized.

Birthday Mention at Black Table.com

Clay's birthday is mentioned in the Incoming! column. Negative content alert.

INCOMING! NOVEMBER 28, 2005.
By Erin Schulte
11.28.05

Wednesday

Today is the official end of hurricane season. Plywood and bottled-water sales are expected to drop 87 percent in Florida and Texas; everyone can now get in their cars and go back to Galveston. Go on, go on, it's safe now! I suppose the only people disappointed by this development are East Coast surfers, who now have to wait another year until lugging a surfboard and a full-body wetsuit onto a subway becomes worthwhile.

And we have another birthday. Who? Your favorite redhead! And no, it's not me. Jeez. It's Clay Aiken. Holy crap, you know what? He's almost THIRTY. I haven't heard much from him since he was a dick to that group of schoolkids in New Jersey. Go figure.

Rock 'N' Roll Auction For Katrina Extended

This is your last chance to grab an autographed copy of Clay's NY Times bestselling book, Learning To Sing. All proceeds go towards Hurricane Katrina victims via the American Red Cross. The auction, which features signed collectibles from other celebrities Simple Plan, Keith Urban, Switchfoot, and Dolly Parton began last month, as we first reported. The signed book is the hottest item in the auction right now with bidding at $311, according to the auction's Top 10 items list. Click here to bid, bidding closes December 5.


Rock N Roll Relief Auction
Signed Switchfoot, Sean Paul, Disturbed items up for grabs.
By Krista Desens

NEW YORK, NY Monday Nov.28.2005 /netmusiccountdown.com/ -- Here's your chance to get a one-of-a-kind gift for that music fan in your life and help out Hurricane Katrina victims at the same time.

The Virgin Megastore is now auctioning off autographed collectibles from some of today's hottest artists, including Switchfoot, Sean Paul, Disturbed, and Keith Urban.

During the Rock n Roll Relief Auction, you can bid on autographed guitars from Bon Jovi, Disturbed, and Soundtrack Of Our Lives, or bid on an autographed poster from Sean Paul. There are also signed items from Keith Urban, Aerosmith, Clay Aiken, Institute, Simple Plan, the Transplants, Dolly Parton, Cold, Everything But the Girl, and Brian Wilson.

The Rock n Roll Relief Auction runs until December 5th at 8 pm ET.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

AD: Reading, PA

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Fanclub Blog Has 1 Million Hits

Clay's official fanclub club blog has received over 1 million hits today. Clay's first entry was posted just a few months back in July when the fanclub launched. It is estimated there are between 5000-7000 fanclub members. Click here to visit the fanclub.

Florida Teen Golfing Sensation "Still Hangs A Clay Aiken Poster"

Boca Raton, FL's new teenage golf sensation, Morgan Pressel admits to the Boca Raton Sun-Sentinel that she adores our man, Clay.

Boca Raton's Morgan Pressel juggles dual roles -- pro golfer and high school senior
Boca's Morgan Pressel may be a pro golfer, but she's still a teen

By Dave Hyde
Posted November 27 2005

Don't forget that she's still 17. Still puts a stuffed dog on her bed. Still hangs a Clay Aiken poster on her door. Still plays Bubble Trouble on the computer, writes vocabulary cards for her high school anatomy class and has an older boyfriend just starting college.

When Morgan Pressel drives a black Navigator through her gated Boca Raton community with the music cranked high, bouncing her head to the beat and singing along to the rap of Will Smith -- "Everybody get down, put your hands up to the ceiling" -- please don't forget that she still drives on a temporary learner's permit.

Or that her grandfather still backs the car, his car, out of the garage for fear she'll scrape it.

And that he still reaches over from the passenger seat, turns down the radio and says what grandfathers everywhere do: "It's too loud."

"Not for me, Papa," Pressel says, turning it back thump-thumping high with the steering-wheel control.

"Turn it down so you can hear my instructions," says Herb Krickstein, 71, turning it down himself again. "And slow down."

Don't forget all this, because there are two Morgan Pressels bursting on the sports world these days. There is the one that has accomplished so much, so early, and captivated the golf world so thoroughly by winning the U.S. Amateur tournament, finishing second in the U.S. Open and oozing the precious metal of possibility.

Tournaments want her name. Corporations weigh her endorsement value. One sports agent who lost the battle to represent her said that with her smooth swing, fighter's personality and blond-haired, fresh-faced, All-American look she could be -- wait, people don't use could-be qualifiers around this Morgan Pressel -- "should be the next Chris Evert."

Then there is the other Morgan Pressel. The one still 17. Still behind in her philosophy class reading. Still carrying two iPods with the musical likes of Bowling for Soup, Shakira and Rob Thomas on them. This is the one still doing cartwheels in her living room, attending her high school homecoming dance and receiving gently delivered driving tips from her grandfather.

"Now pay attention when you turn into this parking lot," he says. "This is where a lot of accidents occur."

"I'm being careful," she says.

Please don't forget this other Morgan Pressel, because while everyone recognizes her prodigious talent as a golfer, only a few understand the teenage trials she has weathered. Like the mother she lost. And the father she left. And how she often ends a day of golf in tears, unable to stop them, no matter how the day went or who's there to see.

"Morgan, you've got to pull up more into the parking spot," her grandfather says, after she stops the car and starts to get out. "You're sticking out into the middle of the street."

"Oh, Papa, I am," she says, looking out, smiling at her mistake. "I'm still learning the depth of this car."

Yes, she's still learning, which is a good place to begin.


CDD supports:

Bubel Aiken Foundation GoodSearch for TBAF UNICEF