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Saturday, May 12, 2007

"A Thousand Days" in Top 100 On Yahoo Music Videos

Clay's "A Thousand Days" from his CD "A Thousand Different Ways" has made its way into the Top 100 Music Videos on Yahoo. As of today, it is at #86, but we can move it up higher by watching and listening to it more. As I'm writing this, I have already listened to it 4 times. A tough job, but someone has to do it!!

Check it out, and listen every day if you can! And while you are there, be sure to rate the video too!

Paparazzi Photos of Clay in LA

A few new photos of Clay in L.A. surfaced today on the Clackhouse. Isn't he just plain adorable? Click the thumbnails above to enlarge.

New Kimmel Photo

Clay Aiken on Jimmy Kimmel, May 10, 2007

This photo from Thursday's Kimmel appearance is so hawt that it deserves its own post. Thanks to Click on the version above for a high resolution version of the photo.

Tidbits 5/12

Remember this defining moment on American Idol 2? There Was A Man takes us on a journey to the hip-shake.

  • Home News Tribune - concert mention ... "Clay Aiken with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, July 28"
  • Fayetteville Observer - another tour mention ... "Clay Aiken will perform with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre on Aug. 10. Tickets are $27.50 to $50."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Jimmy Kimmel Live Appearance A Horse of a Different Color

Last night was the much looked forward to appearance by Clay on Jimmy Kimmel Live. And, as the title of this article, says, it was definitely a horse of a different color! That is, there was lots of horsing around on the show. Uh, and Clay was a little hoarse. Oh, and did I mention that there was a Taco on the show? Er, make that a horse named Taco! You could have knocked me over with a feather, uh, horsefeathers that is!! What a fun surprise for fans everywhere! You don't see Clay riding out on a horse just every day! And apparently Jimmy didn't either! At least not until five minutes into the interview! Ha!! Yes, they had a lot of fun in this interview, moreso it seems than any other to date. They play off each other with their jokes and you can sense a real commradarie there. Its like Lewis and Martin or Hope and Crosby.

For a recap of the show itself, I think that Berkeley from the Ideal Idol couldn't have said it better. Enjoying reliving the show again through her words:

From Ideal-Idol

Clay on Kimmel Show- A Critique
Clay knows his Audience

What a great Climmel last night --- right down to Jimmy and Clay using the word "Climmel."

Why a horse? To me, it was in the great tradition of late night absurdist comedy. Clay enters on a horse, Jimmy remarks that Clay looks taller and Clay says it's probably because of the bright colors he is wearing for spring. Jimmy asks about Clay's UNICEF trip to Afghanistan, Clay makes a few comments that clearly illustrate that he knows what he's talking about, and then they go into some typical Jimmy schtick.

Clay would kill Bin Laden, says he'd probably sell a lot of albums then and remarks that in a cave somewhere, someone is watching the show and putting Clay on their list. Freaking brilliant.

Clay remarks, very casually, that he studied a lot about Afghanistan before he went there, grew a beard in just a month and dressed in traditional men's attire (which he names) to be culturally sensitive --- and snarks that he was the only one in Kabul dressed that way. (Anyone who has seen any news at all from Afghanistan knows that isn't true, but the joke is a good one.) Clay acknowledges the antiquity of such a look by saying he looked like Jesus. (Yes, a Jesus who would kill Bin Laden --- funnier and funnier.) Jimmy zings back with the Obi-Wan Kenobi joke.

Looking at photographs from the trip, Clay includes some subtle points of information but, knowing his audience, he pokes fun at his image, bringing levity to what is essentially a serious topic. He makes several comments that show respect for the Afghan people and for his UNICEF mission, but he's not taking himself seriously. Smart.

This exchange goes on for five minutes and forty-two seconds before Jimmy says, "I just noticed something: you appear to be on a horse." Clay looks around in mock surprise, and then looks down as if noticing the horse for the first time himself.

End segment one.

It's always great fun to come here and talk about these appearances, and it's interesting to me to hear details from people's personal experience and education (Thanks, newland.) At the same time, though, I try to look at this as a casual, non-internet Clay fan would, having decided to watch when they saw the teasers during ABC primetime, but even more than that, as a regular Jimmy Kimmel fan might see the show.

They know Jimmy from The Man Show. They've seen Jimmy do gross-out, guy humor. They remember Jimmy, before he came to network television and started wearing suits.

They will laugh along when Jimmy makes jokes about an equine state of excitement, and will probably appreciate it when Clay doesn't hesitate in joking right back.

These are people who might remember Clay from an appearance or two before. They might have laughed at Clay pinning Jimmy to a wall, throwing him across the room and kicking him in the face. They might recall Clay entering bearing goofy gifts, or showing a Jimmy tattoo on his leg, or singing from candy hearts.

I don't think many late night viewers would be surprised to see celebrities in segments with animal handlers --- that kind of stuff is on all the time. I think the very sight of Clay on a horse with some top hat wearing horse handler got a lot of laughs in a lot of households last night.

And did Clay know who he was playing to? Oh, yes, because even though he was funny then, you don't get this kind of a comment on Leonard Lopate or even Entertainment Tonight:

Regarding singing to the school children, the UNICEF Ambassador who looked like Jesus said, "They all laughed at me. So we wiped them right off the map."

It worked the same reason it worked for me during that early appearance when Clay went all Clay Aiken fan on Jimmy: it's the opposite of his true nature and character, and the contrast is amusing.

"It fits the audience. You gotta know your audience," Clay said.

During an hour of memorable late night entertainment, Clay showed once again that he is a master of that.

I'm so pleased that Clay also talked about being in the process of working on a new CD (shows his career is active), selecting a single producer (shows he has a voice in the creative process) and setting out on a new tour (shows he is an in-demand performer). Other than not performing, I thought it was pretty much a dream appearance.

Hey, I'm easy that way. I even liked the vest.

I love this recap, and before reading it, I didn't realize they talked about so much! Well, Clay was at his best tonight, so he might have beat Jimmy out on most talking done!! And we love it, don't we.

You can download last nights show by going to Clack Unlimited. Or go to The Clayboard to "right click, save" some great pictures capped by gerwhisp starting on Page 37.

I'm already ready for the next Jimmy Kimmel Live appearance. But until that day comes...Happy trails to you, Clay, till we meet again.

USA Today Spotlights Summer Tour have posted nice summer tour thing up on their website. Clay's tour is listed first. Woohoo!

More New Photos From NCLD Gala

New York Social Diary has posted a few new photos from the National Center for Learning Disabilities gala held in New York last month. At the gala, Clay was honored by the organization for his tireless work for UNICEF and the BAF.

This year’s honorees were, Clay Aiken, Recording Artist & Co-Founder of the Bubel Aiken Foundation, recipient of the NCLD Children’s Advocacy Award; Arthur Ryan, Chairman & CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc., recipient of the NCLD Spirit of Achievement Award; and Donald Deshler, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Research on Learning, University of Kansas, recipient of the NCLD Distinguished Education Achievement Award. These individuals were honored for their remarkable efforts on behalf of children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities.

New CD On The Way!

Clay confirmed last night on Jimmy Kimmel that he is in the early stages of "working on a new album". Stating the obvious - no release date has been announced yet.

Jimmy Kimmel clack is now available at

Tidbits 5/11

Clay's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last night was so funny that AOL Television picked it as one of the top 5 TV moments of May 10, 2007.

  • Clay's band member Felix confirmed to SecretlyLovesClay's sister's friend that he will not be touring with Clay this summer due to a scheduling conflict between Clay's and Taylor Hick's summer tours.
  • MyMOAM2 at Clayversity reports a few Clay mentions when Kelly Clarkson appeared on MTV's TRL today...
    They are doing a "Would you do it again or never again" segment:

    A Moment Like This video ........ would do it again
    From Justin to Kelly .......... she laughs ...... she never wanted to do it, but had to do it. she is no actress, she says
    Short Hair ...... she has a weave in
    Water usage during live performances ... VMAs .. she loved it

    Tour mates with Clay ......... yes, yes, yes ... he's one of my friends ... Damien says: yes, he's a nice guy

    She also said, "I'd totally tour with him again, I love him"

    Tour mates with Clay ......... yes, yes, yes ... he's one of my friends ... Damien says: yes, he's a nice guy

    She also said, "I'd totally tour with him again, I love him"

  • Raleigh Chronicle - Clay returns to Raleigh area with Cary, NC show this summer -
    Triangle-area American Idol fans will be able to see two standouts from different seasons of the Fox show. Tickets are on sale at Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre for performances by Raleigh native Clay Aiken and more recent American Idol winner Taylor Hicks.
  • Daily Southtown - Neil Sedaka article mentions Clay's success with "Solitaire" - "There's a live version of "Solitaire," which enjoyed a new round of pop glory when Clay Aiken crooned it on "American Idol" and hit No. 1 with his cover."
  • - AI article on who should stay and who should go as AI6 winds down ... "Melinda and Jordin would make an excellent finale; too close to call and reminiscent of Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard."
  • The Daily, University of Washington - Blake Lewis still in the running for Idol title and "I was always for Clay Aiken in the Clay-Reuben debates that so often seemed to dominate high school lunch-table discussions."
  • Miami Star brings us a "Clay Aiken news update":
    In case anyone is interested in what’s happening with singer Clay Aiken, tickets for the singer’s upcoming symphony tour go on sale today. The singer will make an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! tonight (May 10). The singer will be bring his tour to Florida in August.
  • TV Squad's article about Mark Indelicato, an up and coming young actor. Mark sang with Clay at one of his concerts, the article says -
    He just finished recording "Little Maestros," a CD aimed at young children. According to his ABC bio, Indelicato also sang during the halftime show at the NY Knicks and performed in concert with Clay Aiken.
  • - Students perform Clay song in front of Clay Aiken at NYC NCLD gala. "On the program are two Clay Aiken songs that students performed in New York for a benefit dinner audience that included the American Idol runner-up himself. "

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tulsa, OK Concert Ticket Sales This Saturday, May 14

According to the Brady Theater website, tickets for Clay's Tulsa concert go on sale May 14 at 10 a.m. through the Brady Theater website. Tickets cost $42, $52, and $62 each. The concert is scheduled for Saturday, July 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Be sure to check out the home page at the Brady Theater for the great picture of Clay and ticket ad for his concert.

For your information, The Brady Theater was built from 1912-1914. It is a former vaudeville house and one of the last remaining theaters of its kind, Some of those who have performed there are The Marx Brothers, Al Jolson, Katharine Hepburn, George M. Cohan, Will Rogers, Duke Ellington, Bob Hope, Count Basie, Charlie Chaplin, Buddy Holly, Three Dog Night, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Bill Cosby, and Ray Charles. And in another two months, we can add Clay Aiken to that list of greats! It should be a very classy venue for Clay's Tulsa concert.

Trip Down Memory Lane - Charlotte DJs Comment on Clay's AI5 Appearance

As the 6th season of American Idol comes to a close, the CB's SidiDenak brought us this video clip of Charlotte, NC radio DJs commenting on how Clay's appearance stole the show:

Tidbits 5/10

Clay mentioned in a promotional flyer mailed out by the Houston Symphony to its members. Clay plays Houston on August 6. Thanks to the CB's mskat63 for the scan.

  • A few sites reminding us that Clay will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight!
  • Concert Mentions:
  • - You can download a great commercial for Clay's upcoming Cary concert
  • Detroit Free Press - "Clay Aiken finished second in 2003. To date, he's sold 4.6 million records to winner Ruben Studdard's 2.5 million."
  • Detroit News -another mention of Clay's post idol success- "He didn't win Season 2, but ranks as the third best-selling contestant to date."
  • MLive Idol Chatter - end of the road for LaKisha doesn't mean no success, as was the case with Clay and Chris Daughtry - "Those rough days could be over, with many who haven't won 'Idol' going on to prove that first place isn't the only guarantee for success. Clay Aiken or Chris Daughtry, anyone?"
  • Portland Mercury - some idols impress, others disappoint -
    But in fairness, Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken have something close to respectable careers in the adult and pre-teen markets. Then there are the "whatever happened to" idols, such as Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and surely the most disappointing of the lot, Taylor Hicks.
  • Lafayette Journal & Courier - review of Kimberley Locke's new album mentions Clay: "The former American Idol contender (third place behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken in Season 2) takes the pain of a shattered relationship and turns it into an edgy, rock-fueled journey through heartbreak and redemption."
  • The Clayboard - Rainlover posts the following:
    Posted by MyMOAM2 at CV:
    They (TRL) are doing a "Would you do it again or never again" segment:
    A Moment Like This video ...... would do it again
    From Justin to Kelly ....... she laughs ..... she never wanted to do it, but had to do it. she is no actress, she says
    Short Hair ..... she has a weave in
    Water usage during live performances .. VMAs .. she loved it
    Tour mates with Clay ...... yes, yes, yes ... he's one of my friends ... Damien says: yes, he's a nice guy. She also said, "I'd totally tour with him again, I love him".

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Taking a Memory Walk Down Kimmel Lane

As you know, Clay will be on The Jimmy Kimmel Show on Thursday, May 10. Something fun always happens when Clay is on the show, and this time will certainly be no exception.

Let's think back to those times that Clay has been on the show before and see how much you can remember. Below are 20 questions about all of Clay's Kimmel appearances. Answers appear at the end of this fair peeking!!

First JK Appearance - 11/13/03

1. On Clay's first appearance on JK, he gave a video gift to Jimmy. Who was he snuggling with in that video?

2. Jimmy mentioned seven ways he and Clay were alike. Can you name all seven?

2nd JK Appearance - 6/28/04

3. In the skit where Clay and Jimmy "smoothed things out", what 3 things did Clay say that Jimmy had said about him on previous shows?

4. After beating up on Jimmy but good (!), Clay told Jimmy that he was going to get what?

5. What 5 names did Jimmy suggest for Clay's fans instead of Claymates?

Valentines Day Appearance - 2/14/05

6. What was sitting on the arm of Clay's chair? What was in front of Jimmy's desk?

7. What three groups did Jimmy mention as sending some of the Valentine gifts?

8. What toppings were on the pizza Clay opened up?

9. What did Jimmy say they were gonna do with all the gifts later?

Red Carpet Show - 9/26/05

10. What did Clay carry out to share with Jimmy?

11. What pet of Clay's did he and Jimmy talk about, and what was its name?

12. Jimmy mentioned Clay being a reporter for The Insider and showed Clay making a funny noise. Why did Clay make that noise?

Virgin Music CD Signing Show - 9/26/06 (I never realized before that he appeared on this show one year to the day from his last appearance)

13. What did Clay say that the driver of the car said that caused him to get out of the car?

14. What held Clay up in the streets of New York City when he was trying to get back to his hotel?

15. What did the 2 fans get Clay to do when they were in line at the CD signing?

16. What did Clay then show Jimmy that he had done?

Valentines Day Show - 2/14/07

17. What did Clay walk out carrying?

18. What gift did Clay give to Jimmy?

19. What did Clay use to make up Jimmy's song?

20. Can you remember the whole song Clay sang?

How many do you think you got right? I found it really interesting as I watched each of these shows how Jimmy and Clay's relationship went from somewhat hesitant at the first show to good ol' buddies by the last. At the first show, Clay answered many of Jimmy's questions with one word answers or at least very short answers. By the last show he was leaning back in his chair and practically doing all the talking. They were like good friends who hadn't seen each other in a while. I loved watching this. If you don't already have these shows downloaded, you can get them all at Clack Unlimited under TV Appearances, Kimmel.

Now, here's the answers to the questions.

1. Jimmy's girlfriend, Sarah Silverman
2. Both like James Taylor, have allergies, dislike cats, bit their toenails, read while on the toilet, were born in November, and like Krispy Kremes

3. He looked like Barry Manilow and Peewee Herman had a baby together, it looked like the the Clay Aiken doll and the Ken doll were dating, it looked like they could use him to light the Olympic Torch
4. To get some food
5. Aikenholics Anonymous, Clay Clux Clan, Utah Jazz, Aiken Lettuce & Tomatoes, Cladies

6. A white teddy bear; A huge heart made of red balloons
7. Bolt Babes, Claymates, I'll Kill Myself If You Don't Marry Me Clay Club
8. Pineapple and Ham
9. Sell them on the street

10. Two cookie-pops
11. A goat named Zoe
12. Because a fan kissed him unexpectedly

14. President Bush's motercade
15. Sign their backs so they could get it made into a tatoo
16. Showed Jimmy where he had "tatooed" Jimmy's picture on his leg!

17. A big heart shaped with red balloons and a gift for Jimmy
18. A t-shirt with Clay's picture on it (Clay had a shirt on with Jimmy's picture)
19. Valentines heart sayings
20. Love Me, True Love, Fax Me, Got Love, You're So Sweet, Your's Forever, You're So Sweet I've Got Stage 2 Diabetes (not gonna work), Angel, Dear One, You're a Tiger, You're My Jimmy!

Many thanks to my friend Susie for finding some of these pictures for me!

New Christmas Concert Date Confirmed - Kalamazoo, MI

The Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo, MI has confirmed that Clay will be making a concert stop ther as part of his 2007 Christmas tour on November 30. Ticketing information is not yet available, but this venue is offering a special deal in that if you purchase 5 tickets for other events (from as low as $5 each!), they will put you into the priority waiting list for Clay's concert and you will receive the best seats when tickets go on sale. More information about this is available at the venue's website.

The Kalamazoo Gazette also published some information about this concert today: "The big performer is Clay Aiken, the most successful singer out of TV's ``American Idol,'' who will present a Christmas concert with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. "

Tidbits 5/9

  • Cute Clay mention on Jimmy Kimmel's show last night, says the CB's Heidiseek. Clay makes an appearance on the hit ABC late night show on Thursday.
    I just got a chance to watch Tuesday nights Kimmel show. He was announcing who would be on and when he got to Thursday he said "Clay Aiken will be here" at which point some in the audience went "ohhhhh". Jimmy then gave a chuckle and said "don't say ohhhh, it makes the other guests feel bad." It wasn't a loud ohhhh, sounded like just a few, but it was a cute mention.
  • Access Hollywood - some loser thinks Clay doesn't know Africa is a continent and that Clay was dissing "Idol Gives Back". It seems obvious to me that Clay was just stating his opinion:
    Another star who acheived fame on TV is reportedly not as enthusiastic about the show that gave him his big break. YAHOO MUSIC interviews ex-"Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken, who says that the "Idol Gives Back" benefit special did not do a satisfactory job of aiding Africa, despite the millions of dollars raised. "You take a look at something like 'Idol Gives Back,' and you realize that the main piece of information we got is that people are hungry in Africa, but we didn't find out why they are hungry in Africa and we didn't find out where in Africa they are hungry, nor did we find out the major causes," he is quoted as saying. "Without the education about what's going on in the country, we're doing no service except for perpetuating that same stereotype that Africa, or any other country in the world, is lesser than the U.S., and we're in the role that we have to give to them."

    Editor's Note: Hey, Clay, Africa's a continent... not a country.
  • - UNC tries to ban ticket scalping -
    According to state ticket-scalping laws, tickets cannot be resold for more than $3 above their original sale price. Normally, the university leaves monitoring tickets sales up to the state. However in 2003, when "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken graduated with a degree in special education from the university, the school expected huge crowds at the ceremony.

We're seeing deja vu over at There Was A Man (left) and Too Much (right). Probably unintentionally, both blogs blogged about Clay's AI2 performance of "To Love Somebody" AND the two blogs share an almost identical colour scheme. Hee hee... pretty funny, eh?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 Highlights BAF's "Scrapping 4 Inclusion" has posted a fantastic write up about the Bubel Aiken Foundation's approved Scrapping 4 Inclusion fundraiser started by Laurie Weishar. You can read the entire articles complete with photos at Many thanks to CDD visitor Natalie for giving us the heads up on this article. ;)

“Scrapbooking is a hobby that many people enjoy and a wonderful way to preserve your memories. How nice and fitting it is that those who cherish and wish to preserve their memories are giving children with disabilities a chance to create memories of their own. My thanks go out to all those involved in these wonderful events!” says Diane Bubel Co-Founder of TBAF.

Scrapping 4 Inclusion events will be fun gatherings that offer attendees a chance to make a difference in the lives of all children. Fundraising crops are flexible in nature, as they are customized by each Organizer to fit within their own community.

“This is a very exciting time for me. Every day is a positive day with more people becoming aware of the Foundation. Every week more passionate supporters join our team or another location confirms a date” says Laurie Weishar, founder of Scrapping 4 Inclusion.

For information on how to get involved visit our website at or email Laurie at

Countdown to Jimmy Kimmel

There are only 2 days until Clay's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel.

Don't forget to tune into Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC this Thursday May 10 to see the "Climmel" reunited once again. Check your local listings for airing times.

Fans in the Atlanta and Charlotte area will not be able to see Kimmel on their local ABC station - due to licensing problems, the local Atlanta and Charlotte ABC affiliates does not carry Jimmy Kimmel's show at the current time.

Clay's Uncle Jerry Aiken Joins BAF Executive Team

The Bubel Aiken Foundation announced on their website recently that Jerry Aiken, Faye's brother and Clay's uncle, will be joining the executive board of the Bubel Aiken Foundation. Jerry brings an impressive resume to the organization and will help the foundation "develop" and "grow". More information is posted here:

Foundation Staff Grows

The Board of Directors of The Bubel/ Aiken Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Jerry Aiken to the position of Executive Director, The Bubel /Aiken Foundation. Mr. Aiken brings extensive leadership experience from the corporate environment having held numerous senior level positions at Nortel Networks, TRW, and Fujitsu Network Communications. His background includes assignments as General Manager, Vice President Global Customer Service, Vice President Engineering, Vice President Regional Operations, and other key leadership roles. We are fortunate that he has agreed to join The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and apply his business expertise in supporting the development and growth of the Foundation.
This appointment represents a change in both the management structure as well as titles used by the Foundation. Mr. Aiken will report directly to the Board and will be responsible for leading the growth of the Foundation collectively, with the help of all of our Donors and Volunteers. In the new structure we will continue to enjoy the expertise and passion of Kristy Barnes, Director Marketing and Operations and Aron Hall, Director Services. Both Kristy and Aron will report to Jerry and will continue their excellent work, as we seek to bridge the gap that exists between young people with special needs and the world around them. Thank you for your continued support of our goal of creating awareness and opportunities for full inclusion where barriers break and doors open.

The Bubel /Aiken Board of Directors
Clay Aiken, Chairman of the Board

Yahoo Music Interviews Clay

Yahoo Music has posted a new interview with Clay. The interview was focused on Clay's recent UNICEF trip to Afghanistan.

To read the complete interview, head on over to Yahoo Music. An abridged version of the interview appears below:

An Idol Who Really Gives Back

05/07/2007 7:00 PM, Yahoo! Music
Laura Hertzfeld

Before charming the hearts of American Idol fans in 2003, singer Clay Aiken was a teacher, focusing on special education in his native North Carolina. Today, in addition to performing and recording, Clay acts as an education ambassador for UNICEF, most recently in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Still jetlagged, Clay told Yahoo! Music in his smooth drawl why Idol Gives Back won't solve the poverty problem, what it was like to grow a beard and wear long robes, and why he never sings when visiting schools abroad.

YAHOO! MUSIC: What were your overall impressions of Afghanistan?

CLAY: I think, more than anything, the trip to me was a stereotype-breaker because there are so many times in the U.S. that we see in the news the negative things that happen in Afghanistan. We see the headcoverings and we think Muslim, we hear about suicide bombings and terrorists, and we think "Middle East." Afghanistan's not in the Middle East, it's in South Asia, and it's not a desert. My friends were all, "It must have been so hot there!" But you can see in some of the pictures the snow-capped mountains. There are many parts of Afghanistan that are really quite a lush landscape. I had a lot of misconceptions about the country and about the people there.

YAHOO! MUSIC: Why education?

CLAY: Well you know, I was a teacher, so education is kind of important to me. I focus on education mainly with UNICEF on every trip that I take. A number of schools [in Afghanistan] were destroyed during the Taliban era. The schools that were around only housed male students--girls were not allowed to go to school. So now there are twice the number of students and there's just not enough room to hold these kids. They are sitting outside on the ground all day.

YAHOO! MUSIC: Did you perform for the kids you met in Afghanistan? How did they like your music?

CLAY: [Laughing] I made the mistake in Uganda of performing for some kids who were in a night commuter center, and they were singing a song and they were clapping. It was kind of a joyful, cheerful song. They didn't know me, but they had heard that I was a singer, and so they asked me to sing a song, and I couldn't think of what to sing. And someone whispered to me, "Sing 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.'" And so I got through maybe a line of the song before the kids started laughing at me so hard. They'd never heard any music like that before in their lives. So I've made it a point when I take these trips to never sing.

YAHOO! MUSIC: Do you have a favorite story of any of the people you met in Afghanistan or a moment during your trip that touched you the most?

CLAY: One of the things that stuck with me more than anything else was just the hunger, the thirst for education. I mean, these kids wanted to go to school. My social studies teacher [who accompanied me on the trip]--she was quite jealous. She's been teaching for 30 years and she's never had a class full of students who wanted to be there as much as these kids in Afghanistan wanted to be there.

YAHOO! MUSIC: How has your work with UNICEF influenced your music? What do you take back with you?

CLAY: Every time I come back from these situations, you take a look at what's important to you, and how privileged we are, and it's easy to take that back. But it's important to remember that we have to be a proactive society. It's interesting to me to look at Afghanistan and realize that there are countries all around the world that we haven't looked at because they haven't affected us and yet, one of these days it's possible that one of them could affect us. Had we taken a hard look at the needs of women and children in Afghanistan in 1996, it's possible that we could have prevented September 11, 2001.

YAHOO! MUSIC: I saw in pictures of you that you'd changed your looks a bit to fit in there.

CLAY: I wanted to be culturally respectful to the country and the people there. It's kind of part of their culture to be bearded and to be dressed appropriately. But that again is kind of part of the stereotype about Afghanistan, but there's quite a bit of what I guess we'd call "Western" attire in the country.

YAHOO! MUSIC: Why is it important for celebrities to be the face of UNICEF?

CLAY: I haven't necessarily heard too much negative, but I think the main problem is the media's attention. We are a society that only pays attention to in the media. We put too much emphasis on celebrities. And even though I am one and I don't mind the attention every once in a while, it's sad that you have to have a celebrity to bring attention to these causes.

Tidbits 5/8

VOTE, VOTE, VOTE FOR CLAY! asks in its new poll, "Who would you like to see mentor some day?".

  • LBFCA's new post about Jericho is hilarious ... don't miss it!
  • Lycos 50 - Clay remains at #9 again for the week ending May 5, 2007.
  • The Clayboard - Solitaire on AI 3 Pictures - Someone at the Clayboard asked for pictures of Clay singing Solitaire on AI3, and WOWEE, did she ever get what she asked for. Run over there and check out the absolutely gorgeous array of pictures. Here's some to get you going:

  • Toronto Star - In an article entitled "The Loser Takes It All", there is a Clay mention that says, "On American Idol, for example, Season 2's Clay Aiken became the first loser to have a U.S. Hot 100 number with "This is the Night," while Ruben Studdard has been little heard of since his winning night."
  • Asbury Park Press - another good Clay mention ... runner-ups overshadowing winners -
    And Sloan? She's had meetings, talked to people, reminded herself about nonwinners — Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry, Elliot Yamin, Kellie Pickler and Bucky Covington — who have soared.
  • Orlando Sentinel - one more Clay/AI mention ... "Idol also elevated Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken and Chris Daughtry, who prove that you can win by not becoming American Idol."
  • Nanaimo Bulletin - comments on AI6 contestant Sanjaya Malakar - "Fortunately, this year we had the spectacle of Sanjaya, the most celebrated American Idol contestant since that sexually ambiguous nerd Clay Aiken."
  • Post Chronicle has some song spoliers for tonight's American Idol ... stop reading right now if you don't want to know the spoiler -
    [Blake Lewis] considered Grease and How Deep Is Your Love. Grease didn’t work for Clay Aiken
  • Kalamazoo Gazette - tour mention
  • Blogcritics - American Idols are "false idols"? Warning: article contains course language.

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