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Latest News From CDD

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Hometown Thank You: Clay Performs "Because You Loved Me" in Cary

There are always memorable and touching moments created when Clay performs in Raleigh. Let's start off with this... I'm sure all of you remember this moment fondly:

... and here is a clip of Clay singing "Because You Loved" me at the show in Raleigh last night:

Cary Concert: A Family Reunion

Complete tour coverage - CDD tour blog

Tidbits 8/11

  • As disappointed as the Cary fans were last night, Mary ... Clay's tour manager ... blogged on Clay's OFC blog explaining why Clay wasn't allowed to walk the bus line after the show in Cary, NC last night: "for security reasons that some of you already understand, we can't allow Clay to 'walk the line' tonight."
  • Broadway World - "Idol: The Musical" officially opening in NYC tomorrow...
    Idol: The Musical, a satire on the worship of former "American Idol" finalist, Clay Aiken, opens Sunday, August 12 at 8:15PM off-Broadway at the 45th Street Theatre (354 West 45th St).
  • Tour mentions:
    • Naples News - "You know the name. Now hear the man. Clay Aiken. He will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall"
    • Atlanta Sunday Paper -
      WED 15
      SECOND-PLACE SUCCESS: Singer CLAY AIKEN may not have taken home the title during the second season of “American Idol,” but he won the hearts of countless fans who continue to support his career in music. Aiken performs with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra tonight at 8 p.m. at Chastain Park. Tickets are $28$79. 404-249-6400.
    • Northwest Herald - Christmas tour ... Waukegan
  • NBC 17 Raleigh - fans camp out for Clay Aiken -
    "The main reason we're here is for Clay," said David Strickland, who got in line around 9AM. "It's worth the wait and the heat."

    Clay Aiken fans hoping to catch his show at the Koka Booth Amphitheater Friday night sweated it out through the worst of it. Most seemed prepared for the grueling wait.
  • IGN - reviewer doesn't like Constantine Maroulis, nor Clay very much...
    Those fanatics will claim that I am being unfair to the singer because of his appearance on Idol and that I live only to bash the hit-making factory that churns out so much waste product on the musical landscape. But my defense is the positive review I gave Daughtry's debut release. Take that fact and the fact that I was unable to actually sit through even one song of Clay Aiken's debut release and you have to know that I know my Idol singers.
  • There Was A Man on Clay's hometown performance of BYLM:
    Clay Aiken has been ending his summer tour with "Because You Loved Me" as a thank you to his fans for their support. A lot has happened in the fandom over the four years, but the fans that have stayed for the ride on the rollercoaster are steadfast in their admiration and appreciation of a fantastic singer and a really good man. As a response to Clay's thank you, the fans decided to wave glowsticks as an expression of their love and support. It's always a moving end to the show, but none so poignant as when he sang to his hometown crowd (along with many of his travelling fan posse) in Cary NC on August 10th.
  • Carolina On My Mind - Cary, NC show a "family reunion" of sorts

Magical Holiday Tour 2007: Fanclub Officially Annouces Tour; Morristown Pre-Sale

The Official Fanclub has finally officially announced Clay's 2007 Magical Holiday Tour in an email sent out to fanclub members late last night. Fanclub members will also be delighted that presales are returning - the first one announced is for Clay's Dec. 13 Morristown, NJ date at the Mayo Center for the Performing Arts.

Clay Announces Christmas Tour & Fan Club Pre-Sale

Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling, too....Wait, sleigh bells??? Are we crazy?? It's just TOO darn hot outside to start thinking about snowy nights, sipping hot chocolate and snuggling in front of the fireplace! But is it TOO hot to start thinking about Clay's annual Christmas tour? HECK NO! It will soon be the Christmas season once again and you know what that means...

So, dust off your bells & don your Santa hats, cause before you know it, Clay and the gang will be touring "Christmas in the Heartland" for the holidays.

The first fan club presale will run from 9 a.m. EDT to 9 p.m. EDT next Tuesday, August 14th for the Morristown, NJ performance at The Community Theatre at Mayo Center for the Performing Arts on December 13th. The pre-sale password and link will be posted on the TOURS page of the prior to pre-sale start times. You will need to login using your Clay Online fan club account to see the pre-sale link and password.

Clay Aiken Pre-Sale beginning Tuesday, August 14th:

12.13.07 - Morristown, NJ - The Community Theatre - Pre-sale begins at 9 a.m. EDT

Clay's AI5 Shocker Named #1 Reality TV Moment

VH1 has named Clay's surprise American Idol 5 season finale appearance as the greatest reality TV moment on its show 40 Greatest Reality TV Moments 2, which aired last night on VH1.

The host made note of Clay's meteoric rise during his run on AI -- becoming a "somebody" from a "nobody".

The top 40 Reality TV Moments, as voted on by VH1 viewers last month were:
1. American Idol – Clay Aiken surprises admirer
2. Cheaters – husband caught in S&M tryst
3. Trading Spouses – God warrior wife
4. Flavor of Love – Pumkin spits at New York
5. Real World: Denver – Brooke goes bonkers
6. Man Vs Wild - Bear eats live fish
7. Armed & Famous — celebs shocked
8. Big Brother 8 – housemate hates photo
9. Celebrity Fit Club 5 – Dustin Diamond vs. Harvey
10. Adventures in Hollyhood – Sugarfoot gets slap happy
11. Dirty Jobs – poop inspector
12. Engaged & Underage – bride-to-be gets bikini was from fiance’s mom
13. America’s Next Top Model – model faints
14. I Love NY — Chance vs. Tango
15. Amazing Race – Charla in armor
16. American Idol – crying girl
17. Surreal Life 7 — Vanilla Ice meltdown
18. Hell’s Kitchen – contestant cracks-up
19. Punk’d — Zach Braff yells at kid
20. Britain’s Got Talent – opera singer
21. Real World: Denver – drunken roommate fight
22. Surreal Life – Verne Troyer pees
23. American Idol — contestant dedicates sexy song to parents
24. Jack Osbourne: Adrenaline Junkie – Jack scales El Capitan
25. Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency – Janice fired
26. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – Kermit the Frog mauled by toddler
27. Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations – Anthony eats hog anus
28. My Obnoxious Boss – Paintballs and paperjams
29. Supergroup – Sebastian Bach fights Evan Seinfeld
30. Project Runway — Tim Gunn confronts Santino
31. America’s Got Talent – Shannon Osborne walks out
32. Charm School — Brooke kicked off
33. Celebrity Duets — Little Richard doesn’t make sense
34. America’s Next Top Model – Tyra Banks tirade
35. Dancing with the Stars – Heather Mills impresses the judges
36. Deadliest Catch — Man overboard
37. I Love New York – Fight night
38. Celebrity Big Brother UK – Leo Sayer wants out of the house
39. American Idol – Simon urges Ryan to come out of the closet
40. Wildboys – Llama humps Steve-O

CDD to Unveil New Layout This Month

CDD will unveil its brand new layout later this month, as CDD Clay News Weekly subscribers found out exclusively two weeks ago.

We are excited with the direction we are heading with this new layout. It has given us the opportunity to update our code, refine loading times and incorporate new and exciting elements into the page. Some of the new changes include:

  • An update to the new version of Blogger released by Google in 2006 with greater support for labels and enhanced search capabilities
  • Easier navigation. When you reach the bottom of any page on CDD's blogs, you will be able to click on "Older Posts" or "Newer Posts" to quickly jump through our archive. Our current method, as you will notice is a clunky drop down menu archive at the bottom of the page.
  • Picasa Web Albums - see the latest photos posted to CDD via a Flash slideshow built into our layout. The photos are clickable and you will be able to save them to your computer.
  • Google Video player allows you to watch Clay videos right from our page. You can also search YouTube and Google Video right from our page.
Before we go live, we are seeking 10 - 20 testers who can check our new layout for any bugs. The testers will be required to submit a screenshot of the page as seen from their computer.

If you would like to be a CDD beta tester, please contact us by either emailing me at OR commenting on this post with the following pieces of information - YOUR COMMENT WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED ON OUR WEBSITE. Beta testers will be supplied a URL where you can view a mock up of the new layout in its fully functional form.
  • What operating system you are using
  • Which browser (IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari... etc.) is your primary browser... include the version #?
  • Your screen resolution
We are specifically looking for several Mac users using Safari 2 on Mac OS X.

Friday, August 10, 2007

TBAF, Scrapping 4 Inclusion In The News

KDSM-FOX TV in Des Moines, IA aired a fantastic piece on The Bubel Aiken Foundation and the approved fundraiser Scrapping 4 Inclusion recently. Scrapping 4 Inclusion will be holding a charity event at Val Air Ballroom in Des Moines on Sunday. Here is the KDSM report courtesy YouTube: also has a nice video report about Camp IMPACT, a camp the Bubel Aiken Foundation is supporting in South Carolina.

Aron Hall and Jerry Aiken on UNC-TV

Here is a YouTube clip of The Bubel Aiken Foundation's Jerry Aiken and Aron Hall on UNC-TV this past Tuesday night:

Fifty2Thirty: Bet You Didn't Know This!

I bet most of you weren't aware that Mr. Clay Aiken owned not 1, not 2, not 3 ... but 6 companies!

The businesses Clay has registered are:

  • Fifty2Thirty Music
  • Fifty2Thirty Publishing
  • Fifty2Thirty Productions
  • Fifty2Thirty Entertainment
  • Fifty2Thirty Merchandising
  • Fifty2Thirty Touring
You're probably asking... what the heck is "Fifty2Thirty"? Well, here are some of the clues we've gotten:

YouTube Muscian Covers Clay's "I Will Carry You"

A young musician Daniel Davis performed a version of Clay's "I Will Carry You". And the singing is not bad at all ... in fact, I think it's pretty darn good!

Here's a YouTube clip of the performance:

Clay On VH1's Greatest Reality TV Moments 2

Heads up - Clay will be on VH1's 40 Greatest Reality TV Moments 2 airing tonight on VH1 beginning at 8 PM Eastern Time/5 PM Pacific. VH1 confirmed this on their website:

The Greatest

40 Greatest Reality TV Moments 2

Odd hookups. Massive meltdowns. Drunken urination. Reality TV has spawned a seemingly unlimited amount of bizarre and memorable water-cooler moments, ...

Featured Artists

Vanilla Ice , Tyra Banks , Da Brat , Clay Aiken , Three 6 Mafia , Leo Sayer , More...
We expect Clay's surprise AI5 to be featured during the show; last month, the appearance was included on the VH1 poll that asked viewers to decide what the top 40 reality TV moments were.

Clay Wins USA Today Poll With A Landslide

It's no surprise...Clay won the USA Today Idol Chatter poll with a huge landslide.

USA Today was conducting a poll to see who Idol fans would have chosen as the American Idol 2 winner now that it's been over 4 years since Ruben Studdard was crowned champ.

Here are the results, as posted on the USA Today Idol Chatter blog:

A lot of you called this the best season in Idol history, and the passion has clearly endured. I really enjoyed reading the votes that came in with added commentary on the finalists; very illuminating.

Clay Aiken won by a landslide, with an overwhelming percentage of the first-place votes and better than 40% more points than his nearest competitor.

1. Clay Aiken (2)

2. Kimberley Locke (3)

3. Ruben Studdard (1)

4. Josh Gracin (4)

5. Trenyce (5): A lot of love for Trenyce in the virtual room; her subsequent seeming disappearance was a mystery to many.

6. Rickey Smith (8): Big move up for Rickey, whose residual popularity I was unaware of. His supple voice and friendly personality seemed to be his big strong points.

7. Kimberly Caldwell (7): Massive gap between Rickey and Kim C., whose chief rallying point seemed to be her survival as a cable TV personality.

8. Carmen Rasmusen (6): Took the hit when Rickey rose two notches; she was close in points to Kim C. but had pretty lackluster support.

9. Vanessa Olivarez (12): How about this? She very nearly knocked off Carmen for 8th, retaining a lot of good will despite getting to perform in the finals only once.

10. Julia De Mato (10): A few strong supporters but clearly not enough.

11. Charles Grigsby (11): Despite my bias in favor of him (thanks, Howard Roark), he had a pretty dismal showing. He did get one third-place vote, though (and it wasn't from me).

12. Corey Clark (9 -- eliminated without a vote for failing to disclose a previous arrest): Corey has clearly left a very bad taste in your collective minds. Despite one, possibly non-serious first-place vote (or was it from Paula under a pseudonym), he had almost zero support.

Tidbits 8/10

  • Tour mentions:
    • Raleigh News & Observer - Clay coming home to perform -
      "American Idol" homeboy Clay Aiken sings with orchestral accompaniment at Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre.
    • Asheville Citizen Times - Aiken ready to put on sold out show at Biltmore Estates -
      Now Carolina-born Clay Aiken hits town for a Saturday night concert at Biltmore Estate. And it’s going to the biggest local “Idol” show yet, at least in turnout, with 3,000 fans in the house.

      With Aiken backed by members of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, it sounds like the makings for a night of smooth music.

      Tickets: Forget about it. Most were sold long ago, and it’s unlikely any will remain at the box office this weekend.
    • Fayetteville Observer - "Say Hey to Clay: 'Idol' star comes home to sing" -
      Members of the “Clay Nation” can finally exhale. Former “American Idol” finalist and pop superstar Clay Aiken is coming back to his hometown tonight.

      Aiken, who was born in Raleigh, will perform with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary at 8:30 p.m. Gates open at 7.

      The performance is part of a 23-city tour across the nation, which began July 4 and will end Aug. 19. For each performance, Aiken is taking the stage with the backing of a local symphony.
    • The Daily Reflector - Cary/Raleigh concert listing
  • The Californian - article about AI auditions, now underway for season 7... not exactly sure if "infamous" in this case is a good thing, or a bad thing -
    The hit FOX TV show is entering its seventh season. It's already launched strong careers for winners Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood and made contestants such as Clay Aiken and Sanjaya Malakar infamous.
  • Concord Monitor - interview with New Hampshire Idol winner... he has some great taste in music! -
    Q: How did you choose what songs to sing?
    A: For me, they're songs that move me, songs that are powerful. . . . Some of my favorites are Josh Groban, and, as cheesy as it may sound, Clay Aiken has got a very large voice. . . . I do sort of inspirational music. I hesitate to call it Christian music because it kind of has a bad rap.

  • Daily Camera - mention of the now infamous "plane incident" -
    The incident came only days after former "American Idol" finalist Clay Aiken fell asleep on a Continental flight, his foot landing on the armrest of the passenger in front of him. The singer claims he was awakened by a quick hit to the chest by the annoyed passenger, prompting an argument and a call to the FBI, though no charges were filed.
  • Salon - another mention of Clay's "plane incident" ... but how could you have "never heard" of Clay Aiken??? -
    Speaking of airport security, passengers were detained last month aboard a Continental Express flight after a brief altercation broke out involving "American Idol" star Clay Aiken. (I'd never heard of Aiken before, but the story made quick headlines thanks to the pop-culture tinderbox that is the American media.) I received a letter from a man who'd been on the plane. "After landing, we were forced to remain on board for more than 30 minutes, without being told why," he writes. "Most of us weren't aware that anything had happened. Then, federal agents came onto the plane and interviewed people sitting near the 'altercation' site before 'releasing' us. At one point the flight attendant said, 'This is 2007, and you need to watch what you say on a plane.'" That really gets me. Apparently it's the travelers' job to keep their mouths shut, when it ought to be the authorities' job not to overreact.
  • The Smoking Gun - (the answer is Kanye West)
    Guess The Metrosexual Musician
    Who likes Neutrogena (and other people buying his underpants)?

    AUGUST 10--Neutrogena face scrub? Nivea "Intensive" moisturizing lotion? A pair of shower shoes? One recording star has very particular hygiene and grooming demands, according to his current tour rider. As seen in the below excerpt, along with his assorted crèmes, the artist also requires promoters to buy his underpants and tube socks. So who is it? Examine the following five names and click on the guy you think likes L'Occitane soap and those soft cotton boxers.

    a) Clay Aiken

    b) Sting

    c) John Mayer

    d) Kanye West

    e) P. Diddy
  • Idol: The Musical ... the usual mentions:

  • Nothing here today

Thursday, August 09, 2007

TBAF Pledge Challenge - Almost $40,000 In Pledges Made So Far!

There are less than 2 weeks left to make your voice heard in the Bubel Aiken Foundation "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader" pledge challenge. Clay will be taping his appearance on the hit FOX quiz show on August 28. The episode will air sometime in the fall.

Aron Hall outlines how you should send in your pledge in an email he sent out last week to TBAF supporters -

We would like to issue a challenge to all of you. We would like you to pledge an amount for each correct answer Clay gives on the show. Whether it's 50 cents or 100 dollars, every amount will help us get closer to our goal of 100 Let's ALL Play camps in 2008.

If you would like to make a pledge, send an email to with your pledge amount. We would like to receive all pledges by August 21 when we will announce the total pledges made. After the show, we will announce the number of correct answers (we're going to assume 11) and then you can make your donations online at or send in a check or money order to:

The Bubel/Aiken Foundation
ATTN: Smarter Pledge
8601 Six Forks Road
Suite 400
Raleigh, NC 27615
As of August 9, the total value of the pledges made so far stand at $39,292.

MountainX Says Aiken's stardom "is the real thing"

Clay's the cover boy on this week's edition of MountainX, an independent newspaper based in Asheville, NC.

In the cover story, "Forming Clay into Rock", Alli Marshall offers a preview Clay's sold-out show at Biltmore Estate this Saturday. An abridgment appears below...

Forming Clay into Rock
by Alli Marshall in Vol. 14 / Iss. 02 on 08/08/2007

After 2003 American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken performed in Syracuse, N.Y. (backed by the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, no less), the Web site dubbed the pop singer “the beloved singing teddy bear placed near a young girl’s flouncy canopied bed.”

From Idol to icon: Although American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken may lack the artistic credibility that comes with a long career of paying dues, his devoted fans — the “Claymates”— don’t seem to mind. Aiken, as his devoted fans (known as “Claymates") can attest, is often given short shrift, celebrity-wise: Benign-geek status was not exactly the reputation favored by rock gods like Jim Morrison or Robert Plant. But the N.C. native (whose pre-Idol aspiration was to become a school principal and someday raise a family) is probably better suited to tender ballads and sports jackets than primal screams and leather chaps.

Getting Clay
Part of what differentiates Aiken from his fellow touring Idols is that, at each stop, he teams up with the symphony of that particular city.

“It’s rare and exciting for us to be able to do something like this,” enthuses Asheville Symphony Artistic Administrator Sally Keeney.

“He sings ["Baby Got Back” and “Sexy Back"] to make fun of how commercialized and soulless most of the songs that get radio play today are,” fan “Natalie” commented on the Xpress blogsite, responding to an open call to defend Aiken’s talents.

“Clay Aiken and his managers are very good musicians,” Hageman continues. “They have to be, at that level.”

In this case, the Biltmore Estate contracted with the local symphony as support for Aiken’s performance, a reversal of a more common arrangement where the orchestras hire the vocalists.

“There were a heck of a lot of symphony people having their socks knocked off after watching Clay’s performances,” blogger “Kayla,” who’s attended four out of nine shows on the Aiken tour, told Xpress.

“It is [RCA chairman] Clive Davis who put him in the ‘Manilow’ box,” she charges. “But believe me, Clay Aiken is so much more than that.”

It could be argued that Barry Manilow himself, with his countless hit singles, multiplatinum albums and worldwide record sales numbering more than 75 million, is something more than a tawdry troubadour. Aiken actually might be lucky to follow in the footsteps of the man who wrote, you know, the songs.

But Aiken, seemingly uncomfortable with accepting overnight stardom outright, is going beyond introducing Claymates to civic orchestras. Pre-Idol, the Raleigh native was a special-ed teacher, and he continues that particular line of work through the Bubel/Aiken Foundation charity he co-founded.

He’s also a celebrity ambassador for UNICEF and has traveled in that capacity to Uganda, Indonesia and Afghanistan. The latter trip earned him more press for the beard he grew out of respect for local customs than for his charity work.

Three albums on, Aiken’s tenuous stardom is finally looking less like a fluke and more like the real thing.

“He is the best all-around entertainer I have ever seen,” blogger “CarylAnn” (who’s seen Elton John, Billy Joel and Journey) told Xpress. “Clay has it all. The voice, the comedic timing and the way he interacts with his fans and makes fun of himself is hilarious.”

Or, as Claymate “Carol” puts it, “People are finally starting to ‘get’ Clay.”

More Cedar Point Photos

Two new photos of Clay at Cedar Point last month while on tour in Ohio... Man, he looks hot in those sunglasses!

More photo here

Tidbits 8/9

  • Concert mentions:
  • National Ledger - mention of the LA Greek Theatre auction Clay donated some items to.The funds being raised are helping rebuild LA's fire destroyed Griffith Park -
    GGD were followed by other acts, including Tony Bennett, Clay Aiken and Los Lonely Boys, in setting up concerts to aid the wounded park.
  • York News Times - nice Clay mention in this article about Pat Benatar ... "She was our American Idol long before Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken were even born."
  • St. Louis Post Dispatch - American Idol tour article...
    Watching new champ Jordin Sparks and runner-up Blake Lewis duke it out proved to be considerably less interesting than Ruben Studdard vs. Clay Aiken or Carrie Underwood vs. Bo Bice.
  • Charleston Post Courier - AI auditions... "The show, which made its debut in June 2002, has fostered the careers of several previously unknown talents, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken and Chris Daughtry."
  • Dallas Fort Worth Star Telegram - article about an AI2 top 32 semifinalist... mentions being in the same group as Clay during AI2 - "Fuentes was in the top 32 semifinalists of season 2 of American Idol. Her semifinalist group of eight included season winner Ruben Studdard, as well as Clay Aiken and Kimberley Locke, who came in second and third."

  • Nothing here yet

CDD supports:

Bubel Aiken Foundation GoodSearch for TBAF UNICEF