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Latest News From CDD

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What's Hot From Spamalot 3/29


We start off "What's Hot From Spamalot" with some really great news.

  • From linlas at The Clayboard:
    from Susan Davis

    Full page ad for OMWH in the Playbill

    Not everyone has it in there Playbill ....in her group of five, she is the only one that got it.....the Playbill is color....She said the ad is fabulous..........has a pic, says now staring in Spamalot on Broadway...........
    This is great to hear! Not only is that a great place for advertisement of On My Way Here, but its being advertised to people who are enjoying Clay in Spamalot and may just go out and buy the CD.

  • Linlas gives us a funny story from Spamalot:
    They're playing Invisible in the Shubert Lobby right now!!!

    susandavis just called again, she said there is no hint of why no stage door, other than they said he wasn't feeling well.......but she does have a cute story to tell....

    they ate at Angus McIndoe's and the waiter asked what they had seen, they replied "Spamalot"...........and he said, "How was Clay?"

    and then went on to say.......

    "I'll tell you a cute story about Clay.....

    He said he was walking to work one day and ran into Clay in Shubert Alley....going back and forth, back and forth, finally Clay stopped him and said, "can you tell me where ........the STAGE DooR is????" He said it was his first day and he couldn't find the stage door.....or what a difference a few months makes!!!!!
  • From Tiggy52winkle (all fan reports are from The Clayboard):
    Got a very excited phone call from ClaysFayevorite and Irishbookgal at intermission. They hadn't seen the show since opening weekend and it was so much fun to hear them raving about Clay's performance. They said they thought the audience was mostly NJUs and they were giving applause to the whole cast not really squealing when Clay appeared. They heard some people around them saying that they were surprised that Clay was in the show. Someone said they remembered him from AI. Another person told them how many parts Clay plays in the show and the person couldn't believe it and thought some of them must be recorded. They sure don't know our Clay and his superior multi-tasking abilities! LOL! The orchestra looked full and the mezzanine is FULL of men! She said you could count the few women who were up there. Clay did the line about the 5 oz. bird not being able to carry a 1 lb. coconut in a sing song voice that was so cute. Such a difference from the first shows that they remember. Sue kept saying how different everything was, that opening weekend you could almost see the wheels turning when he was trying to remember everything but now he just does it and OWNS the part. He gave a big deep knee bend when he looked under the gal's skirt! He slapped his butt so hard in the Camelot scene that they heard it all the way up in the mezzanine!!! They loved the part where Clay touches the big wooden rabbit and bends and makes over it and were so impressed with the facial expressions that he is using. She thought that Gallahad was very good and enunciated very well. Clay is screaming much louder in the "Run Away" scence than they remembered. Irishbookgal got on the phone briefly to gush but she said she thinks she's in the Aiken fog! Bless their hearts! They were in the mezzanine today....tonight the front row will kill them for sure! She'll call after the show so stay tuned....
  • And here's an after show report relayed from Tiggy52winkle:
    Okay, here are details from after the show from ClaysFayevorite (sorry the recaps are close together; I had to get home from the mall to post the intermission report and she called not long after I got in the door with the next report. She will be calling me again tonight at intermission and after the show and tomorrow as well) I think CF was even more wound up with this call! She said they were laughing at her coming out of the show because she was scribbling notes. Gotta remember all the DETAILS!!!

    Anyway, Clay was JUST AMAZING!!! They just can't believe how much he has changed his roles from that first weekend. She's glad that they have the matinee to compare the evening performance to. It just flies by and you can't take everything in. You have to see it more than once. She thought in the first shows that when Clay was talking to Tim the Enchanter about his name being scary, that he did so more fearfully. Now he says it making fun of Tim and laughing more. The "soiling of the pants" really made an impression! He grabbed his butt and turned and looked at the audience and turned back around so that there was no doubt in anyone's mind what he had done. (just in case they were thinking, Did he just mess his pants???) Too funny! Again she mentioned that they heard that butt slap in the Camelot scene all the way up into the mezzanine. She thinks a couple of times she might have let out a quiet OMG!!! She liked the slo-mo horse but wait till she sees it from the front row tonight! Can't wait to hear her take on it as opposed to this afternoon from the mezzanine. It really is KILLER when he's right in your face with that tunic riding up his gorgeous thighs! Gahhhhhhh!!!! She loved how he is kind of cheering for himself and drinking in the audience's applause after his big number. It really is so cute and something he's just put in lately. Hey, CF, it happens to the best of us!!! He did a MAJOR tunic flip before sitting down at the piano and all she could see was his butt (seems to be a theme now, doesn't it??? We know where CF was lookin'!)

    The guard scene was wonderful and the expressions Clay uses....he is just so into his roles. She loved how he really laughs hysterically about thinking Herbert's father meant that he should guard the other guard. (Clay's laugh really is contagiouns and it just makes you laugh harder because he is) The cow landed right on Patsy and he only had to make a minor adjustment. She misses hearing Patsy say, "That's my favorite part" after Arthur brandishes Excaliber. She didn't realize that that has been out for quite some time now. I miss that, too! Clay didn't do anything special at the end and didn't seem as bouncy as he has been. The barricades were up outside but kind of jutting out, not in the formation they usually are and there were 2 cars parked in Schubert Alley as well. No stage door this afternoon for whatever reason.
  • Here's some great news from Zippy 888 (LUCKY ZIPPY!!):
    I'm back from the matinee show this afternoon for a bit. Want to know what happened? I caught the bridal bouquet! Catching the bouquet was the last thing on my mind, functioning with only less than 3 hours of sleep! It went straight up into the ceiling and came right down into my hands! I squealed and screamed with delight amidst crowd cheers and applause. I waved the bouquet at Hannah during the ALOTBSOL sing-a-long and she did a finger wave back at me and acknowledged my bouquet wave. I saw Clay smile when I was waving the bouquet in the air!!

    In summary, I haven't seen Clay for a month and already he's spicing things up and making it fresh for all of us. Slo-Mo - was done really low with lots of tongue. Tunic was flipped real high that led to lots of screams from Clayfans. The drunken guard scene was so good! He has such good comedic timing. For me, Clay in the YWSIB song - he's perfected it! I love it when he says "Papa, can you hear me!?!" Then, he breaks out into the brightest, most brilliant smile ever! His stomping during the song just adds excitement to the whole thing.

    Barricades were up and then came down. Security said Clay wasn't coming out. Too bad. It was quite windy out this afternoon.
  • From Martyalice:
    If you have not been to Spamalot yet, prepare to laugh your head off. I felt sorry for the Claymate next to me because I giggled with laughter through the whole thing.

    Clay is sooooo adorable and as many have said he just lights up the stage. Tom is super in his part as well and for that matter the entire cast does a terrific job. I was in the third row and enjoyed the up close and personal feeling next to the players. I did get one of the lucky playbills with the picture promo on the new CD. I am going again tomorrow and cant wait to see it again. The music, the comedy, the cast makes for such an enjoyable experience....never boring that's for sure. One funny thing happened, I was sitting in my seat and a lady came and sat down next to me. We both looked at each other and said "I think I know you". It turns out we live very close to each other in California and had been to many of the same Clay related events. What a small world; I really enjoyed sharing the show with her...nothing like a fellow enthusiast to make you feel at home. Clay was flipping that tunic around pretty good tonight...oh yeah!! No signing after the matinee tho, boo hoo, maybe tomorrow.
  • Another short report from Tiggy52Winkle:
    Yes!!! Stage door tonight!!! Very chatting, asking people their names and and telling people it was nice to meet them!!! More to follow but it will take me a while to type out the conversation I just had with IBG and CF. Wanted to let you know right away that our man was happy and the crowd outside was large tonight!

And now for a few pictures from the stage door:



WABC Highlights Spamalot

It was short, but as promised, WABC highlighted Spamalot in a special "Broadway Backstage: Spring Preview", earlier tonight.

Here is a cap if you missed it:

video

Ace Show Biz Article Includes CD Track Listing


An article about On My Way Here at aceshowbiz.com includes a track listing of the songs on the CD. This is yet another confirmation of the list of songs we will be listening to in just over a month! And check out the picture that they have along with their article. Another gorgeous picture most likely from his photo shoot!

Ace Show Biz, which calls itself "The Ace In Entertainment Zone" also says:

Clay Aiken has unleashed a new promotional picture, which is said be the advanced version of the cover art, for his upcoming and fourth full-length album "On My Way Here". The American Idol runner-up also reveals the track listing that includes a title track and previously revealed track "Ashes".
The list of songs, which can also be found at the CDD article, Breaking News OMWH Tracking Listing, is:

1. On My Way Here
2. Ashes
3. Everything I Don't Need Something About Us
4. Falling
5. Where I Draw The Line
6. The Real Me
7. Weight Of The World
8. As Long As We're Here
9. Sacrificial Love
10. Grace Of God
11. Lover All Alone

BREAKING NEWS: OMWH Tracklisting

This has just come into CDD via one of our visitors. The unconfirmed tracklisting for Clay's new disc, "On My Way Here" is posted below:

1 On My Way Here

2 Ashes

3 Everything I Don't Need

4 Something About Us

5 Falling

6 Where I Draw The Line

7 The Real Me

8 Weight Of The World

9 As Long As We're Here

10 Sacrificial Love

11 Grace Of God

12 Lover All Alone

WABC To Air "Broadway Backstage" Tonight

WABC-TV in New York City will air a special Broadway show, "Broadway Backstage: Spring Preview" tonight from 7:30 to 8 PM. According to Broadway World, Spamalot will be featured:

Monty Python’s SPAMALOT - The Tony Award-winning musical now starring “American Idol” finalist Clay Aiken and Oliver nominee Hannah Waddingham will also be highlighted.

Tidbits 3/29

New photo posted at Quiana's MySpace shows Clay and gang going to Benihana's Japanese restaurant in NYC.
  • Peterborough Examiner - what's on TV -
    - The always entertaining "American Idol Rewind," airing in back-to-back episodes, focuses on season 2, when crooner Clay Aiken and soulful Ruben Studdard battled it out on stage for the title. (CW)
  • Louisville Courier Journal - not sure where this rumor came from -
    Will someone please finish one of these Joplin movies before rumors start flying that Clay Aiken and/or Bucky Covington will be playing the troubled legend?

    Bucky would look mighty nice in a feather boa. Claiken, I'm not so sure.
  • Los Angeles Times - American Idols take on the talk circuit -
    Say you wanted to hire Fantasia Barrino to talk about her "Idol" life and her book, "Life Is Not a Fairy Tale." You could find her on the All-American Talent and Celebrity Network by clicking HERE.

    The site lists hundreds of celebs and numerous other "AI" faves such as Elliot Yamin, Kimberly Caldwell, William Hung, Ruben Studdard, Kelly Clarkson, Camile Velasco, Ryan Starr, George Huff, Justin Guarini, Latoya London, Clay Aiken and Julia Demato.
  • Go Girlfriend highlights the Iowa State Fair -
    Listed in Lonely Planet's, "10000 Places to See Before You Die," the Iowa State Fair celebrated their 150th anniversary in August 2004. They still hold hog- and husband-calling contests, a 500-pound butter cow, and needlepoint and vegetable contests. But don't discount it as all kitschy. Garth Brooks, Kid Rock and Clay Aiken are just a few of the big-name performers who grace the stage, and there are more than 900 food categories to chomp your way through.
  • Albany Times Union - American Idol taking the world by storm -
    No, once you grab that microphone and the lyrics pop on the screen, the music starts and you turn into an "American Idol" star like Clay Aiken or Fantasia Barrino, complete with the theatrics and melodramatic singing. Being on stage can do this to the best of us.
CDD Blogwatch

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fanclub Makes OMWH Official


The official fanclub has confirmed all the details surrounding Clay's new album, "On My Way Here", in a news posting on the public side of the website.

Only 39 days to go!

Highlights, Photos from Golfing For Inclusion on TBAF Website


The Bubel Aiken Foundation website has several photos and a detailed recap of their January 7, 2008 Golfing for Inclusion fundraiser held in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The Bubel/Aiken Foundation held its first annual golf tournament, Golfing for Inclusion on January 7, 2008 at Mirasol Country Club. The event was co-hosted by Clay Aiken and PGA professional Wayne Player.

Supporters of TBAF played golf and participated in a post-golf celebration to benefit the Foundation's mission of inclusion for children with disabilities.
Full details can be seen at the TBAF website.

Tidbits 3/27

  • Christian Music Today has a nice blurb about "On My Way Here" -
    On May 6, American Idol finalist Clay Aiken will issue On My Way Here, his first album of original studio material since 2003's Measure of a Man. According to Billboard, details about the album are scarce other than it was produced by Kipper (Sting, Chris Botti) and that the songs "Ashes" and "On My Way Here" are expected to appear on the new set. Aiken is expected to be hitting the road beginning in July, including appearances on The View, Good Morning America, and other programs on the morning-show circuit.
  • Lycos 50 PR courtesy FOX Business - Clay #6 on this week's Lycos50
  • Some American Idol mentions - AI7 cut down to 9 contestants last night -
    • Sign On San Diego -
      “American Idol” pits singers against one another in a months-long competition. Past winners including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood have gone on to music stardom, as have some runnersup like Clay Aiken.
    • Ez-Tracks -
      The telecast also featured a performance by "Idol" also-ran Kimberley Locke, who came in third behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken in season two.
    • OG Paper, Go Erie / AP Wire -
      Wednesday's show also featured a performance by "American Idol" also-ran Kimberley Locke, who placed third behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken in the second season of the show.
    • Reality Wanted -
      Although I like Ruben Studdard, he wasn’t my number one choice to win that season. It was Clay Aiken I was rooting for. My number two choice was Kimberly Locke who’s CD I purchased when it came out after the season was over.
    • TV Fodder -
      After a brief interlude with the Ford music video, Ryan immediately started up again and brought a nervous David Archuleta out to see his adoring public. I would have been blindsided if somehow this kid landed in the Bottom Three. Just listen to that crowd; he already has a devoted fan base. And since Clay Aiken has the Claymates, it’s only fitting that David’s fans have a proper name. I say we call them the Archulunatics.
    • TV Squad -
      Talk about Clay Aiken's BFF Kimberly Locke coming back to the Idol stage. KIMBERLY LOCKE - "Fall"
      She came in third behind the one-two juggernaut punch of Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken back in Season 2. She found success after the show recording a debut album and enjoying a modest hit with the single "8th World Wonder."
  • Sound Generator - British "X-Factor" winner Leona Lewis hits #1 in America -
    Lewis follows a long line of singers graduating from TV singing contests to the top of the Billboard singles chart, with American Idol winners Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken among others all managing the feat.
  • Heckler Spray - random mention in ESPY awards article -
    Well, we may be in luck because Justin Timberlake is slated to host the 16th annual ESPY awards this year on ESPN. It was a tough decision for the folks at ESPN, but this year clearly wasn’t the right time Clay Aiken. Go, JT!
CDD Blogwatch

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Official Fanclub Store Having a Sale

There are some great deals at the official fanclub store right now. It's a great time, as always, to stock up on Clay goodies. This notice was posted on the OFC's public news page:

03/26/08

Head on over to the Store to see a big sale on all featured items!

New Photo Alert: THUD!


I don't think this post requires any write-up. Pure perfection. New RCA press photo courtesy AOL PopEater.

Album News Hits Insider, ET



News of Clay's new album, "On My Way Here", has hit The Insider and Entertainment Tonight's respective websites. The two sister infotainment shows are running identical articles on their websites about the new disc, due out in May:
Let the countdown begin! In less than two months -- May 6 to be exact -- CLAY AIKEN will release his new album, reports Billboard.

The disc, titled On My Way Here, will mark Clay's first album of entirely new material since 2003's No.1 smash Measure of a Man. While details are limited, it will likely include the title track and a tune called "Ashes."

What's more, Clay is getting ready to hit the road in July for a U.S. tour.

Meanwhile, he is currently entertaining audiences in the Broadway hit Spamalot.
The album is also being featured on Pause & Play, a well-known music industry website listing upcoming CD releases:

OK! Magazine: "Ashes" to be Lead Single

OK! Magazine is reporting "Ashes", an up-tempo song, will be the lead single for Clay's new album "On My Way Here". This is unofficial, and has not been confirmed by RCA.

The album titled On My Way Here will see the light of day on May 6 (19 Recordings/RCA) with a tentative lead single called "Ashes." A tour should follow this summer in July.

AOL Webisode Promotes New Album




AOL has put out a 1 minute, 23 seconds "webisode" promoting Clay's new album, "On My Way Here", hitting stores on May 6. You can check out the video at AOL Music, or play it in the media player below. The clip is an interview and in-studio tour with Clay, focusing largely on his Grammy award winning producer, Kipper.



Tidbits 3/26

  • The Celebrity Cafe - Clay to release new album in the fall -
    “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken, to release his second original studio album, “On My Way Here.”

    Reuters reports that after starring in Broadway hit Spamalot, American Idol runner-up, Clay Aiken, will return with his first original studio album since his 2003 debut, Measure of a Man.

    Aiken’s album -- featuring all new material -- is scheduled for release on May 6 via 19 Recordings/RCA. According to reports, On My Way Here will be produced by Kipper, a U.K. producer best known for his work on Sting's Brand New Day album.

    Aiken stated: On My Way Here will include "stuff that I'd imagine 90 percent of people have not heard."
  • DigTriad.com - big names visit Greensboro Coliseum over the years - "The coliseum's hosted big names from Elvis Presley to Clay Aiken over the years."
  • Daniel Island News - Quiana Parler article -
    On Friday, April 4th Quiana Parler and Friends featuring Dudley Birch will kick off the series at Children’s Park along the Wando River. This fantastic nine-piece band features male and female vocals with a three-piece horn section. A previous contestant on American Idol, Quiana has toured with Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken, and has opened for a variety of well-known jazz and R&B artists.
  • Blogcritics - American Idol commentary - "Fantasia and Clay Aiken had to go to Broadway to keep their careers afloat. Even Kelly Clarkson is giving every indication that her career may have already peaked (take note, Carrie Underwood)."
  • Suburbarazzi - Kimberley Locke talks about Clay in interview ahead of AI appearance tonight -
    Why would a celebrity choose North Salem as a place to live and open a restaurant? What’s a downside to living with Clay Aiken? And what does it feel like to know you’ll be singing your new song on the “American Idol” stage during this week’s results show?
CDD Blogwatch
  • Clay blogosphere is abuzz with excitement over the new CD:
    • Anew and Afresh -
      It's hard to believe I'll have Clay Aiken's new CD, On My Way Here, in my hot little hands in only forty-one days. THIS is the album I've been waiting for, I think... original material, produced by a Grammy award winner (Kipper), and something that Clay himself seemingly had more control over, rather than music mandated by the record label, a leftover consequence of being on American Idol.
    • Carolina On My Mind -
      The escalation of new video, photo, and media promotions for Clay Aiken's upcoming CD, On My Way Here, turned a normal spring day into Christmas morning on many fan message boards Tuesday, March 25.

      "On My Way Here" is definitely on its way!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Your YouTube BAF Video Could Raise Funds For The Bubel Aiken Foundation

Some of you have spent hours and hours fine-tuning your skills at making wonderful Clay Aiken videos. You have it down to a fine art. Well, now you can use those skills to create a video of The Bubel Aiken Foundation and in so doing win $100 for them.

Aron Hall has asked us to spread the word about this Goodsearch fundraising opportunity. At YouTube's website, you are asked: "WHO DO YOU GOODSEARCH FOR? Join our contest to win a chance to have your video highlighting your favorite nonprofit seen by millions of people (and a $100 donation to that cause)". All you have to do is create a video that answers this question and shows all the reasons why you care about your charity.

So all you montage makers out there. Get your creative thinking caps on and put together your very best work. Then upload it to YouTube. Rules to the contest are below, as well as at YouTube's site.

Join our contest to win a chance to have your video highlighting your favorite nonprofit seen by millions of people (and a $100 donation to that cause)
Join our contest to win a chance to have your video highlighting your favorite nonprofit seen by millions of people (and a $100 donation to that cause)

We're on a mission to have thousands of videos created to raise awareness and support for all of the nonprofits working to make this world a better place!

Create a video that answers the question "Who do you GoodSearch for?" and highlights the cause you care about most.

Each week a winning video will be chosen and the organization featured in the video will receive a $100 donation. The winning video will also be featured on the GoodSearch homepage, exposing it to thousands of people who care about doing good!

Video Guidelines...

1. Video should highlight a specific non-profit organization or school.
2. Videos must be titled "I GoodSearch for (insert the name of your chosen charity)"
3. Videos must end with you saying or displaying "I GoodSearch for (insert the name of your chosen charity)"

How to submit a video

1. Create your video and upload it on YouTube.
2. Join the GoodSearch contest group and submit your video to the group.

Video Prizes

1. Each week the top video will be featured in on the GoodSearch homepage.
2. GoodSearch will donate $100 to the organization featured in the winning video.

For more official contest rules, please click on the following link.
http://www.goodsearch.com/YouTubeContest.aspx

RCA's Great Clay Biography Talks of "On My Way Here"

RCA/19 Entertainment has put out a fantastic article/biography about Clay and his upcoming CD, On My Way Here.

The album, which takes its title from the song "On My Way Here" written by Ryan "Alias" Tedder, was a favorite of both Clay and his executive producer, Jaymes Foster. The song talks of "the lessons we learn while growing up" and "struck such a deep chord with Aiken that it wound up inspiring the theme (and title) of his new collection", says the article.

The article goes on to tell of the many achievements Clay has had over the last five years both in the music industry and through his many charitable endeavors.

It is especially touching to hear what Clay has to say about a ballad he will sing on the CD called "The Real Me", written by Natalie Grant. According to Clay, it is "a poignant story about the experience of being in the public eye. 'The song really spoke to me about the necessity of having someone in your life who knows you and doesn’t really care about the fact that you’re a celebrity,'."

You can find the album on RCA's website, along with an amazing high-resolution picture of the photo on the CD cover.

The CD will be released on Tuesday, May 6. Clay's Daily Double is counting down the seconds until May 6 on our home page.

Give the article a hit at RCA's website and check it out there. However, we are printing out the article below as well. Its definitely a must read! (Pictures added in the article by CDD)

CLAY AIKEN

On My Way Here

When Clay Aiken and his executive producer Jaymes Foster began the search for songs to record for Aiken’s first album of original material since his 2003 chart-topping debut Measure of A Man, they both fell in love with a song written by OneRepublic frontman Ryan “Alias” Tedder called “On My Way Here.” The message of the lyrics — how the lessons we learn while growing up shape us into who we become as adults — struck such a deep chord with Aiken that it wound up inspiring the theme (and title) of his new collection.

“I thought if we could find songs along those lines, that deal with my life over the past five years and what I’ve learned from my experiences, it would be a great concept for an album,” Aiken says. “Since I got into this business, I’ve learned so much about myself and about life and the world. I’m nowhere near an expert, but this album has taken on the form of addressing how far I’ve come in those five years and how I feel like I’ve found myself.”

As Aiken’s millions of devoted fans around the world already know, it’s been a whirlwind journey. Since shooting to stardom on the second season of American Idol, the 29-year-old Raleigh, NC native with the powerhouse voice has become an international pop phenomenon who has sold six million copies of his three best-selling albums: the double-platinum Measure of A Man, 2004’s holiday CD Merry Christmas With Love (which went platinum within six weeks of its release), and the gold-certified A Thousand Different Ways — a 2006 collection of 10 covers and four originals that earned Aiken the distinction of being the fourth artist ever to have his first three albums debut in the Top 5 on the Billboard chart. In addition, Aiken has launched eight live tours, made the New York Times best-seller list by co-authoring the inspirational memoir Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music In Your Life, executive produced and starred in his first TV special, A Clay Aiken Christmas, and won several American Music and Billboard Music Awards. In January 2008, Aiken made his Broadway debut in the role of Sir Robin in the Tony Award-winning musical Monty Python’s Spamalot.

If that weren’t enough, Aiken also donated much of his time to charity, performing at dozens of concert benefits for causes he cares about. The creator of the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, which promotes and funds educational and recreational programs for children with special needs, the singer has traveled the world as a National Ambassador for UNICEF. On its behalf, Aiken has visited tsunami victims in Indonesia, villages in Uganda, classrooms and health centers in Afghanistan, and spent this past Christmas in Mexico with children affected by recent floods.

That’s a lot of life experience to cover in one album. “It is,” Aiken admits, “that’s why the lyrics really had to matter this time around. It’s the first time I’m singing about things that mean something to me.” Which is not to say that every song is about something that actually happened to the star. “What’s powerful about a lot of the new songs is that they can mean different things to different people,” he says. “It was really important to me that they be interpretable in all kinds of ways, so as not to cloud someone’s ability to find their own meaning in them.” One example of this is the evocative ballad “The Real Me,” written by singer/songwriter Natalie Grant, which is a poignant story about the experience of being in the public eye. “The song really spoke to me about the necessity of having someone in your life who knows you and doesn’t really care about the fact that you’re a celebrity,” Aiken says.

Another track that means a lot to Aiken is “As Long as We’re Here,” a moving ballad that Aiken chose from a selection of demos he had brought with him to listen to on the plane during a UNICEF visit to Indonesia. “Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was flying over a tsunami-stricken country, but the lyrics struck me as very uplifting,” he says. “They’re about not waiting until it’s too late to tell the people you love that you care about them.” Turns out the song had also resonated with Jaymes Foster, who brought it to Aiken not knowing that he had already fallen in love with it. “Out of literally tens of thousands of demos we were sent, she had chosen the same one that I had so strongly identified with, so the song is a great connector between Jaymes and me. We’ve become really great friends, and it’s important that it’s part of the album.”

Though he’s known for his signature ballads, Aiken chose to open On My Way Here with an up-tempo, pop-rock tune, “Ashes,” which begins with the following lyric: “Someone told me what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger / Sets you free from all that held you down.” “That’s a great opening line for an album,” Aiken says. “My mom used to say that if things come easy they’re not worth having; that there can’t be a sunrise with a night. So, to me, that song is about how the most important lessons I’ve learned in my life have come out of less-than-rosy experiences, and that I’m stronger because of them.”

To musically represent the album’s lyrical theme, Aiken and Foster enlisted Grammy-Award winning British songwriter and producer Kipper, who has worked with Sting, Chris Botti, and Julia Fordham, marking the first time Aiken has recorded an entire album with one producer. “It’s made for a very collaborative environment in the studio,” Aiken says. “Every song has been scrutinized by Jaymes, Kipper, and me to make sure it’s exactly what we wanted it to be.”

It’s that commitment that drives everything Aiken does, even if it means recording an album by day and starring in a Broadway show by night. “I guess I’m a glutton for punishment,” he says with a laugh. “It’s a lot of work, but I’ve had a great time. Doing both the album and Spamalot at once has kind of been like having two families. I have a family at the theater and we are a family group working on the album in the studio. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Tidbits 3/25

  • Reality TV World - Clay releasing new album in May -
    The American Idol second-season runner-up's fourth album -- "On My Way Here" -- is scheduled to drop May 6 via 19 Recordings/RCA, Billboard confirmed Friday.

    With his role of Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot at the Shubert Theatre scheduled to conclude May 4, Aiken had previously stated he was "hoping" the album would be out May 6.

    "On My Way Here" is being produced by Kipper, a U.K.-based producer best known for working on Sting's Grammy-award winning "Brand New Day" album.
  • OK! Magazine - new album from Clay -
    Now that Clay Aiken will be wrapping up his run on Broadway in Spamalot, the American Idol runner up will release his first album of original material since 2003.

    The album titled On My Way Here will see the light of day on May 6 (19 Recordings/RCA) with a tentative lead single called "Ashes." A tour should follow this summer in July.

    His debut album Measure of a Man deubted at number 1 in 2003. He has also released a holiday album Merry Christmas with Love and a covers album A Thousand Different Ways.
  • Reuters via Billboard - Clay heads "here" on new album -
    NEW YORK (Billboard) - Just as his stint starring in the Broadway hit "Spamalot" concludes, "American Idol" veteran Clay Aiken will return with his first album of entirely new material since 2003's "Measure of a Man."

    "On My Way Here," due May 6 via 19 Recordings/RCA, will likely include the title track and a song called "Ashes," but no other details about the project have yet been made available.
CDD Blogwatch
  • Chexxxy's Pearls has two posts on Clay's "transformation":
  • Anew & Afresh - new Clay Aiken CD cover art -
    I love his look here -- the hair, the clothes. I'm glad to see what's likely the New York skyline in the background. Clay fits in NYC very well. Somehow NYC seems more accepting of truly talented people who might not fit the cookie cutter mold.

    Here's hoping the great cover is indicative of the music inside. As it seems Clay has had a great deal more creative control over this album, I think it will be.

Monday, March 24, 2008

We're Back On Top: "On My Way Here" Music Bestseller at Amazon.com


A job well done, Claymates! Clay's new CD, "On My Way Here", is back at #1 on Amazon.com's music bestsellers list. Definitely that gorgeous cover that sent sales skyrocketing, if you ask me.

Pre-order at Amazon.com today!

What's Hot From Spamalot


Today is "Monday Off" for the Spamalot cast, but somehow we here at Clay's Daily Double manage to still find plenty of hot stuff to report about. Amazing, isn't it!!

I have a report from DianaGreenEyes at The Clayboard, as well as some really great pictures she took at the Stage Door.

From DianaGreen Eyes:

It seemed Clay came out (from the stage door) a little later than normal, still looking absolutely gorgeous (I'm always amazed at how really big he is ... sigh), but a tad subdued ... I do believe he was hurting and limping a bit. The only time he really got animated was when he talked to the little girl next to me ... calling her darlin' ... and then later when he was several people over the little girl was calling him to come back and he heard her and said something like "what ya need darlin'" .. and then he came back over to her and signed another Playbil for her.I said something to Clay too, and I did get a grin of acknowledgment, but no comment. At one point ... the crowd starting pushing on the barriers and Clay stepped back and made them stop (Brave Brave Sir Clay)

The evening show was great and no one could really tell that Clay was hurting unless you knew it already. I was on the left up close ... which is not the best place to be, except when Clay comes over to that side and then ... W..W. I was able to notice a couple things from that side I normally miss too .. Like guard 2 really cracking up at Clay's guard 1 ... and Clay yelling in a high pitched voice "wait for me wait for me" ... as he ran off stage in the runaway scene. The bottle dance seems to be getting better and better ... love the stomp and shimmy ... very different from when I saw the show opening night.
Check out Diana's first two pictures below and you can see Clay's reaction to the pushing by people behind the barricade. Thankfully he stayed to sign more autographs, but of course, there's never a guarantee of that when the crowd begins to push. As the crowds get larger, everyone needs to remain calmer so it doesn't get out of hand.


Tidbits 3/24

  • Orlando Sentinel reviews Spamalot -
    The show became known as the nucleus of all things Python -- the annoying French people, the killer rabbits, the Knights Who Say Ni!

    On Broadway, it has also become a hotbed of creative casting. As King Arthur, actor Tim Curry was succeeded by, among various Broadway notables, Simon Russell Beale, the reigning king of high-toned British theater. (People said he was a riot.) And David Hyde Pierce, who played Sir Robin, handed down his mantle to Clay Aiken.
  • AZCentral.com - Clay Aiken ready to launch new album -
    Clay Aiken new CD arrives in May
    Billboard.com
    Mar. 24, 2008 03:20 PM
    NEW YORK - Just as his stint starring in the Broadway hit "Spamalot" concludes, Clay Aiken will return with his first album of entirely new material since 2003's "Measure of a Man."

    Due May 6, Aiken's "On My Way Here" was produced by Kipper, best known for his work with Sting and Chris Botti. The album will likely include the title track and a song called "Ashes," but no other details about the project have yet been made available.
  • Access Atlanta - Claymates, rejoyce! New album from Clay dropping in May -
    * And yes, here’s the new Clay Aiken cover. His album “On My Way Here” is out May 6. Here’s modest info from Billboard.com, Claymates!:

    Aiken’s “On My Way Here” was produced by Kipper, best known for his work with Sting and Chris Botti. The album will likely include the title track and a song called “Ashes,” but no other details about the project have yet been made available.

    Let’s just hope he doesn’t rely too much on covers and focuses on some original stuff to build his own portfolio.
  • AntiMusic - Clay to release new album in May -
    American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken will soon be able to judge the measure of his fans devotion when he releases his first album consisting of all new material in five years. Who are we kidding? If we know anything about Aiken's rabid fans, then we know that the five year wait has probably only made them more hungry for new material from the pop star.

    Very few details about the effort are known, but according to reports, the new album titled, "On My Way Here," is set to hit stores on May 6th and is being produced by Kipper (Sting and Chris Botti). The CD will also reportedly include the title track and a song called "Ashes".
  • Broadway.com - Bradley Dean ready to join Spamalot -
    Dean joins a cast that includes Jonathan Hadary, Hannah Waddingham, Clay Aiken, Tom Deckman, Rick Holmes, David Hibbard and Brad Oscar.
  • Manchester Evening News - Kelly Clarkson ready to make fourth album, as Clay readies fourth album for May release -
    She is, in fact, the first Idol contestant to make it this far (season two runner-up, Clay Aiken's `fourth' was in fact a four-track EP of Christmas songs) and is over two million sales clear of her nearest Idol rival, season four winner Carrie Underwood.
  • Calgary Sun - stars flock to TV sitcoms -
    Paris Hilton (pre-incarceration) marked time on Veronica Mars, The O.C. and George Lopez; American Idol runnerup Clay Aiken appeared on Scrubs, and late last summer Britney's ex, Kevin Federline, made some chat room waves of his own after it was announced he landed a recurring role on One Tree Hill.
  • American Idol commentary mentions Clay:
    • Yahoo! Music - American Idol looking to re-instate the "wildcard"? Well, kinda-
      Yes, the last-gasp policy that once rescued Clay Aiken from premature obscurity may now save another gone-too-soon singer. See, according to rampant messageboard postings across this great Interweb of ours, five semi-finalists who failed to make the top 10 will return to the American Idol stage for the April 9th Idol Gives Back charity special....on which they will battle for a wild-card slot on this summer's American Idol concert tour!
    • Chicago Tribune - David Archuleta a favorite to win AI-
      David Archuleta

      This baby-faced, 17-year-old singer is cuter than a basket of puppies — puppies made of rainbows! Whether or not he wins, he could be the next Clay Aiken — a talented belter with a rabid fan base. But as the judges have said, he needs to take a few risks and venture outside his sweet-and-safe comfort zone. How about trying something just a little more rock ’n’ roll?
    • TV Envy -
      American Idol (FOX, 9pm): ”Kimberley Locke performs ‘Fall’ and one of the 10 is sent home.” I just recently saw Locke diss Clay Aiken on Perez Hilton’s show. I’m liking her more and more every day.
    • The New York Observer - Kimberley Locke on American Idol this Wednesday-
      Kimberley Locke’s on Idol (Fox, 9 p.m.). Who’s Kimberley Locke? She’s the one who came in third place behind Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard in the 2003 incarnation of the show. Oh, right … Nope, still nothing.
CDD Blogwatch
  • Nothing here today


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