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Latest News From CDD

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Clay Leaves RCA

It's finally been confirmed. Clay has left RCA Records. Here's more information from

The rumors started when his likeness was removed from his record's Web site and now Clay Aiken is setting the record straight: the former American Idol has parted ways with RCA Records, Aiken's rep has confirmed exclusively to PEOPLE.

"We were unable to come to terms in a recent contract negotiation, and decided that it was best to move on," the rep, Cindi Berger, said Friday.

The buzz about Aiken's exit was fueled earlier this week when his picture disappeared online and Billboard, citing unnamed sources, reported Friday that Aiken, 30, had been dropped by the label.

According to Billboard, Aiken’s 2008 album “On My Way Here” sold just 159,000 copies in the U.S., compared to his 2003 debut album, “Measure of a Man,” which sold 2.78 million copies.

Aiken ended a stint in January in the Broadway run of Monty Python’s Spamalot, and told PEOPLE in December that he looked forward to returning to his native North Carolina with his son Parker, born Aug. 8, following the show. "I want to spend time with Parker," Aiken said. "He's still uber-dependent. I'm ready for him to start talking. I'm ready for a little action!"

Aiken also said he was looking forward to some downtime: "We'll take a little bit of time, we're not quitting or anything, we're just going to take it slow for a month or so and recollect once I get back," he said. "I may never have any free time once Parker starts walking and talking!"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Celebrity Educational Activism: Spotlight on Clay Aiken


These are difficult times for K–12 education, with the economy and state budget cuts jeopardizing what were already severely compromised programs. Although active parent communities can help keep some offerings afloat, few have the financial resources to effect change on a larger scale.

Many celebrities, however, include education in their philanthropic activism. A relatively recent newcomer to this arena is former American Idol singer Clay Aiken, who has been unusually active in furthering educational missions. As he explains on his website, "My music career has allowed me to do the same thing I was doing before—work with kids. It has just given me a bigger stage, so I can enact change on a grander scale."

Before Idol, Aiken was pursuing a degree in special education and tutored a boy with autism. After successfully launching his singing career, Aiken quickly formed the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, which "serves to bridge the gap that exists between young people with special needs and the world around them" through inclusion and other programs. The foundation has been awarded grants to "create, test and launch a national model for an innovative K–12 Inclusive Service Learning curriculum which teaches social and life skills to children of all abilities while helping to dispel stereotypes and stigmas about disabilities."

From 2006 to 2008, Aiken served on the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Since 2004, he has also served as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, enabling "all children in the world to obtain a primary education" and helping children who have survived disasters, live in deplorable conditions, and must have education restored quickly. "School provides stability and hope when little else can," Aiken explains on his website. "Just to have someplace safe and meaningful to go can mean so much to children in tragic circumstances."

Through the generosity and activism of celebrities like Clay Aiken, important aspects of and initiatives in education can progress. As our schools continue to struggle with shoestring budgets, assistance from celebrities and others with the wherewithal to effect change and galvanize people into action may increasingly be key to the survival of important educational programs.

Ghosts of American Idol's Past

Fresh from Tyra's Website!

There's a great little Clay mention on her site. Here's a larger version of the picture and the great caption underneath.

"Call him the "Comeback Kid" — Clay was voted off, but America voted him back onto the show. We loved Clay even before there were "Claymates"!"

If you want to go leave a comment or check out the other Idol photos, check out

Tyra's TV Show Website

TBAF Grant to program in Monterey County, California

From The

Grant broadens after-school fun for disabled kids

Staff report • February 10, 2009
A new grant announced today will give disabled kids in Monterey County a chance to learn and play with their peers in an all-inclusive social setting.
The Bubel/Aiken Foundation awarded $15,000 to the Special Kids Crusade to introduce Let's ALL Play, a recreational after-school program being developed in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County.
The grant will allow children with developmental disabilities to enjoy a social recreational experience in an inclusive setting.

The Bubel/Aiken Foundation has been developing its Let's ALL Play Program since 2004.

Today, the Foundation supports 29 recreational programs across the country.

Through the Let's ALL Play Program, the Foundation supports recreational programs in their efforts to implement inclusion by providing a program model, funding, and training.

Let's ALL Play helps bring an inclusive recreational experience to children with disabilities.

It gives children with developmental disabilities the same experience as those without.

Children with disabilities and their peers who are typically developing come together to participate in recreational activities such as games, arts and crafts, physical fitness, science and technology, and more.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Broadway Bears Raises Over $150,000 for BC/EFA; Spamalot Bear Is King

From Playbill News

For the second consecutive year, the Spamalot bear — signed by former "American Idol" finalist and Spamalot star Clay Aiken — raised the most money at the annual Broadway Bears fundraiser, which was held Feb. 15 at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on West 42nd Street.

The Spamalot bear brought in $16,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway Bears XII — hosted by Bryan Batt — earned a total of $152,116 for the charitable organization.

Other top money-makers were Alan Strang with Nugget from Equus ($10,000), Glinda from Wicked ($7,000) and Growltiger from Cats ($5,500). Lorna Kelly was the evening's auctioneer.

The yearly event features a host of teddy bears dressed as famous Broadway characters, many autographed by the original stars who wore the original (human-sized) outfits. Among the bears that were auctioned this year included Sir Thomas More from A Man for All Seasons, Be Our Guest Eggbeater from Beauty and the Beast, Gabriella from Boeing-Boeing, Growltiger from Cats, Nugget with Alan Strang from Equus, Mama Rose "Some People" from Gypsy, Mama Rose "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy, Mimi Marquez from Rent, Sir Robin from Spamalot, Wendla from Spring Awakening, Glinda from Wicked and Elizabeth from Young Frankenstein.

Last year's auction, also hosted by Batt, brought in $127,000 for the charitable organization. The Spamalot bear — signed by Clay Aiken and David Hyde Pierce — was the top-selling bear, bringing in $17,000.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the nation's leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grants making organization. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, BC/EFA raises funds for AIDS-related causes and other critical illnesses across the United States. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised over $150 million dollars for critically needed services for people with AIDS and other serious illnesses.

For more information about Broadway Bears XII or Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, visit the BC/EFA website at or call (212) 840-0770, ext. 268.

CDD supports:

Bubel Aiken Foundation GoodSearch for TBAF UNICEF