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Clay Aiken (1978)

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  Summary  

Clayton Holmes "Clay" Aiken (né Grissom; born November 30, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, actor, producer and author who began his rise to fame on the second season of the television program American Idol in 2003. RCA Records offered him a recording contract, and his multi-platinum debut album Measure of a Man was released in October 2003. He released four more albums on the RCA label: Merry Christmas with Love , A Thousand Different Ways , and the Christmas EP, All is Well . His fourth studio album (the first album of original material since 2003's Measure of a Man), On My Way Here was released on May 6, 2008.

After the release of On My Way Here, Aiken left RCA and later signed with Decca Records. His first album with Decca, Tried and True, was released June 1, 2010.

In the years following his American Idol appearance, Aiken has launched nine tours, authored a New York Times best-selling book Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life with Allison Glock, and was the executive producer for a 2004 televised Christmas special, A Clay Aiken Christmas. He has been a frequent talk show guest, particularly on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live. He appeared as a guest star on Scrubs and participated in comedy skits on various shows.

Aiken created the National Inclusion Project in 2003, accepted a UNICEF ambassadorship in 2004, and in 2006 was appointed for a two-year term to the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Aiken made his Broadway debut playing the role of Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot in January 2008. His run ended in May but he rejoined the cast as Sir Robin in September and remained through January 4, 2009.

  Biography  

 personal life
Clay Aiken was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a young boy, Aiken sang in the Raleigh Boychoir, and as a teenager, he sang in school choirs, church choir, musicals and local theatre productions. After high school, he sang lead with a local band, Just By Chance, cohosting and performing with the band at "Just by Chance and Friends" shows in Dunn, North Carolina. He was also MC and performer at the Johnston Community College Country Showcase in Smithfield, and at the North Carolina Music Connection and Hometown Music Connection shows in Garner, and Benson. He performed the national anthem numerous times for the Raleigh IceCaps and the Carolina Hurricanes hockey teams, and performed it at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game at the RBC Center in Raleigh.

Three demo albums of Aiken's vocals were created before American Idol with the aid of studio time given as a birthday gift by his mother: a cassette called Look What Love Has Done , a cassette and CD entitled Redefined , and a CD that combined some songs from each of the previous demos: "Look What Love Has Done, Vol 2" . Estranged from his birth father Vernon Grissom and with his mother's and grandfather Alvis Aiken's permission, at the age of 19 he legally changed his surname from Grissom to his mother Faye's maiden name, Aiken.

Aiken attended Raleigh's Leesville Road High School and took courses at Campbell University before enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He found his interest in special education while directing YMCA children's camps as a teenager, and at age 19, he served as a substitute teacher for a classroom of students with autism at Brentwood Elementary School in Raleigh. While attending college in Charlotte, he took a part-time job as an assistant to a boy with autism, and it was this child's mother, Diane Bubel, who urged him to audition for American Idol. Although his American Idol activities temporarily delayed his academic pursuits, Aiken completed his course work while on tour and graduated with a bachelor's degree in special education in December 2003.

On August 8, 2008, Aiken announced, on his personal blog, the birth of his son in North Carolina: "My dear friend, Jaymes, and I are so excited to announce the birth of Parker Foster Aiken." The child's mother, Jaymes Foster, is the sister of record producer David Foster and the executive producer of Aiken's last three albums on the RCA label. "The little man is healthy, happy, and as loud as his daddy," Aiken wrote. "Mama Jaymes is doing quite well also." Aiken said in his book, Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, that "It's a Southern tradition to be given your first name from your grandmama's maiden name." Aiken's middle name came from his paternal grandmother's maiden name; using instead the married surnames of their mothers, he and Foster followed that tradition in choosing their son's name.

After several years of public speculation, Aiken disclosed that he is gay in a September 2008 interview with People magazine. In April 2009, Aiken was honored by the Family Equality Council advocacy group at its annual benefit dinner in New York City.

On November 18, 2010, Clay went to Washington, D.C. at a Capitol Hill briefing talking about anti-gay bullying.

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  Played TV shows  

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  Albums 

  Tracks  

Name Duration Released
It's Only Make Believe 03:13 2010
Moon River 04:11 2010
Can't Take My Eyes off You 03:18 2010
There's a Kind of Hush 03:00 2010
Crying 04:05 2010
Suspicious Minds 03:49 2010
Unchained Melody 04:51 2010
It's Impossible 04:02 2010
Mack the Knife 03:21 2010
Misty 04:18 2010
On the Wings of Love 00:00 2009
The Real Me 00:00 2008
Where I Draw the Line 00:00 2008
Falling 00:00 2008
Something About Us 00:00 2008
Lover All Alone 00:00 2008
Everything I Don't Need 00:00 2008
Grace of God 00:00 2008
Ashes 00:00 2008
Sacrificial Love 00:00 2008
On My Way Here 00:00 2008
As Long as We're Here 00:00 2008
Weight of the World 00:00 2008
Right Here Waiting 00:00 2006
Because You Loved Me 00:00 2006
I Do It for You 00:00 2006
A Thousand Days 00:00 2006
When I See You Smile 00:00 2006
Broken Wings 00:00 2006
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word 00:00 2006
Everything I Have 00:00 2006
Everytime You Go Away 00:00 2006
Here You Come Again 00:00 2006
Without You 00:00 2006
These Open Arms 00:00 2006
Lonely No More 00:00 2006
I Want to Know What Love Is 00:00 2006
Solitaire 00:00 2004
The Way 04:06 14/10/2003
Measure of a Man 03:58 14/10/2003
I Will Carry You 03:44 14/10/2003
Perfect Day 03:52 14/10/2003
Invisible 04:03 14/10/2003
This Is the Night 03:32 14/10/2003
I Survived You 03:34 14/10/2003
Shine 04:09 14/10/2003
Run to Me 03:33 14/10/2003
No More Sad Songs 04:01 14/10/2003
When You Say You Love Me 04:07 14/10/2003
Touch 03:51 14/10/2003
Bridge over Troubled Water 00:00 2003
Joy to the World 00:00
O Come O Come Emmanuel 00:00
Mary, Did You Know? 00:00
Christmas Waltz 00:00
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 00:00
All Is Well 00:00
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing 00:00
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? 00:00
Silent Night 00:00
Sleigh Ride 00:00
Winter Wonderland 00:00
Merry Christmas with Love 00:00
O Holy Night 00:00
Don't Save It All for Christmas Day 00:00
The Christmas Song 00:00
My Grown-Up Christmas List 00:00

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Clay Aiken", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.