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ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  Media & Appearance Archive  |  11/24/03 SPEAKING CANDIDLY ABOUT NEW MUSIC, THE FUTURE AND SIMON
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Author Topic: 11/24/03 SPEAKING CANDIDLY ABOUT NEW MUSIC, THE FUTURE AND SIMON  (Read 2029 times)

Marilyn

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Pamela
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SPEAKING CANDIDLY ABOUT NEW MUSIC, THE FUTURE AND SIMON
« on: November 24, 2003, 09:02:54 PM »   

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Speaking candidly about new music, the future and that pesky Simon Cowell
by Gary Dell'Abate, the award winning producer from the nationally syndicated Howard Stern Show

Nine months ago, he was an unknown hopeful, standing in line with 7,000 other people to audition for a television show. Now, millions of people know his name, his face and most importantly, his voice. Following the success of American Idol and the recent launch of his new CD, "Measure of a Man". Clay Aiken has become a household name. Not bad for a guy who is known as the country's most famous runner-up.

He started out as quite the underdog, auditioning at an American Idol tryout sponsored by the Charlotte, North Carolina FOX affiliate, where the winner would claim the right to be seen at the Atlanta auditions without standing in line. He didn't win, but a friend insisted he go to Atlanta anyway. "I almost didn't go to the one in Atlanta because I got cut in Charlotte, but then I said 'well I guess I have a little more confidence in myself than the producers.'" Aiken says with his trademark smile.

First, he auditioned for an American Idol producer. He intended to sing Heatwave's "Always and Forever," but when he opened his mouth, out came the theme song to a TV hit show of the 1990s, Perfect Strangers. Luckily, the producer gave Clay a second chance to sing his original choice, and he advanced to the next round, where he was seen by Nigel Lythgoe, co-executive producer. Lythgoe was searching for perfect mix of talent and personality. "That scared me," laughs Aiken. "because I really didn't have one." Lythgoe counseled the crooner to sing directly to sympathetic American Idol judge Paula Abdul when it was time to perform.

The next day, Aiken had the daunting task of singing for Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, the former considered a very tough critic, to say the least. He figured he had no chance, but he committed to having a good time and enjoying himself. As expected, Cowell was harsh, saying that Aiken didn't look like a pop star. Unexpectedly, Cowell said he had a great voice and Jackson concurred. And so, he advanced to the next round in Hollywood, California.

In the City of Angels, Aiken made the top 32, but when his group of eight sang on American Idol, he did not advance. He was given another chance in the show's wildcard round, and after a riveting performance of Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me", he received the most television votes, allowing him to advance to the top 12. 'The wildcard has been a lesson in perseverance for me," says Aiken.

Each week, as other contestants were eliminated from the competition, Aiken won the hearts and tastes of viewers, performing everything as varied as Peabo Brysons's "Somewhere Out There," The Foundations' "Build Me Up Buttercup" and Bobby Darin's "Mack The Knife". Then it came down to two:Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard. With over 25 million people voting a mere 130,000 votes separated the wo finalists.

Studdard was named the winner and Aiken the runner-up. Aiken was immediately signed to 19 Entertainment founded by Simon Fuller, whose company created and produced both Pop Idol in the UK and American Idol in the U.S. In fact, one of the true performances of the American Idol season and a breakout was Aiken's breathtaking version of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" a song that almost didn't happen. "I asked to sing 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' back in the top 32, and we could not get it cleared. As the show progressed, Paul Simon agreed to let us do it on the very last week," he adds. The "This Is The Night/Bridge Over Troubled Water"single was released by RCA on June 10 and within two weeks went double platinum. (Note-actually single platinum). Not bad for a runner-up.

Fast forward to winter 2003 and Clay Aiken has just released his debut CD titled "Measure of A Man" with standout performances including "This Is The Night" and "Invisible" and the title track. Describing the new album, Aiken says, "I like songs that have an emotion to them- there is a feeling people feel when the hear them. There is definitely a little bit of an edge to (my songs). There is progression from what you heard on the show," he adds.

When not performing to sold-out crowds or recording, Clay Aiken continues to build the foundation that he started for children with mental disabilities, The Bubel Aiken Foundation. The foundation can be reached by visiting www.bubelaikenfoundation.org.

What's next for Aiken? "I would love it if this career lasts for five years. Hopefully, the foundation will have enough stamina or enough influence to be able to continue to do the great work that it has begun," says Aiken.
No doubt it will with a first class pop idol like Clay Aiken in its corner.

Records Clay would want if he was stranded on a desert island:

This Is The Night "It has to come with me because it means a lot to me"
Open Arms by Journey- "I love that song."
One Step Closer by Linkin Park- "I sing along to it in the car."
Survivor by Destiny's Child- "It has meaning to me from camp. I did summer camp for eight years and we played that all the time."
Standing Outside the Fire by Garth Brooks- "It has a good little message to it."

From Bally's Sport Club in house magazine.  No link.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Re: 11/24/03 SPEAKING CANDIDLY ABOUT NEW MUSIC, THE FUTURE AND SIMON
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2010, 03:47:39 PM »
outthereforclay
Guest
  Yeay for Clay!
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2003, 10:36:47 PM »   

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WOW! WOW! I can't believe this stuff came from Howard Stern's producer! WOW!

He really seems to like Clay and have respect for his talent and character!

I'm floored! Honestly!

Think Clay will be a guest some day on Howard Stern? :roll:
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

  • ANN News Team
  • Claymaniac
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  • Posts: 42046
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  • THE EPITOME OF DECORUM
Re: 11/24/03 SPEAKING CANDIDLY ABOUT NEW MUSIC, THE FUTURE AND SIMON
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2010, 03:48:09 PM »
Leveland
SPEAKING CANDIDLY ABOUT NEW MUSIC, THE FUTURE AND SIMON
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2003, 09:34:41 AM »   

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This was like a trip Down Memory lane.. Thanks for posting this.  And it is a surprise that this is from Howard Sterns Producer.. Loved it.. Terry
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

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