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ClayManiacs.com  |  Archive  |  Media & Appearance Archive  |  12/09/03 CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
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Author Topic: 12/09/03 CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER  (Read 3261 times)

Marilyn

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Leveland
CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« on: December 09, 2003, 12:28:47 PM »   

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I got permission to posts this here on Claymaniacs.. kinda long but puts lots of thoughts to rest.  Thanks to Berkeley.. Love Terry




Clay Aiken Reality Check: Reflections on a 6 Month Career
Six months ago, Clay Aiken signed a contract with RCA Records, thus beginning his professional recording career.

Just six little months.

In this long week of silence and (I hope) relaxation and reflection for Clay, he might well have finally found the time to reflect on what this year means in the overall arc of his life.

I would think that he is thankful for the blessings he has received, excited about the possibilities he has to express himself through his music, a bit wearied by the burdens of celebrity, humbled by the responsibilities he has taken on as a role model and as co-founder of the Bubel Aiken Foundation --- and awestruck and a little overwhelmed by the depth of the devotion of his fans.

One thing I am sure that he is not is ungrateful.

And here is something that he might be the first to tell us --- 

Clay Aiken is not entitled to Grammy nominations.

That Clay was not nominated in the four categories in which he was eligible for TITN/BOTW was very disappointing, and though I hadn't expected him to be nominated, I still felt very sad for a while. Then I reflected on all of the wonderful things that have happened to Clay in the second half of 2003, and I started to smile again.

Clay's eligibility for this year's Grammy Awards was for one single, not for his debut album, which was released after the cut-off date. (I notice that the Associated Press has a story in dozens of papers saying the album was not nominated. Oh, sigh, another press inaccuracy...)

What should we do about this failure to be nominated?

As far as writing anyone is concerned, nothing.

It is one thing to write tempered, calm and intelligent responses to homophobic bashing (of anyone, including straight people); to respond to misinformation by providing citations for the full story; to offer another perspective on the music Clay makes and what it means to his fans and supporters.

To launch a campaign, with the theme of entitlement, could actually do harm to Clay's career, particularly when accompanied by opinions about who doesn't deserve to be nominated. And though I will not tell anyone what to do, I would like to suggest that we stop it.

It makes us look small. It makes us look petty. It makes us look jealous. And it makes us come off as pains in the... neck. Let's try not to poison the well that Clay must drink from throughout his long, prosperous and distinguished music career.

A distiguished cameraman once told me, "I can get the (film)crew to do what I want through threats and intimidation, or I can do it with love. Love works better." 

Sounds like a good plan for Clay's fans, as well.

Next year, Measure of a Man will be eligible for Grammy nominations in at least twice as many categories as this year, including Album of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, Male Pop Vocal (for all singles from "Invisible" on), Record of the Year (for all singles from "Invisible" on) and Song of the Year (for all singles from "Invisible" on). The only category Clay will not be eligible in then that he could have been nominated in now is Best New Artist. That's a shame, but it isn't a tragedy.

The entertainment industry, believe it or not, is not made up of stupid people. They know that their jobs don't hinge on being the arbiters of taste but on making a profit --- it's called "show business" because the dollar is the bottom line. Music writers, heads of record labels, producers, television and movie executives, magazine editors, newspaper writers and columnists, people in charge of bookings, organizers of special events and others have noticed the following:

Clay Aiken is the only new artist in the history of the Billboard singles charts to debut at Number 1, joining a list of ten music icons who debuted at #1 well into their careers. "This is the Night", a chart-topping, record-setting single, has been certified platinum.

Billboard magazine named Measure of a Man the Best Pop Album of 2003 --- and I'll take their opinion over that of some others, based on Billboard's fifty year history as the bible of the music business.

Clay Aiken's debut album shipped double platinum its first week and has sold 3/4 of that number--- one and a half million copies --- in only seven weeks. There is little doubt that MOAM will go triple platinum --- or more.

Ratings for shows Clay appears on tend to be higher (ask David Letterman and the folks at GMA about this), and ratings equal money in the television industry. That means Clay has become a hot guest to book!

When Clay went into the lion's den, not once but twice, to meet the late night hosts who had made him the target of some particularly vile "humor", Clay was the one who came off looking calm, reasonable, strong and totally in control. Since those appearances, not a single cruel word against Clay has appeared on those shows.

Magazines that Clay is featured in, particularly covers, sell many more copies than usual. Just ask Rolling Stone who sold more copies this year: the bare-chested Justin Timberlake, well established in his career, or the WWJD bracelet-wearing, tummy-flashing Clay Aiken, who has just one single out at the time of his cover.

Time Magazine came thisclose to putting Clay on their cover (fact, not rumor), bumping him for coverage of a possible scandal in the executive branch, but still writing an extensive, hard-hitting feature article that suggested that Clay Aiken could well be the one to revolutionize the music industry.

People Magazine chose Clay for the "Simply the Best" section of their Sexiest Man double issue. Look at your copy again, and notice which other industry neophytes did not appear there.

And then there is Clay's fan base, the most diverse group of music lovers in recent memory. With a massive fan base in the prime music buying audience of 16 to 30, Clay also enjoys the support of young children, their parents and their grandparents, something virtually unheard of since music splintered into genre-specific radio three decades ago. In that fan base are liberals and conservatives; Democrats, Republicans and independents; Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, others and agnostics; Americans, Canadians, and fans worldwide; and people of every conceivable racial background --- and that's a fact. There are also fans of rock, pop, rap, metal, grunge, country, reggae, classical and inspirational. Nothing short of amazing.

And these fans --- all of us --- have power in our numbers, and those numbers are growing every day. Look at the fact that Clay sold more copies in his seventh week of release than he had since his third week for evidence of the new fans he gains with every appearance.

We are buying every piece of music with Clay's name on it, knowing we'll get quality for our money. We are requesting his songs by telephone and via the Internet. We are voting in all of the polls he is named on, writing letters to the editor every time he appears, thanking all who are playing his music or giving him nice coverage. We are telling friends, family and co-workers about this man who is quietly changing music --- and the world --- for the better.

Regardless of what you think of MTV, we are giving younger fans a wonderful alternative when they turn it on. We took him to Number 1 on TRL.

Where it was once all but impossible to get airplay for Clay, "Invisible" has moved steadily up the charts as an airplay only single. And now deejays are, readily and willingly, adding Clay's Christmas songs into their regular rotations. Several have said they would eagerly add Clay's stirring duet with Bing Crosby, "Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth", if it was available!

And now we come to awards: 

Clay Aiken won the American Music Award, named the Fans Choice over artists who have long careers, top-selling recordings, industry acclaim and numerous awards of their own. A staggering achievement. And his industry peers took notice, as witnessed by the standing ovation he and Ruben received for "Jesus is Love", the only ovation of the night for a performance.

Clay Aiken, having revitalized the all-but-dead CD single, earned a Billboard Music Award nomination --- and a certain victory --- for Best Selling Single of the Year. That's two major awards in just six months. I bet they'll look good on his mantelpiece.

So I shed a tear that Grammy passed him over this year --- and then I thanked God for all the blessings Clay has received.

I also thanked Him for bringing Clay into my life.

And I reminded myself that, because he is growing, because he has such high standards and because he is gaining experience, Clay will be even better next year than he was during this magnificent year we have all enjoyed.

I can't complain a lot about that!

I love you, Clay Aiken --- and I mean it.

Please support the Bubel Aiken Foundation:
www.thebubelaikenfoundation.org
 

Love, Berkeley

Society of Pedestal Smashers In Loving Support of the Wonderfully Imperfect Clay Aiken (Founder)

~ Humble Keeper of Clay's Endearingly Quirky Vocal Traits
(Harrrd RRRs, Soft Vs and Sibilant Ss)

and Ecstatic Keeper of Clay Signing "I Love You" to Me in ASL,
San Jose, CA concert, 30 August, 2003 ~

------------
Copyright 2003 by "Berkeley". Berkeley is an assistant director of motion pictures, a screenwriter and a member of the Directors Guild of America. She resides in Berkeley, CA and can be contacted at 2reachme@earthlink.net
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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houstonclayfan
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  CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2003, 01:44:34 PM »   

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That was excellent !  Thank you 
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Anonymous
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  CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2003, 01:56:19 PM »   

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Well said article!  Now maybe some people will finally quit whining and let Clay get on with his life and career.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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ClayBLuv
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  Clay's First Six Months - Berkely
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2003, 02:26:07 PM »   

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Wow Berkley, that was a great article.  BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL. Very well written; it just about says it all.  I am going to use this whole article as my personal mantra.  I hope every Clay fan reads this.  I am not a fan of letter writing campaigns - I think they do more harm than good.  The best thing the fans can do for Clay is love him, support him (tactfully), buy his music,  watch his performances/ interviews, request his videos, vote for him in polls,  and proceed to represent him in an honourable fashion.  But, most of all, we should be genuinely happy for all his achievements and believe in him 1000%.  Think:  What Would Jesus Do?  That is what Clay does, and we all know that it works well for him.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE MY CLAY.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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mcraig2
Huh?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2003, 03:19:23 PM »   

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Whining??---seems a little harsh
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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Leveland
CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2003, 05:53:11 PM »   

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Bumping for all to read
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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  CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2003, 07:10:22 PM »   

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Excellent!!!!!!!!!! Thank-you!!! A must read!!!
 
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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PHILLYLUVSCLAY
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  GREAT POST
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2003, 07:37:05 PM »   

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HEY TERRY!

THANKS FOR BRINGING OVER A GREAT POST TO READ!! :P  :P  :P
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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grammaof6
 CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2003, 08:00:48 PM »   

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BERKELEY That was without doubt the best article I've read regarding Clay. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It makes us all glow!
 
 
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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songbird457
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  CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2003, 11:36:22 PM »   

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What a wonderful article! Thank you Berkeley. I wasn't heart broken that Clay didn't get nominated. Everything he does is for God and God has a plan for him. I'm not preaching here, but it is true.

My only confusion here w/ the grammy nominations, is this: If Clay was technically ineligible to qualify for a grammy because of his album coming out later this year - how did Ruben get so lucky to be nominated? If someone knows more, let me know. Thanks!  :D
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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KeepItGoingClay
CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2003, 11:49:57 PM »   

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BERKELEY
WOW!!!    It was a wonderful article.  Thank you so much for sharing.....   I love it when I read postive articles about Clay... :D
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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perfectmatch
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  CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2003, 03:48:36 AM »   

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hey my second home is in Berkeley awsome Im actually going there in two weeks its good to "see" a familiar face.
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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  CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2003, 09:05:07 AM »   

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Thank You, Terry for posting this very informative article.  I just have one thing to say to the music industry...MAKE WAY FOR CLAY! :D
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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cjrmax
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  CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2003, 09:48:02 AM »   

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Quote
My only confusion here w/ the grammy nominations, is this: If Clay was technically ineligible to qualify for a grammy because of his album coming out later this year - how did Ruben get so lucky to be nominated? If someone knows more, let me know. Thanks


Songbird - I think (but am not 100% positive) that it was Clays' album that was not eligible this year for a nomination.  TITN was eligible.  MOAM came out in October and the cut-off date was September 30th. I personally think one reason TITN wasn't nominated was because the "Pop" category is so over crowded and there was a lot of competition and when you look at the nominees, TITN didn't have a chance.  Maybe next year will be his year for MOAM!
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

Marilyn

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  CLAY AIKEN REALITY CHECK: REFLECTIONS ON A 6 MONTH CAREER
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2003, 10:02:49 AM »   

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Hi cjrmax. You just said exactly what I was thinking.  I do believe next year will be his for MOAM.  Us fans just need to be patient!  His time will come. :
ALWAYS AND FOREVER-UNCONDITIONALLY!!!

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