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Author Topic: 10/11/03 Rosanne Simunovic: Memo to RCA - Do Not Tamper With Clay Aiken's Star  (Read 7747 times)


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Rosanne Simunovic: Memo to RCA - Do Not Tamper With Clay Aiken's Star
« on: October 11, 2003, 10:50:19 AM »   

Memo To RCA Records: Do Not Tamper With Clay Aiken’s Star
by Rosanne Simunovic -- 10/10/2003

As most Clay fans know, a recent Time magazine article chronicled how RCA battled Clay about what would appear on his first full-length album. Rosanne, a voice instructor, tells RCA to cut it out and explains why it is important that he is allowed to be himself.

In the recent Time magazine article, American Idol finalist Clay Aiken reported the difficulty that he had experienced with RCA Records during the recording of his first album, Measure of a Man. The RCA people insisted that his much anticipated album would not – could not – will not – sell unless he added an element of sexual innuendo and edge to the final product. Clay battled the RCA executives and won, much to the relief of his thousands of fans who voted for him. He won not only because of his enormous talent, but also because of his principled and ethical values and beliefs. All of these qualities combined are responsible for the phenomenon known as Clay Aiken. Why oh why would anyone – especially RCA Records – want to tamper with success? In addition, as I write this article, Clay’s full length CD is comfortably positioned at the #1 spot on, days before the release date of October the 14th. So, I ask you, who is the winner now?

Months ago, I wrote an article about Clay’s star quality and the reasons why destiny somehow selected him for this role. Through his voice and compassionate personality, Clay has awakened and reinforced everything that is respectable and dignified in the human spirit. As terrorists around the world continue to corrupt our innocence and sense of security within our lives, Clay’s music allows us to escape to a time where life was less complicated, more sheltered and wholly effortless.

However, this is not to say that Clay is without flaws; he is human, after all. He even admitted in his recent PrimeTime Live interview with Diane Sawyer that he did not want to be perceived as a perfect human being. Yet, in admitting this fact, he reinforced our fascination and admiration for him. Simply put, Clay Aiken is a really charming young man, possessing an outstanding vocal talent combined with a morally principled approach to his everyday trials and tribulations. As a young child, he was burdened with the horrendous abandonment of an abusive father, the unfortunate suicide of his sister, the untimely death of his devoted stepfather, and the struggle to be “everything that his biological father wasn’t.”

His music has allowed him – as well as his fans – to escape to an innocent, carefree world and I condemn RCA Records for trying to convince Clay to tamper with his vision and commitment to his musical destiny and mission. We have heard and seen enough high-priced vulgar and sexually demonstrative performers to last a lifetime. Our world, our universe as we know it, is spinning out of control and we need to find a way of firmly applying our emotional brakes so that we can breathe once again. Clay and his music is one excellent method of doing so – his music reinforces our delicate emotional equilibrium and allows us to focus on and prioritize the good things in life. In addition, his survival and success from his personal catastrophic life experiences delivers a beacon of hope to others – young and old – who may be presently coping with emotional, physical and spiritual suffering.

As a voice teacher, young aspiring musicians who have been brainwashed by the negative influences within our music industry oftentimes confront me and challenge me with their views of the world. I have to tell you that it is a very long grueling road toward educating them to develop and appreciate the more positive role models in today’s world – especially in the music industry. This is extremely important as I feel that their young lives are held in a very tenuous balance between right and wrong and, if allowed to move in the latter direction, these young adults will self-destruct.

Thank you, Clay, for allowing yourself to be vulnerable and sincere through your international fame and success. You and your music are like a breath of fresh air – protecting us from the current wave of musical pollution that insults our intelligence and smothers our daily lives. We will always support and applaud and celebrate your ideals and principles, as they will permit us to appreciate and value all that is precious in the world and in our personal lives.

Rosanne Simunovic is the Voice Instructor and Conductor for the Timmins Youth Singers.
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