Friday, December 22, 2006

That Everyone Would Have A Friend

Clay Aiken,the popular young singer who was runner-up on American Idol several years ago, has become a true advocate for the disabled, especially handicapped kids. He has a foundation which helps the disabled, has been named to the President's Board on Intellectual Disability Issues, and was once on the road to becoming a special education teacher before fame and a singing career came his way. But despite his wealth and popularity, his devotion to the disabled has only increased.

For instance, Clay recently did a holidayconcert in Easton, Pa. While there, he visited a third-grade class that included disabled students, and even provided limo rides to and from school for the kids.
Good to see someone so young and popular hasn't forgotten his roots, morals and what is truly important in life.

King of Clay Nation brings smiles to young authors

The Express-Times NAZARETH Students of Lower Nazareth Elementary School gathered Monday in the district high school's auditorium to celebrate 19 of their classmates.

They had no clue that Clay Aiken planned to join them.

Aiken, co-founder of the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, which published the students' book, "Our Friend Mikayla," earlier this year, dropped in to thank them for writing it.

Mikayla Resh, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, became the center of a biography written and illustrated by her third-grade classmates two years ago. Mikayla's mother, Kimberly Resh, wanted to thank everyone involved and planned the all-school assembly.

"If the whole school wasn't so wonderful to my daughter, there would be no story," Resh said. "They are just amazing children."

The student body, totaling 686 children, sat and listened as Principal Rose Allshouse and Resh thanked various people for their support.

Kristy Barnes, president of the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, announced the singer. The foundation works to have children with special needs included in the world around them.

Two girls from the school's chorus who were sitting in the front row fell out of their seats. The rest of the students sat still, eyes wide as Aiken strolled on stage.

Aiken brought presents. The authors climbed the stage one by one to receive an inscribed copy of "My Friend Mikayla."

An autographed copy will also be given to every student at the school.

"May I read the book to you?" Aiken asked.

"Yes," the students chanted.

Aiken read the book as the illustrations were projected onto a large screen. When he came to the page featuring himself on "American Idol," he stopped. "Who wrote this page?" Aiken asked. In the front row, Logan Houptley's hand shot up. "Come on up here," Aiken said, and he asked Logan to read the page.

"I didn't know I was (going to read with Aiken), so I was really nervous," Logan said.

Victor Lesky, superintendent of the Nazareth Area School District, thanked Aiken and the students.

"Mikayla has added so much to the experience of the students at Lower Nazareth Elementary that she by far meant more to us than we have to her," Lesky said.

Before leaving, Aiken talked with the 19 authors and posed for numerous photographs. He wanted everyone to know that his foundation is more than lip service.

"I think that I have always said that it would be my goal that if I wasn't able to keep on singing to continue with the foundation," Aiken said. "I would love to think that this book will be (the students') legacy in a way and hope that what we do is something that lives on far longer than my own life."

Aiken, who was to appear Monday night at Easton's State Theatre, broke a personal rule to never sing before a performance. Leaning over Mikayla as Resh held her, Aiken sang a few lines from "When I See You Smile."

According to Mike Resh, Mikayla's father, Aiken heard the students joke about wanting money for their book. Aiken didn't have money for them, but he heard one of them mention that riding in a limo would be cool.

Aiken arranged for limousines to take the students back to school. On his way out, Aiken broke the news about the limousines. The students burst with excitement.

"Oh my God! Thank you!" Michael Allen said. "Is this a dream? A limo is the best. It is like the first time I'll be in a limo. It is so awesome!"

In front of the high school, the young authors piled into their limousines. The boys in one car cracked open cans of soda from the mini bar and the girls giggled with excitement in the other. They pulled away like pop stars -- maybe inspired by Aiken -- to horns honking, camera flashes and a few parents waving.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sparks Flew!!

Clay spent an hour getting to know Tyra Banks.

I think they hit it off.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Kelly Ripa : In My Own Words

Who knows where those hands have been!! She doesn't seem to mind putting her hand out to shut Regis up. From February 2006.

What a Hypocrite!!!!

Hi! I'm Kelly Ripa and here is my side of the story. It isn't pretty, but then neither am I, when I'm whining and crying to Big Daddy.

Kelly Ripa : In My Own Words II

Regis says, Don't look at me! It's her meltdown! I'll just be over here reading the paper. Oh look, Kelly!! The whole story is right here!

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

All Is Well

Clay's new Christmas EP "All Is Well" will be on sale at WalMart stores from November 28th 2006. This extended play Cd will have 4 songs on it that Clay recently recorded and will sell for around 5 dollars. Great stocking stuffer!!

The track list is:

All Is Well
The Christmas Waltz
My Grownup Christmas List
O Come Oh Come Emmanuel

Clay will also be performing these songs on his Christmas tour along with about a dozen other favorites from his 2004 Christmas CD "Merry Christmas With Love". He'll be appearing at these venues and dates. Some are sold out already so hurry!

Clay Aiken Holiday Symphony Appearances

Waukegan, IL, US
Genesee Theater
Buy Tickets
Merrillville, IN, US
Star Plaza Theatre
Buy Tickets
Verona, NY, US
Turning Stone Casino
Buy Tickets
Engelwood, NJ, US
Bergen PAC Center
Buy Tickets
Baltimore, MD, US
Lyric Opera House
Buy Tickets
Norfolk, VA, US
Scope Arena
Buy Tickets
Williamsport, PA, US
Community Arts Center
Buy Tickets
Wilkes Barre, PA, US
FM Kirby Center
Buy Tickets
Easton, PA, US
State Theatre
Buy Tickets
Hartford, CT, US
Connecticut Convention Center

Greenvale, NY, US
Tilles Center for the Arts
Buy Tickets
West Point, NY, US
Eisenhower Hall
Buy Tickets
Red Bank, NJ, US
Count Basie Theatre

Detroit, MI, US
Orchestra Hall at the Max Fish
Buy Tickets
Grand Rapids, MI, US
Devos Hall
Buy Tickets
Jacksonville, FL, US
Moran Theatre
Buy Tickets
Charlotte, NC, US
Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Buy Tickets
Greensboro, NC, US
War Memorial Auditorium
Buy Tickets

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

OMG! Clay looks just like.....

With the unveiling of Clay's new shaggy haircut back in May 2006 during the American Idol 5 finale, the comparisons started. OMG Clay looks just like _________ , so just for fun I started collecting a list of names and was amazed at how many there were and at how completely different so many on the list looked compared to each other. Nobody would say that Annette Benning looks like k.d lang, or that PeeWee Herman looks like Paul McCartney. Likewise, Lindsey Lohan certainlt doesn't look like Keith Urban or James Blunt, but surprisingly, all of these people were on the list as Clay Aiken look a likes. The worst one was the kid they tried to say looked like Clay that was on the finale of AI5. I think Simon was on crack when he thought that was a match, no bloody way Jose.
So I decided to try to match a few pictures of Clay's alleged doppelgangers with pictures of Clay and here are the results. I concluded that Clay is either a chameleon or there are a lot of people who need to take a closer look at the real Clay Aiken.

Keith Urban? Yea, OK, he's got the shaggy hair and a nice face. He has that casual dressed down thing going on that Clay likes to do when he's off stage. Weeeeelll, maybe.

John Lennon? There's the shaggy hair again. Not bad, but Clay's nose is way better and his teeth are straighter, but OK, maaybe.

Jim Carrey? Ah yes, Jim is one of my faves! He's styling with the shaggy do lately and he's a handsome man, for sure, but he's a bit older looking than our Clay and his face is a lot more ummmmm, malleable.

Jared Leto? Definitely has the cute thing going on. He wears black well, he's skinny like our Clay and he's sporting some stubble too. I can see it. Jared looks pretty good without all that goop on too. Are you listening, Jared? Step away from the black eye make-up, OK?

James Blunt? Shaggy hair, scruffy stubbliness and wearing the signature dark colors. Nice face too but Clay's mouth is more finely formed. I can see it, I guess. Any one of these guys could be mistaken for Clay if you hold your head just right and squint. They're all very good looking men so no harm no foul.
What do you think?

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Freedom of Speech? Almost.

I know that people have things to say and there aren't too many places to say them, so there is a place now, but this blog is about Clay and about music. If you want to talk about things, you can go to Chexxxy's Place and hash it out. There is only one rule. No bashing Clay.

The Sound Of Silence

Have you ever seen anything like it? I've been a music fan for long enough now that I can see what a normal album cycle for an artist should consist of. This isn't normal and I have a few questions.

Why do artists usually have a press release from the label (RCA in this case) that talks up the new CD with quotes and blurbs from the producers, songwriters, and often the label head, but for Clay there was a dry announcement that named the date of release, the tracklist, a few words from Clay about Clive's vision for him and nothing else. There was not a single word from anyone involved in the production of this beautifully sung CD that Clive mandated.

Why do artists usually have a song sent to radio a few months in advance of the CD Release to let people have an idea of what is on the CD and to create anticipation for the day they can buy it, but Clay got no single.

Why do artists usually get a video that is sent to MTV and VH1 so that people can see and hear him perform and to drum up interest in the CD, but Clay didn't get a video.

Why do artists usually get at least a handful of articles in magazines about the new CD, the artistic direction they are going for, the producers, the contributing artists on the CD and some pictures to bring the public up to date on what the artist has been up to since the last CD, but Clay didn't get that? He got one article in People magazine that focused on his reaction to the tabloid lies and not his music.

Why do artists usually appear on many different TV shows during the week of their CD Release but Clay was only on Good Morning America and later Larry King, but all they were interested in is the tabloid lies?

Why do artists usually have a publicist that will go to bat for them by arranging the proper and usual promotion and will work with the media to correct any bad information and put out positive press, but Clay's publicist from RCA was totally silent and unsupportive?

Why does a proven multi-platinum seller like Clay get treated like the unwanted step-child by his label when someone like Mario Vasquez, a proven quitter, gets enough glowing print, TV and radio support to take his single to the top of the charts?

Why weren't there enough CDs sent out to re-stock sold out stores?

Why are many stores not allowed to re-order?

Why was this multi platinum seller only shipped a half million on the first week when he has a proven track record of selling far above expectations for a typical artist? His debut CD was shipped 2 million the first week.

Why did RCA gaurantee that Clay could not sell more than 500,000 CDs even if every single copy could be found and sold?

Why were Clay's CDs not promoted in stores with posters and placecards, like the other proven multi-platinum sellers?

Why were his CDs hidden in weird sections in stores like the bottom racks and in the Country aisles?

Why were many stores not putting out the CDs that did arrive and leaving them in boxes in the back?

Why did many stores only recieve an average of 6 CDs per store, sell out in a few hours on the first day and not be able to re-order?

Why did many of the stores in North Carolina, his home state and possibly his biggest concentration of fans, not receive their orders at all?

Why were the only promotional posters anyone ever saw put up at the Virgin Megastore for Clay's CD signing and immediately taken down and thrown in the trash? Couldn't they just leave one or 2 in place? How about giving them to the fans that were there?

Why were there no CDs delivered to The View for the audience members, as promised?

Why are there lots of CDs at Costco and other places that don't report to Soundscan but are limited in the stores that do?

Are the CDs that are sold through the TV commercials counted in the Soundscan weekly reports?

Why is Clay's Pontiac Garage mini concert from Jimmy Kimmel the only one that you can't view or buy?

What happened to the 40 or 50 songs Clay recorded, including some originals he wrote? Why didn't they get included on the CD? We've heard one of them that is only available as a bonus track at iTunes, but the majority of the public will never hear it. Why? It's a beautiful song, some say it's better than most of the cover songs that made it on the tracklist.

Is this a deliberate attempt to tank his career? Is Clive clearing the way for the newer AI crop?

Why are the critics bashing Clay for this CD when it wasn't his idea and he managed to spin straw into gold? Did any of the critics even crack open the CD?

Why are other artists said to be recording "classics", "paying tribute to" the original artists and " bringing new life" to older songs, but Clay is panned for Clive's cover project?

Why has Clive Davis been completely silent about his "genius vision" for this CD when he was the one that foisted the idea of recording cover songs on Clay and then he has something good to say about every other RCA artist, except Clay.

Is that all he sees when he considers Clay's career? A disposable product?

Why is RCA leaving Clay twisting in the wind?

Is Kelly Clarkson next because it's time to make room on the racks for the next batch?

What the hell is going on? I have so many more questions with no answers because this whole past 2 years and the way Clay has been treated by his label stinks.

This dirty business won't bring you down, Clay. We're not going anywhere no matter what they do to you. Can you fire Clive? I hope so. Hang in there, sweetie. We love you.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

If You Don't Know Him By Now

You will never never never know him.

To some people Clay has become a sporting event. There are uniforms, clubhouses for the various teams, referees, cheerleaders and people who keep score. There are spies, moles, reporters, refugees, dissidents, agitators, propogandists, profiteers, saviors and martyrs. Quite a combination and all because of one Clay Aiken that has brought together probably one of the most diverse fandoms in history.

Each faction has a goal to achieve and not all of them are altruistic and honorable. Rivalries flourish, skirmishes are common, points are scored, and the only one who loses is Clay. Ironic, eh?

At first when Clay gained fame through a TV talent show and people became interested in who he is and what makes him tick, they were treated to an innocent guy who was open about everything that was asked of him. What a difference a few years of maturity, experience and disillusion has made. Sure he has fame and fortune and possibly even joy and artistic fulfillment, but there is sadness too, I think.

I will never understand why people can call themselves fans while actively working to disseminate a false image of who Clay really is. Some people set impossible to meet expectations that Clay could not possibly fulfill. Expectations based on their own ideas of who he is or things he may have said that were taken way too far. Yes he has his faith but he will never be Jesus. He won't grow wings and he can't be perfect no matter how much he'd like to try.

He will never be your boyfriend, lover, husband or best friend. If you have the opportunity to meet him, you can expect a polite greeting and maybe an autograph. That's it. All other expectations or disappointments are not his responsibility. If you have done volunteer work for one of his charitable projects, then the satisfaction of the giving should be enough. You're doing it for the children, after all, not for Clay, and if you're doing it for special attention from Clay then you need to re-examine your own motives and sincerity.

Clay's musical direction is his to determine. He will choose to sing or write what expresses him and if you don't care for what he has to offer, please move along to an artist who gives you what you need. Spending time and energy trying to convince anyone that he isn't what you think he should be is really tiresome to witness and difficult to tolerate. It's like farting in a small room. Repeatedly. Yea, don't do that. The fans don't care how smart or superior you think you are. Just go away.

Clay has said that he loves his God, his Mamma, his friends, his dogs, his music and his fans. If you can't accept who he is, please just go away. Stop embarrassing him with your fantasies and your fiction.

If you don't know him by now, you will never never never know him. Hear him, and if you don't like what you hear, please just drift away like a bad smell.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Holy Hotness!!!!!

OK, I admit it. I only blogged today so I'd have an excuse to post this picture. I think I'll just stare at it while my favorite song plays. Heh.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Cheesy Goodness

Everything is just a little bit better with cheese. Whether it's deliciously sentimental songs or pineapple casserole. Yeah, I know. Pineapple!

Clay paid a visit to Martha Stewart last week. I think he needed a ton of support to pull off a cooking show visit and he came armed with his grandmother, his mom and 2 aunts. With all those ladies taking care of the cooking portion, Clay was left free to be his charming, handsome and funny self. OK, give the man his due, he did crush a few crackers.

As improbable as it may seem, the recipe turns out quite yummy and is even better served hot with ice cream topping. Sure, I tried it.

Hot Pineapple Salad

Serves 8 - 10

1 20 oz can of pineapple tidbits or crushed pineapple
1 cup of sugar
6 tablespoons of self-rising flour
2 cups of grated medium-sharp cheddar cheese
1 sleeve of Ritz Crackers, crushed
1/2 cup of melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine, pineapple with juice, sugar, flour and cheese. Transfer to a 2 quart shallow baking dish. Top with crushed crackers and drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 40 minutes, let stand 10 minutes. Serve.

Topping off the sweet dish was a dessert of Clay singing "A Thousand Days" from his new CD. Sweet!

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Friday, October 06, 2006

A Lover Not So All Alone After All.

One of my best friends is a guy. I love him like family and when he hurts, I hurt.

A few days ago he was talking about how much it sucks to really wish he had a girlfriend but that it never seems to work out. He was feeling really alone and like there was something wrong with him because he felt like he was the only guy in the world that was not going out with someone. It makes him feel sad and left out.

I downloaded the "A Thousand Different Ways" CD from iTunes yesterday because that's the only way to get the bonus song, "Lover All Alone", too and I burned it and gave it to him as a gift. I thought he could relate to it. I didn't tell him that there was a song on there for him, I just asked him to review the CD for me and to tell me what he thought about it.

This guy is 22, so he's in that group that listens to Indie rock and only goes to concerts with less than a hundred people in attendance at rented warehouses and big old houses where the band will play for the party at a 5 dollar cover charge. These bands sell their CDs at the parties and would never consider signing with a label or go mainstream. Yea I know, not exactly a Clay fan and NOT into THAT kind of music. Right.

I put Lover All Alone last on the CD I burned for him because I wanted him to hear the other songs before he got to it. He foiled my plan. The bugger ripped the CD, put it on his MP3 player and set it to shuffle. I was pissed when I heard that he did that but, whatever. So he listened to the playlist on shuffle and guess which song came up first? Yup, Lover All Alone. He told me he was listening to it and was really impressed with the song and Clay's voice when the words started to get to him. He put it on repeat for a long time and cried and cried. He said it was his new favorite song and that when he was done crying he realized that he wasn't alone, that people all over the world were feeling like they would never find love and that most people do eventually fall in love with someone who loves them back, but that he isn't a freak, he's normal. He loves the song and he plays it because it's so beautiful but mostly because it makes him feel not alone.

He says that Clay has really gotten a bad deal from the critics and the rumors and that he will listen to the rest of the CD when he gets tired of having Lover All Alone on repeat.

His favorite video game is Grand Theft Auto. You can program the car stereos in the game to play the songs you want and he put Lover All Alone in there so that it's playing while he drives like a madman away from the cops. I think he's nuts but I love him.

Someone made a video of the song and put it on Youtube. Enjoy!

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Frootz, Nutz, Trolls and Enablers

I had a visit last night from the Stalker himself. The one who thinks he's important only because his Nutz egg him on and Clay's fans keep arguing with the lot of them. You know the guy is just a troll. I have no interest in him or his nutz so I just deleted him. I don't even know what he said. You know that his few followers are haterz that love the opportunity to bash and ridicule, right? If they only had each other to talk to it would go like this:

Froot: Clay Aiken is a big poopyhead.
Nut: Yeah and I don't like him!
Froot: He sang a song I don't like today.
Nut: I know he sucks.
Froot: I hate his hair.
Nut: Me too!
Froot: I really hate him.
Nut: Me too!

It would get old really fast if they had nobody to argue with. After many months the only reason he still has an audience is because of the fans. Remember the lesson learned on the message boards? Don't Feed The Trolls!

What is the definition of a troll you ask? Let me tell you, if you didn't already know.

In Internet terminology, a troll is often someone who comes into an established community such as an online discussion forum, and posts inflammatory, rude, repetitive or offensive messages designed intentionally to annoy or antagonize the members or to disrupt the flow of discussion, including the personal attack of calling others trolls. Often, trolls assume multiple aliases, or sock puppets. Think about this stalker as someone that posted on a board and got banned and he's mad so he started his own board.


He is an ugly, obnoxious creature bent on mischief and wickedness. I've seen his picture. *shudder*


His intent is to disrupt our community. Inflammatory, sarcastic, disruptive or hateful content is posted. It is meant to draw fans into engaging the troll in a fruitless confrontation. The greater the reaction from the fans the more likely he is to troll again. The troll soon learns that certain actions achieve his goal to upset the fans. This gives rise to the often repeated protocol in Internet culture: "Do not feed the trolls."

Internet troll communities, some in the form of blogs, have sprouted up all over the Internet. Troll groups are often established after their members' ill behavior is not permitted or tolerated on regular forums.


Attention-seeking trolls aka stalker and his Nutz:

This class of trolls seeks to incite as many responses as possible.

Claiming to be someone they cannot possibly be: As an entertainment industry insider or a personal friend of Clay's for example.

No longer having affiliation to or current knowledge of the subject at hand, yet continually posting opinions and commentary as "experts". Also known as stating false facts.

Messages containing a deliberate flaw or error. " I heard that Clay ____!

Asking for help with a question that the answer is already known to set up a bash: "Does anyone know when Clay ____?

Trying to look for vulnerable people and being offensive to them. "I'm going to post more made-up stories soon"

Messages containing a self-referential appeal to status. "Clay fans are all _____ but I'm cool because I hate him"

Intentionally posting an outrageous argument, deliberately constructed around a fabrication. "Clay is living with/dating ____ "

Contentious messages: "Everyone knows that all Claymates are ____."

Plural answers to personal opinions expressed by individuals: "You silly mates are all old, stupid, rabid, fat etc!"

Pretending to be an insider and giving false information. "I work in the entertainment industry and everyone says he's a ____"


Every celebrity has Nutz and Trolls that entertain themselves by tormenting the fans and can sometimes get rich by trolling. Perez Hilton is a prime example. Without the million or so hits he gets each day he would just be another pathetic fat fuck in the unemployment line. The stalker is the same. He gets paid to blog about Clay Aiken and to engage his fans in a campaign to wear down and separate Clay from his fanbase and to attempt to ruin his reputation in order to end his career. If stalker had only his handful of Nutz to talk to he'd be out of a job and in the unemployment line.

Somebody please explain to me why he still has this job and why Clay's fans continue to support him by posting at and viewing his blog?

Ignore the freak and he will starve. Do it for Clay. He's worth it.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

David Foster's Friend, has a nice ring to it.

This past Sunday Clay was in Vancouver BC Canada to help out his friend, David Foster, to raise money for his charity, The David Foster Foundation. Michael Buble, Babyface, Olivia Newton John and Matt Goss also performed. They raised 2.9 million dollars at the auction that was part of the Gala. I'm very happy that someone captured these performances on video and that they were uploaded to Youtube. Clay sang Unchained Melody plus 2 songs that will be on his upcoming CD, Right Here Waiting and Without You..

Only 5 more days!! Here are Clay's performances.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Clay Has a new Job!

And what a great honor it is! This is the announcement from the Official Fanclub Homepage.

09/05/06 / Clay's Presidential Appointment!

President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate eight individuals, designate two individuals and appoint thirteen individuals to serve in his Administration - Clay Aiken being one of them. Congratulations to Clay on his appointment to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities! For the full presidential press release, click here.

Posted by Team Clay

Congratulations Clay! Your fans are so proud of you!

We know that advocating for children around the world is a large part of your personal goals and this is another great opportunity for you to make a difference in the lives of children who need a voice to speak on their behalf.

Add this to your already impressive jobs as Founder of the Bubel Aiken Foundation and as the Unicef Fund for USA Ambassador of Education for Children Worldwide. You can view his page at Unicef here: Clay Aiken

The appointment to the Presidential Committee was covered briefly on WRAL news this morning. I think they were the first ones to mention it. I think his home town can be very proud of their native son.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hot Guy! Hot CD! Hot Damn!

Hot Guy!!!

Hot CD!!!!

These are a few early reviews. One of them is just for the first single. "Without You" You can listen to it at Clay's Official website.

The Bottom Line - 4 stars out of 5
Reviewed by Bill Lamb

Simply said, Clay Aiken's "Without You" is a triumphant return. While it would be easy to think that Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey had wrung all the possibilities from this pop chestnut, there are some fine elements here and a bravura vocal performance.

Head over to Clay Aiken's official site to hear "Without You."

The beauty and clarity of Clay Aiken's voice
Very nicely propulsive instrumental arrangement
The emotion is restored to this classic song
Please, enunciate - We can do without "Without 'ooo"

Simple piano-focused intro
Instantly recognizable vocals
Impeccable pop arrangement with welcome percussive elements missing in previous arrangements

Guide Review - Clay Aiken - Without You
If you are unfamiliar with the song "Without You," you have not been listening to pop radio for the past 35 years. The song, written by Badfinger's Pete Ham and Tom Evans, first appeared as a Badfinger album cut on No Dice released in 1970. Idiosyncratic pop singer Harry Nilsson released a version of the song in 1971 featuring the signature piano intro that would be the standard for future recordings of "Without You." The song became a #1 hit for Nilsson and the biggest pop hit of his career. Mariah Carey took the song back into the pop charts in 1994 with a surprisingly plastic sounding interpretation.

Clay Aiken has chosen the instantly familiar tune as the lead-in for his first proper studio album in 3 years. I count myself as one of the skeptics when I first heard this would be the opening single, but "Without You" is a good choice and will tremendously please his many devoted fans while quite possibly gaining a few new converts.

The pure beauty in Aiken's voice is abundantly showcased here, and the arrangement gives a contemporary twist on the song. The mix is pleasantly propulsive and percussive which will sound great on pop radio. Mainstream pop radio should give this track a chance. It's popularity may surprise more than a few radio programmers.

The other review is from a critic who has heard the whole CD. This is a preliminary opinion of the CD and he promises to have a more in depth review up on his site soon.
I was privileged to listen to Clay's album today and I have to say he's got a winner on his hands. I was a bit put off by the idea of another covers album but he's pulled it off nicely. A classic track such as Bryan Adams "Everything I Do" which I felt couldn't be redone properly is completely retooled and sounds amazing. I'd say the best reinvented track has to be the Celine Dion song "Because You Love Me." I didn't care for the original version but Clay sped up the song and added his own flavor to it making it his own. Now when I first heard about this disc the one song that stood out to me was the Bad English song "When I See You Smile." I read some pretty harsh comments from some fans that in a nutshell said that Clay couldn't pull off this classic track. While it's not quite was redone as other songs, Clay's vocals fit perfectly and with a violin backing really allows the song to breath a bit more. To me Clay pulled this track off with no issues at all.

Honestly, I'm shocked over how good this disc turned out. 17 days to go until it's release but I'll have an album review up before it's release. Everyone is in for a real treat with this release.

Hot Damn!!!

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Looking Back to the Future

In only 3 short weeks the Hoopla will begin Round 2 of the roller coaster that is Clay's public life. He'll be here, there and everywhere doing promotional appearances and accepting invitations to perform.

If this next year or 2 are anything like 2003 and 2004 were, we better clear off our hard drives and clear off our credit cards because the ride is just about to take off. I can't wait!

The people we reverently and affectionately call our Clack Gatherers are readying their equipment and everyone is upgrading their computers and recording devices for a really fun Round 2 in Clay's career.

Nobody, except his fans, expected his career to take off the way it did in 2003. The runner up is supposed to put out a nice souvenir CD for the American Idol viewers and then drift back to wherever they came from. Who knew that with virtually no radioplay, his debut CD would go triple platinum? It boggles the mind to try to imagine the level of success he'll reach WITH radio. Let's hope the program directors finally see that Clay is not a novelty but rather a bona fide success, and he is definitely that. A recent article had this to say about him.

A most unlikely star, Clay Aiken has proved he's got not only the chops to make it as a successful pop artist, but also the magnetism of our most beloved singers. He may have been the "American Idol" runner-up, but his career is a winner. When he's not busy with extensive charity work, he's touring and recording. Check out his upcoming third album, A Thousand Different Ways.

Clay has survived the skepticism, the overly harsh criticism and the gossip media that tried so hard to sink his career. Take a trip down memory lane if you were there, or if you missed the first Episode in the Clay Aiken saga then watch some highlights of what the Fame Ride really can look like. The song "It's My Life" by No Doubt was well chosen as the background to this incredible collection of clips that highlight the reality of fame.

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