Thursday, May 08, 2008

CLAY AIKEN'S 'ON MY WAY HERE' on Good Morning America

Pop sensation and "American Idol" veteran Clay Aiken has sold more than 6 million albums, and now he's adding to that number with a new CD called "On My Way Here."

Aiken joined "Good Morning America" to perform the title track from the CD, which has special pink packaging for Mother's Day.

His new album arrived in stores across the country May 6th.

It has been five years since Aiken has done an album of original songs. His 2003 debut, "Measure of A Man," went triple-platinum selling over 3 million copies.

"On My Way Here" chronicles Aiken's experiences since then, ascending from popular contestant on the second season of "American Idol" to pop superstar.

Aiken narrowly missed winning "American Idol" in 2003. Despite Studdard's win, Aiken has enjoyed more widespread popularity and success, emerging as the season's true breakout star.

Aiken just finished a highly acclaimed and successful 15-week run on Broadway in the Tony award-winning play "Spamalot," playing the role of Sir Robin.

He performed on stage in the musical nights and twice a day on weekends while recording his new album during the weekdays. Since he started five years ago, Aiken says he's barely taken any time off, but is looking forward to spending some time at his home in North Carolina this summer. He'll also be going on another Unicef field mission this summer.

The title track "On My Way Here" is the first radio single from the new album of the same name.

His previous two albums, 2004's "Merry Christmas with Love" (which went platinum within six weeks of its release) and 2006's gold-certified "A Thousand Different Ways," featured 10 cover versions of hit songs along with 4 original songs.

Aiken was raised in Raleigh, N.C., and trained in the Raleigh Boys Choir. He later fronted a local country band, Just By Chance. Although his stint on "America Idol" temporarily delayed his academic pursuits, Aiken graduated with a bachelor's degree in special education in December 2003.

He found his interest in special education while directing YMCA children's camps as a teenager; at age 19 he served as a substitute teacher for a classroom of students with autism at Brentwood Elementary School in Raleigh.

Aiken has been a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF since 2004. Not only has he testified before Congress, urging the government to allocate more funds for UNICEF's global work for children, he has also traveled to Indonesia, Mexico, Afghanistan and Uganda to see firsthand the devastating conditions affecting millions of the world's children -- natural disasters, disease, malnutrition, kidnapping and war.

The singer also created the Bubel/Aiken Foundation in 2003, an organization that promotes and funds educational and recreational programs to integrate children with special needs into recreational camps and activities alongside typical children.
(Ida Mae Astute/ABC)

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