Multi platinum RCA recording artist Clay Aiken emerged from his 2003 American Idol experience with a recording contract, Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly magazine covers, and legions of loyal fans. Those fans voted him the Fan's Choice winner at the 2003 American Music Awards as well as TV Guide's Fan's Favorite Reality Star that same year. His first single, This is the Night/Bridge Over Troubled Water won the Billboard Music Award for best selling single of 2003.
He has spent much of his time since then on the road, performing at sold out concerts across the country. Between the American Idol tour in the summer of 2003 and the Independent Tour with Kelly Clarkson early in 2004, Clay released his debut solo CD, Measure of a Man, which sold over 612,000 units the first week and over 2.6 million overall, earning it a Double Platinum sales certification from the RIAA.
A successful solo tour, sponsored by Disney, took Clay and company to thirty states for fifty shows during the summer of 2004. In December, Clay performed in intimate performance halls across the country with his Joyful Noise Tour in support of his holiday CD, Merry Christmas With Love, which sold over one million copies in six weeks.
Two weeks before his 26th birthday, in November 2004, Clay's inspirational memoir entitled "Learning to Sing – Hearing the Music in Your Life" was released. It spent several weeks on the NY Times Nonfiction Best Seller list.
In the summer of 2003, Clay founded the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, whose mission is to encourage and facilitate programs that enable the inclusion of children with disabilities into the environment of those without. Visit the website at http://thebubelaikenfoundation.com/.
UNICEF has named Clay an Ambassador of Education for All Children, and he served as a national spokesperson for the 2004 Marine Toys for Tots campaign, their most successful year ever.
Clay Aiken was born November 30, 1978 in Raleigh, NC, which is proud to call him their own. He graduated from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte with a Special Education degree in December 2003.
"To me, singing is the single most joyous thing a person can do."
-Clay Aiken, from his book "Learning to Sing – Hearing the Music in Your Life"
-- The Claymaniacs
--- from the official Clay Aiken website