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|Aiken in 2012|
|Full name||Clayton Holmes Grissom|
|Birthday/Birthplace||(1978-11-30) November 30, 1978
Raleigh, North Carolina
Clayton Holmes Grissom (born November 30, 1978), better known as Clay Aiken , is an American pop singer. He achieved fame in the second season of the American Idol television show in 2003. RCA Records offered him a recording contract and his debut album Measure of a Man was released in October 2003.
After years of speculation, in September 2008 Aiken confirmed in an interview with People magazine that he is gay.
Clay Aiken’s Biography
His early years
Clay Aiken was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. In his childhood, Aiken sang in the children’s choir of Raleigh and in his youth as a young adult with a local band, Just By Chance. He attended Raleigh’s Leesville Road High School before enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Although his activities at American Idol temporarily delayed his studies, Aiken graduated with a bachelor’s degree in special education in December 2003. Aiken discovered his interest in special education while running camps for children at the YMCA as a teenager; At the age of 19 he replaced a teacher in a class for students with autism at Brentwood Elementary School. While attending college in Charlotte she took a part-time job as an assistant to a child with autism, and was the boy’s mother, Diane Bubel, who motivated him to audition for American Idol.
Viewers first saw Clay during the audition episodes at the beginning of the second season of American Idol. At first the judges of the program saw Clay as a regular guy who in no way corresponded to the idol prototype, however, they were impressed when they heard him sing “Always and Forever”. The video in which the judges are surprised with the hearing of Clay was repeated many times throughout the competition.
Aiken advanced in the program to reach the group of 32 finalists, but was eliminated from the competition in his first attempt, when he sang the theme of Journey “Open Arms”. He was third in his group of eight contenders, behind eventual winner Ruben Studdard and behind the eventual third finalist Kimberley Locke. However, during the episode called “wild card”, the interpretation of the song “Do not Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John was very well received by the judges and the public and Clay qualified for the group of 12 finalists Within the first few weeks, Aiken and Studdard emerged as the clear favorites of the judges and the audience. Meanwhile, Aiken stood out especially as balladeer, as with the dramatic interpretation of Neil Sedaka’s “Solitaire” theme.
On May 21, 2003, Aiken was in a close second place in the competition, with Ruben Studdard winning by a narrow margin, with around 130,000 votes difference (of 24,000,000 votes received). The result was somewhat controversial, as some people suggested that the American Idol telephone voting system was going to be unable to handle the number of incoming calls. In this way, the result that was delivered was surely the result of chance. In an interview prior to the start of the fifth season of American Idol, Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe revealed for the first time that Aiken had led the vote of supporters every week from the episode “Wild Card” onwards to the final, when possibly the Random voting gave Ruben Studdard the winner. Although Aiken was officially the first finalist, since then he became the most sold-out record artist of the second season.
2003-2005: Measure of a Man
On October 14, 2003, Aiken recorded his first solo album, Measure of a Man, which debuted at # 1 on the Billboard 200 and was, with 613,000 copies sold in its first week, the most selling debut for a solo artist in 10 years, and is to date the highest debut for an American Idol. The album received from RIAA double platinum album on November 17, 2003 and has sold over 2,750,000 units to date. The album included the hit single “Invisible” and their first song “This Is the Night”. Later that year, Aiken won the Fan’s Choice Award at the American Music Awards ceremony, and his single CD “This Is the Night / Bridge Over Troubled Water” won the Billboard Award for the 2003 Best-Selling Single.
Aiken appeared on numerous television specials during the winter of 2003, including Disney’s Christmas Day Parade and Nick At Nite Holiday Special, where he sang a duet with Bing Crosby via special effects. The song was “Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth,” which was originally sung by Crosby and David Bowie on a 1977 Christmas special.
Aiken also recorded a Christmas album entitled “Merry Christmas With Love”, which set a new record for the fastest sale of a Christmas album in the Soundscan era (since 1991). The album debuted at # 4 on the Billboard 200 and tied Céline Dion’s record for the highest debut of a Christmas album in the history of Billboard magazine. “Merry Christmas With Love” sold more than 1,000,000 copies in 6 weeks and was the best-selling Christmas album of 2004, receiving a platinum album on January 6, 2005.
2006: A Thousand Different Ways
Clay’s third album, A Thousand Different Ways, was recorded on September 19, 2006. He worked on his album under the guidance of Canadian producer and executive of A & R Jaymes Foster. The album contains 10 new versions of well-known songs, and four new songs, one of which was co-written by Clay Aiken. Debuting at # 2 on the Billboard, Clay became the fourth artist to have his first three albums debuting in the top 5 and selling over 200,000 copies in his first week.
Clay Aiken Net Worth – $7 Million
More Facts about Clay Aiken
The Clay Aiken’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.