Clay Aiken is a talented vocalist who rose to prominence on the second season of the popular reality show ‘American Idol.’ He was immediately offered a recording contract with the prestigious label ‘RCA Records’ after the performance ended. ‘Merry Christmas with Love,’ ‘A Thousand Different Ways,’ ‘All is Well,’ and ‘On My Way Here’ are among his best-known compositions for the company. He’s also got the opportunity to work for ‘Decca Records,’ an up-and-coming record label. Aside from his singing career, he has appeared on ‘The Tonight Show’ and ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ on numerous occasions. He also serves on the board of ‘People with Intellectual Disabilities’ and is an active spokesperson for the ‘National Inclusion Project,’ which he founded. His role on Broadway is another essential aspect of this young star’s career. He made his Broadway debut in the production ‘Spamalot,’ in which he played ‘Sir Robin.’ Aiken has left his imprint in the fast-paced world of ‘on-and-off’ celebrities, and he is here to stay for a long time. A great number of accolades, including the American Music Awards and the Billboard Awards, have honored his efforts and accomplishments.
Childhood and Adolescence
Clayton Holmes ‘Clay’ Grissom was born in the North Carolina town of Chapel Hill. His parents split while he was a child, and he adopted his mother’s maiden name, Aiken, as his legal surname.
At the age of five, he made his performing debut with the song “Islands in the Stream” at a Raleigh, North Carolina, high school dance in 1983.
He was a member of several church choirs, school choruses, and the local school band ‘Just By Chance’ as a youngster. He attended the University of North Carolina in Charlotte after graduating from high school, where he majored in ‘Special Education.’
He intended to attend William & Mary College in 2003, but he ultimately opted to try out for the second season of ‘American Idol’ first.
He was chosen from thousands of applicants, and despite having to put his schooling on wait, he was able to complete his bachelor’s degree in special education while on tour in 2003.
Career of Clay Aiken
On May 21, 2003, Aiken came in second place to Ruben Studdard, who had won the ‘American Idol’ championship by 1,34,000 votes. The following year, he published his first solo album, ‘Measure of a Man,’ which charted on Billboard.
In 2003, he appeared in Disney’s television program “Christmas Day Parade.” The following year, he produced his first television special, ‘A Clay Aiken Christmas,’ with special guests such as Barry Manilow, Megan Mullally, and Yolanda Adams.
In 2004, he published ‘Merry Christmas With Love,’ which went on to become the best-selling holiday album of all time. The album was also certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). He also made his acting debut in the same year in the film ‘Ed,’ in which he played himself.
He also wrote a book called ‘Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life’ in 2004.
‘A Thousand Different Ways,’ his second studio album, was released in 2006. In the same year, he made an appearance on ‘Days of our Lives’ as himself.
On November 28, 2006, he released his album ‘All Is Well,’ which was also published digitally on iTunes the following year. He also appeared on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ around the time the album was released on iTunes.
On May 6, 2008, RCA Records published ‘On My Way Here,’ which was the last album they produced. Following that, the two parted ways. ‘The Very Best of Clay Aiken’ was released the following year.
He secured a record deal with Decca Records in 2009, and the album ‘Tried and True’ was released the following year.
In 2011, he launched his new single, ‘Bring Back My Love,’ on Decca Records, which became a hit in the music industry.
In 2012, he released ‘Steadfast,’ a new album comprised of previously recorded live performances. In the same year, he appeared on the fifth season of ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ as a celebrity contestant.
In the 2014 election for North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district, he was the Democratic nominee.
Major Works’ debut album, ‘Measure of Man,’ published in 2003, sold over 3 million copies worldwide and peaked at number one on the Billboard 200. The album was nominated for a Billboard Award. Because it was triple-platinum the first time around, this debut album is considered his magnum opus.
Achievements & Awards
He got the American Music Award in the ‘Fan’s Choice’ category in 2003.
In 2003, he was awarded the Billboard Award for “Best Selling Single of 2003-Bridge Over Troubled Water/This Is The Night.”
He received a Billboard Award for ‘Best Selling Christmas/Christian Album- Merry Christmas with Love’ in 2004.
In 2004, he received the New Music Weekly Award for ‘Top 40 Male Artist of the Year.’
In 2005, he received an American Christian Music Award for his song “Outstanding Yule CD – Merry Christmas With Love.”
In 2005, he received the Robert M. Barg Memorial Achievement Award.
In 2007, he received the Children’s Advocacy Award from the National Center for Learning Disabilities.
In 2009, he received the Family Equality Council’s ‘Family Circle Award.’
Personal History and Legacy
He is participating in a variety of benefit events and organizations, including ‘People with Intellectual Disabilities,’ ‘National Inclusion Project,’ and ‘UNICEF,’ among others.
He came out as gay in 2008 and is involved in a variety of gay rights organizations. In the same year, he and his friend, Jaymes Foster, announced the birth of their son, Parker Foster Aiken.
He received liposuction under his chin as part of his treatment for a joint condition.
Clay Aiken’s Net Worth
This well-known singer-songwriter, who came close to winning season two of ‘American Idol,’ is allergic to a variety of foods, including all ‘tree nuts.’