In the four years following his American Idol appearance Aiken has launched seven tours. While on tour during the summer of 2004, Aiken wrote his NY Times best-selling book Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life with Allison Glock. The book is an inspirational memoir that focuses on the most important people in his life as a child and young adult, and the importance of his faith.
Clay Aiken was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. As a young boy, Aiken sang in the Raleigh Boy choir and as a teenager, he sang in school choirs, church choir, musicals and local theatre productions. After high school he sang lead with a local band, Just By Chance, and co hosted and performed with the band at "Just by Chance and Friends" shows in Dunn, NC. He was also emcee and performer at the Johnston Community College Country Showcase in Smithfield.
Aiken first appeared on TV through American Idol audition episodes. The show's judges first saw Aiken as a nerdy type unlikely to be any kind of idol, but after hearing him sing Heat wave?s Always and Forever decided to advance him to the next round.
On October 14, 2003, Aiken released his first solo album, Measure of a Man, which debuted at top on the Billboard 200 and was, with 613,000 copies sold in its first week, the highest-selling debut for a solo artist in 10 years, and to date the highest debut of any Idol. The album received RIAA Double Platinum certification November 17, 2003. The album spawned both the hit single Invisible and his first hit song, This Is the Night. Later that year, Aiken won the Fan's Choice Award at the American Music Awards ceremony, and his CD single This Is the Night and Bridge over Troubled Water won the Billboard award for the Best-Selling Single of 2003.
Aiken?s Different TV appearances:
He has made many television appearances.
? He sang The Star-Spangled Banner on opening night of the 2003 World Series
? He appeared in numerous television specials during the winter of 2003
? He showed up in Disney's Christmas Day Parade
? He also came at Nick at Nite Holiday Special, where he sang the "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth".
Aiken starred in and executive produced his first TV special in December 2004, titled A Clay Aiken Christmas, with special guests Barry Manilow, Yolanda Adams, and Megan Mull ally. On July 4th, 2004, Aiken was one of the performers in the A Capitol Fourth concert in Washington, DC and performed in the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series in 2004 and 2005.
From February to April 2004, Aiken embarked on the "Independent Tour" with Kelly Clarkson, winner of the first American Idol contest. Following this tour, he was scheduled for a few summer solo tour dates, but demand later brought fifty shows across the USA. A music video, featuring Aiken, is presented on the Aladdin Special Edition 2-Disc DVD. On this tour he also performed a duet, Without You which was featured on Kimberley Locke's 2004 debut album One Love.
Aiken has donated his time and his voice to multiple benefit events and concerts, including the
? 2004 Rosalynn Carter Benefit,
? the America's Promise Benefit, and
? Heather Headley's Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
? An ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House Charities
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