Clay Aiken Biography
Clay Aiken is a prodigious singer, who rose to fame in the second season of the hit reality show on television, ‘American Idol’. Immediately after the end of the show, he was offered a recording contract with the distinguished company, ‘RCA Records’. Some of his best-known works under the label include ‘Merry Christmas with Love’, ‘A Thousand Different Ways’, ‘All is Well’ and ‘On My Way Here’.
Clay Aiken Age
He is currently 44 years old as of 2024. Aiken was born on November 30, 1978, in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. He celebrates his birthday on the 30th of November every year.
Clay Aiken Education
He attended Raleigh’s Leesville Road High School and took courses at Campbell University before enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in special education in December 2003.
Clay Aiken Height/Weight
He stands on an average height of 5 Feet 4 inches and weighs around 70kgs.
Clay Aiken Family
He was born and raised in the United State. However, he has not revealed information regarding his family members, this information is currently under review and will be updated soon.
Clay Aiken Wife/Boyfriend
Aiken is openly gay. He has been in relationships with Jeff Walters (2010 – 2011), Devin Finn (2010), and Reed Kelly (2008 – 2010). Clay has had an encounter with Jaymes Foster-Levy (2003).
Clay Aiken Children
He has a six-year-old son called Parker Foster Aiken with his former baby momma by the name of James Foster. He also has a baby momma called Jaymes Foster. As Radar reported, Foster gave birth to openly gay Aiken’s now six-year-old son, Parker, in 2008 after undergoing artificial insemination.
Clay Aiken Career
Aiken performed the national anthem numerous times for the Raleigh IceCaps and the Carolina Hurricanes hockey teams and performed it at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game at the RBC Center in Raleigh. Three demo albums of Aiken’s vocals were created before American Idol with the aid of studio time given as a birthday gift by his mother: a cassette called Look What Love Has Done (by Clayton Grissom), a cassette and CD entitled Redefined (by Clayton Aiken), and a CD that combined some songs from each of the previous demos: “Look What Love Has Done, Vol 2” (by Clay Aiken). Estranged from his abusive birth father Vernon Grissom and with his mother’s and grandfather Alvis Aiken’s permission, at the age of 19 he legally changed his surname from Grissom to his mother Faye’s maiden name, Aiken.
In 1995, Clay started working at the YMCA. Still, in high school, Clay learned quickly that he could make a difference in the lives of young people. 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 autistic students at Brentwood Elementary School in Raleigh. It was during that experience that he decided to finish college and become a special education teacher. While attending college in Charlotte, he took a part-time job as an assistant to a boy with autism. Itt was this child’s mother, Diane Bubel, who urged him to audition for American Idol. Although his American Idol activities temporarily delayed his academic pursuits, Aiken completed his course work while on tour. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in special education in December 2003.
Clay Aiken Music
Aiken had filled out an application to participate in the reality show Amazing Race when a friend of his insisted that he try out for American Idol instead. Television viewers first glimpsed Aiken during the audition episodes at the beginning of American Idol’s second season. The show’s judges first saw Aiken as a nerdy type unlikely to be any kind of idol, but after hearing him sing Heatwave’s “Always and Forever” decided to advance him to the next round. The clip of the judges’ surprise during this audition performance was replayed many times over the course of the competition.
The measure of a man
Clay released his first solo album “Measure of a Man” in October 2003. The album debuted at the number one spot on the billboard 200 with over 600,000 copies sold in the first week. It also received RIAA Double Platinum certification on 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/Bridge Over Troubled Water” won the Billboard award for the Best-Selling Single of 2003.
Merry Christmas With Love
In 2004, he released a holiday album, ‘Merry Christmas With Love, which became the fastest-selling holiday album. The album also went on to receive RIAA certification. The same year, he also made his acting debut in ‘Ed’, where he played himself. The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and tied Céline Dion’s record for the highest debut by a holiday album in the history of Billboard magazine.
A Thousand Different Ways And All Is Well
This was clay’s second studio album which was released on September 19, 2006. The album contains ten cover songs and four new songs, one of which Aiken co-wrote. Clive Davis is credited with the cover concept. Debuting at number two on the Billboard chart, A Thousand Different Ways made Aiken the fourth artist ever to have his first three albums debut in the Top 5 and scan over 200,000 in the first week.
Tried and True
The album was released on June 1, 2010, and features songs popular in the 1950s and 1960s, including two Aiken covered during his run on American Idol, “Mack the Knife” and “Unchained Melody”. In conjunction with the PBS special a companion DVD, Tried & True Live!, was released on July 27, 2010. A tour to promote the album is planned for early 2014.
On December 20, 2011, Aiken released a new single, “Bring Back My Love” under the Decca Label. The single is his first original song since the release of his album On My Way Here in 2008. On March 27, 2012, Aiken released Steadfast, a new album of previous recordings and songs only sung in concerts. The album debuted at #120 on the Billboard 200 chart with sales of 4,000 in the first week.
Clay Aiken Television
In 2003, Aiken sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” at the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and received a standing ovation from the audience. Lewis compared Aiken with Frank Sinatra and marveled at the dedication of Aiken’s fan base.
Aiken starred in and executive produced his first TV special (December 2004), titled A Clay Aiken Christmas, with special guests Barry Manilow, Yolanda Adams, and Megan Mullally; the special was released on DVD later that month. On July 4, 2004, Aiken was one of the performers in the A Capitol Fourth concert in Washington, D.C., and performed in the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series in 2004 and 2005. He also sang “Isn’t She Lovely” on the popular television show “Scrubs”.
Aiken was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live in 2004 and participated in several skits. He has appeared multiple times on The Tonight Show, interviewing with Jay Leno as a guest in addition to singing, and has become a regular guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Clay Aiken Politics
In the 2014 midterm elections, Aiken was the Democratic Party’s candidate for North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district. He won the Democratic primary, held on May 6, 2014, by fewer than 400 votes. His main opponent, Keith Crisco, died days after the primary vote but before the votes could be certified. In the general election, held on November 4, 2014, Aiken was defeated by incumbent Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, 59 to 41 percent. North Carolina’s 2nd district is considered a safe Republican seat. Aiken’s campaign was captured by a filmmaking team and shown in the 2015 documentary miniseries The Runner-Up, which aired on the Esquire Network.
Clay Aiken Broadway
On January 18, 2008, Aiken made his Broadway debut when he joined the cast of Monty Python’s Spamalot for a four-month run, ending on May 4, 2008. He played Sir Robin, in the Tony Award-winning musical directed by Mike Nichols. In addition to Sir Robin, Aiken played the 1st Guard and the Brother Maynard roles. On August 12, 2008, it was announced that Aiken would resume his role as Sir Robin beginning on September 19 and ending on January 4, 2009. On December 23, 2008, Aiken had his caricature unveiled at the world-famous Sardi’s restaurant. In December 2018, Aiken and Ruben Studdard starred in Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Christmas Show on Broadway.
Clay Aiken Albums
- The measure of a Man (2003)
- Merry Christmas with Love (2004)
- A Thousand Different Ways (2006)
- On My Way Here (2008)
- Tried and True (2010)
- Steadfast (2012)
Clay Aiken Salary/Net Worth
He has an estimated salary ranging between $70,000 – $125,000 and has an estimated net worth of $1 Million -$5 Million which he earns from his political and music career.