Thursday, June 29, 2006

Soon Sooner Soonest

How soon is quite soon? How soon is very soon? These are questions I'd like answered. Perhaps next time Clay sits down with a journalist like Diane Sawyer these thought provocating questions can be answered. No one has a more skewed sense of time than Clay judging from his weekly blog which seem to come at strange intervals sometimes as much as a month apart. Clay said on January 30th that we will hear album information 'quite soon' . A couple of weeks ago, we said we would hear 'very soon'. I'm still waiting. The anticipation is killing me. Every time I think 'soon' has arrived, I've been mistaken. I hate being wrong.

Blends by claystruck

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

King of the Singles

Ken Barnes of USA Today reported single numbers for the American Idols and the runner-ups. It must stick in his craw that Clay is on top of the list since he not a Clay Aiken fan to say the least. If fact, I never remember him saying anything positive about him at all, but the facts are the facts, and Clay is the King of the Singles.

Single Sales (First Week/Total to Date):

1. Clay Aiken/This Is the Night 393,000 (960,000)

2. Ruben Studdard/Flying Without Wings 286,000 (737,000)

3. Kelly Clarkson/A Moment Like This 236,000 (626,000)

4. Taylor Hicks/Do I Make You Proud 190,000 (190,000)

5. Fantasia/I Believe 142,000 (405,000)

6. Carrie Underwood/Inside Your Heaven 130,000 (455,000)

7. Bo Bice/Inside Your Heaven 102,000 ()346,000

8. Diana DeGarmo/Dreams 65,000 (201,000)

9. Justin Guarini/Sorry no sales reported in SoundScan archives; possibly not released as a CD single?

10. Katharine McPhee/My Destiny Out June 27 ***

***Addendum: Katharine McPhee sold 47,000 Commercial Singles plus 28,000Digital Downloads in her first week of sales

You can read my about Clay's single in my blog post, A Single-lar Anniversary which also includes video of him singing both"Bridge Over Trouble Water" and "This Is The Night".

For more reading, visit some of the Clay Aiken blogs linked in the sidebar. If you are looking for other Clay Aiken sites including message boards, a great resource is Finding Clay Aiken (also linked in the sidebar).

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss

Rolling Stone Photo Shoot, Matthew Ralston, Photographer

Rolling Stone, Issue 926, July 3, 2003

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We celebrate the third anniversary of this hunkalicious Rolling Stone cover. Okay, maybe hunkalicious is the wrong term. Clay looks like schoolboy in the picture, but we did get only ONE shirt...blown by a fan no less...and skin. Mr. Aiken has told us not to get used to it because it ain't happening again. Hah. I do believe he is almost correct. We rarely get a glimpse of skin. He's pretty careful to cover up, as he is the the king of layering. It's a joke within the fandom that Clay is never caught without his three shirts, maybe two if it's really hot out. Anyway, back to the Rolling Stone cover. It was quite an honor for Clay to get the cover. It was rumored that Rolling Stone gave Clay the cover over winner Ruben Studdard because they felt Clay had the more intriguing story, and the more outgoing personality. I am sure Clay's vocal and large fanbase did not go unnoticed either. Clay had to field some questions on why he got the cover over Ruben, and he was a good soldier spewing the company line that "Ruben was too busy as the winner to pose for Rolling Stone". Yeah right. Ruben eventually did get a cover no doubt due to some back room negotiations along with the stellar sales of Clay's cover as a selling point. Clay and Ruben are the only American Idols to have been on the cover of Rolling Stone to date, so it was quite an honor for both of them. During the recent publicity blitz generated by American Idol, it was revealed that Clay's cover was the best-selling cover of 2003. Not bad for a runner-up.

Video of Rolling Stone Photo Shoot

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Mirror of the Soul

Many pictures posted on the message boards were dedicated to Clay's eyes this week. Mr. Darcy summed it up perfectly for me (with a slight change). Apologies to Jane Austen for changing the gender in her quote.

I've been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes and the face of a handsome man can bestow.~~paraphrased quote, Jane Austen...from Pride and Prejudice

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Those true eyes
Too pure and too honest in aught to disguise
The sweet soul shining through them.

- Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith"),
Lucile (pt. II, canto II, st. 3)

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Recommended Blogs:

For a look at all the creativity within the Clay Aiken fandom read: WebWeaver's World: Creating with Clay.

For a quick dance lesson, read the always funny Jemock's blog: Heel, Toe, Slide, Slide, Dip, Big Finnish! Or, How to Bust a Move the Finnish Way!

For the story of the journey of a Clay fan read:
ClaySpots: That voice could not be denied..In the beginning....Part 1

For news on this week's chart placement for AI Alum read:
Something That Really Happened: American Idol on the Radio

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Good News!

Our Angel brings Good News.

On June 14th Clay announced that his back-up vocalist, Qiana Parler gave birth to her first child, Chamberlain Malik Moore. The "little man" weighed 6 lbs, 2 oz., and Uncle Clay could not have sounded more proud if he had been the papa. You can read about Clay and Quiana in my first post of this blog in The Start of the Journey .

There's just something about men that are comfortable with babies.

Love Quiana and Clay, A Juke Box Treasure by Hosaa

Visit Quiana Parler's website.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Ready To Fly

It's no surprise that Clay Aiken's fans are beyond ready for a new CD. This October it will be three years since a mainstream release, and in November it will be two years since the Christmas album release. Clay started recording early last year, but was not happy with the direction of the album. RCA allowed him to start over with Jaymes Foster as new executive producer. In December, the album was turned into RCA, but for some reason unknown to us, RCA decided to scrap that CD. Clive Davis is very partial to cover songs, so in a February 10th blurb in Entertainment Weekly, we learn that the album will be heavy in covers. Most of the online fandom was not happy. If anyone can do covers justice Clay can, but most felt he is deserving of his own songs. Who knows if really great melodic songs worthy of Clay's vocal talent are hard to find, or if Clive just wants to cash in on the trend to older music, but once we got word of covers, many had to readjust our thinking about the album. Clay has told us the theme is love songs--all kinds of love, but most songs are about love, so that is not a great clue. Clay also said he was taking his time with this album to make it something great for us and for him. There will be fresh modern arrangements on some old favorites. Clay does like to be cryptic. It is now June, and we don't know much more than we knew in February. His new look gives hope that he won't be singing all stodgy old ballads. I'm still hoping for the Clay Aiken album that showcases the same Clay Aiken we see in concert. Week after week, we wait for news. Is the CD still covers or has there been another change? Who knows, but I'm ready for Clay Aiken to fly...not only fly, but to soar to where his talent the stratosphere. I'll be right there, flapping my wings behind him, trying to keep up. Bring it on!

was kind enough to allow me to feature her beautiful montage of "Ready to Fly". Enjoy!

"Ready to Fly"--Music by Richard Marxx

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Artistic Endeavors

Clay Nation has a vast pool of talent. Everything from technological to artistic talent. Often the two are melded. Some of the most beautiful photos are taken by some very talented fans. They are often better than Clay's professional photos. Within the fandom there is a free sharing of photos which in turn produces some fantastic art blends by people who not only have an artistic eye, but have the skills to successful navigate the computer software that creates the images. It's not as easy as it looks. I know because I've tried. You won't be seeing any of my creations here. *g*

Here is a sampling of some blends that have been created by various fans using photos by some of the ClayNation's finest photographers or screencaps from the television:

Beautiful Creations (and the subject's not bad either)

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Joyful Noise Tour 2005 (Charlotte)

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Joyful Noise Tour 2005

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Solo Tour 2004 (Big E- Massachusetts)

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Solo Tour 2004 (Big E- Massachusetts)

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Juke Box Tour 2005

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Juke Box Tour 2005

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Juke Box Tour 2005

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Concert Clay

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American Idol 4 (Solitaire)

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AI2 to AI5
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All images are copyrighted to the creators.

Some other related blogs to read are WebWeaver's World: Clay Aiken's new look - revisited,
Graphics in Mind, and Marhaven Musings.

For updated Clay Aiken blogs, check out ClayBlogs.

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Single-lar Anniversary

June 10, 2003 is the anniversary of the release of Clay's first single, "This Is The Night/Bridge Over Troubled Water.

  • The single spent 11 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Singles Chart.

  • It was on the chart for an amazing 45 weeks.

  • It sold 393,000 copies according to SoundScan.

  • As of 5/9/04, 958,664 copies were sold.
  • TITN/BoTW had the biggest first-week sales of any single since Elton John's "Candle in the Wind (1997).

  • It was also the best-selling single of 2003 by far.

  • Here is an article from on first week sales.

    Clay gave some amazing performances of both songs. View the video of "This Is the Night" from the Miss America Pageant, and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" at the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon:

    "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

    "This Is The Night"

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    Friday, June 09, 2006

    Desert Island Fantasy

    Last Sunday, the E! cable channel had on a show, Stranded with a Star: Who Would You Choose?.

    From TVGuide Online: A tongue-in-cheek debate to find the most desirable star in categories such as best "Batman" or favorite "Charlie's Angel." A celebrity panel including Bai Ling, Brett Michaels, John Salley, and Leanne Tweeden discuss the merits of each candidate, while an on-line poll allows viewers to weigh in with their choices.

    For some strange reason, Clay was pitted against Marilyn Manson in the category Freeks or Geeks. I'm pretty sure he was the geek, but with E! you never know. The D-list panel celebrity of has-beens or never-weres picked Marilyn Manson as the winner of that category. Imagine their shock when Clay won with 73% of the vote. Heh! That was fun. At the end of the show there was a overall, 'Who Would You Most Want to Be Stranded With' category. The 'very cool' panel was guessing Leonardo DiCaprio, Heath Ledger, George Clooney, Brad Pitt. Denzel Washington and Vince Vaughn, all those "manly-men" types. They totally freaked out when Clay won. Only Bai Ling called it, so kudos to her.

    Bret Michaels put together pictures of Angelina (female winner) and Clay and asking, "Why America? I don't get it!" He then went on to say he was embarrassed to be on the show and what happened to manly-men. Well, I'd be embarrassed to be him. A former pink spandex-wearing, long blond-haired, blue eye-shadow wearing male should not be one to talk about another's manliness. I think it is hilarious that these macho guys have no clue as to what makes Clay Aiken appealing. Hey Dudes, most women are not attracted to muscles and pea-sized brains. Get a clue. No doubt with whom I would want to be stuck.
    As one message board poster put it,"Various D-listers are freaked by the power of the Aiken and Clay Nation". That was the most fun I've had in an evening in a while. *g*

    View the video for yourself:

    Some Great Blogs to Check Out:

  • The ConCLAYve: Paint Your Wagon and Fill it with Platinum Albums
  • Wandered Away: Do stale smoke and beer create talent?
  • ClaySpots: Bruce Springsteen and Clay two loves

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    Monday, June 05, 2006

    A Most Beautiful Smile

    "A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give." ~Author Unknown

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    “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”~~~Mother Teresa

    Some other blogs about Clay Aiken to check out:

    Lyrichord's Music Musings: Resistance is Futile

    The ClayBlog: The Clay Aiken Video Challenge

    The ConCLAYve: Can I Have Two Boyfriends - PLEASE!

    G.F.T.C.S.A.: Still Talking About The New Clay

    Clay Musings: They Just. Don't. Get. It.

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    Friday, June 02, 2006

    Clay Aiken Fans: A Group of People

    Clay Aiken fans can be called many things and usually are. Crazy...not most of us. Enthusiastic...well, Mr. Aiken has called us that himself, so I guess it would be accurate for many. Descriptions of Clay Aiken fans have been, on a whole, less than flattering. We've been described as screaming-grannies, screaming-teens, rabid, right-wing, conservative, are painted of fans as mumu-wearing, mid-western, e-mail writing desperate housewives, or the young tween in the throes of her first puppy love. In truth, Clay Aiken fans cross all demographics, walks of life, religions, political affiliations, and gender...they are lawyers, teachers, accountants, computer analysts, small-business owners, actors, singers, writers, a rocket-scientist or two, mothers, wives, fathers, sons. What the fans do have in common is intelligence, good taste and admiration of Clay Aiken.

    The moniker that seems to used the most for the fandom is ClayNation. An estimated 10,000-15,000 fans are part of the online community. That's not counting the international communities. The Korean fansite has over 9000 members basely mostly on a commercial that used Clay's song "Shine". When Clay is in an active cycle, the boards are like a speeding train with comment after comment posted in rapid-fire succession. Communities have been built...of friendship, caring, and good conversation. That bonding has allowed the communities to be sustained despite a rather lengthy inactive cycle. We have been waiting for CD news for over a year now. Non-the-less the message boards have barely slowed down.

    Just an example, a recent discussion was RCA and their perceptions of Clay past and present. The past perceptions come from a Time magazine article written in October 2003 where an unnamed RCA executive was quoted as saying that "Idol as proof that "Americans have no taste" and described Aiken as "Barry Manilow, but with less talent." Hum...nice to have the record company in your corner. That was then, now Clay Aiken returned to the American Idol stage that created a buzz that still has not stopped.

    Here are is sampling of the conversation from Clay Aiken's message boards. The names are withheld to protect the innocent. *g*

    "If some execs at RCA "didn't get" Clay until Wednesday's AI, maybe it was because this is the first time in a long time that Clay performed in front of a crowd that was composed of Not.Just.Us? I know that people have mentioned RCA execs at concerts, but perhaps those execs assumed that the crowd response was biased (because we're fans and buy tickets, therefore are expected to respond enthusiastically)."

    "I think it's important to remember that "RCA" is not one big blob of groupthink. It's a company, with real people. Lots of them. Those not directly involved hear gossip, they hear through the company grapevine. Heck, I know my company has one. RCA is predominantly a rock label, and the people who work there probably do so because of that. RCA didn't voluntarily take on the AI contracts 5 years ago - it was thrust on them by their European parent. It was also seen as a stopgap until they could find "real stars". I believe that mentality has changed, but still. With respect to Clay, not everyone who is at RCA has worked with him or knows him or has even met him. They are subject to the same gossip and stereotypes. As a whole, the AI thing probably *was* a huge wakeup call."

    "The execs at RCA understand and believe Clay has TALENT. They may not have always gotten the MAGIC. It is highly male-dominated. I have met some of them in BMG. They understand money, and they know Clay can sell. But there have been some who didn't necessarily get that Clay has a charisma that is THAT powerful that 2 minutes made him THE talk of the whole show. They don't understand the "SONIC PHEROMONES".... that visceral reaction that changes our behavior involuntarily. Something like what happened the other night causes that cognitive dissonance, and it can turn on light-bulbs. So what happened the other night may have just brought the whole of RCA/RMG on board, when there were always some too-cool-for-school doubters (but they wouldn't necessarily be the people assigned to work directly on Clay's project - there are hundreds of employees covering their artist roster). What I interpret is this: THEY GET IT NOW. And maybe, they'll finally really do the things even bigger and better than the big and good we would have gotten."

    "It took something totally unexpected to shatter any lingering perception or idea that people had regarding him being a "geek" or "nerdy" or "runner-up" or "loser" or "unsexy" or whatever. Once their mind was cleared and reeling from the disconnect of what they thought they knew, they could form a completely new opinion based on what they really were SEEING, not just what they had been fed by the media."

    "It's not that I don't believe that Clay's performance on the AI5 finale was a tremendous success for him, because I do. And I think it was a meaningful success for him, as well -- it sent a clear message about his star power with a huge audience 3 years after his Idol season ended. I just don't see it as an "it.changed.EVERYTHING" moment for the people who've been working with Clay, though with the right follow-up, it might end up being precisely that for the masses and for the rest of the industry."

    In depth music discussion has always been part of many of Clay's message boards. It's been an educational and enlightening experience. Not to say there aren't hair debates, skits, humor, personal stories, pictures--many, many pictures, and also interspersed with industry talk: liver, soffits, vacuum cleaners and dog food have also been discussed.

    So don't believe everything you read in the media about the fans. The media likes to use stereotypes, but the reality is a diversity in a group of people with the common denominator of Mr. Aiken and a love of music.

    Welcome to the Wild West of Clay Aiken fan message boards.

    A great site to find anything you might want on Clay Aiken is at Finding Clay Aiken

    A few recommended Blogs:

    Clay Musings: How the Use of the Internet has Helped Clay Aiken's Career
    Lyrichord's Music Musings: More Cute Clay Fan Interaction
    The Big Dawg: The Buzz
    The ClayBlog: Clay Aiken - My Thoughts on a Life Uncommon
    Casper's Place: Clay fans aren't the only ones
    Something That Really Happened: What It Means To Be A Fan

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    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    The New Wrapping

    "I'm not different. I'm not different at all. The
    wrapping is different but the gift is still the same." ~ Clay Aiken

    No doubt Clay Aiken has changed a bit since he first hit that Atlanta audition stage. The bone structure is the same, the heart is the same, the intelligence, the wit, the quirks, the allergies, the phobias are all the same, but the wrapping is a different. The wrapping is that of a star now. I like the new wrapping.

    Some great blogs to check out:

    Using My Voice: The Pitfalls of Perception
    The ClayBlog: Clay Aiken - Life Uncommon
    ClaySpots: Did Clive Davis Really know what he had in Clay Aiken?
    Marhaven Musings

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