Friday, September 29, 2006

A Diamond in the Trash Pile

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Graphic by Linda Carrelli

Billboard Chart placement for A Thousand Different Ways:

Billboard 200 - #2

Billboard Comprehensive Albums - #2

Top Digital Albums - #3

Top Internet Albums - #1

Top Canadian Albums - #6

Not bad for someone out of the public eye for most of the year and has not released a mainstream album in almost three years, for someone who was "advised" to do a cover songs, for someone whose promotion did not start until the week of release, for someone without a radio single to support sales and for someone the DJ's and critics love to trash. Congratulations Clay. Your sales are a testament to your phenomenal vocal talent. People do love to hear you sing. Now if people could just leave your private life alone, I'd be totally happy. Let the focus be on the music where it belongs.

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Speaking of private life, Larry King tried to get the big scoop on the big "is he or isn't he question". Clay was very polite, much more so than I would have been, but Clay reiterated that it does not matter what he says, there is only one answer people want to hear. (The complete Larry King Live interview transcript can found here.) He can't give the answer that everyone is tuning in for so he's done talking. Good for you. Stand your ground Clay. When Clay Aiken is done with something, believe it because there is no man more stubborn man than he. Who else would wear an ugly perm for two years to torment his mother because she didn't like it. Who else would become a vegetarian for two years because he didn't like a meal his mom cooked. Yup, stubborn and sometimes foolish, but in this instance, Clay is right. People will think what they want about him, and I'm glad he stopped giving a rat's behind about it.

This Clay Aiken fandom has been a wake-up call to me. I never knew there were so many jerks (I want to say d*ckh**ds, but I'm too nice *g*)in the world. People who are content to tear down and trash another human being, to try to ruin his reputation. And for what. To be cool. Too be a famewhore. Too get hits to their blogs or websites. How about the media outlets like MSNBC who you would think practice responsible journalism. They are the first to happily pick up any rumor about Clay Aiken whether it has a legitimate source or not. They'll print half stories with the most unfavorable slant possible. It's been quite amazing to me with what they get away. I no longer watch their cable station or give any hits to their websites. With all the misinformation on Clay Aiken, I wouldn't trust any of their news.

It's not just MSNBC though I find them the worst offender, it's journalism in general. Sources are many times dubious. (Even outside the celebrity reporting genre, hardcore news vets like Dan Rather circumvent the truth.)Who can we trust? Anonymous tips on gossips site are often used, sites where anyone can make up anything. Facts are rarely checked, and all you need is one legitimate website like MSNBC to pick up the story and before you know it spreads like a bad rash all over the media. I have seen it time and time again. Truth can no longer be separated from fiction. Why does this happen? Is it the tabloidization of America which sells in the form of a newspaper or a webstie hit, in a time where people have less and less time for cold, hard factual news? Is it agenda-driven by the real people behind the keyboards? Is it laziness? I wish I knew why it happens. I tend to think it is a combination of factors, but the bottom line as long as American buys the trash, that is what we will get. Clay Aiken glitters in his squeaky clean goodness in the trash pile of celebrity sensationalism. Whoever had at the initial idea of melding of hard news and entertainment news should be shot (not literally, maybe just hit over the head).

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Hits Daily Double is a website that builds a sales chart with the sales numbers that the retailers report. The charts are built Monday and Tuesday. While the numbers are not totally accurate, they do tend to mirror the official Soundscan numbers and rankings fairly closely.

Number of units of ATDW sold by % of stores reporting in:

~~in progress~~

83.34--- 206,631

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Soundscan is a sales source that tracks sales data for singles, albums, and music videos for Billboard, music channel companies and other music industry companies. It reports sales numbers on Wednesday.

From the Soundscan website:

Nielsen SoundScan is an information system that tracks sales of music and music video products throughout the United States and Canada. Sales data from point-of-sale cash registers is collected weekly from over 14,000 retail, mass merchant and non-traditional (on-line stores, venues, etc.) outlets. Weekly data is compiled and made available every Wednesday. Nielsen SoundScan is the sales source for the Billboard music charts.

Clay Aiken's Album 1st week Soundscan Numbers:

MOAM: 612,859 (#1)
MCWL: 270,010 (#4)
ATDW: 211,234 (#2)


  • AI buzz from both the show and the tour.
  • Ruben vs Clay rivalry
  • 'Invisible' impacting radio several weeks prior to the release date.
  • Early promotion: Time article, Elle article, EW Cover, Nickelodeon's Let's Just Play, Primetime Live interview, Leno, TRL, GMA, World Series.


  • Cross promotion with "Learning to Sing".
  • Continued momentum from MOAM/Touring/Appearances
  • TV Guide cover
  • The Vox singing Christmas


Note: No Song impacting radio before the release date.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Lover All Alone

Check out Clay's Walmart Soundcheck performances and interview here:


It's been a busy week with the CD release date finally coming to pass. The album is even better than I thought. Even though I did not like all the originals, I love all the songs sung by Clay. The biggest surprise was not even on the album, but included as a bonus on the iTunes download. The bonus was a song written by Clay called "Lover All Alone". It is just gorgeous--heartfelt and haunting. I literally get goosebumps listening to it.

Lyrics to Love All Alone:

maybe i've convinced myself i've really been in love
and i've been wrong all along
for all i know the feeling and the picture that i've tried
so hard to find isn't mine

could be its all just a waiting game
wanna share my everything c

and on my own
its hard to tell my heart it will be alright
this love it holds will one day find a home
as hard as love can be
its harder still it seems
to be a lover all alone without love

picking up the pieces makes me wonder if
i only build it all to watch it fall
the faster it can go away it means the less of me
is gone to stay and i'm ok

but lonesome(?) tomorrow comes anyway
i'm alone for another day, another day

and on my own
its hard to tell my heart it will be alright
that this love it holds will one day find a home
as hard as love can be
its harder still it seems
to be a lover all alone without love

and on my own
its hard to tell my heart it will be alright
that this love it holds will one day find a home
as hard as love can be
its harder still it seems
to be a lover all alone without love
a lover all alone... without love

maybe i've convinced myself i've really been in love
but i've been wrong all along

Fred Bronson confirmed that the song was mostly written by Clay with co-writing credits going to David Foster (music), and Emanuel Kiriakou (prob a hand in both).

The promotion for this album has been a bit disappointing considering that RCA did not see fit to include radio play in the promotional budget. There were not many performances with the exception of Leno, Good Morning America, and The View. Clay was to have the People Magazine cover this week, but got bumped to the upper-right hand corner in favor of the amazing and very newsworthy Anna Nicole Smith. The article in the issue is very good, and well worth the price of the magazine. There were quite of few interviews though. It seems people just can't leave Clay's private life to himself. He stated in 2003 that he was straight in both Rollingstone and on Primetime Live, but that's not enough. People would rather believe tabloids, liars, and late-night jokesters instead of taking someone at their word for something that should be private. He drew the line, and said he was done talking about it. People will believe what the want to believe. I was more than a little disappointed in the editing done on the Diane Sawyer interview. Who knew that Lara Spencer of The Insider would have the best interview with Clay. She actually asked reasonable questions and let Clay answer.

For a wonderful blog addressing the media attention and speculation on Clay's sexuality visit WebWeaver's World: Is Clay gay or straight? It's none of your business!

Video of The Insider Interview:

Clay had a Leno appearance on 9/15. The man is beyond adorable on the talk-show circuit. Howie Mandel was the first guest, and stuck around for Clay's time on the couch. The two of them should be a comedy team. Jay was not needed. *g*

Performance of "A Thousand Days" from GMA

Part 1 (9/18/06) of the Interview and
Performance of "Without You" from GMA

From the ClayNation Newsletter:

Tight Race for the #1 Slot
According to Hits Daily Double, the race for this week's top-selling CD will be a tight one. HDD projects that Justin Timberlake is on track to sell 225-235k for the week, while Clay's A Thousand Different Ways should surpass 200k. This weekend's sales may well determine who ends up with the #1 selling CD of the week. If you haven't purchased your copy of A Thousand Different Ways yet, this weekend would be a very good time to do so. Many Walmart and Kmart stores will have been restocked by this weekend, and if there are still stock issues in your area, iTunes is a great alternative. Remember that if you purchase Clay's CD via iTunes, you will receive the bonus song, "Lover All Alone," written by Clay! Visit to download their free player and purchase ATDW for yourself or as a gift for a friend.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Song in His Heart

Unchained Melody is one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded. Clay does a fantastic job singing it. Usually Clay's remake supersedes the original for me, but for "Unchained Melody" I never really let go of my love of the Righteous Brother's version. That is until Clay sang "Unchained Melody" at the David Foster Charity Gala. Now it's "Righteous Brothers who?". I just can't get enough of Clay singing "I hunger, hunger for your touch" with that look of his very expressive face. In the words of David Foster, "!". It's a totally gorgeous rendition. Check out the video:

"Unchained Melody"/videographer- Scarlett

Clay also sang "Without You" at the Gala. The arrangement is basically the same as Harry Nilsson and Mariah Carey, but when something is already perfect you don't want to mess with it too much. Clay totally sells this song when performed live as he does with so many. "Without You" is a song full of yearning, passion, despair and heartbreak. Clay Aiken delivers it. Check out the big hug David Foster gives Clay at the end of the video:

"Without You"/ videographer- Scarlett

The first song Clay sang at the Gala was "Right Here Waiting". I admit I'm not a fan of the original. I was never a big Richard Marx fan. This song is just the latest example of Clay making me love a song I originally did not like. I love the musical arrangement with the strings on Clay's version. Beautiful!

"Right Here Waiting" /videographer- Scarlett

A Thousand Different Ways is available for streaming at the Clear Channel Website.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

A Grand Ole Time

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Clay Aiken took part in the "David Foster and Friends Charity Gala" which was headlined by Michael Buble. Clay sang "You Were Right There Waiting", a beautiful, poignant understated "Unchained Melody" and a raw, emotive "Without You" with David Foster accompanying Clay on piano. The other guest entertainers were Matt Gross, Babyface, George Lopez, and Olivia Newton-John.

Clay was also part of the auction activites that took place before the performances. You can read about some of the items up for auction at the
Gala website Clay was an unexpected additon to the piano auction. The opening bid was $200,000, and just sat at that bid for a while. A private performance with David Foster was added and it still struggled, Clay was added and the bidding went up to $500,000. David Foster then asked the second place bidder if he would agree to a 2nd piano and concert and let his bid stand for a total of $1,000,000. Excellent!

Some of the items in the auction and their ending bids:

California wine and luggage - $17,500
West Coast salmon fishing with David
Foster - $30,000
Las Vegas Andre Agassi Grand Slam Gala plus VIP for Celine
- $16,500
AI Live as guests of David Foster - $30,000

A total of $2.9M was raised for a worthy cause.

Press Release:

David Foster and Friends Charity Gala raises $2.9 million to assist families of children in need of organ transplants

RICHMOND, BC, Sept. 10 /CNW/ -

Tonight's David Foster and Friends 2006
Charity Gala raised $2.9 million for children in need of life-saving major
organ transplants.

Joining the sold-out audience of 900 people held at the River Rock Show
Theatre in Richmond, British Columbia was Premier Gordon Campbell, who
announced a contribution from the provincial government of $250,000.
"Knowing that this night will give many children a second chance at life
is what this special evening is all about," said David Foster. "I want to
thank Premier Campbell for this recognition and generous contribution as our
Foundation marks its 20th year helping children and families."

The star-studded gala was headlined by Michael Bublé with performances by
Babyface, Clay Aiken, George Lopez and Matt Goss and a surprise performance by Olivia Newton-John.

The winner of the David Foster Star Search, 21 year-old, Ché Dorval from Vancouver also performed at tonight's Gala and sang, "If it makes you happy" by Sheryl Crow to the elite audience. Ché blew judges away and beat out 10 other finalists at the David Foster Star Search 2006 final last night. Since 1986, the Foundation has assisted 275 families with children in
need of major organ transplants by providing funding for non-medical expenses throughout the procedure from initial assessments to postoperative check-ups, including transportation, accommodation for families, rent, mortgage and liaison with agencies providing counselling, childcare and other support

Photos by Quotg

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Story Of The Man

From Clay's MySpace and RCA comes a "Who Is Clay Aiken?" write-up including an in-depth look at some of the songs on A Thousand Different Ways.

Who can explain why a singer becomes a pop star? Sure, talent and ambition contribute to the rise of many singing sensations, but skill and drive alone do not guarantee a berth at the top of the charts. Ultimately, it is an almost inexplicable reaction between a singer and his or her audience that creates a superstar career, sparking the kind of fanatic devotion that propels a performer into the pop stratosphere.

Such was the explosive reaction when Clay Aiken burst onto the music scene. An unlikely pop star, Aiken has remained steadfast in his desire to remain true to the simple values he learned as a child in Raleigh, North Carolina. "I still live in the town where I grew up", he says. "I like surrounding myself with people I know and love." It is this authenticity that his millions of fans have responded to, an almost supernatural earnestness that feels unconventional in the cynical world of today.

No slave to fickle trends or fashion fads, the singer has once again listened to his heart and has come up with an album that extols the value of love in all of its myriad forms. The singers third CD, A THOUSAND DIFFERENT WAYS, offers fans 10 cover versions of love songs spanning the last three decades, as well as four brand-new songs that are destined to become Aiken classics in their own right. “This album is very different than my first, MEASURE OF A MAN, in that I had a lot more say in how I wanted things to be.” says the singer. “For the first album, they just gave us the songs, and I sang them. This time, Clive Davis, Jaymes Foster [the albums executive producer] and I came up with the songs together. I also felt more confident in the studio while we were recording. Before, it was all just a bunch of knobs and controls. Now, I’m comfortable offering my opinion on how the arrangements and mixes should sound.”

Though his fans have come to expect him to knock each song into the heavens with his transcendentally powerful voice which he does here quite masterfully, particularly on Harry Nillson’s Without You, the Bad English hit When I See You Smile (written by Diane Warren), and the Foreigner classic I Want to Know What Love Is. The new album also shows off a more mature Aiken, one who is able to add beautiful vocal nuances to such unexpected choices as Bryan Adams’ Everything I Do (I Do It For You), Paul Young’s Everytime You Go Away (written by Daryl Hall), and Dolly Parton’s Here You Come Again (written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil).

”Fans like to hear big songs,” says Aiken, “That’s what people have come to expect from us. I like big songs as well, but on this album, we also wanted to choose songs that expressed different parts of my voice.”

To be sure, Parton’s peppy Here You Come Again, done on A THOUSAND DIFFERENT WAYS as a ballad, shows off a softer, more vulnerable Aiken. “I have always liked that song,” he says, “but I had never sung it before.” Foster promised to come up with an arrangement that would suit Aiken’s voice and she did. “It’s truly my favorite song on the album,” says the singer.

With classics like Celine Dion’s Because You Love Me, Elton John’s Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word, and Richard Marx’s Right Here Waiting also rounding out the list of covers, one has to wonder if Aiken felt at all intimidated by competing with the original versions.

”I did feel a bit anxious about 'Because You Loved Me,'" the singer offers, "not only because of Celine, but also because the original was produced by David Foster, one of the greatest producers of all time. David has heard our version, and so has Diane Warren, who wrote the song. They both approve of what we’ve done, and that makes me happy.” (Aiken’s version of Because You Loved Me was produced by Eman. Other producers on the album include John Fields, Andreas Carlsson & Samuel Waermo, Adam Anders, and Russ Irwin & Charles Pettus.)

If any song made Aiken nervous, it was Adams’ Everything I Do (I Do It For You). “That gravelly voice is so well-known,” says Aiken about Adams’ iconic rasp, “I didn’t know if I could do the song justice.” With a lovely, restrained vocal and an arrangement with a lilting Celtic feel Aiken’s version is an undeniable highpoint of the new disc; it’s one of the most romantic songs the singer has ever sung.

The new songs also give Aiken the opportunity to show off his emotional growth, with each track highlighting a different facet of his personality. Everything I Have (written by Jeremy Bose) brings to mind the poignancy of an Art Garfunkel performance. The song’s subtle piano and string arrangement allows Aiken’s naked voice to express the delicious ache of love. “Every woman I have played that for absolutely loves it,” says the singer. “I have people telling me they want to play it at their wedding.” A Thousand Days (written by Christian Leuzzi, Aldo Nova & Emanual Olsson) and These Open Arms (written by Jon Bon Jovi & Desmond Childs) are both classic Aiken, with big dramatic vocals and rousing, take-no-prisoners choruses. The fourth new track Lonely No More has a lighter, more playful pop sensibility and the song also represents Aiken’s first songwriting credit (along with writers Andreas Carlson, Samuel Waermo, and Mimmi Waermo.)

Perhaps the most astonishing artistic departure for Aiken was the decision to cover the Mr. Mister hit Broken Wings as an ethereal, New Age-like track. With an otherworldly spoken word vocal by poet Erin Taylor, the song is a spectacular tour-de-force. “We didn’t know if it would work. We took a chance, and I’m so happy with how it came out.”

Covering such a varied emotional spectrum, but always staying true to the essence of who Clay Aiken is, A THOUSAND DIFFERENT WAYS is bound to please the millions of fans who loved 2003 MEASURE OF MAN (triple platinum and counting) and 2004s platinum MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH LOVE, the best-selling holiday album of that year. (2004 also saw the release of his inspirational biography, LEARNING TO SING: HEARING THE MUSIC IN YOUR LIFE, which reached #2 on The New York Times Bestsellers List.)

While the accolades that followed his stunningly close second-place finish on the second season of American Idol have validated him in ways that he never could have dreamed of when he was a teacher working with autistic children back in his home state of North Carolina, it is the charitable work that his musical career has enabled him to do that means more to him than anything else these days.

The singer created the Bubel/Aiken Foundation in 2003, an organization that promotes and funds educational and recreational programs for children with special needs. “I worked with Mike Bubel, who has autism, when I was going to school at UNCC.” says Aiken. “My mother was very instrumental in encouraging me to get into this business.” The Foundation remains close to the singer’s heart at all times. “My music career has allowed me to do the same thing I was doing before, working with kids with disabilities,” he says. “It has given me a big stage to talk about the same things I always cared about. I don’t get to be as hands-on with the kids anymore, but I do get to work toward enacting change on a much larger scale.”

Also important to Aiken’s life as a humanitarian is his work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Since 2005, the singer has been passionately committed to supporting the organizations education programs. Not only has Aiken testified before Congress urging the government to allocate more funds for UNICEF’s global work for children, he has also traveled to Indonesia and Uganda to see the devastating conditions affecting millions of the worlds children first-hand, disease, malnutrition, kidnapping, and war, chief among them. “You just cannot believe how some of these kids are forced to live, says Aiken. It’s truly heartbreaking, yet many people don’t even know these conditions exist. I am hoping to shed light on some of these problems and so that more resources can be allocated to help make things better.”

Aiken meant for the title A THOUSAND DIFFERENT WAYS to express the many different kinds of love in the world. Surely, his charitable work expresses a deep and abiding love for his fellow man, particularly the littlest ones among us. Where did such a driving need to help others come from, one can’t help but ask? Typical for Aiken, his answer is devoid of any egotism. Where did the desire to help come from? The need for help! He answers matter-of-factly. “You know, my mother has always been someone who urged me to help people in need. Maybe that’s it. I don’t think its something you can learn. It’s just something you do.”

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Tonight is Star Search Final in Richmond, British Columbia. Here is a report of a Clay siting at the hotel:

From AprilJoy at Clayversity:

Well, here I am in the lobby of the .... no, I am not waiting for Clay to come in from a late night of carousing with his people, it is just the only place that has wireless internet... so here I sit.
We did run into Faye, Kristy and some others in the lobby, I had to be told as I walked right by and didn't notice... must be the lack of sleep and delirium from actually being here. I've got my camera at my side just in case we might spot Clay, but either way I'll be seeing him tomorrow evening and there will be many pictures and many reports.
Yep, Kristy is here... and someone they said was Priscilla (in other words.. I have no idea)..
Ah well, he walked by... he smiled.... brown suit, white shirt.... oh yeah, this is all third party since I was busy talking to Codmag and not looking straight ahead like I had been all night...

So you can all call it a night, Clay has gone to bed. He went up to his room with no Kristy in sight, btw, in case anyone was curious. I'm sure no one cares at all. He was with a woman, much older (40's) Long dark hair. Blazer. Much shorter than him. but not Kristy. Oh, and he rode in our elevator.

Oh and Raleigh just walked by! Her I see, typical.

ETA: Actually it was Durham, news to me... since I just discovered there was a Durham. I got lots of Durham kisses. Hee. Why does that make me a silly fangirl? I have pictures too. So cute.

The woman who walked with Clay to the elevators was Jaymes. She looked lovely all dressed up. She actually came back downstairs later and we said hello, and that's about it. Since it's 1:00 am I've decided I'm done for the night. I sat out on the patio with the girls (two of them are still down there), but this fangirl is tired after the seven hour drive.

Susandavis, same alternate world as me apparently because I didn't know there was another dog until I got up to Durham and noted she was quite thin and small for Raleigh, only to discover he/she was not in fact Raleigh.... by the way, does anyone know if Durham is a boy or a girl? we weren't sure and didn't think to ask.

Jackie said the hair was parted similar to Hawaii hair, she thought it was shorter too... not short, just recently trimmed perhaps. The quote from BC4Clay is "He is looking fine."

Update from RiverRock:

We ran into Jaymes and Durham again. Jaymes confirmed that Durham is a HE. Raleigh is at home.
Jaymes said she had no idea how the snippets of ATDW even got out there, they are totally flabbergasted by that... she didn't seem upset, just confused about it. We were hanging out with Durham and Jaymes said to the dog "We need to go see your daddy." and I thought and maybe mumbled... "can we all go see his daddy...please?"

Oh and Roger is here as well. He's just checking in right now.

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The Hair has spoken:

It's been since last December since we actually heard Clay speak. Clay appeared on a The Insider segment yesterday, so the wait is over. The hair is trimmed, but still looking mighty fine even though I prefer the bangs a little longer, brushing those long eyelashes.

Here is the video of Clay segment plus all the teaser's leading up the segment:

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Man of Heart

Congratulations to Clay Aiken on his presidential appointment to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Press Release from the White House:

    Personnel Announcement

    President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate eight individuals, designate two individuals and appoint thirteen individuals to serve in his Administration:


    Dallas Rob Sweezy, of Virginia, and upon appointment designate Chair, for an additional two year term expiring May 11, 2008.
    Clayton Aiken, of North Carolina
    Stephen Bird, of Virginia
    Valerie Billmire, of Utah
    James Boles, of New York
    Stephanie Brown, of Florida
    William J. Edwards, of California
    Brian J. Kelly, of California
    Mary Margaret Pucci, of Illinois
    Linda Hampton Starnes, of Florida
    Stephen Henry Suroveic, of Pennsylvania
    William E. Tienken, of Illinois

    "Aiken brings considerable experience to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
    He received his Bachelors Degree in Special Education from The University of North Carolina, Charlotte, in December 2003.

    Five months earlier, in July of 2003, Clay Aiken and Diane Bubel, an advocate for children with disabilities who is herself the mother of a child with autism, co-founded the Bubel/Aiken Foundation. BAF's mission is to integrate children with disabilities into the same life environment as their typical peers. In just three years, BAF has presented hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to advance its mission and has sponsored an inclusive summer day camp for three years.. The foundation has received multimillion dollar grants from State Farm Insurance and from the U.S. Department of Education to develop an inclusion curriculum for elementary schools.

    In addition to appearing at benefits in support of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving and America's Promise / The Alliance for Youth, Aiken has been a keynote speaker at the Pacific Rim Conference on Disabilities and the Fearless Caregiver Conference.

    In 2004, Aiken was appointed to be a National Ambassador for UNICEF (the United Nations Childrens Fund), with a focus on education. Following the tsunami in December 2004, he made field trips to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, to observe the rebuilding process. He also visited camps for people displaced by rebel violence in Northen Uganda, helped raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina and served as the spokesperson for the 2005 Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign."

    He received his Bachelors Degree in Special Education from The University of North Carolina, Charlotte, in December 2003".~~berkeleylovesourclay/Clackhouse

    For a comprehensive look at Clay Aiken's background and qualifications for this post from Berkeleylovesourclay, visit The ConCLAYve: Clay Aiken and Service

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    Ability Magazine

    Clay Aiken Releases Grant for Children's Book :

    The Bubel/Aiken Foundation (Clay Aiken’s charity for the inclusion of children with disabilities) recently gave a grant so a group of third-grade authors could publish a book about friendship and acceptance. Our Friend Mikayla, the story of a child with serve developmental disabilities who finds true friendship and connection with her typical peers, will be published this fall.

    Written and illustrated by third-grade students at the Lower Nazareth Elementary School, Nazareth, PA., Our Friend Mikayla, is an honest portrayal of the children’s first reactions to Mikayla, their barriers to acceptance and finally the deep friendship they formed with her. Mikayla, now 11, was born with profound brain damage resulting in spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, severe mental retardation, seizure disorder, legal blindness, hearing impairment, and numerous medical conditions related to her disabilities. Despite the severity of Mikayla’s disabilities, her parents strived to give her as normal a life as possible. When they moved to Pennsylvania four years ago, the idea of full inclusion for a child with severe developmental disabilities was relatively new. Yet in keeping with their own personal philosophy, they requested that Mikayla be included in a regular first grade class.

    What they found was that Mikayla’s classmates accepted Mikayla and began to see her as “just like them.” Their relationship with Mikayla and their journey to acceptance inspired the book. Our Friend Mikayla became the class project, mainly because Mikayla’s friends felt they had an important message to share with other children. Their goal was to teach other kids that, “From Mikayla, we’ve learned that people with disabilities aren’t really different. It doesn’t matter if your friend is in a wheelchair. Their disabilities don’t mean you cannot be friends. Having a friend with a disability is cool.”

    The children have dedicated Our Friend Mikayla to “all people with disabilities and their friends.” When they chose the dedication, one of the children realized that might mean they were dedicating the book to everyone in the world.

    The book will be sold on The Bubel/Aiken Foundation’s website and all net proceeds will help support the Foundation’s efforts towards full inclusion. The book will be available at this October.

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    Saturday, September 02, 2006

    Without You Too Long

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    A radio copy of "Without You" was received by radio stations which will be going for adds on AC stations sometime in the near future. The cover features another lovely photo from photographer extraordinaire, Miranda Penn Turin, the absolutely best professional photographer Clay has had to date. She brought out the sexy in him, and made him look like he believes it, which we know he doesn't.

    WSRS out of Worcester, Mass gave Clay his maiden spin in their 5:00PM Request Hour.

    "Without You"

    DJ Tom Holt, who more than one Clay fan wants to adopt, said many positive things about Clay and his fans. He said, he received over 100 e-mails thanking him from playing Clay from all over the US. ClayNation was lucky enough to hear the song played because the radio station streams over the Internet. Here is the the Mediabase Quick Spin Chart of Clay's first spins of "Without You".

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    ~~Chart provided by moonhead of Clayversity~~

    The Radio version of the CD single is already up on EBay with a big of $305.
    To put this into perspective here are some other CD's up for auction:
    (compliled by Madison of Clayversity):

    Item # Item Title Bids Price Time Left

    280022481420 NEIL YOUNG - AFTER THE GARDEN **RADIO PROMO CD** 3 $7.50 1d 05h 49m

    280021711949 PHIL VASSAR - THE WOMAN IN MY LIFE **RADIO PROMO CD** 1 $5.00 1d 20h 43m

    280023526535 CLAY AIKEN - WITHOUT YOU **RADIO PROMO CD** 23 $255.00 2d 10h 42m

    280022484971 KEITH URBAN - ONCE IN A LIFETIME **RADIO PROMO CD** 5 $31.00 2d 20h 43m

    280022485534 RASCAL FLATTS - MY WISH **RADIO PROMO CD** - $7.00 2d 20h 43m

    280022486320 RHETT AKINS - IF HEAVEN WASN'T SO FAR AWAY *PROMO CD* 4 $15.01 2d 20h 43m

    280023515989 BRAD PAISLEY - SHE'S EVERYTHING **RADIO PROMO CD** - $7.00 4d 09h 14m

    280023516551 BECK - NAUSEA **RADIO PROMO CD** - $7.00 4d 09h 18m

    280023517170 JAMES BLUNT - GOODBYE MY LOVER **RADIO PROMO CD** - $7.00 4d 09h 22m

    280023517508 PEARL JAM - GONE **RADIO PROMO CD** 1 $7.00 4d 09h 25m

    280023517773 SARAH MCLACHLAN - RIVER **RADIO PROMO CD** 2 $7.50 4d 09h 27m

    280023518055 CLAY AIKEN - WITHOUT YOU **RADIO PROMO CD** 17 $255.00 4d 09h 29m

    280023518795 JIMMY BUFFETT - BAMA BREEZE **RADIO PROMO CD** - $7.00 4d 09h 35m

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    In Other News:

    On September 9th, Clay will be appearing as a guest judge on
    David Foster's Star Search Finals which gave him a very nice write-up on their site.

    Clay Aiken’s awards and achievements make for a very long list: multi-platinum recording artist, goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, best selling author and advocate for individuals with disabilities through his Bubel/Aiken Foundation.

    Some might call this overachievement. For Aiken this has become standard. Following his introduction to the American public, he became the first artist in history to have his premiere single debut at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

    His first full length album followed suit, also debuting at #1. His 2004 book, “Learning To Sing: Hearing the music in your life”, went to #2 on the New York Times Bestsellers list, while “Merry Christmas, With Love”, his holiday album, became the fastest selling holiday album ever. His third album “A Thousand Different Ways” will be in stores on September 19th 2006.

    Clay Aiken was born November 30, 1978 in Raleigh, NC. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in December 2003.

    Then on September 10th, Clay will be performing at David Foster and Friends Charity Gala 2006 . There are several Clay Nation attendees so hopefully there will be clack (video) or at least detailed recaps.

    Can't Wait. Let the good times begin.

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