Sunday, December 21, 2008

Clay Aiken - Christmas



















No one sings Christmas like Clay Aiken. Here are some of my favorite performances from Christmases past.



Welcome To Our World





Hark the Herald Angles Sing-O' Come All Ye Faithful



*


Mary Did You Know



Oh Holy Night



Celebrate Me Home





*A Special thank you to all videographers and montage makers.*


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An OBAMA Love Story

Here is a very well put together montage using pictures of the Obama family and Clay Aiken's lovely performance of "Something About Us".

No matter what party you support, don't forget to vote Tuesday November 4. It is our right.





Order On My Way Here

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Clay Aiken - A Class Act

Recently Clay Aiken blogged to his fans trying to explain why he came out as a gay man when he did. He really owes no explanations as it is a very personal step to take and must be taken on each individual's time table, but I respect that he knows his fans and knew some of them needed to hear from him. Here is what he had to say.

Killing the elephants in the room
What a week or so this has been. In fact, it's just been two weeks since I started back to the Spam. Jerome and I were just talking the other day, though, about how the past two weeks have felt like a month. So much routine to get back into and yet so much routine and consistency to break. No doubt, many of you have been going through quite a bit over the past week or so yourselves. What a bunch of headline news we have had in the past 10 days! Wall Street falling to it's knees. Congress propping it back up. Two debates. Hijackers in Somalia. New leaders in South Africa and Japan. You'd think with all of the important events going on in the world, there would be plenty to fill up the pages of America's newspapers, websites and blogs without the need for information on the private lives of the country's singers and entertainers. But, alas, thats never the case. In fact for the last five years, I've found what seems to have been an inordinate amount of interest (not from the public, but from the media) in my own personal life. The questions never seemed to stop. Oh sure, they die down for a period, but they resurface. The wind blows another direction, and I do yet another interview worried that my personal life will become a topic of discussion. No doubt the birth of Parker would bring the same scrutiny, just heightened. It's an interesting time we live in. Gone are the days when entertainers could go about their lives without the invasion of privacy that we now see everyday in the form of paparazzi and internet tabloid bloggers. So, in the hopes of being able to sing and act (and dance poorly) and do what I love to do for a living while raising my son in a hopefully more private and accepting environment, I chose to go ahead and confront things head on. Yes, I would have preferred to separate my personal life from my professional life. I would have been just as happy to go on without discussing my orientation. But, it seems like that was not an option. Make no mistake, its not because I am ashamed. No, not for a minute. I haven't always been as comfortable as I am now, but I am without a doubt, proud of who I am and make no apologies for it. Instead, I would have been happy to have kept my personal life private for that very reason. Because it's personal life and I have always considered myself a private person. But, living as myself without discussing my sexuality publicly would have been as impossible. One chance to expose the truth would have been a payday for any greedy opportunist.

I went to American Idol, much like many of us did "back in the day". Naive. Unlike the contestants who join up today, we had no idea of the power and pull of Idol when we signed on. (I'm sure many of us season two folks like to think we are the reason the show got so big!!! ;-) ) There I was two months off of the biggest show in the country, sitting at a table with a reporter from Rolling Stone who was asking me every single question I would never think of. Twenty-four years old in the rest of America is a LOT younger and more naive than twenty four years old in the media business. So when this guy started asking me about things that I didn't really know how to answer for myself... things that I was not yet ready to admit to folks like my mother and my family.... things that I found intimidating and invasive, I responded in what I assumed was a benign way at the time. I attempted to "out spin" a professional. I wasn't as good as I thought I was. But, I have no regrets. The truth is, I don't apologize for the responses I gave to that reporter or any reporter over the past five years. I did make every attempt I could after that one interview to never say "I am not gay" or "I am straight". And I never said either. (some interpreted my vague answers to mean that... but I never said either) Some will say thats misleading. In truth, it might be defined that way. But, a better definition and a more accurate way to describe it for me, is a redirection and an attempt to change the topic to something that matters more. For some of you it won't be enough, but I can't apologize for keeping my personal business to myself. If someone feels that they were mislead, I can totally understand that viewpoint and apologize for that feeling, but I can't apologize for how I handled questions that affected me and my right to privacy.

In my opinion, sexual orientation is ALWAYS a private thing. I think the OVERWHELMING majority of people agree with that. Why in the world should someone's sexual orientation be a news item? Why should anyone care? Yet, for all we espouse as a society about tolerance and open mindedness we forget to allow folks the opportunity to be who they are without judgement. Making a decision to come out to family is a difficult and heavy decision. But, for every young man or woman who is struggling with it, it should be a decision that is made on his or her own schedule ONLY. It's never acceptable for anyone to make such a decision for anyone else nor to coerce someone to take such a significant step before they are ready. Not a friend, not a stranger, not the media. So, I waited until the time was right for me. For that I can't apologize either.

There are plenty of you who have anticipated this blog in hopes that I would "set the record straight" or "admit to lying for five years and apologize for it". For that small group of people, I am afraid I will have to disappoint you. My decisions over the past five years have been made with lots of deliberation and at times even heartache. Always with concern for folks who might feel mislead. Don't doubt that. But they have also been made as an attempt, not to hide my true self, but instead to allow myself the same liberties and rights that every single gay man and woman in the world should have... the right to determine for myself when I was ready to discuss my personal life. In as much as that, at times, was interpreted as misrepresentation, I feel badly. But I reserved that right for myself and I can't say I regret it.

I have endeavored over the past several days to allow folks to vent and express themselves as freely as possible without restriction on these message boards. There is no way to change a person's mind when you tell them they are wrong. We all, when backed into a corner, have a human instinct to swing. Having different feelings and opinions and viewpoints are only natural. The only way to deal with that is to accept everyone's right to disagree, and allow them to discuss their feelings. I always have, and I always will. That said, it hasn't been, nor do I imagine it will be, my intent to make the message boards or the OFC a clearinghouse or discussion zone for sexuality or such topics. I hope we can always continue to discuss the same things we have always found important. The need for inclusion for children with disabilities. The desire to make sure every child in the world has access to their basic needs for survival. And any other topics that will make our neighborhoods, our regions, our country and our world a better more acceptable place (where that relates to issues involving sexuality, I hope we are able to advocate, at those times for the acceptance of others)... and I hope we will all still use the message boards for the lively discussion of the need for better entertainment and music in the world!!!! ;-) That said, as of this posting, I have asked the moderators to archive the thread regarding the People magazine article and close it from discussion. For those of you who are still struggling, I encourage you to continue to talk to your friends and neighbors and fellow OFC members in the thread devoted to such support. It is not going to be as easy as accepting something over night, but I believe that we are on the right track. The moderators will resume their regular duties of moderating the boards in the fashion that they did prior to last week, and I (and hopefully all of us) will resume our routines in the same fashion as well. Talking about music, talking about potential tours and other performances and appearances, talking about me forgetting my lines of tripping on stage in Spamalot, and discussing with our friends how many times we have seen the show and will see it! (And... looking forward to the announcement of out Playbill contest winner!!!)

Finally, I will say that, also representative of most every other gay man and woman in the world, that I am not defined by my sexuality. No more so than each of you are defined by your sexual orientation. No more than a man or woman is defined by race or ethnicity. It is, simply, a small facet of the same person I have always been. Most of you realize that nothing has changed. I hope to continue being able to entertain you in the same way I have for the past five years. And I hope you will allow me to continue to inform you of the causes that I find important and entertain you with the music and performances I love. For I love and cherish you all. Yesterday, now and forever.

c

There have been few in the world I respect the way that I respect Clay Aiken. I am unabashedly a fan of his talent, personality, sense of humor, humanitarian efforts, heart and intelligence. Clay Aiken, a class act all around.

My favorite quote "Make no mistake, its not because I am ashamed. No, not for a minute. I haven't always been as comfortable as I am now, but I am without a doubt, proud of who I am and make no apologies for it." And you should be proud, Clay. I know I am proud to be your fan.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why I stand behind Clay Aiken


The last few days have been tumultuous if you are a fan of that wonderful, gifted entertainer Clay Aiken. Fans are having reactions of all kinds to the news that he has come out as a gay man. I for one totally support him and love him for who he is. There is a post at "The Ideal Idol" that says everything I wish I could say about supporting Clay, if only I could write as well as the writer. The piece is called "The Agony and the Ecstasy", comments by Mitzi Gill. A great read and a wonderful show of support. I applaud you Mitzi Gill.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clay Aiken - I Couldn't Be Prouder

"I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that." From people magazine....

"
I can't raise a kid and teach him how to lie, teach him to hide things; I can't raise a kid and teach him to keep secrets," the singer tells Sawyer about his decision to publicly acknowledge that he's gay. "And at the same time, I also don't ever want to raise him in an environment where it's not okay for him to be exactly who he is, no matter what." From GMA


I have always been a fan of Clay Aiken. That is no secret. I mean, just look at this blog. I can honestly say I have never been prouder than I am now. You see, it has never been about Clay's sexuality to me. It's about his talent, his personality, his sense of humor, his humanitarianism. None of that has changed. The only thing that has changed is my respect for him. It has increased tenfold. I am not going anywhere, Clay.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clay Aiken-Favorite Concert Tour Moments


Independent Tour


On Clay Aiken's second tour, he co-headlined with Kelly Clarkson. They would alternate who opened the show each night. The only time they actually appeared on stage together was during the finale each night when they would sing "Open Arms". Below are a few of my favorites from the Independent Tour.



Kyrie


Remember the electricity in the air?




Measure of a Man, Wilkes Barre

And This moment will always bring a tear to my eye.



When Doves Cry



video



No More Sad Songs

I hope someday to see this song performed again.



video


I haven't even touched on the banter. I could go on and on. What are your favorites from the Independent Tour?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Clay Aiken "Let's do whatever it takes to save a child"

In the latest appeal from Unicef Field Notes, Clay Aiken urges us all to "give the gift of growing up". In partnership with Malaria No More, Unicef is striving to raise money to provide mosquito netting to people in malaria prone areas of the world. Malaria No More will match every dollar raised for a limited time.






Click here to make an online donation.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Vanilla Revolution and Clay Aiken

Here is an excerpt from a great blog.


Clay Aiken Fans: Remember the Vanilla Revolution?



It was about accepting Clay as he is. Remember the mantra, "Let Clay be Clay" ?

Vanilla represented the majority of the population's preference. It is not the choice of people who need to be seen as cool, the ones that jump on every new thing as if it were the best because it is new. New isn't better, new doesn't last and new isn't new for long. Clay is an old soul and his fans like him that way.





Visit Chexxxy's Pearls to read the rest of this blog. http://chexxyspearls.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 25, 2008

Clay Aiken-Favorite Concert Tour Moments

Since Clay Aiken is not touring this year, I thought it would be a good time to revisit some of my favorite moments from past tours, Starting with the AI2 tour from 2003. What are your favorite moments from that first tour?


American Idol 2 Tour

During this tour the fandom was young, and the video was often not clear and taken with cell phones, and often not credited. Still, the excitement of those earlier days is easy to feel while watching these videos.

Invisible




We were just learning how funny and off the cuff Clay could be during this tour.


Ruben I Got Panties




You were right Clay. We had your back then, as we still do now.


The Girl is Mine





Raleigh This Is The Night


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Clay Aiken -"On My Way Here" Used for Korean Olympic Telecast

I've always thought that Clay Aiken music would do very well in Asia if only he was promoted there. Imagine my delight to hear that his song was being used for the theme song for one of the Korean Olympians. Read all about it here

"On My Way Here" was also used in Korean television commercials advertising Olympic broadcasting.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Clay Aiken Returns to Spamalot


Clay Aiken is set to return to his role as "Sir Robin" in "Monty Python's Spamalot". According to Variety, Clay's last stint in "Spamalot" had a noticeable effect on the box office which took a steep tumble after he left the role. Clay Aiken returns to "Spamalot" September 19, 2008 through January 4, 2009.

Clay has said of his return to "Spamalot":
"Since leaving Spamlot in May, jokes have just not been funny, "Food has lost its taste. The grass is no longer green—the sky no longer blue. And babies WON'T stop crying!! I'm so excited about coming back to the funniest show in the world!"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Clay Aiken Among Artists Who Support Music Education

MENC is The National Association for Music Education. It is the world's largest arts education organization. MENC works to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers.

MENC has put out a series of PSA's from various artists voicing their support for music in schools. Those artists include Clay Aiken, Marty Stuart, Trisha Yearwood, Al Jarreau, Kathy Mattea, Gloria Estefan, Vanessa Williams, Patty Loveless, Janis Ian, Faith Hill, Chely Wright, Tim McGraw, Roger McGuinn, and Bonnie Raitt.

Here is an example of those PSA's.









Despite the decline of music in public schools over the years, music remains an important part of our education and growing up to become confident, productive members of society. Other links of interest: Benefits of Music Education, Music Education Online

Friday, August 15, 2008

Clay Aiken-Welcome to our World (CITH)-Albany

Thank you to xxx4Clay for the video and to Reader28 for posting.

Clay Aiken-Welcome to our World (CITH)-Albany

* thanks to xxx4clay for the video and reader28 for posting

Clay Aiken-Welcome to our World (CITH)-Albany

* thanks to xxx4clay for the video and reader28 for posting

Monday, August 11, 2008

Clay Aiken Welcomes a New Baby Boy



On 8-8-08 at 8:08 am Clay Aiken and Jaymes Foster welcomed their first child to our world. Parker Foster Aiken weighed in at 6 lbs 2 oz and 19 inches long. Clay announced the joyous news first to his fans at his Official Fan Club. According to Clay

"The little man is healthy, happy, and as loud as his daddy.

Mama Jaymes is doing quite well also."


Congratulations Clay and Jaymes, and welcome to our world, Parker Foster Aiken.


(thank you to xxx4Clay for the video and Reader28 for posting it)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken Visits Kenya


After a recent visit to Somalia on behalf of UNICEF, Clay Aiken visited camps for internally displaced people in Kenya. There he saw first hand the destruction that resulted from recent civil unrest.

Clay writes in his UNICEF Field Notes...

"Every child has the right to an education. Education transforms lives and breaks the cycle of poverty that so many children are caught in. And an educated child will make sure his or her own children receive an education too. This is just another one of the many amazing ways UNICEF is helping children today, while also building a safer Kenya tomorrow."


Read more here.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Unicef fieldnotes: Somalia, Where is the Outrage?



Clay Aiken recently returned from Somalia where he visited the troubled East African nation in his role as a celebrity ambassador, particularly committed to supporting UNICEF's education programs.



In UNICEF fieldnotes, Clay writes first hand about his experiences in the field.

"I recently returned from a UNICEF field visit that took me to northwest Somalia. What I saw there was both amazing and heartbreaking. In many ways, the children I was able to meet are doing better than their counterparts in the rest of Somalia. But in other respects, the situation there is still quite serious.

For starters, the lack of a permanent central government has contributed to Somalia's status as one of the poorest and most volatile countries in the world. Decades of civil conflict have shattered social structures and exacerbated poverty.

In such conditions—combined with an extremely arid environment and difficult terrain with settlements scattered over vast distances—a Somali child's chances of surviving to adulthood are among the lowest of children anywhere in the world.

Fortunately, UNICEF is there. It has been on the ground since 1972 and is the humanitarian organization with the largest presence in Somalia.

Since the collapse of the Somali government in 1991, UNICEF has continued to provide services to children and women in Somalia.

In Hargeisa, I visited UNICEF-supported schools and hospitals, as well as places girls are able to learn about leadership, get life-skills and play sports. I also visited UNICEF-supported maternal and child health clinics to observe some nutritional feeding and immunization activities. The good news is that these programs are working in the northwest and keeping children alive. The bad news is that one in eight children still dies before his or her fifth birthday in Somalia.

One of the most incredible things I learned on my trip is that there are only 350 doctors left in the entire country, mostly because of the violence and insecurity. And many of these doctors are older than the average life expectancy in Somalia, which is only 45. I can't help but wonder, what is going to happen in a couple of years when there are no more doctors? What will happen to the children who struggle to survive?

What disturbs me most about this terrible situation for children is that most of the world has ignored it. Millions of children live in fear and poverty—where is the outrage?

At least we know something can be done. Help UNICEF save and improve the lives of children in Somalia. Donate online, right now."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Survival Project - UNICEF

On Sunday July 6 CNN aired a program called "The Survival Project: One Child At A Time". This program profiled the efforts of Unicef in various parts of the world to better the lives of children. Here is a montage I found on Youtube set to Clay Aikens' "Grace of God". Thank you to gerwhisp for a job well done.



Clay Aiken Appeals to the World to Not Forget Somalia

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Clay Aiken Appeals to the World to Not Forget Somalia

Clay Aiken recently took a trip to Somaliland as a Goodwill Ambassador for Unicef to bring attention to the ongoing humanitarian crises facing Somalia.

""There hasn't been much discussion of Somalia since the early 1990s in the U.S.," said Aiken, a U.N. goodwill ambassador, on a visit to Somalia. "The American population kind of got a bad taste of Somalia in the early 90's and hasn't really had much interest in the country since." "It's the most dangerous place for a child to be," Aiken said. "In the lower part of the country, southern part, I feel it's a more desperate situation than any place we've ever been.""

Read the whole article http://beta.ph.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080626/ten-entertainment-somalia-un-dc-db3f2d5.html

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Time Is Nigh!


Tuesday May 6, 2008 marks the release of Clay Aikens fourth studio album, "On My Way Here". Produced by Kipper and executive produced by Jaymes Foster, "On My Way Here" is a collection of original songs hand picked by Clay to relate to the ways he has changed and the things he has learned over the last five years since leaving American Idol. The first single is "On My Way Here", written by One Republic's Ryan Tedder. Choosing a favorite is hard to do because they are all great, but from the clips I have heard I am partial to "Everything I Don't Need", "The Real Me", and Clay's own penned "Lover All Alone". Clays smooth tenor is front and center and his undeniable connection to the songs make this CD a must have.

Track List:

01. On My Way Here
02. Ashes
03. Everything I Don’t Need
04. Something About Us
05. Falling
06. Where I Draw The Line
07. The Real Me
08. Weight Of The World
09. As Long As We’re Here
10. Sacrificial Love
11. Grace Of God
12. Lover All Alone

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bubel Aiken Foundation

Support the Bubel Aiken Foundation and help to bring inclusion to the world's special needs children. Parade Magazine and the Case Foundation is sponsoring an awareness campaign that could earn $50000 to the top four organizations who bring the most individual donations. All it takes is one $10 donation, $10.47 if using paypal. Click on the link below to make your donation.
http://www.networkforgood.org/Pca/Badge.aspx?BadgeId=109694

Clay Aiken in Spamalot

When I first heard that Clay Aiken was going to be in "Spamalot" I was really surprised. While I have always thought Clay could have in spot in musical theater, I tended to expect it would be in a role that would allow him to showcase that big voice of his. Giving it further thought, I realized that it shouldn't be a surprise to me that Clay would go for a show with the silly humor of "Spamalot". Clay has a very comedic side to him, great timing and a very silly, infectious humor of his own. From all reports, "Spamalot" has turned out to be a perfect fit for Clay, a chance for him to challenge himself and prove he has much more going for him than just that golden voice of his, though that on it's own is amazing.
Associate director Peter Lawrence says Aiken has been no idle diva; the singer asked to be treated like any other company member and has been surprisingly fearless.

"Clay really surprised me. When you meet him, he's this sweet kid from North Carolina with an accent. And you think there's no way he can do Cambridge material. And then he does," says Lawrence.

"It's been a total delight and a surprise for me and everyone in the company to work with Clay because he can do things you'd never imagine he could do."
http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bal-to.aiken28jan28,0,7122874.story
For tickets to see Spamalot http://www.montypythonsspamalot.com/spamalot_tickets_broadway.php