Friday, May 21, 2010

Clay Aiken, Fans Mark 7 Years

Clay Aiken - An Amazing Seven-Year Journey
Montage by SueReu at Yahoo Video
Download with Sendspace:
Yahoo version or Higher quality

May 20, 2003 Anniversary

Clay Nation Celebrates Journey

May 20, 2003, the memorable American Idol 2 finale when Clay Aiken came in second to Ruben Studdard for the title, is celebrated not only as an anniversary of beginnings for the singer's many musical accomplishments and charitable endeavors but also for the bond between entertainer and fans and the close friendships formed among faithful followers worldwide.

SueReu's "Seven Year Journey" montage portrays in song and video the millions of CDs sold, countless television and tour appearances, a foundation dedicated to inclusion for all children, a UNICEF ambassadorship, and a star turn in the Broadway hit "Spamalot" since May 2003.

On June 1, Clay will release "Tried and True," his fifth studio album and the first with Decca Records, followed closely by a 17-city July-August "Timeless Tour" with Ruben, and his first PBS Special to be telecast in August.

Amazing Journey montage screen cap - SueReu

On the May 20 anniversary, Mamarose10 posted the perfect accompaniment to the "Seven-Year" montage. With her permission, it is shared below:

The Anomaly ... Just the Beginning!

And so it began ... seven years ago tonight! Well, in truth, it began when a young man named Clayton Holmes Aiken stepped up to a mic at the beginning of American Idol Season 2 and sang that first word.

But for many of us, seven years ago tonight was our "galvanization," as it were. After the results were read on that fateful night in 2003, which would come to be known as "The Anomaly," everything truly did begin.

After that night we stumbled together, sought each other out, many in shock and disbelief, still reeling and stunned and in need of solace. We came together to commiserate and cry and moan and shake our fists at the fates and unfairness.

But what is most important is that WE CAME TOGETHER. The shock had indeed galvanized us, startled us into the activity that would make us who we are as Clay fans and forge a bond between us and the young man who had won our hearts, a prize far more important than any American Idol title would ever be.

The shock of that night would be the catalyst to all that the Clay Nation would become.

The shock of that night would strengthen our resolve to right that wrong and any future wrongs to come.

The shock of that night would prepare us for all that the next years would bring. It would stiffen our spines and solidify our resolve. In looking back, I feel no sadness about that night. In fact, I think I am grateful in many ways. I truly believe all things happen for a reason.

Now our hearts are tried and tested and we know the truth, and we are still here.

As the Chicago song goes, it was "Only the beginning of what I want to feel forever. Only the beginning. Only just the start ..."

Graphic by Fountaindawg

Billboard Reviews T&T

Billboard has virtually put a stamp of approval on Clay's change of direction with the "Tried & True" CD. Here is the review on Yahoo News where those who agree can "buzz it up":

NEW YORK (Billboard) – After a series of so-so soft-rock efforts, Season 2 "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken looks back to the music of the ’50s and ’60s on “Tried & True,” a big-band-style collaboration with German producer Alex Christensen, whose resume includes work with Paul Anka, Sarah Brightman and Right Said Fred.

Given the cabaret-ready character of Aiken’s voice, the change in direction suits the singer. Where he used to sound like an oldster attempting to crash the top 40, here Aiken’s vocals exude a relaxed vibe that seemingly reflects his recent stint on Broadway in "Spamalot!"

That even goes for a surprisingly authoritative version of "Mack the Knife," where Aiken summons a swagger he never previously displayed. Other songs include "Moon River" (with a tasty acoustic-guitar solo by Vince Gill), a jazzy take on Conway Twitty’s "It’s Only Make Believe" and "Unchained Melody," which gets the full Hollywood-orchestra treatment.

T&T News of Note

Decca Records has uploaded the tracks for the DVD that will be released on July 27. See Tried & True DVD:
1. Mack The Knife 03:38
2. Can't Take My Eyes Off You 04:50
3. It's Impossible 04:12

4. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
5. Eso Beso 03:46

6. Who's Sorry Now
7. I'll Take Romance 02:13
8. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do 03:13
9. Misty 04:18

10. What Kind Of Fool Am I?
11. Crying 04:59

12. Suspicious Minds
13. Build Me Up Buttercup [Live] 02:59
14. In My Life 03:38

15. It's Only Make Believe

16. There's A Kind Of Hush

17. Unchained Melody

18. Moon River

Amazon has posted previews of the Tried & True CD tracks. The 'Tried & True' CD already has a page on Wikipedia.

Below is a clickables of SueReu's 'Journey' screen cap and the graphic by Fountaindawg:

RECITAL COUNTDOWN: The polished performances at Friday's final day of lessons prior to the spring recital Sunday hinted that all will be well. Students range from first timers to seasoned veterans, but one never knows for sure the effect of whimsical butterflies.

Marianhookailo, a member of Clayonline and a professional singer, sent this message to my piano and violin students:
There is nothing like playing musical instruments together and hearing the beauty you give to the listeners. Keep up the good work!

Tune in for Sunday's recap. Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation!



Anonymous said...

Great blog! and I cannot wait for this CD to drop June 1.

Cindy said...

I suppose it's telling that I'd actually forgotten about the anniversary of the anomaly. The last seven years have been among the best of my life and that's in no small part thanks to the friends I've made through this fandom.

I hope Clay really understands just how big an impact he's had on people's lives. I've always felt that I am lucky to be around during his era. Entering into the eighth year, I feel that way more than ever.

Great blog Caro (and a lovely montage, SueReu).

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,

The Montage by SueReu is wonderful....everytimme I hear Solitair and MDYK I get goosebumps. It's bee an awesome seven year journey and looking forward to seven more years.

Is it June yet????

Have a great weekend.


tree ~ said...

Wonderful blog, caro! I didn't experience the angst of "the anomaly" and even though I did not discover Clay Aiken until 2006 I am ever grateful for all those who have brought the entire journey to the boards for all to follow, enjoy (or not at, appreciate. I am in awe of the clack gatherers and indebted to them!

macmom said...

The Anomaly -- I'll never forget it! Through that angst came a togetherness to make sure this man, one Clay Aiken, did not go away. New friends were made, traveling and staying with people we first didn't know but whom we know now, checking the message boards for news, buying CDs and attending parties, supporting him any way possible, working for his foundation -- the National Inclusion Project -- and supporting UNICEF -- all combined to add so much to my life.

My many, many thanks to all those who bring us the clack, blogs, stories, posts, wallpapers & blends, etc. And most of all -- Thank you, Clay!

SueReu said...

It's hard to believe it's been 7 years!!! :D can't wait for the next 7(0) or so!!!!!

My gosh, what this Nation has been through and yet we're still standing. It's a strong testament to Clay Aiken - an man with not only an amazing talent, but also an amazing heart and soul. He is, quite honestly, the best. He may wonder why we stick around, but I believe Ms. Schmidt said it best at the OMG concert in Raleigh - "because I love you". We're here, we stay, because we love the talent and the man. There ain't no one out there even remotely like Clay Aiken.

Thank you for using my video :) and have a wonderful weekend!

Stephanie said...

Seven years...hard to believe it's been THAT long. But it is, and what a wonderful seven years it's been. Ups and downs, to be sure, in many ways, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm such a different person than I was seven years ago, and a HUGE reason for that is the friends I met through the Clay boards. My life would be totally, incredibly different without them, and without Clay. Happy seven years, everyone! :)

Anonymous said...

Incredible blog! It's an anniversary for one and all. For me, it was on that beautiful day that I first saw green eyes, spikey hair, a gorgeous smile and an aven gorgeous voice. Enjoy your weekend!

Anonymous said...

Love the blog and love the video! Fun to see both. It has been a wonderful 7 yrs. Sure is something to see Clay grow and sing to US! He is fabulous! Thanks for the blog and good luck on that recital! Donna in WI.

ImGranny said...

Wow! It doesn't seem like 7 years has passed since we found Clay Aiken. Here's to many, many more!

Sandy said...

What an amazing journey it's been this last seven years! I would not have traded even a second of it! "In good times and bad times...we'll be there"! And we have...our love for Clay has never faltered! We look forward with anticipation where the next part of the journey will take him.
I watched Sue's video and have to say this was pretty amazing and a job well done!

Woo Hoo it's our long weekend! Rest and relaxation is the order for this weekend!

You have a great weekend also!



hello caro. thanks for your blog. I had not seen the new promotional videos, nothing ... many things are happening and I without a computer.
Video of Sue if I saw it yesterday from house of my sister. Beautiful!!!

gerra said...

Before Clay, no entertainer or public figure had grabbed my attention the way that he has, and no on else has since. It's a once in a lifetime kind of devotion that only Clay Aiken inspires in me, and lots of others. Caring for him, learning about his causes, watching him get better and better, and being a member of Clay Nation, has enriched my life in a way that I never knew was possible. Seven years and counting, and darn happy for it.

Love the Billboard review and can not wait to have this album in my hands.

hopefulee said...

Caro - You always have great articles about Clay Aiken. Thanks! Love that Decca and the Billboard Review have finally acknowledged Clay's best singing style. When talking about the music he preferred, Clay has always said that he was not comfortable putting a square peg into a round hole. Looks like he has the perfect match now with his "Tried and True" album. Best wishes, hopefulee

MissSally said...

The anomaly broke my heart, but the sequel changed my life forever. Clay rose like a phoenix from the ashes of AI, and I am eternally grateful.

Much luck tomorrow, Caro. I'm sure the recital will be wonderful.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe for seven years we've been on this journey with Clay and so many wonderful fellow fans. I'm so glad my sister told me to watch Season 2 of AI because she had enjoyed Season 1 so much. I didn't wanna do it, but I succumbed and found the most amazing singer I had ever heard.

This journey has had its ups and downs, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I believe the best part is still to come.

Good luck to you and all of your recital performers tomorrow, Caro!


T said...

Caro, you bring out the best blog and love reading all the highlights in the 7 years anniversary. Remarkable montage from Sue Rue. It's so good looking back at those wonderful years. I was devastated when Clay lost in AI2 but things happen for a reason and everything worked out for the best.

I love your line "Now our hearts are tried and tested and we know the truth, and we are still here". That's so true. Although I haven't been so active - still a Clay fan. Looking forward to June 1st - I'm all set!

Good luck and wishing you a great performance tomorrow. Can't wait for the recaps in your next blog.

Cheers and have a nice weekend.



Anonymous said...

I won't ever forget how I felt about Clay's loss on that fateful night. I can't seem to let go of the fact that I tried to vote all night, and never got through once. I still want someone to admit that his phone lines were down. Still, his lose may have been a good thing in the end. I think it helped bring us all together for a common cause, and made us want to fight for our man to make up for the injustice. In the end, he was the winner. Lois

barb 55 said...

Caro, great blog!

Thanks for posting the 7th year anniversary date. I had forgotton the exact date in May.

It's so neat that seven years ago Clay and Ruben were in the final two on AI and now will be going on a tour together.

The montage by Sue Reu is wonderful. Thanks for sharing, and I love the lead graphic in your entry, too.

I was happy to read your post at FB that all went well with your recital. I knew it would be a big success.

Love and hugs,

Anonymous said...

I will never forget when my grandson come home from school in 2003 and told me to watch AM Idol that night because one of his practice teachers was going to be on. I watched everynight that year and found the message boards after it was over. It was such an exciting time for our family.

My grandson is a sophmore in highschool now and although he still likes Clay he has found other singers he prefers.

But not me I still prefer Clay over all other entertainers.