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Clay Aiken

As the second-place contestant on Fox television's second season of American Idol, vocalist Clay Aiken wowed television audiences with his Southern charm, sweet demeanor, and powerful tenor voice, all of which combined to make him a pop star (and, later, a fixture on Broadway). Originally, Aiken had planned to try out for the reality TV series The American Race, but went ahead and auditioned for the Idol competition to please an encouraging friend. Out of 7,000 hopefuls, the Charlotte, North Carolina native won the hearts of the judges as well as millions of fans across the globe. Born on November 30, 1978, Aiken began singing at an early age, and was confident enough to perform the Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers classic "Islands in the Stream" at a local high-school dance by age five. Two year later, he was buying albums through a mail-order catalog, eager to get his hands on any kind of music. Aiken's blossoming talent continued into his teenage years, when he became a regular member of the Raleigh Boys Choir and enjoyed roles in The Music Man, Oklahoma!, various stage plays, and regional playhouse shows. When it came time to go to college, music wasn't Aiken's strongest calling. He studied special education instead, and set his sights on attending Virginia's College of William & Mary for a master's degree in administration. Before he could further his education, however, Aiken auditioned for American Idol and ended up wooing a weekly audience of 21 million television viewers in early 2003. His rendition of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" sewed him a spot among Americans' hearts, and although he finished second to Ruben Studdard, Aiken's loss was not taken lightly. He landed a deal with RCA through Simon Fuller's 19 Recordings Limited within weeks of the show's finale. That same month, Aiken's debut single, "This Is the Night," made history by shooting to number one on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. It sold more than 392,000 copies during its first week, besting Elton John's previous record for "Candle in the Wind 1997." In October 2003, Aiken returned to the spotlight and issued his full-length studio debut, The Measure of a Man. Once again, the little guy with the big voice made a big splash, and The Measure of a Man sold 613,000 copies while climbing to number one on Billboard's Top 200 during its first week of release. Aiken's first holiday effort, Merry Christmas with Love, followed in November 2004. The album debuted at number one on Billboard's Top Holiday Albums chart, giving Merry Christmas with Love the biggest debut week sales figures for a Christmas album in SoundScan history. Aiken released A Thousand Different Ways in September 2006 and made his Broadway debut in early 2008, playing the role of Sir Robin in Spamalot. On My Way Here arrived that same year, featuring a track penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder. Aiken released Tried & True, a collection of standards from the '50s and '60s, in 2010 on the Decca label. In 2012, on the heels of his appearance on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, Aiken released the album Steadfast, featuring tracks off Tried & True as well as a few more of his favorite songs to sing in concert. Also included was his original single "Bring Back My Love." ~ MacKenzie Wilson & Andrew Leahey
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Stations Featuring
Clay Aiken

    '00s Pop

    '00s Pop
    1 song

    Pop Holiday

    Pop Holiday
    3 songs

Albums by
Clay Aiken

Top Songs by
Clay Aiken

  1.   Song
  2.   The First Noel
  3.   O Holy Night
  4.   Winter Wonderland
  5.   Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  6.   Mary, Did You Know?
  7.   This Is the Night
  8.   Invisible
  9.   The Way
  10.   Solitaire
  11.   Lonely No More
  12.   The Christmas Song
  13.   Perfect Day
  14.   Merry Christmas With Love
  15.   Silent Night
  16.   Mack the Knife
  17.   Misty
  18.   I Will Carry You
  19.   Who's Sorry Now
  20.   Unchained Melody
  21.   There's a Kind of Hush
  22.   Moon River
  23.   It's Only Make Believe
  24.   It's Impossible
  25.   Where I Draw the Line
  26.   These Open Arms
  27.   I Want to Know What Love Is by Suzie McNeil
  28.   Because You Loved Me
  29.   When I See You Smile
  30.   Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
  31.   Every Time You Go Away
  32.   Without You
  33.   Touch
  34.   No More Sad Songs
  35.   When You Say You Love Me
  36.   Broken Wings
  37.   As Long as We're Here
  38.   Bridge Over Troubled Water
  39.   Medley: Hark the Herald Angels Sing/O Come All Ye Faithful
  40.   Everything I Don't Need
  41.   Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
  42.   Everything I Have
  43.   Can't Take My Eyes Off You
  44.   On My Way Here
  45.   Run to Me
  46.   Sacrificial Love
  47.   Something About Us
  48.   Sleigh Ride
  49.   I Survived You
  50.   Falling
  51.   What Kind of Fool Am I?
  52.   Shine
  53.   Weight of the World
  54.   Ashes
  55.   Don't Save It All for Christmas Day
  56.   A Thousand Days
  57.   Everything I Do (I Do It for You)
  58.   Crying
  59.   Here You Come Again
  60.   What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
  61.   Right Here Waiting
  62.   Suspicious Minds
  63.   The Real Me
  64.   Grace of God
  65.   Joy to the World
  66.   Measure of a Man
  67.   Bring Back My Love
  68.   Lover All Alone

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