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Clay Aiken

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Clay Aiken (born on November 30, 1978) is a popular American singer who rose to fame on the American Idol television program, and who has become the most successful second-place finisher in that show’s history, even handily eclipsing that year’s “Idol” winner in sales. His first single, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”/ “This Is The Night” debuted at Number One, and became the best-selling single of the year — and he was just getting started.

Clay’s first CD, Measure of a Man (Number One, Top 200), went triple platinum selling more than 613,000 copies in its first week. Including singles like “Invisible”, “The Way,” “I Will Carry You” and the Neil Sedaka cover “Solitaire,” it was the subject of conflicting reviews. Billboard Magazine called it the best pop album of 2003. Many fans and some critics recognized and admired the pure pop sound (“so pure it floats”) and top-notch production values while others heard only a manufactured sound, noting that the singer hadn’t earned his musical chops but “merely” sang his way to the hearts of millions on television, a perceived unjust leap-frogging of “the true path of the true artist.”

Aiken fronted a country band, Just By Chance, pre-Idol and recorded 3 demo CDs. As a young man he was a member of the Raleigh Boy’s Choir and was in numerous musical productions in North Carolina Theater.

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