Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken


11/30/1978, Raleigh, North Carolina

Birth Name

Clayton Holmes Grissom



Also Known As

Clay Aiken
  • Clay Aiken on Celebrity Apprentice
out of 10
User Rating
85 votes


-Took his mother's maiden name, Aiken. -His mother - Faye Aiken, Father - Ray Parker, brothers - Brett& Jeff, Sister - Amy, biological father - Vernon Grissom -Graduated University of North Carolina Charlotte in December, 2003, with a degree in Special Education. -He has a dog named Raleigh,…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Clay Aiken confirmed that he was gay in an interview with People's Magazine in September 2008.

    • Clay is one of only two non winners on American Idol to never be in the bottom group. The other was David Archuletta in Season 7.

    • Clay is set to guest star in an episode of Days Of Our Lives, where he will serenade characters Steve and Kayla with a song from his new album, as well as O Holy Night on the December 22nd episode.

    • According to the US Patent & Trademark Office's Trademark Electronic Search System, Clay had the term CLAYMATES (a word used in reference to his fanbase) legally trademarked.

    • In September 2006, Clay was appointed to a presidential committee by President George W. Bush, the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. It was founded in 1961 by John F. Kennedy as the President's Panel on Mental Retardation.

    • In 2004, the North Carolina Museum of history displayed some Clay memorabilia, an outfit that he had worn on American Idol for one performance.

    • Clay co-wrote 2 songs on his album A Thousand Different Ways - 'Lonely No More' and 'Lover All Alone' (the latter is only available as an iTunes bonus with the purchase of the album)

    • Clay is featured on the 2004 DVD release of the Disney animated classic Aladdin. He performs the song Proud Of Your Boy, brought out from the Disney Vault.

    • Songs Clay sang on American Idol (from last to first):
      Bridge Over Troubled Water
      Here, There and Everywhere
      This Is The Night
      Unchained Melody
      Mack The Knife
      To Love Somebody
      Build Me Up Buttercup
      I Could Not Ask For More
      Tell Her About It
      At This Moment
      Everlasting Love
      Someone Else's Star
      Somewhere Out There
      I Can't Help Myself
      Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me
      Open Arms

    • In December 2004, Clay starred in his first TV special 'A Clay Aiken Christmas' guest starring Barry Manilow, Yolanda Adams, and Megan Mullally. He was also Executive Producer for the Christmas special, which was released on DVD shortly after airing.

    • As of October 2006, Clay has a second border terrier named Durham.

    • Clay made it to the finals on 'American Idol' via his audition in Atlanta, Georgia. Before that, though, he was rejected in an earlier audition in Charlotte, North Carolina and only went to Atlanta when a friend persuaded him to.

    • Clay's audition number on 'American Idol' was #5230.

    • On Sept 19, 2006, Clay's 3rd album "A Thousand Different Ways" debuted and finished 2nd on the Billboard album charts. It sold over 205,000 copies its first week. Clay is only the 4th artist in history to have his first three albums debut in the Top 5 on the Billboard Charts and sell at least 200,000 copies in their repective first weeks of release.

    • Clay's second album was scheduled to be released on May 9th, 2006. It was delayed due to a lawsuit against the record company filed by fans.

    • According to his interview on CNN, Clay's parents were separated when he was one year old. He spent most of his time with his mother and grandmother.

    • According to a poll conducted by TV Guide and Bravo in 2005, Clay was voted the most-loved star of all time from a reality show.

    • In December 2004, Clay Aiken's songs are made available for cell phone ringtones through Sony Mobile.

    • In November 2004, Clay had to postpone his first Joyful Noise Tour due to vocal cord damage. Clay had ear and sinus infections at the time.

    • Clay is one of Rolling Stone's "People Of The Year 2003."

    • In September 2003, Clay Aiken received an American Music Awards nomination for Favorite Male Artist.

    • Clay Aiken is one of the faces on the Plash Mastercard debit card through First Premier Bank.

    • In 2004, Clay had his first solo tour. The 2004 Summer Tour was sponsored by Disney.

    • In 2003, Clay and Diane Bubel founded The Bubel/Aiken Foundation to help children with disabilities. The name was later changed to National Inclusion Project.

    • The song that sent Clay to Hollywood in his American Idol audition was Always and Forever.

    • Clay is the ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

    • Clay was appointed U.S. Fund for UNICEF National Ambassador in 2004.

    • In 2005, Clay has two tours -- The JukeBox Tour (summer) and The Joyful Noise 2005 Tour (winter).

    • In the 2005 American Christian Music Awards, Clay won the Outstanding Yule CD for his album Merry Christmas With Love

    • In the 2003 American Music Awards, Clay was nominated for Favorite Male Artist, Pop or Rock.

    • Some Clay fans call themselves "Claymates".

    • During the Fashion Week in September 2005, Aiken became a celebrity guest of designer Kenneth Cole.

    • In 2004, Clay's Christmas album Merry Christmas With Love debuts at #4 on the Billboard.

    • Clay won the Fan's Choice Award at the American Music Awards ceremony in 2003.

    • Aiken's first album Measure of a Man debuts at #1 on the Billboard.

    • Clay's original last name was Grissom; he later took his mother's maiden name.

    • Clay's new book, "Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life," debuts at No. 2 on the New York Times Bestseller Lists for Hardcover Nonfiction in November 2005.

    • Clay says that Los Angeles makes him feel lonely.

    • When asked about his building a home in NC, Clay says, "Whether this ride lasts for one year or ten years, I want to have a home base."

    • Clay likes to do charity work (he is a UNICEF ambassador). He recently visited Northern Uganda.

    • Clay recently completed a week long trip to Uganda as a UNICEF celebrity goodwell ambassador. His trip focused primarily on eastern and northern Uganda, where he toured IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps, night commuter shelters, and a reception camp for returned children who had previously been abducted.

    • Clay's "Jukebox Tour" kicked off in Toms River, New Jersey, on July 28, 2005.

  • Quotes

    • Clay: Yes, I'm Gay. I cannot raise a child to lie or hide things.

    • Clay (on Jennifer Hudson): I'm jealous, There was a point I was considered the most successful 'Idol' loser, but now I'm not anymore. I saw the movie Dreamgirls and she deserves the Academy Award, now I'm going to be in second place again.

    • Clay Aiken: It's very strange to think that after three years I don't often remember what life was like before this. And I think that that to some extent can be a downfall to fame.

    • Clay Aiken: It's kind of crazy to me that fans are still around. People come up to me and say 'You're the nicest guy in the whole world, we love you so much.' And I look at the people who work with me and go 'They obviously don't know me!'

    • Clay Aiken: (jokingly) I don't recognize myself right now. I still haven't gotten used to this whole thing. It's a process. The whole transformation from ugly to not-as-ugly happened very slowly.

    • Clay Aiken: It was hard to deal with at first because I was like, 'What? Clay-mates?' But, you know, you gotta love 'em. They're very loyal and supportive, so I'm very grateful.

    • Clay Aiken: You know who you have to answer to — God and yourself — and that's it.

    • Clay Aiken: My mother prophesied years ago that my voice would take me places. She was certain that there was a reason I was able to sing. I am still discovering what that reason is, what it is that God wants to happen.

    • Clay Aiken: I believe God has a direction for me. He did not give me this life just so I could buy a big house and an SUV. My job is to give back and to be a decent human being no matter how many people cheer my name.

    • Clay Aiken: Then-- I was frustrated already. We were walking through the airport, and there was this old man. I don't know if I cut in front of him, or-- but he HIT ME with his CANE! I tell you what, if I ever see that man again, I'm going to do the SAME THING to him!" (on Jimmy Kimmel Live)

    • Clay Aiken: I've gotten so used to embarrassing myself that I don't really get embarrassed that often.

    • Clay Aiken: A song is like a smile. If you meet people from another country, even if you don't speak the same language, you know what a smile means. A song works the same way. Music produces feelings that need no translation.

    • Clay Aiken: The greatest glory never comes from falling, but from rising each time you fall.

    • Clay Aiken: It's not the money. It's not the fame. It's the influence.

    • Clay Aiken: The greatest glory never comes from winning, but from rising each time you fall. A person is defined by what he chooses to do with his life, not by what happens to him.

    • Clay Aiken: It's important that I make a difference in some way. It's not necessarily how I make a difference, but I want to make sure that I do.

    • Clay Aiken: (In his interview with Larry King) I think that my passion for teaching came out of one of those phases where I was tired of being known as the singer.

    • Clay Aiken: (when he was asked why he came to the audition) I'm the American Idol.

  • Glad he can be himself.

    Like him. But bugs me too.
  • What a great man!

    I have been obbsessed with him ever since he was on American Idol. He is probably one of the greatest singers that has ever been on there. His voice is so pure and whole and he himself is also. As a lot of people say, he should have won American Idol. And even though he didn't win the show, he won over America's hearts. Of course he has one of the greatest selling singles of all time since 'Candle in the Wind' by Elton John and one of the fastest sold album in one week. So, to me he has pretty much won in my book. He has one of the biggest hearts also. He has a foundation called the Bubel-Aiken Foundation and is a Unicef official. He also taught an autistic little boy before American Idol. And no matter what the press throws at him, he is strong and takes it like a man. Another thing is that he is totally sexy in that geeky kind of way. I could keep writing about him for hours! His album Measure of a Man went Double Platinum in the first month and no one ever hears about Ruben anymore(oh what a shame*cough*). He is just an awesome guy! I ♥ him.

    One of the Biggest Claymates ever,