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    Clay Aiken: "Joyful Noise 2005"
    When: 8 p.m. Nov. 11
    Where: San Diego Civic Theatre, Third Avenue and B Street, San Diego
    Tickets: $43-$73
    Info: (619) 220-8497
    Web: www.clayaiken.com



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      Pop nerd Clay Aiken brings 'Joyful Noise' to San Diego


      Since the heady days of "American Idol" superstardom, geeky pop idol Clay Aiken may have faded somewhat from public view, but he has hardly disappeared.

      The 26-year-old Raleigh, N.C., native spent more than 30 weeks on the road this year (part of it a summer concert tour, the rest as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador in Indonesia and Uganda), he put out a holiday DVD, promoted his bestselling autobiography, raised money for his Bubel/Aiken Foundation (benefiting children with disabilities), made numerous TV appearances on everything from "Oprah" to "Scrubs," began recording his next CD, and conceived the "Joyful Noise" concert tour, which arrives Friday in San Diego.

      Speaking by telephone from a hotel room in Los Angeles, the former special-ed teacher is the same, well-mannered, down-to-earth Mama's boy who won millions of hearts in 2003 on the Fox reality series "American Idol." In between stifled yawns, for which he apologized profusely (blaming an all-night "Joyful Noise" rehearsal the evening before), Aiken talked about the tour, his personal life, his exuberant fans (known as "Claymates") and what's coming up in 2006.

      Q: "Joyful Noise" is more than a concert of Christmas music. Is it true you've hired actors and written scripted lines for them to speak between your songs?

      A: That's right. I sat down in my pajamas one day and decided to write some scripted dialogue that links these songs together to keep me from looking like a fool up there on stage. It's sort of like a pageant. There's no deep character development, but it tells a traditional Christmas story. One person isn't in the holiday spirit and the others try to get him in the spirit. The music is a soundtrack for the story and I observe things and sometimes help things along.

      Q: So you're like a Christmas angel in the show?

      A: I'd like to keep some mystery about what I do, but that's a somewhat fair description.

      Q: What music will you perform?

      A: It's a mix of music from last year's CD ("Merry Christmas with Love") and some other original holiday music I found this year.

      Q: I've heard you're auctioning off front row seats to each concert, with the proceeds benefiting the Bubel/Aiken Foundation. How much have you raised?

      A: Um, I'm not sure how much at this point, but the foundation has raised more than a million dollars. They do a great job.

      Q: Who is your audience at the "Joyful Noise" concerts? Is it the same "American Idol" fan base who have turned out for your other concert tours?

      A: It's mostly the same audience, though I think it's a little older for the Christmas shows. It's a neat crowd. People get all dressed up in their Sunday best and make a big night out of it.

      Q: Now that the white-hot spotlight of "American Idol" has turned elsewhere, are you still getting mobbed by screaming Claymates everywhere you go?

      A: It's a little easier than it used to be, but only a little. I went to an interview at (L.A. television station) KTLA this morning and the security guard at the gate was ... um ... very enthusiastic. It's still sometimes hard to walk down the street in some places, but I can walk around L.A. or New York and nobody pays any attention. I think what's changed the most is not the fans, but my mental ability to accept it. I'm more comfortable with it now.

      Q: So, who are the Claymates and why do they act the way they do?

      A: I think there are only about 5,000 Claymates out there, and they come to every show. So it may seem like there are lots of them out there, but they're just very faithful fans. They are girls and women who want to take care of me and they like me for who I am.

      Q: Where is home for you?

      A: I'm homeless right now. I sold my home in L.A. and I'm building a house in Raleigh. Once this tour ends, I'm going to move back home. I'm really excited about that.

      Q: Are you working on a new album?

      A: Yes, every chance I've had this year, I've tried to get into the studio. We're looking at getting an album out next year. With my first album (the multiplatinum-selling "Measure of a Man"), I had no time to put it together and just rushed it out. But I've been enjoying taking my time with this one. We've found a lot of different stuff and the big quandary now is what type of album it will be. I'm not sure if it'll be pop, traditional or if it will have a theme. But I think it'll be along the same lines musically as "Measure of a Man."

      Q: Are you still in touch with your old friends from "American Idol"?

      A: I try to talk to Kelly (Clarkson) as often as I can. We're real close since we toured together last year, and I'm still in touch with Ruben (Studdard) and Kim Locke, but we're all so busy, so it's hard to stay in touch.

      Q: Have you read any good books lately?

      A: You know, I've got a funny story about this. One of the actors on this tour is an 11-year-old boy and the law requires that he have a tutor with him on the road. Now I'm cheaper than most folks out there and I figured, 'Hey, I've got a teaching credential, so why don't I tutor him?' So that's what we're doing. After we finish rehearsals, I tutor him for three hours a day. We just finished working on the book 'The Giver,' so I guess, to answer your question, that is the last good book I read."

      .

       

      Comments On This Story Add A Comment

      Note: Comments reflect the views of readers and not necessarily those of the North County Times or its staff.

      Barbara wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:05 PM:

      " Great article - Clay Aiken is not only super talented, but has his priorities straight. He is a pop star that people of all ages can enjoy and look up to. Thank you. "

      Vickie wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:16 PM:

      " Great article. I think Clay is being modest, there are a lot more than 5000 Claymates!!!!! "

      LizinToronto wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:23 PM:

      " Thanks for this positive interview! Oh and by the way, Clay has a lot more than 5,000 Claymates (he's pulling your leg...) There are over 11,000 paid-up members in his official fan club (and that's just for starters!) Thanks again....from a dedicated fan "

      Sarah wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:25 PM:

      " Loved the interview. I think Clay was way too modest about the number of Claymates. I think the number would be well over 5,000. I know of just two fan sites that together total over 5,000 members. He has literally hundreds of fan sites listed on line. I am a member of several fan sites. "

      Jeanne wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:27 PM:

      " What a nice article about a terrific guy. (Clay is being modest about only having 5000 fans. I believe I heard that he has a 5000 member fan club in Korea alone). Thank you, Pam! "

      Candace wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:34 PM:

      " Great interview, but I really think Clay has moved away from the nerd image. "

      Bev wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:41 PM:

      " I think Mr Aiken is being very modest about his 5000 fans since their are 11,000 members of his internet fan club alone, but yes, we're a very loyal and devoted bunch. I, myself, am one of his Claynadian fans and I've seen him in concert 12 times in the past two years and will continue to follow him as long as he is willing to perform. I've never enjoyed another entertainer as much as I do Clay. He has an amazing voice, yes, but that is only part of his appeal. He's intelligent and funny and has a huge heart. We Claymates have two slogans... We came for the voice, but stayed for the man. and... When God made Clay Aiken, He was showing off. He likes to think he's a nerd and that his fans just want to mother him, and perhaps some of them do, but the vast majority think he is a very handsome, sexy man and I imagine he'll stay that way too, as long as he doesn't believe it. "

      Jenny wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:41 PM:

      " Great interview! Loved it, and love clay!! "

      Peggy wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:41 PM:

      " Great interview but Clay needs a better fact checker...there are way more than 5,000 of us and while many may want to take care of him, there are just as many who want to do other things. lol! Can't wait to see him in concert again. "

      Joan wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:46 PM:

      " This story is adorable. The questions were asked in a respectful way and Clays answers, as always, are honest, down to earth, and humorous. Typical Clay who is very proud of what he has accomplished, both in the music world and in all of his endeavos to help children of the world. "

      teresa wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:47 PM:

      " great article. "

      pax wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:47 PM:

      " Thanks for the nice interview. However, Clay is somewhat modest about the number of his fans. Even though it first opened in June of this year, his official fan club now has over 11,000 members--and not all his fans are members of the fan club by any means. I am not so sure all of Clay's fans are there because they want to "take care of him," but it is certainly true that we like him for who he is--we are VERY proud of the multi-talented Clay Aiken. "

      Janet wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:47 PM:

      " Excellent interview. Good questions and of course I loved Clay's wonderful down to earth answers. "

      Lisa wrote on Nov 9, 2005 7:56 PM:

      " Great article. Clay is such a joker - 5,000 "claymates"? Quite an underestimate, I'd say, as much as most of us would love to travel to every show. The truth is that he gains new fans every time he sings. Hard not to, with a voice like his! I can't wait for the new album. "

      Mary Anne wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:04 PM:

      " Very good interview of Clay. He was asked some new and interesting questions. "

      Alicia wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:11 PM:

      " Very good interview.. Just to the point like he likes it.. And No he has more than 5000 fans There is so many of us we can even keep up any more.. Clay is a great individual and a great singer, He is so smart and a giver.. He has the geatest heart and it beat al those self finger out there that spend it all on luxury.. "

      Geri wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:14 PM:

      " Great article - Just loved the interviewers questions and Clay,of course, is a great person to interview cause he is so darn articulate and funny. Thanks! "

      DJ wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:19 PM:

      " One of the best interviews I've read in a long time. It's nice to know that Clay is finally "getting" his fans. Thank you. "

      Katrina wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:28 PM:

      " Ummmm, Clay, you are a little off on your count. You need to add a few zeroes to your number. There are definately more than 5000 fans! Unless you mean diehard Claymates? You know like groupies who go to EVERY concert? Most of the fans want to 'take care of' you alright, but I don't think they mean the same thing as Clay! He is the best looking guy I have EVER seen! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I could love me some taking care of one Mr. Clay Aiken! Thank you very much for your article, I love hearing from and about my fave singer! I sure hope that CD comes out soon! "

      Jane wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:30 PM:

      " I loved the interview and the interviewer. Very informative. I do not really feel that Mr. Aiken knows how many fans he really has - young, more mature, men and women However, he is correct in stating that people like him for who he is as well as a gifted singer. "

      Dorothy wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:33 PM:

      " Let me start out by saying that Clay is a humble man! 5,000 fans?? Not so...there are dozens of Clay Aiken fan message boards and one board alone has over 12,000 members, ALL avid fans. I would like to add that the fan base is growing and lots of men are attending concerts too. Oh yes, we would like very much to take care of him - haha! (not mother him) "

      gina wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:44 PM:

      " wonderful, interesting and inspiring young man. I wish him all the success he deserves. "

      Marie wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:46 PM:

      " Gotta love this man. He is teaching a child how to do what he does so well...and that to give....reading The Giver eh...Clay could have written a book on giving. "

      Christy wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:47 PM:

      " Thanks for writing such a great article! From the title, I expected a little different slant but it turned out to be a good story about a great entertainer. I am not an official Claymate but I am amazed at his talent after attending his concert last week. I predict he will go far. "

      Debbie wrote on Nov 9, 2005 8:53 PM:

      " Wow! That was an interesting and honest interview of Clay. I really enjoyed reading it and found out some things I hadn't yet read about his plans for the next few months. Thanks! "

      Dene wrote on Nov 9, 2005 9:02 PM:

      " Loved hearing this "Clay" news, but not really excited about your choice of a title for the article. In my opinion Clay has earned a little better description. If you went to the show I am willing to bet that you now agree! This man is full of surprises, and there seems to be no end to his talent, and his stamina. Don't know how he can continue to perform with such enthusiasm. I am so looking forward to his new JNT05 and the CD that he is working on. "

      Martigyrl wrote on Nov 9, 2005 9:08 PM:

      " That was a pretty decent article. You seemed to be genuinely interested in what is going on with Clay Aiken. Nice to see a reporter that does just that..... report the facts.Thank You. "

      Rita wrote on Nov 9, 2005 9:15 PM:

      " Thank you for your very upbeat interview with Clay Aiken. He is a remarkable young man in this day & age and though he would probably disagree, he is an excellent role model for today's youth, and their parents as well. He has high morals ans ideals and stands by his convictions! At the same time he is fun loving and has a wry sense of humor. He has said that he wants to make a difference and that is exactly what he is doing. Thank you for presenting him in an unbiased light. "

      Sharon wrote on Nov 9, 2005 9:24 PM:

      " Nice article but I do think Clay was either joking or was trying to be humble by grossly under estimating the number of Claymates. I think he forgot a few zeros. "

      Hot4Clay wrote on Nov 9, 2005 10:53 PM:

      " Clay honey : 5,000 fans ....ummm....you are selling yourself a tad short here sweety. There had to be at least that many at the merchandising counter in Vancouver and the concert had not even started yet !!!!!!! "

      Karenforclay wrote on Nov 10, 2005 12:34 AM:

      " This was a much better interview than many I've read..the tone was respectful and the questions focussed on Clay's current tour and other everyday issues. Wish all journalists took your positive approach with regards to the claymates, as well; after all, the word was coined to reflect the fans fondness for Clay..not to be associated with any other magazine or such. Clay makes us all stay young at heart. I'm proud of the manner in which he discusses us; and we're all proud of him. "

      jill wrote on Nov 10, 2005 12:35 AM:

      " i love it, because i love clay aiken he is a great singer, performer, entertainer and sexiest singer. "

      Liz wrote on Nov 10, 2005 2:48 AM:

      " This was a great interview, Clay is a great guy and such a humanitarian, and yet a great singer and intertainer. He is who he is, no pretense. Clay has way more then 5000 fans, he has a lot of fans who are not "Claymates" they seat back and just enjoy Clay and I am one of them with thousands of others. I will be a fan for many years to come as many others will be. I'm just one of the silence ones. "

      Kacy wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:00 AM:

      " Great interview, Mrs. Kragen! Fun, pertinent questions, and the answers seem complete, not quoted out of context. Thanks! I enjoyed it a lot. Um, I think Mr. Aiken underestimates his fan base. Maybe only 5,000 of us can travel to multiple concerts, tho I bet it's more -- but check out the amazing number of Clay Aiken fan sites (not including those from other countries, such as Spain, Korea, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, etc.), the membership of each, and the quantity of board-specific pins we designed for his Jukebox tour... Btw, I love Joyful Noise! It's sort of like a retro musical, enhanced with modern (and well-done) lighting, staging, and sound affects. And Mr. Aiken's awesome voice is better than ever!! You can bet I'm gonna be down in San Diego to take it in again *g* "

      Winnifred wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:03 AM:

      " I enjoyed this article - a really good interview with Clay. I'm one of his biggest fans who adores his beautiful voice and loves him for the intelligent, kind, man he is, and who enjoys his great sense of humour. "

      Rita wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:04 AM:

      " Tank you so much for this interview. Good questions and I love Clay's answers. He is doing a great job with anything he touches. Your did a great job too. Thanks agin "

      jk wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:10 AM:

      " cool guy "

      Flo wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:25 AM:

      " I just finished reading your informative and well written article on Clay Aiken. He is a very remarkable young man and I have to commend him for all his charitable and humanitariun work. He is also a very talented singer. His tours are always the best. His new Joyful Noise Tour is just amazing and it has a wonderful storyline to it. The songs are just beautiful and as usual he does a stupendous job. Everyone should go and see the show. "

      lori wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:48 AM:

      " Very nice interview and lots of good info. Clay is the nicest and most talented "star" I know and I cannot wait for his new CD to drop! Thanks for asking different questions and not making fun of us "Claymates". And btw, there's a LOT more than 5,000 of us out here, snarky boy! "

      Mark wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:54 AM:

      " "I think there are only about 5,000 Claymates out there" He was pulling your leg. "

      Lynn wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:29 AM:

      " Finally an interviewer that asks good questions. Somebody that is really interested in Clay as an entertainer. The Claymates will always back their man. He is the an all around guy, with a soul. Thanks Clay, we love you and love the article too. "

      Barb wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:35 AM:

      " think there are only about 5,000 Claymates out there, and they come to every show. So it may seem like there are lots of them out there, but they're just very faithful fans. They are girls and women who want to take care of me and they like me for who I am. I beg to differ. There are way more than 5000 out there, and most of them DO like you for who you are! Nice article! "

      BD wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:37 AM:

      " Nice interview and interesting Q&A. Amazing that Clay is tutoring and touring at the same time. I wonder if anyone else has ever done that before in the musical buisness? What a fascinating, multi-talented guy! "

      Anne Spinelli wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:51 AM:

      " This was a very nice interview. Good questions and good answers. I enjoy Clay Aiken and his music very much. Keep up the good work it is nice to see inteliget interviews with sensible questions. "

      Harleydasher wrote on Nov 10, 2005 5:01 AM:

      " Great article on Clay Aiken! He's a diversely talented but extremely humble,down-home man & you captured that beautifully! I will send this article to several people who will appreciate it as much as I did. Thank you! "

      Cindy wrote on Nov 10, 2005 5:08 AM:

      " Ah Clay - you are so funny. 5,000 Claymates? So how do you explain the 11,000 members that signed up for your fanclub in the last 6 months?? And as much as I love you - I can NOT go to more that one show. But is does make for a good comment in an interview. "

      Shelly wrote on Nov 10, 2005 5:27 AM:

      " Thanks for this article. I enjoyed reading it. I love Clay Aiken's music. Not to mention that he is a very giving person and I am happy to call myself his fan. "

      Nancy Leonard wrote on Nov 10, 2005 5:45 AM:

      " Isn't Clay special? Just reading about him makes me have a better attitude, a better heart, and a better day. "

      Carol wrote on Nov 10, 2005 5:47 AM:

      " This is making its way all over the message boards!! Very nice story. Hard to believe there's only 5000 of us :-). He's got a great fan base though, and sounds like he knows it!! We're dedicated, enthusiastic, and very supportive fans who love Clay and what he stands for. And we have $$$$$ to spend on that!!!!! "

      Debra wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:19 AM:

      " Wonderful interview. I am a devoted Claymate and can't wait to see Clay's production. Thanks for taking the time to interview him. "

      Dianne wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:35 AM:

      " Dear Pam, Thank you for this well-written, very informative and most enjoyable article on Clay Aiken. Your article presented the readers with a deep insight into Clay Aiken, who is not only a young man of strong faith, purpose and integrity, but an extremely talented, professional and hard-working artist/performer/entertainer, as well. Also, Clay truly is blessed with many more than 5,000 "loyal" fans; he was being very humble in quoting that number. Thank you, again. Dianne "Lady Di" "

      Lori wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:39 AM:

      " Great interview. You asked some different questions (like the book one) which shows some preparation and creativity. It is obvious the guy works hard. And his love of teaching probably is the pivotal issue with tutoring the young actor as much as his thriftiness. "

      Linda wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:44 AM:

      " Thanks for being honest and fair with our collective boyfriend! His "5000" comment is such a joke, as referenced by the number of fan clubs and their large memberships. He's a great entertainer and a very special young man. "

      Nancy wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:58 AM:

      " Read your story online here in North Carolina and loved it. Sorry Clay, I'm a claymate who can't make it to any shows except Charlotte, North Carolina, so you must have more fans than those 5000 you keep talking about! Yea! Please go hear this one of a kind glorious voice in concert. The downloads I have seen are beyond description! Thanks, Nancy "

      Adrienne wrote on Nov 10, 2005 7:03 AM:

      " Wow, i guess i am one of only 5,000 Claymates?? Clay is just too modest to admit that the internet claymates number in the tens of thousands on several internet fan boards. How else would he fill all his concerts and sell anything he decides to put out. whether it be a cd, dvd, book or tour - we are not the only ones there for him. Clay, you're great. !!! "

      SB wrote on Nov 10, 2005 7:20 AM:

      " The dude's got a few wacked-out fans and I will enjoy attending the JNT, making fun of them of course.....but more importantly listening to probably the best voice I've heard lately. It's worth it to put up with the 'wacko's' just to hear him sing. "

      Carol wrote on Nov 10, 2005 7:30 AM:

      " Thanks for an informative article that you obviously prepared for! Your questons were excellent & a refreshing change from many interviewers' trite and sometimes thoughtless ones. Clay is a remarkable young man....sincere, compassionate, kind and extraordinarily talented. Not only does he have a voice that is unique & remarkable, he is a marvelous playwright as well! And a consummate entertainer. I can hardly wait for my turn to see JNT05!! Thanks again for a great interview! "

      Christine wrote on Nov 10, 2005 7:44 AM:

      " I live in Escondido, and enjoy the NCTimes online. This story has more comments than any other story I've ever seen. This Clay Aiken guy must be something! I guess I'll check out the concert on Friday. "

      Ashley wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:04 AM:

      " Thank you for such a great interview. I am also an avid Clay fan, and I've loved him the moment I heard his voice on American Idol. I will always be there to support him by attending all his concerts as much as I can, and buy his CDs and anything he will come up with, and his Bubel Aiken Foundation in helping children w/disabilities. I love him for the type of man he is, a humanitarian, down to earth personality, good moral values, and a great sense of humor. I wish him all the best, and I hope he will be around for a veeeeery loooong time! "

      Mary wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:09 AM:

      " I loved your article on Clay Aiken. Thanks for asking interesting questions. Are you sure he said 5000 fans not not 500,000? LOL! Clay is such a joy, I hope he has a very long career in music. "

      playangel wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:10 AM:

      " What a great article...Thank you the informative info. about Mr. Aiken..I really enjoyed reading it...Mr. Aiken only 5000? I doubt it..........try double, triple and more... "

      raleigh senior wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:10 AM:

      " Great story! This is the senior citizen from Raleigh. The men folks of all ages also like Clay. He brings back so many memories and is right on track with the Beetles, Frank S., Tony B., Neil Sedaka, Barry M. and the many other great singers. Keep the interviews coming. You did a great job. Raleigh Senior "

      Angie wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:22 AM:

      " That was a great interview. Thank you. My hubby and I have been Clay fans since the show. For us, it is has always been about his Voice and Music. But we have also come to admire the Man. We try to attend at least one concert each tour (and have done that). The Joyful Noise Tour is our favorite. Going to the Baltimore concert this year. However, the Jukebox Tour was fantastic. Hubby loves oldies and we both loved the Musical Journey. Looking forward to your new album. Still listening to the Measure of a Man album. All the songs are good. A lot of them are great, like I Will Carry You, The Way, Invisible and This is The Night. "

      Lynne wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:28 AM:

      " Wonderful article, wonderful man. I am truly a devoted fan of Clay Aiken. "

      Gloria wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:35 AM:

      " Thank you for this wonderful interview. You asked the right questions and you got the right answers. Clay is more than amazing. Clay, add one more fan to the 5000 you mentioned. This is one extraordinare young man. He is concern more about giving than receiving. We are more than ready to give back to Clay. "

      Lin wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:12 AM:

      " GREAT!!! You got some good info out of him and presented it well. Many don't! Thank you! His show is awesome and I will be in SD Friday and I hope you get to see the show! He is an incredible man and, yes, we do love him just the way he is (the majority of us, anyway)!!! SEXY, too!!! "

      Alice wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:12 AM:

      " Thank you for your wonderful article about Clay Aiken - I love how you asked some different questions and got some unique answers. I love how he's tutoring his youngest actor! I am looking forward to his San Diego show - beautiful music and a chance to think about the meaning of Christmas. Clay is right - we do love him for who he is. "

      Joyce C wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:27 AM:

      " Count me as ONE of the 5000 who attend a Clay Aiken concert. I always look forward to reading an Interview with Clay. I pride myself on making certain that he is in Good Spirit and Good Health and in Good company... Yup, I am another who wants to Mother him and tuck him in. He is a RARE find and a FINE person. His success and happiness are as important to me as are the lives of my own grown children. He is wholesome, caring and involved in making this a better world in a Time when the front page entertainers are known for their excesses and their Headline grabbing escapades. "

      Terry wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:31 AM:

      " I enjoyed the article. Thanks for asking some real good questions. It was nice to read that clay understands that we like him for who he is. "

      Sue wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:36 AM:

      " Nice interview with Clay. I am so patiently? waiting for his new album. But the wait is good, because when it does come out, there will be a big rush to get it. I sure do love his Christmas album. Clay, dear, you need a fact checker. Just "5000" fans are Claymates? I don't care if they all didn't go to all of your concerts. (We all don't have that much money, for there are other singers out there too.) I don't think so. Nobody goes platinum (sold) in 4 weeks with a Christmas album with just "5000" fans, even with multiple purchases. In fact lets do the math, as proof. 1,000,000 divided by 5000 = 200. So, 5000 Claymates would have to purchase 200 Christmas albums. I don't think so. One or two that's plenty. Your MOAM has already topped triple platinum, and that didn't quite go over too well with the critics. So, with the new one, which we know is going to be a LOT better for various reasons. You'll sell even more, because of NEW fans. So, relax. It's all good. "

      Laura wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:41 AM:

      " I want to thank you for such a wonderful interview on Clay! You were not insulting,unlike some "others" have been. You let Clay talk and you asked all the right questions! I wish everyone would be as open as you and then they could see what all us 500+ Claymates know already-Clay is a caring,loving,giving person with a golden voice! Thank you again! "

      Carol wrote on Nov 10, 2005 10:41 AM:

      " What a great article. You brought out the real Clay. He's such a wonderful, intelligent, down to earth person, totally unabsorbed, and never one to brag. He highlights his backup singers and dotes on their performances rather than his own. He's an exceptional talent and we're so lucky to have him. And very nice on the eyes as well! The total package! "

      Krys wrote on Nov 10, 2005 12:24 PM:

      " I thought from the title that it would be a typical interview but I was pleasantly surprised. Clay is as proud of his fans as we are of him and it shows in everything he does and says. The number of fans however is a gross underestimation. I would add at least two more zeros to the number.....and climbing. "

      Char wrote on Nov 10, 2005 12:29 PM:

      " What a wonderful interview - thanks for taking the time to be real with Clay! Getting information in an article that hasn't been repeated in 20 other news releases is really an accomplishment. I think when Clay's album comes out it's going to be obvious that his fanbase is rock solid and huge! I hope you get to see Joyful Noise 2005 - it's unbelievably excellent. "

      Angie D wrote on Nov 10, 2005 1:03 PM:

      " Wonderful interview and as always Clay is being much too humble. Clay, sweetie you have way more than the same 5000 claymates plus each time you tour you gain more and more. I wish I could make it to every show but I try to makeat least all the Michigan concerts when you are here. You should be very proud of all your accomplishments!!! "

      Pam wrote on Nov 10, 2005 1:06 PM:

      " Thanks for the great article on Clay Aiken. Thanks for pointing out that he has been working very hard the past year (in fact ever since he has been off of American Idol) and thanks for asking some great questions. And yes Clay, we do love you for who you are! "

      Angie wrote on Nov 10, 2005 1:17 PM:

      " Very nice article. I hope you get to catch his San Diego show because he will totally amaze you. I guarantee that after the show, the word "nerd" won't enter your mind. Clay may be correct in that he has about 5,000 (give or take a 1,000)extremely enthusiastic fans (Claymates). But add to that the casual fans who will buy his album, catch a concert if he's in town, watch him on TV if they know about it, etc...and the number is off the charts. I guess I'm one of the 5,000, but know several in the other category. "

      Kelly wrote on Nov 10, 2005 1:19 PM:

      " Thanks for the wonderful interview with Clay Aiken! I have been a huge fan of this guy since American Idol, and I love reading positive articles about him. I love everything about Clay, from his incredible singing voice to his jolly sense of humor. I have yet to see him on concert, but I'd love to someday. He is incredible! Clay, I love you! "

      Janet wrote on Nov 10, 2005 1:21 PM:

      " Thank you for your wonderful article about Clay. There has never been nor will there ever be anyone who can equal his talent and the love that he shows for his fans and his caring, giving heart. We love you Clay. "

      Maricela wrote on Nov 10, 2005 1:44 PM:

      " Thanks for the GREAT Clay Aiken article "Pop nerd Clay Aiken brings 'Joyful Noise' to San Diego!" Clay Aiken is my favorite male singer and male entertainer. Clay Aiken is the greatest and the best male musical artist ever!!! Clay Aiken Rules!!! "

      Joan Rushing wrote on Nov 10, 2005 1:51 PM:

      " Wow, great interview of Clay. He is AWESOME, honest, funny, intelligent, compassionate, caring, multi-talented and much loved for who he is and has stayed true to himself. Me thinks he is drastically underestimating his fan base. It's very nice that someone can focus on all of his positives. He has once again outdone himself with the JNT05. "

      Dave wrote on Nov 10, 2005 2:28 PM:

      " Great interview...giving Mr.Aiken some very good questions.I am a "Clayfan"..his down-to Earth style and his ability to bring families together for an evening out..not easy to find these days.He is unique and a gift to all generations. Grab youself a "Merry Christmas with Love" from your local music tore and feel the holiday spirit..young and old. Clay's work with UNICEF..a whole lot of caring from a young man. Does he ever sleep? "

      Linda wrote on Nov 10, 2005 2:52 PM:

      " Excellent interview..thanks for treating this amazing talented man with the respect he deserves....he's a breath of fresh air during these trying times. "

      Jill wrote on Nov 10, 2005 2:59 PM:

      " Dear Pam, I agree with all of these other readers that you wrote quite a nice article about Clay Aiken. It seems that journalists like you and others like Sam Rubin on KTLA news, Larry King and so many others are really catching on to the fact that Clay is a remarkable person, inside and out, a rare and beautiful performer with a heart of gold who walks the talk and who is endeavoring to live a life of integrity. Fortunately, this amazing young man still seems to be very humble and he is gradually learning to deal with fact that he is known and loved by thousands and thousands of people, young and old, and in between, male and female alike. He has many gifts to share with people all over the world. Hope you get enjoy his concert, Pam. My husband and I attended Clay's Joyful Noise Concert in Pasadena, CA last year and it was truly one the most beautiful and joyful concerts I've ever experienced. We hope that you have "Merry Christmas with Love" too, Pam. It is exquisite!!!!! "

      Val wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:13 PM:

      " Great interview about a great entertainer and person. Gotta love Clay "

      Pola wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:20 PM:

      " Thanks for the positive interview! And by the way, there's more than 5000 of us. How did Clay get that number, anyhow? Someone ought to take a poll or something and we'll all raise our hands and be counted. Just like in school. And speaking of school, it is so wonderful that he's tutoring the child actor. Because he's a teacher, this must bring a lot of joy to him, and also, it's such a sensible thing to do, given the circumstances. He is a sensible guy and this is one of the reasons he is beloved by his fans. "

      Dot wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:20 PM:

      " Great article !!! Clay Aiken is about the best singer/personality/all around person ever.. Love the voice.. and love him... "

      Pat wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:21 PM:

      " Thanks for a great article. The questions you asked and the answers Clay gave shows why so many people young and old enjoy him and his music so much. Clay is a the best all around performer and I am one of many that is looking forward to his new cd. Thanks "

      deb wrote on Nov 10, 2005 3:45 PM:

      " Thanks fot the great article. i am disable and unable to go to his concerts. thank you for taking the time to write such a moving piece.so proud that he is taking the time to tutor his young actor. "

      Cindy wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:00 PM:

      " Thank you so much, for the article on Clay. He is so humble, and would not admit to his vast fan base. As far as his audience goes, I for one, have witnessed many more young men in attendance, along with women 20-30 yrs. of age. It is no surprise to any of his original fan base, we know how talented he is, and his fight against the major industry, to keep himself true to himself and not, "sell out" as they say, as many more in the past have, for the "fast& easy buck." His beliefs in God, respect of others, and his big heart, for those in need, make him a stand out in my book! "

      Angel wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:04 PM:

      " Thanks for such a great article. Clay will go far. His heart and compassion are what make him so special, aside from his amazing voice! "

      MARIA wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:06 PM:

      " MS. KRAGEN, "THANK YOU" FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL INTERVIEW WITH CLAY AIKEN. THE MAN DESERVES SO MUCH RESPECT FOR ALL HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS. ALL OF US WHO LOVE AND APPRECIATE HIS TALENT AND HUMANITY TOWARDS THOSE WITH DISABILITIES ARE GRATEFUL TO FINALLY HAVE AN INTERVIEWER WHO DOES THEIR JOB THE WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE DONE! A PROFESSIONAL YOU TRULY ARE!!!!!! "

      Susan wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:07 PM:

      " Great interview! Loved his concert last week. It is absolutely unreal how talented he is. Can't wait for Aiken's new cd. "

      Sharon wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:37 PM:

      " Nice article, good interview with a truly nice guy with a truly great set of pipes. He was wrong about one thing in this interview, however, there are way more than 5000 Claymates, I'm sure. I have never been able to attend one of his concerts although I would love to do so and I am sure there are many, many more out there like me that just adore him--are true Claymates--but can't get to a concert. Clay is the bomb--the very best! "

      Lynn wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:41 PM:

      " Don't appreciate the topic of your related advertising links. Remove please. "

      Jan wrote on Nov 10, 2005 4:51 PM:

      " This was a great interview - thanks for sharing it with us! I think Clay knows he has a lot more than 5,000 fans! I converted my daughter into one after she attended the JBT with me in July! We have our tickets to the JNT in Raleigh, NC on Dec. 22nd and can hardly wait! It just takes one time to see him in concert and you're hooked! How awesome that Clay gets to do the two things he enjoys most while on this tour - sing and teach! "

      Barbara wrote on Nov 10, 2005 5:25 PM:

      " Thank you for conducting a respectful, insightful interview and writing it as a serious story. Clay's fans are so tired of the usual snark and snide derision from "cooler than thou" entertainment reporters. And for the Claymates who think he underestimates the numbers or was joking, he was only talking about the hardest core Claymates who attend every concert and make the most "noise" online and everywhere. He knows very well that there are many more fans in total. Most of us are just quieter and keep him in perspective with the rest of our lives. "

      Mary wrote on Nov 10, 2005 5:47 PM:

      " Thank you for such an even-handed interview. This piece allows the public to learn more about Clay and hopefully get interested enough to attend a concert. If they do, they will be in for a treat! Clay in concert is amazing. "

      Pat wrote on Nov 10, 2005 5:54 PM:

      " Thank you so much for your mature, serious interview with someone who deserves the respect he too rarely gets. Clay Aiken is not only a multi-talented entertainer, but also a very gifted and beautiful person. His accomplishments go way beyond what he has done musically, and I'm so happy to see him recognized for ALL of his hard work and talents. This Christmas tour is one of his finest shining hours. However, 5,000 Claymates is a VERY old statistic! He surpassed that number LONG ago!!! "

      Ellen wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:02 PM:

      " A wonderful article. Always,well spoken, witty, and interesting. Became a real fan at the Jukebox concert in Kettering ohio this past summer, despite the rain. You are a true entertainer. Stay well, much success with Joyful Noise 2. Can't wait to see you in Cincinnati. FINALLY!!! "

      Reality Penland wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:04 PM:

      " Great Article on Clay Aiken!! I love every thing about this guy and his talent in singing is totally amazing and how hillerously funny he is. I hope that his future will turn out good in the end for himself. "

      Pam wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:42 PM:

      " I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article! I was lucky enough to see the Christmas tour (JNT2) in Oakland. Clay was brilliant as always. I am glad that my teenage daughter has somebody like Clay Aiken as a role model instead of some of these other popular "pop singers". We just love the man with the "golden" voice. "

      joann wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:43 PM:

      " I enjoyed your article. Clay is one of a kind. As we love to say, " We came for the voice, but stayed for the man." "

      Marilu wrote on Nov 10, 2005 6:59 PM:

      " Wow! An article from a reporter that can report, about an entertainer who can entertain. How refreshing, just like Clay. As a mother of 6 grown kids and 14 grandchildren half-grown, I am thrilled that this generation and future ones have a true entertainer to look up to. A man who has morals, is true to his beliefs and speaks his mind even it is not policticaly correct, is the best role model I want for my family. "

      Vivian wrote on Nov 10, 2005 7:02 PM:

      " Thanks so much for a great article on this amazingly talented young man. An evening spent at one of his concerts is truly an unforgettable experience. He is loved by millions, however, not only because of his rare musical talent, but for the depth of his compassion and caring for his fellow man. He is a true humanitarian. "

      Sue wrote on Nov 10, 2005 7:06 PM:

      " I have admired Clay since first seeing him on American Idol. His voice is nothing short of spectacular and his talent as a performer is outstanding. No one would ever believe this young man has been in the biz for just two years. My family has attended every one of his tours so far and cannot wait to see him in Raleigh on Dec. 22nd. Not only is he a wonderful singer but an exceptional human being. He truly walks the walk...I hope to enjoy his voice for years to come. Thank you so much for a great interview! "

      Linda From MI wrote on Nov 10, 2005 7:07 PM:

      " This Is a great article. I want to read every thing that is ever written about OMC. I followed him ever since AI2. His voice is so wonderful that I can't seem to get enough of anything that he does. I love his new song, Back For More, and can't wait for his new album to come out. I saw him perform at a concert in MI in 2004. I was so impressed with his performance and also how he related to his audience. He is a wonderful person and so sexy. He is the greatest! And he is loved by all of his fans. "

      Kathy wrote on Nov 10, 2005 7:30 PM:

      " Thank you, Pam Kragen, for a well done, fair and interesting interview. This young man is at the top of the "A" List of entertainers in my book. What an overall talent. Not only is his singing wonderful, but his personality connects him with his audience in a marvelous way. We will be glad to see him back home in Raleigh on December 22. We never miss a chance to see him when he's in NC. The Joyful Noise Tour concert last year was most enjoyable, and I hear that it's even better this year, so I'm counting the days. "

      Shirley wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:08 PM:

      " Great Article! Clay has made a difference in the young and old alike. You ask great questions and gave a lovely interview report. It is wonderful to be able to go to Clay's concerts and take my grandchildren and not be afraid of what they might be subject to! Thank you for your positive report. Clay's fan base far surpasses 5000. "

      Cathy wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:25 PM:

      " I'm glad that Clay knows we love him just the way he is. In fact that's why we fell in love with him in the first place. He's talented, smart, playful and humble. Thank you for not creating your own angle to this interview and just reporting it like it is. Sometimes not only is that enough, but it's the best way. "

      annie wrote on Nov 10, 2005 8:48 PM:

      " Thanks for the nice interview, it's nice when the the questions make sense and when they are interesting. I think Clay is being modest. On the net alone their is one clay Aiken message board put their by his fans and right now their members are over 12,000. And thats just 1 message board. Their are A LOT of Clay Aiken message boards. "

      MrsDM wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:06 PM:

      " Thank you for a pleasant article/interview. Clay is a breath of fresh air in an industry stagnant with suggestive drivel... He is a man who remains true to his ideals, and shows great integrity and determination in all he endeavors! "

      Debbie wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:06 PM:

      " Finally--an interviewer who didn't go the same old boring route and instead asked well-thought-out questions! I know quite a bit about Clay, having followed his career since he was first on American Idol, and I learned new information from your article. Thank you for an interesting read! "

      monica wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:17 PM:

      " Thank you for the positive Interview with a man that I think is, was, will always be(sound familiar)the most amazing, interesting talent in the "Celebrity" industry beginning with his discovery in 2003. Even Clay's modesty is humbling. 5,000 Claymates? If my memory serves me correctly that is under the number that his "hometown,NC" alone draws for a concert. But now, if there is only 5,000 of us that frequent "all" of your concerts, wouldn't it make sense to just have a concert in "one" general location so none of us would have to do a lot of traveling and just "party" all the time with you, Mr. Aiken. Okay, I know I'm dreaming so just pinch me and wake me up!!! Realistically now, HOW MANY CLAYMATES? 5,000? WHAT? One thing is for sure, we definitely, Clay, adore you for who you are and, collectively speaking are very proud to be Claymates. 5,000 huh? "

      Marie wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:22 PM:

      " It was so refreshing to read a thoughtful interview devoid of the usual unkind and unneccessary comments. Thank you for taking the time to do your job and to do it well. As for the 5,000 - he has too many fans to count - can't wait to see JN2. "

      Jess wrote on Nov 10, 2005 9:25 PM:

      " thank you for a great article! i really enjoyed reading it! looking forward to seeing the show next month. "

      Eric wrote on Nov 10, 2005 10:21 PM:

      " This was a very good article and interview. For some time, I regularly listened to my girlfriend's appreciation for Clay Aiken. But it wasn't until she had me attend his summer Jukebox Tour, I fully understood that appreciation. Along with his terrific and versatile voice, I found him to be witty, humorous, humble, and hard working...an extremely gifted all around performer who gives 100%. Once you've seen Clay in concert, it's easy to understand why he has so many dedicated fans. I too am now looking forward to his upcoming Christmas concert. "

      Jan wrote on Nov 10, 2005 10:25 PM:

      " Very nice interview. I've seen Clay 4 times the last being in Eugene. I'm happy for him that he is moving back to his hometown, but being from California I will miss him. I think the remark, "Pop Nerd" should be changed to "Pop Star". Clay has proven that and his fans are here to stay. "

      John wrote on Nov 10, 2005 10:44 PM:

      " This was a nice article. I went to a concert of this singer, took my girlfriend, even tho I thought it would be so uncool to go. My buddies laughed when they heard I was gonna take her back in August. But ya know, Clay Aiken can SING! It was like, wow, ya know? He can move better than he says he can too. Not like when he was on the show. I think he had eyes for one of the female singers too maybe even both. I don't believe the dj's who say he is the other way. I think all the guys out there should give this singer another listen to. I am sure glad I did. And ya no what? The chicks sure do drool over him! Lots of chicks probly way more than he says. Anyhoo thanks for writin a really great piece about him. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>John "

      jeann11 wrote on Nov 10, 2005 10:55 PM:

      " Thank you for the wonderful article.I really enjoyed it. Being ClayMate #339, I can tell you they stopped giving out numbers at # 5,000.Clay probably got that number from a reletive who was a member at the orginal ClayMates group. There are many, many more than that, and not everyone calls themselves ClayMates, we are all part of the Clay Nation. "

      Karen wrote on Nov 10, 2005 11:11 PM:

      " Love your article. It's always great to hear what Clay's up to. "

      Pat wrote on Nov 10, 2005 11:55 PM:

      " Great article about Clay aiken. Your inteview questions were respectful and to the point. If you attend one of his concerts, you will want to change your title. He is no longer a nerd. This man is funny (5000 fans indeed), articulate, a great performer and has a voice that will capture you forever. Oh, and did I mention handsome and sexy too. The Clay you see in concert is nothing like the clay that was on AI. "

      Bette wrote on Nov 11, 2005 4:32 AM:

      " This is one of the best interviews with Clay that I have seen. I am so thankful that your interview was really about Clay, his Joyful Noise Tour and what he thinks about. I thought it was funny that he thinks there are only 5000 fans that go to every show. There are so many more of us. We all came for the voice and stayed for the man. Your interview showed Clay at his best. Thank you so much. "

      Debbie (Pittsburgh, PA) wrote on Nov 11, 2005 6:11 AM:

      " Great article about a great guy. I'm taking my mom to his Joyful Noise concert. I have no doubt that she will be impressed with his singing ability and I don't have to worry about anything in the concert embarrassing her. I've been to two of his previous concerts and was more than pleased at both of them. I plan on meeting some new friends who share a common respect and admiration for a truly unique man. "

      cindym wrote on Nov 11, 2005 6:25 AM:

      " Clay just doesn't get it does he? He is one sexy man. Thanks for the interview. "

      Sandi wrote on Nov 11, 2005 7:33 AM:

      " I am so pleased with this interview, it was thoughtful and you did your homework. Many interviewers really have no idea who he really is what they print in usually not correct. Those of us that know Clay Aiken the man, just laugh at the comments they make. I think when he said 5,000 he forgot a few 0's. I only wish we could travel to each and every concert. Again thank you for your professionalism. "

      Francine wrote on Nov 11, 2005 8:07 AM:

      " Thank you, for your incisive and informative article without all the usual snide and totally useless questions that are usually asked of this truly remarkable young man named Clay Aiken, you are a true journalist. I attended a jnt concert a few nights ago he has yet again proved what a great entertainer he is. "

      Eve wrote on Nov 11, 2005 8:19 AM:

      " GREAT ARTICLE,however,i don't feel good about him being addressed us "nerd" or "geeky". For me these are name callings when he was being teased by his schoolmates before.Clay always carries himself with class,elegance and dignity. Thanks so much for the professional questions. "

      sandra wrote on Nov 11, 2005 10:02 AM:

      " What ever Clay Aiken has that has kept me a hugh fan since AI2 is something no one else has ... unexplainable. Thanks for the great interview. "

      Cassie wrote on Nov 11, 2005 10:09 AM:

      " Thank you for a great article about a wonderful guy. I just saw Clay last night at the Kodak, what a great show, and he sounded AMAZING!!!! "

      Al wrote on Nov 11, 2005 10:51 AM:

      " Your interview of Clay Aiken reflects what kind of journalist you are--very classy! It was nice to see his fans not being ridiculed. He continues to be my role model, far from being a 'nerd'. Joyful Noise2 is so professionally done that even non Clay fans who attended the Los Angeles concert with me were totaly impressed with Clay and this production. "

      Carol wrote on Nov 11, 2005 11:53 AM:

      " Thanks for a great article. I don't think Clay realizes how much his singing touches people. I went to his solo concert in 2004 and I screamed like a young teenager, and I'm 54! I can't wait to see his JNT this year. What a wonderful young man. "

      Sue wrote on Nov 11, 2005 1:10 PM:

      " Thank you for a great article with the greatest performer of this century so far! Clay is a icon! I have no need to listen or watch any other performer but Clay, he fulfills all my entertainment needs. I have gone to many of Clay's concerts and they were all wonderful! "

      Kathy wrote on Nov 11, 2005 1:17 PM:

      " Thank You for the wonderful interview Clay deserves only the BEST. He is one great entertainer.I have seen 3 concerts of JNT 2. Only wish I could see more. "

      Lonely, and looking in NY wrote on Nov 11, 2005 1:59 PM:

      " If there were more men like Clay in this world, there would be alot of happy hooked-up girls. He's just what I'm looking for but the saddest truth is I can only love him from afar. Thanks for the interview. "

      Leah wrote on Nov 11, 2005 2:45 PM:

      " Thank you so much for the interview with Clay Aiken! I did not watch American Idol so I didn't know that much about him until a friend invited me to his Jukebox Tour this summer. I was absolutely blown away by his incredible voice and stage presence! I can not wait to see him again in the Joyful Noise tour! If you haven't seen this man performing in person than you are totally missing out!!!! "

      June wrote on Nov 11, 2005 3:08 PM:

      " Thank you so much for the wonderful interview.....Clay is the greatest.....His voice is the best out there and we all love him very much.........5,000 indeed.....More like 500,000 I'd say.......and more to come.......He's only just begun...... "

      JenM wrote on Nov 11, 2005 4:41 PM:

      " Thanks for the great article! Nice to hear that Clay is teaching again =) "

      Sally wrote on Nov 11, 2005 5:21 PM:

      " He has an amazing voice, but that is only part of his appeal. He's intelligent and funny and has a huuuuge heart. We have two slogans for Clay.. We came for the voice, but stayed for the man. He likes to think he's a nerd and that his fans just want to mother him, and perhaps some of them do, but the majority think he is a very handsome, sexy man and I think he'll stay that way too.Go Clay "

      SilverAngel wrote on Nov 11, 2005 6:32 PM:

      " Clay Aiken...you are "Heaven Sent". Thank you for all that you are to so many. I pray that you will reward your loyal fans in New Zealand with a visit there someday. awh~aywat! "

      Aneriz wrote on Nov 11, 2005 7:52 PM:

      " Thank you for the article and interview. I am not listed anywhere as a Claymate, but I really enjoy Clay's singing and and public persona. "

      Sondra wrote on Nov 11, 2005 8:53 PM:

      " Thank you for a nice interview. As you can see by the responce to your article we love this guy and what he stands for. Many of us know too much about him as to what he sang before idol and all. His music assures us that the world is still good and that people have all come together on many sights to cherish these friendships that we have made all because of Clay Aiken the man with the golden heart. Thanks again. Clayfans about 1,000,000,000. "

      Kim wrote on Nov 11, 2005 9:47 PM:

      " Tonight I was sitting in Panda Express in Santee, with my daughter and her friends. One of her friends got a call on his cell phone from his mom. She said.... say hi to Clay Aiken!! Clay took the time to say hi to Patrick and talk for a few minutes. We were all aghast, that Clay would be that nice and sweet to say hi to a stranger. He made us even a bigger fans than we were before!!! "

      Diana wrote on Nov 12, 2005 4:28 AM:

      " This is what we want in an article about Clay--some real information. Well done. "

      Crista wrote on Nov 12, 2005 4:53 AM:

      " It almost seems pointless to add yet another comment but I did really enjoy your interview. Clay not only has an amazing voice, he is a fantastic entertainer who impossibly sounds better live that on his CD. Most artists today are so protooled that when you go to a concert what you get is horrendous or lipsynced. If you ever get the chance GO to a concert. You will laugh and have a great time. Clay loves to take chances and changes up every concert, so you too will have to go to more than just one. At the Jukebox Tour, one night you could get a spur of the moment When a Man Loves a Woman to a quick and laughing attempt at Bohemian Rhapsody during what Clay calls Stump the Band where audience members get to request songs. I always come away from a concert with a big smile and lots of great memories. I can't wait until I get to see this Christmas Tour because it sounds like a great story and I love that he is also getting the chance to still be a teacher in some capacity. "

      Darleen from Goodwood, CanadaMills wrote on Nov 12, 2005 4:59 AM:

      " Pam, thank you for an informative and interesting interview. It is refreshing not to read the same old same old. I hope that Clay isn't teaching Mathe on this tour, as his estimating skills are a little rusty. 5000 Fans? I think not-ty adding at least 3 zeros or more. We were most fortunate to enjoy his JBT tour this summer in Toronto. The voice and persona of this young man is so rich and enveloping that he has the knack to make others try harder and do their best. I know, because I have just gotten together 46 Canadians, men and women, teenagers and grandmas to take a bus trip to Youngstown Ohio on Nov. 27th to enjoy his Joyful Noise Concert there. Only wish we could attend more, and maybe we can attend one in NC one day, because as Clay says there is no place like home. Keep up the good writing, as we tend to read your paper on line to see what's happening in Clay's State. Best regards, Darleen "

      Josh wrote on Nov 12, 2005 5:44 AM:

      " Hey, great article about Clay. The mans voice rocks. "

      Mary wrote on Nov 12, 2005 6:03 AM:

      " Thank you so much for this wonderful interview..It is so nice to see someone mention his humanitarian efforts as well. Many probably never realized all this man does for so many. Keep up the great work Clay..You are making a difference! "

      lilian wrote on Nov 12, 2005 7:19 AM:

      " a million thanks for this article. clay will stay on top forever because he loves and respects his fans. "

      Glenn wrote on Nov 12, 2005 8:04 AM:

      " Pam Kragan - thanks for the nice article. The concert was amazing. Clay has a new fan today! Good job buddy. Merry Christmas! "

      Camille wrote on Nov 12, 2005 8:17 AM:

      " I never watched American Idol and I'm not a Claymate but, I do like Clay Aiken! I just want to thank you for asking questions BEYOND AI, It's been three freakin years so it's about time. Thanks for the respectful, informative artical about this mega tallent. "

      ELIZABETH wrote on Nov 12, 2005 12:24 PM:

      " tHIS IS THE KIND OF INTERVIEW i LOVE AND ENJOY READING. iT SHOWS HOW DEDICATED cLAY IS NOT ONLY TO HIS SINGING CAREER BUT ALSO TO TEACHING.tHANKS "

      Kathy wrote on Nov 12, 2005 4:13 PM:

      " ALL THESE COMMENTS are so beautiful! We all feel the same way about OMC.He is a beautiful singer and a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry. He has THEM ALL beat and he is doing it RIGHT. Here's to a LOOONNG career Clay!!!!!!!!!! "

      Mark wrote on Nov 12, 2005 7:24 PM:

      " Great Article - great singer. Puts on a great show. "

      will wrote on Nov 12, 2005 8:53 PM:

      " 5000? You have to be kidding...Talented Mr Aiken's fanbase is increasing rapidly so the only way to make it believable is to add at least 3 or more zeros to the number... Clay is an incredible individual who has contributed singnificantly to the world...rock on, Clay!!! An dby the way, even my Geography teacher thinks his vocals are amazing... "

      Shari S. wrote on Nov 13, 2005 2:27 AM:

      " I loved the article! Great job! Whether we are "Claymates", "Claymaniacs", "Claydawgs", or "Aikenologists" we all love Clay, and we sure total a heck of a LOT more than five thousand women! "

      Rhoda wrote on Nov 13, 2005 5:27 AM:

      " Thank you for your wonderful interview and all the insightful, delightful comments it brought forth. Clay is truly an AMAZING entertainer and humanitarian. Being his fan has been a magic carpet ride for me. His voice is exquisite. and "gorgeous" doesn't do justice to his beauty. If you haven't heard his voice, please pick up his "Measure of a Man" C.D. You will fall in love with him, just as the rest of us have. "

      Nita wrote on Nov 13, 2005 5:59 AM:

      " Great interview ! Clay, Clay, Clay, when will you own up to the fact that millions love and follow your progress all over the world? Do you think that your CD went triple platinum with only 5,000 fans? NOT ! Clay is such a magical, energetic, magnetic performer, that once you see him, and hear him, in a live concert, you cannot forget him. He has converted many of my friends, who I have brought to his concerts. They came with me to see what this "Clay Thing" was all about. Now they buy his CD, go to his concerts, join fan clubs online. I even converted my Alabama, Ruben fan Aunt, when she visited me. She keeps writing me and asking, when is he performing near me, and will you fly down, and go to a concert with me? He is loaded with charm and sex appeal, and has a great sense of humor and timing ability to tie it all together, with that wonderful voice, that is straight out of heaven. He is truly the superstar of this century. A great role model for the younger generation.........he is no angel, because I am sure his mom had quite a time with his " sassyiness" as a young man. He is not afraid to speak his mind, and stand up for what he believes is right. Maybe he is an angel after all !! He turns women of all ages to babbling, silly girls, and makes them blush, whenever they meet him in person. He thinks that the older women want to mother him.........not really! The have hot flashes when thinking about him, that have nothing to do with " mothering " him. He is a man for all ages..........we love you Clay, and you will always be our Idol. "

      Mark wrote on Nov 13, 2005 6:52 AM:

      " Great Article - great singer. Puts on a great show. "

      phyl wrote on Nov 13, 2005 8:05 AM:

      " Hello... Your article was terrific. I enjoyed the style and content. Needless to say, I am a Clay Aiken fan. There is an "it" factor that he has and to date, no one has found the words to relay to those who don't see/feel/understand. I think Clay has many more fans than he has so humbly discussed. Perhaps, millions adore him, but due to finances and family committments, only a small percentage are able to see him perform. Thus, many of the same fans do attend multiple concerts when he tours. Because he is not "popular" as an entertainer with the stereotyped rock characteristically portrayed edge, many of his fans, young and old, are forced to keep their fandom quiet. Thank you for an interview that spotlights his personality...wish more entertainment journalists would allow themselves to appreciate Clay Aiken, or at least, to allow his personality to shine thru in their interviews....bravo to you!!! "

      Margo wrote on Nov 13, 2005 9:34 AM:

      " I rarely comment on articles written about Clay; this will be only the 2nd time. I want to say thank you for doing your job. That is something I could not say to probably 90% of the other journalist that have interviewd or written an article about Clay. Your's was an informative well written piece that show cased Clay and his fans well. I hope you get to see Clay on his JNT tour and then you can see first hand what all the excitement is about and why we love and admire OMC so much. "

      MARILYN wrote on Nov 13, 2005 9:37 AM:

      " I have followed Clay's path since AI- and watched him grow into a fabulous entertainer. You can go to multiple concerts and get something different each time- here is a man who connects totally with his audience. And Clay the ENTERTAINER is totally different from Clay the INTERVIEWEE. He absolutely shines. He is articulate, caring. compassionate, intelligent, and has a voice beyond comparison. And yet there are many more facets to him- his Bubel AIken foundation, his UNICEF involvement- spokesperson for Ronald McDOnald house- He definitely moves on his convictions. You have to admire someone who acts on what they believe- and who gives so much to people. Thank you for an interesting, unbiased interview. I wish that more journalists would follow your lead- and not publish for shock value or to laugh at this wonderful man. I am looking forward to attending his new Christmas tour- to see what other surprises he has in store for us. Thank you! "

      Pat wrote on Nov 13, 2005 9:50 AM:

      " A wonderful and positive interview. Thank you. I love Clay so much, from the first time I heard him sing on American Idol. I believe those that have been fans from the very beginning have a much deeper love for him. We were there every week voteing for him. I am a Claymate with so much love and devotion for Clay. He has my heart, and there is no room left in my heart for any other entertainer. Clay is one of a kind, and thank you God for him. All of his qualities are wrapped up in a beautiful sexy package. I went to 5 Jukebox tour concerts and I will be a 6 Joyful Noise concerts with my husband who loves him. Clay has millions of fans, and still growing in numbers. I wish everyone could go to a concert. All we have to do is get them there and Clay will do the rest. "

      Jenn in Ontario wrote on Nov 13, 2005 9:52 AM:

      " There's not much more I can add, except my thanks to you for such a wonderful and refreshing piece of writing about the man we collectively love most. I'm sure you were well prepared for the flash flood of comments, hmm? Congratulations and thanks again - from a woman flying her own 'nerd' flag high. :o) "

      Lindsay wrote on Nov 13, 2005 10:20 AM:

      " Pam, Thank you for a wonderfully written article! Like many of the others who have commented, I've been a Clay fan from day one. A talented singer, yes, but Clay is so much more than that. I can honestly say I've never been more passionate about a singer and what he stands for. However, he's definitely off on the number of fans he has. Thanks again for the great article! "

      Gail in Sacramento wrote on Nov 13, 2005 10:22 AM:

      " Fantastic interview and always good to hear what Clay has to say. If I were to sum it up, I would say that Clay's success is due to not being afraid to SHOW people who he is deep down inside, and always staying true to WHO he is. He values people and is interested in OTHERS (not just wanting people to be interested in him.) AND he really knows how to communicate to people. Whereever he is, he is there to communicate. That to me is what makes people respond to him with so much love and admiration. We love what he has to say and he communicates to us with everything he does. "

      Anne wrote on Nov 13, 2005 11:27 AM:

      " I loved this story- a true Clay portrayal. He is a self- proclaimed nerd with a fantastic talent and a heart of gold. I think what he was trying to say, fellow Claymates, is that there are about 5,000 Claymates that go to EVERY concert on the tour- which may be accurate! There are lots more Clay fans from the local area who attend the concerts as well... that was the comment's meaning. He was just referring to the diehards who travel all over the US to see him- you know who you are! I just loved the JNT in San Diego- it was a gift! "

      Nancy wrote on Nov 13, 2005 1:44 PM:

      " 5000 Claymates...Bah Humbug "

      Rose wrote on Nov 13, 2005 3:31 PM:

      " Just another great article. Fan base of 5,000 not even close. Mr. Aiken is a world class act. "

      DebbieE wrote on Nov 13, 2005 4:43 PM:

      " This was a wonderful and informative interview. I really appreciate it when the questions have meaning and can inform us of things that hadn't come up before! I think this tour is going wonderfully and I am really looking forward to seeing him in Louisville. The story that he is telling through the vignettes, the songs, and his own special actions are touching people all over. As the holidays approach, I hope that many of us realize how much truth there is to "Don't Save It All for Christmas Day!" Spread the love. Clay it forward. "

      Winnifred wrote on Nov 13, 2005 7:27 PM:

      " Loved your interview - one of the best I've read! Clay has the most exquisite voice I have ever heard. Have been to four of his concerts = a great performer - wish I could afford more!! But the travelling is so expensive, especially when you are from Canada. He is incredibly good looking too with a great personality and very intelligent and charismatic! He is well and truly loved by his many fans. Thanks again for a well-thought out interview. "

      Ana wrote on Nov 13, 2005 11:15 PM:

      " Thank you, Pam, for a wonderful article and a refreshingly insightful interview. It's nice to read a piece composed so respectfully, and it doesn't go unappreciated amongst the Claymates! All my best to you. :) "

      Tammy wrote on Nov 14, 2005 8:47 AM:

      " Clay is way too humble. There are hundreds of thousands of Claymates, myself included. Great interview! "

      Sandy Rochester,NY wrote on Nov 14, 2005 4:41 PM:

      " Very refreshing to read another great article about OMC!!! I have been to four concerts and each one is better than the last!! Clay definitly has more than 5000 fans..more like 5 million:)!!Clay will always be NUMBER ONE in my eyes and heart!!Thanks Pam "

      Sarah wrote on Nov 14, 2005 6:02 PM:

      " WoW. =) Awesome article!!!Finally nice to see soem different interview questions being asked!! The last question made me laugh; I can imagine thousands of fans out there, wishing they are that 11 year old kid (who's a wonderful actor, ^__~ I saw the Vancouver concert). Keep it up!! (To Clay and to the person who did thsi interview!) "

      Rae wrote on Nov 14, 2005 10:42 PM:

      " Thank you, Pam, for such a well researched article. Your questions were different! I have read the same questions asked over and over by many "reporters" and most times the questions and answers are the same. The information contained in your article is what every member of Clay Nation (not just Claymates)is looking for, something new! I know that many people say that "They came for the voice, but stayed for the man". Well that's true for me but I have to admit that initally I stayed because I was really ticked off that Clay didn't win AI2! This young engaging entertainer gets better with every tour and this winter I'm going to see him two times when he is NYC! "

      Sparkle wrote on Nov 14, 2005 11:09 PM:

      " Thanks for the article, it was very good. Clay is a remarkable young man with talent on loan from God. I do think he will be long staying in the industry with THAT voice. Clay stay true to God and yourself and you'll continue to do well. "

      Patti wrote on Nov 15, 2005 4:34 PM:

      " It was refreshing to read an informative and novel interview with Clay for a change. I never watched him on AI, but when my teenage daughter became a fan, I listened, and became one, too. Now, my 9 yr. and 6 yr. old daughters also love Clay. My husband, their father, is also a Clay fan... as a matter of fact, upon attending Clay concert, then a few weeks later, a Clapton concert, he has actually told his friends- age 50 +/- that he enjoyed Clay more! We have been to both of Clay's concerts held here in our town and plan to travel 2 - 4 hours to a fairly close venue for the JNT 2005 concert. We love Clay's voice and God-given talents as well as his ability to remain an honest, loyal, respectable young man in today's pop-world. Thank you for this pleasant interview about him. "

      Renee wrote on Nov 15, 2005 9:08 PM:

      " I liked this article a lot. The questions were interesting and different and things I'd like to ask him. I found it interesting that he read The Giver, My child just read it in school too. cool, thanks for the good article. "

      Michelle wrote on Nov 15, 2005 11:37 PM:

      " This article provided me with some new information about what is happening with Clay Aiken and enjoyed reading it. Everyone should try to see Clay in concert because he is terrific. I've already seen his Joyful Noise Tour at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles and took a friend with me and she loved it! "

      Carol wrote on Nov 16, 2005 2:21 AM:

      " Great interview. I'm so glad that Clay enjoyed himself during this new adventure. I can't wait to see it in Raleigh and Charlotte. Regarding Clay's move back home to Raleigh, I hope he is going to feel comfortable getting out and about. Happy Holidays to all who read this. CA "

      Kim wrote on Nov 16, 2005 12:58 PM:

      " Finally someone who knows the kind of questions to ask in an interview. This was great. I read an interview where the interviewer was supposedly hung up on by Mr. Aiken. Well with the questions that were asked I don't blame him for hanging up on the guy. Being a former journalism student my teachers would have been appauled at the questions. This interview asked the basic questions but left alot of openess where Mr. Aiken could expand on his answers. I really enjoyed this article. Keep up the great work. "

      sally wrote on Nov 20, 2005 11:43 AM:

      " GREAT INTERVIEW! THANKS! "

      Susan wrote on Nov 20, 2005 6:11 PM:

      " Thank you so much for the wonderful article on Clay Aiken. I've seen him in concert twice and have tickets for the JNT05 Tour and just can't wait! He is truly amazing in person, even better than he sounds on his CD's and that's unusual in the world of singers who lip sync. live performances a lot of the time. He's FANTASTIC in person--Run, don't walk to your nearest concert, you won't be disappointed!! "

      mich wrote on Nov 29, 2005 6:26 PM:

      " He had a gift form god to sing and he did and I like him and god gave him the voice and in my book he the real winner and I love the book and it was so tuching so I wanted to tell you all now and he is the real perosn "

      shally wrote on Nov 29, 2005 6:27 PM:

      " I hope he is really good and he is amzing singer and god gave him the voice and he did find it and he is a good guy I like him as a singer and god gave hima gift in my book he is the real winner to me "


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