Clay Aiken Tickets
Clay Aiken tour dates
In 2003, Clay Aiken stole America's hearts with his performance on American Idol and launched a successful music career despite his second-place finish. With a repertoire packed with Billboard hits, Aiken has sold out 11 nationwide tours and continues to delight his "Clay Mates" at regular tour stops across the U.S.
Clay Aiken's background
Born Clayton Holmes Grissom in Raleigh, N.C., Aiken became involved in music early on, participating heavily in choir and musical theater. After high school, he sang with Just by Chance, and frequently performed the national anthem at sporting events. While pursuing a degree in special education, he worked part-time assisting a young boy with autism. It was that boy's mother who persuaded Aiken to audition for American Idol.
Abandoning his prior plan to audition for The Amazing Race, Aiken quickly advanced through the ranks of American Idol contestants, ultimately claiming the runner-up position behind titlist Ruben Studdard. Despite coming up short, Aiken would ultimately outsell Studdard and achieve a stronger legacy. Offered a contract by RCA Records, his debut single, "This Is the Night," became the first ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. When his first album, Measure of a Man, hit shelves later that year, two of the singles nabbed spots on the Billboard Hot 100, with the album itself grabbing the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200.
In 2004, he released his sophomore album, Merry Christmas With Love, which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200. A Thousand Different Ways (2006) fared similarly well, rising to No. 2. His albums On My Way Here (2008) and Tried and True (2010) each cracked the top 10 albums on Billboard as well. His most recent album, Steadfast, emerged in 2012. All told, Aiken has sold more than 6 million albums.
Aiken beyond music
Although music is certainly Aiken's most powerful legacy, he has also enjoyed success in a variety of other sectors. His memoir, Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, was a New York Times best-seller, and he performed in Broadway's production of Spamalot as Sir Robin. He also created the National Inclusion Project, which seeks increased inclusion of disabled children in activities with other children, and served as a UNICEF ambassador for nearly a decade. More recently, he ran as the Democratic nominee in the North Carolina 2014 election for the U.S. House of Representatives.