Clay's lovely face appeared on AOL's welcome page again October 23, 2004
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Articles linked are posted below
|Clay Aiken Learns
to 'Play Fair'
Wednesday Oct 20, 2004 6:00am EST
Clay Aiken wrapped up his solo tour this week, playing two concerts Monday to a screaming crowd at the North Carolina State Fair in his hometown of Raleigh. It's quite a new look at the fair for the "Invisible" singer, who admits that as a young boy he was too scared to get on the rides. "I was a very nervous child," he tells local paper The News & Observer. As he got to be a teen, his friends tried to persuade him to sing in the fair's karaoke booth, but he refused. "I was always so nervous. I didn't want to sing," he said. "I was always worried that someone was going to boo me." How times have changed. When tickets for his State Fair shows went on sale last month, they sold out in minutes (9 for the first show, 12 for the second, according to local CBS affiliate WRAL) – which is a good thing, since the American Idol runner-up was reportedly paid $100,000 for each show.
Five ''American Idol'' albums crash into stores over the next six weeks.
When will record buyers say, ''Enough''?
by Nicholas Fonseca
When will Idol overload happen?
FIVE FOR FIGHTING
To date, the public has proved its Idol worship only goes so far: About a third of the contestants who've attempted solo albums have generated hits. On the high end, season 2 runner-up Clay Aiken's Measure of a Mansold 2.6 million copies, while bombs included season 1 runner-up Justin Guarini's self-titled entry, which enticed just 142,000 buyers and assured his place in TV history as a perma-punchline. BMG North America CEO Clive Davis — who oversaw all five upcoming albums — is convinced that postshow success comes only by de-Idolizing contestants the minute they enter the recording studio. ''There's a certain song that all of America loves when that confetti comes down, but it really has no relevance to their recording career,'' he says. ''Once you get away from that single, you're dealing with an original recording artist. I'm not making American Idol albums.''
Twenty-eight million fans might not
appreciate Davis' disdain, but the singers' new offerings reflect his
approach. As if to prove his point, Aiken refused to speak with EW —
a sign, perhaps, that the wildly popular 25-year-old is tired of his close
association with Idol. Others were more forthcoming: ''It's the reason
I'm here,'' says Ruben Studdard. ''[Album] producers do their best to
scoot away from the Idol stigma, but I'll never forget where I came from.''
Kelly Clarkson agrees: ''['American Idol winner'] is going to be on my
grave,'' she says. ''I'll be a trivia answer for life. And still, with
everything that I do, the people surrounding me tell me that they think
that [my next album] will be what breaks me away from American Idol. And
I have to ask, Why are we running from it?''
BOTH ARTICLES COPIED FROM THE NET, PEOPLE MAG, EW MAG, AND AOL