Since coming to national attention on the second season of American Idol in 2003, Clay Aiken has evolved into a versatile and beloved popular entertainer. He has released five well-received albums, selling over 6 million units as of 2011. In October 2003, he launched his first solo album Measure of a Man. The record sold 3 million copies and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. With 613,000 copies sold in the first week, it was the highest selling first album for a solo artist in ten years, going double-platinum and netting Aiken an American Music Award. In 2004, Aiken released Merry Christmas with Love, the fastest selling Christmas album in Nielsen Soundscan history. He followed that success with A Thousand Different Ways (2006), All is Well (2006), and On My Way Here (2008). His 5th studio album, Tried and True, was released in 2010, receiving positive reviews from critics across the board.
In 2012, Aiken was runner-up on the 5th season of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice” to raise funds and awareness for the National Inclusion Project (NIP), an organization he started that supports the integration of children with disabilities into the same environment as their non-disabled peers. Beating the likes of Debbie Gibson, Aubrey O’Day and Lisa Lampanelli, he became an audience favorite, and raised over $350,000 for NIP.
He has toured nine times, written a New York Times bestselling memoir, sold more than six million albums, produced and hosted television programs, starred on Broadway, and devoted considerable energy and resources to improving the lives of children all over the world.