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Part 3 - Learning the ropes

Since American Idol, Clay has been very busy. His first album, Measure of a Man, was released in October, 2003. The album sold over 2.7 million copies and was certified triple platinum. Measure of a Man is still selling many copies each week. Clay has performed on three successful national tours, has been featured in over one hundred magazines and has appeared on many television programs. Clay has appeared in the 2003 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, both the 2004 and 2005 Miss America Pageants, and performed the national anthem at the 2003 World Series. His Christmas album, Merry Christmas With Love, was released in November, 2004 and sold over one million copies in just 7 weeks. Clay wrote a book titled Learning to Sing, Hearing the Music of Your Life. The book is about his childhood and some of the lessons he learned and how he learned to cope with his adversity. It is also about some of the people who have influenced and inspired him in his life. The book appeared on the NY Times bestseller list for several weeks. Clay has continued his work with children as well. The Bubel/Aiken Foundation started a special program called “Camp Gonzo” where the BAF mission is brought to life. Children with and without disabilities help each other by spending time together. In addition to his foundation, he regularly participates in benefits and fundraisers for other organizations that assist children. He is active with McDonald's charities, and was recently named an Ambassador to Ronald McDonald House. In 2004, Clay was appointed an Ambassador for Education by the United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF). He has been to Indonesia and Uganda as a UNICEF ambassador and in 2005 he was named the National Chairman of the Trick or Treat campaign.

Moved by the plight of children caught in the July 2006 Middle East conflict, Clay encouraged his fans to support UNICEF's relief work in Lebanon. By way of fan sites and blogs on the world wide web, fans quickly raised over $70,000 to help provide lifesaving medicines and other emergency supplies. In September of 2006, his sophomore album A Thousand Different Ways was released and debuted number two on the Billboard charts. Also, in September of 2006, he was named to the U.S. President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID).

This is a part of the official biography on that site.

"Also important to Mr. Aiken's life as a humanitarian is his work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Since 2005, the singer has been passionately committed to supporting the organization's education programs. Not only has Mr. Aiken testified before Congress urging the government to allocate more funds for UNICEF's global work for children, he has also traveled to Indonesia and Uganda to see the devastating conditions affecting millions of the world's children first-hand—disease, malnutrition, kidnapping, and war, chief among them. “You just cannot believe how some of these kids are forced to live,” says Mr. Aiken. “It's truly heartbreaking, yet many people don't even know these conditions exist. I am hoping to shed light on some of these problems and so that more resources can be allocated to help make things better.” 

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Pre - Idol Experience

Trivia about Clay