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Pre-Idol Experience

Choirs and Chorus

As a boy, Clay participated in choirs, both in school and in the community.

List of Choirs:

  • Pieces of Gold Talent Show (Wake County Public Schools): 1992, 1993, 1995 and 1996, with choral group (groups have to audition).
  • Raleigh Boys Choir: 2½ years, ages 11-13
  • North Carolina Junior All-State Chorus, 1993
  • Member of numerous school choirs

Emcee Local Shows:

Clay has always been a natural on stage. His charm and comedic timing were developed early on as he participated in shows around the Raleigh area. As well as performing, he also acted as the emcee for talent shows and beauty pageants.

 List of local shows:



  • North Carolina Music Connection, Benson , NC : 2001-June 2002.
  • Hometown Music Connection, Benson , NC : 1999, 2000, 2001 series, five shows a year.
  • Just by Chance and Friends, Dunn , NC : Cohost 1999, 2000, 2001 series, five shows a year.
  • Garner Arts Association, Garner, NC: Showcase of stars, September 1998-September 1999, when show was moved to Benson and changed to Hometown Music Connection
  • Host of Johnston County Beauty Pageant

Early Singing Experiences:

Early Demos:

  • When Clay graduated from high school, Faye's graduation gift was studio time for Clay to record his first demo. This was entitled Look what love has done vol.1. This had a limited release and was only in cassette form. Clay, at the time, would sell these cassette's in the lobby of the local talent shows where he performed. During AI2 many fans tried to obtain a copy but it quickly became unavailable. Today this would be a rare Clay keepsake.
  • A few years later Clay recorded his second Demo, Redefined. During AI2 many fans ordered this demo and they quickly sold out. This CD is a collection of contemporary Christian songs and love songs.
  • Clay's family released LWLHD vol 2. This was a combination of songs from the two earlier demos. This demo however soon sold out as well.


Early Vocal Experience:

Performer of National Anthem:

  • Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) hockey 1998 - 2000
  • Raleigh Ice Caps (ECHL) 1996-1997.

Performer at local shows:

  • North Carolina Music Connection, Benson , NC: 2001-June 2002
  • Hometown Music Connection, Benson , NC :1999, 2000, 2001 series, five shows a year.
  • Just by Chance and Friends, Dunn , NC: 1999, 2000, 2001 series, five shows a year.
  • Garner Arts Association, Garner, NC: September 1998-September 1999, when show was moved to Benson and changed to Hometown Music Connection.
  • Johnston Community College Country Showcase, Smithfield , NC: Regular performer, 1998, 1999; guest performer, 2000.
  • Soloist, Fourth of July celebration, at North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1995

Local Talent Shows:

  • Great American Gospelfest: First-place regional vocalist in Myrtle Beach, SC, male category, fourth-place finals.
  • First-place winner, Johnston Community College Talent Search:17-22 age category in 1996.
  • Pieces of Gold solo act: 1997, required audition, with only two soloists selected.

Source: Clay Aiken Resume, Learning to Sing


On stage:

source: Clay Aiken resume, Learning to Sing

Last but not least, we have some great pictures of Clay in his youth  located in our photo albums. 

Clay in his youth

Then and Now

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