Friday, November 30, 2018

Happy 40th birthday, Clay Aiken! And welcome to middle age!

Dear Clay,

When I first heard your wonderful voice, at that fateful audition of yours that was broadcast on American Idol in January, 2003, I was just about the age you are now. You were a relative youngster of 24 at that time. So much has happened in the almost-16 years since then - in your life, and in mine as well.

Through it all, you have always, since that moment, been my favourite male vocalist of all time - and a person I admire tremendously. I have been your fan through thick and thin - and will remain so, always and forever.

And now you are middle-aged. Welcome to the club! I don't feel so much like we belong to different generations any more! 😀

I wish you today and always, every happiness, and fulfillment in everything you do.

♫♪♬♩ Happy birthday, Clay! ♫♪♬♩

Sunday, January 28, 2018

15 years ago today!

This morning, I was looking at today's date and wondering why it rang a bell for me... Someone's birthday? No... A forgotten commitment? No...

Then when checking out my newsfeeds, I saw this post on the Clay Aiken News Network blog. Aha, that's it! January 28th, 2003 was the date Clay's first audition was broadcast on TV, at the beginning of the second season of American Idol. I saved that audition on a VHS tape for years, and listened to it over and over again in the days and weeks following that broadcast. I now have it in a .MP3 file on my cellphone. THAT VOICE! You know what I mean... the voice that hooked us from the first note. The voice that seems to speak to one's soul like no other.

It's amazing to think that it has been 15 years since that first moment when we heard Clay Aiken sing. Since then, I've seen him live in concert a few times, and followed his career and activities from afar.

So today I say congratulations and thank you, Clay! You have given so much joy to so many of us fans! And not only through your voice, but also through the content of your character. You are a sensitive, witty, socially-engaged man with a big heart.

Happy 15th anniversary to other Clay fans out there!

To read the full post on Clay Aiken News Network and stroll down memory lane: click on the picture below or go to:

-- ClayKat
A fan, "Always and Forever"!

Picture of post from Clay Aiken News Network, with American Idol logo and photo of Clay at first audition

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Wishing a happy 36th birthday to you, Clay!

Dear Clay,

It has been quite the year for you! It has been for me, too, but that's not the point of this post.  :-)

Please know that I have been quietly rooting for you as you ventured into the political arena, and I was sorry to hear you did not win a seat in Congress. Those of us who have followed your life since 2003 know you would have made an excellent elected representative. You aren't "just" a singer, as some say. You are a committed, informed, bright, wise and deeply human man with integrity in spades. As you said yourself, your efforts aren't over and you will remain active in politics, endeavouring to win a seat in the future. This can only be good news for politics in the USA.

Today, I hope you are enjoying a relaxing day, surrounded by loved ones and receiving lots of love and affection. And of course, with music - always music!

Happy birthday, Clay!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy 35th birthday, Clay!

Dear Clay,

Already another birthday! No, I'm not talking about yours, I'm talking about my upcoming birthday!  ;-)  Yes, Clay, my fellow Sagittarian, it will soon be my birthday too.

But seriously, never mind me - today is your birthday, my favourite singer-man! And if my basic math skills serve me well, it is your 35th, which means you are now middle-aged. Welcome to the club!

For most of your adult life, I have watched you grow, as a musician and as a person. Coming out into the spotlight in 2003 on American Idol, then fading a bit out of the public eye, but still living your own life, with us long-term fans always faithfully by your side.

Through the happy times and the terrible times where people doubted you, or put you down, I have always admired you and supported you, as many of us Clay-fans have. And on this day, your birthday, please allow me to say thank you for sharing your gifts with the world! The world is without question, a better place because of you. Your musical talents, your sensitivity, your sense of social justice and your quirky sense of humour bring so much joy, to me and to many others.

I wish you a very happy birthday, Clay, and a wonderful year full of happiness, fulfillment and good health to you and your family!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Clay at his first performance in the lead of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, at the Ogunquit Playhouse

Hello fellow Clay fans,

It was wonderful to see Clay again this past Wednesday evening, taking the stage for the first time as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine.

It was a lovely show, and I'm sure Clay is having a ball doing this one, because of the talent of his fellow performers, and the fact that there are lots of children in the cast.

The Ogunquit Playhouse is a cozy venue, so I imagine that even those in the very last row had a good view of the stage. I was in the 12th row - the closest I have ever been to Clay in any of his concerts. For once, I could actually see his face well, with all his expressions and features. Our guy was in fine form and did the Playhouse proud, as did the entire cast.

The audience wasn't entirely made up of fans - we spoke with some local people who have season tickets to the Ogunquit Playhouse. However, there were a good number of us there. Right behind us, there was a group of five women of various ages, clearly Clay fans. I talked with them a bit during intermission, and they turned out to be the "Pink Jacket Ladies", as Clay calls them. It was great to share our admiration for Clay with other fans. I have looked them up online and see they are quite active, for example, in 2010, they threw a Release Party in honour of Clay's CD Tried and True (you can see their invitational poster here). "GrandmaJoan" and other Pink Jacket Ladies, if you read this - it was great meeting you!

After the show, we went to the local ice cream parlour for a scoop. There, we ran into 3 young girls from the cast. We chatted a bit, I congratulated them on their performance and said they were lucky to be working with Clay Aiken. They said yes, that he is a very nice guy, and they enjoy working with him. Lucky girls! One month working side-by-side with Clay!

Here are my best pictures of the evening. Feel free to share, but I would thank you for crediting me with my fan name: ClayKat. Enjoy!

Poster of Clay Aiken in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, outside Ogunquit Playhouse
In front of the Ogunquit Playhouse

Ogunquit Playhouse
The Ogunquit Playhouse
Poster of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, starring Clay Aiken, in lobby of Ogunquit Playhouse
In the lobby of the Ogunquit Playhouse

Clay Aiken outside the stage door, greeting fans and signing autographs
Clay Aiken signing my copy of his book
Clay Aiken signing my copy of his book, "Learning to Sing". Finally, after 10 years, I have Clay's autograph!
Clay Aiken's autograph in my copy of his book
Clay Aiken's autograph in my copy of his book, "Learning to Sing"

Post edited August 14, 2013 to add the Ogunquit Playhouse's video, which shows excerpts of the show, including Clay: