It All Started In Atlanta

It all started in Atlanta, Georgia on January 28th, 2003, when millions of people were introduced to a skinny redhead who wore glasses and had a unique fashion style. The American Idol judges looked skeptical and no one knew what to expect.

Clay Aiken-Atlanta

Clay Aiken-Atlanta

But like your mother used to say, don’t judge a book by its cover. Clay Aiken opened his mouth to sing and the incredible voice that poured out amazed everyone.

“Why are you here?” Clay spread his hands and stated simply; “Because I am the next American Idol.”

The skeptical judges watched and listened as Clay sang an excerpt from the 80’s song, Always and Forever and demonstrated his rich, clear voice.

Randy Jackson wanted to know where the voice came from and Simon Cowell suggested that he didn’t look like a pop star. But, it’s all about the voice and so Clay, the unlikely pop star, made his first steps on an incredible journey.

The voice continued to amaze through the following weeks. Clayton Aiken became Clay Aiken. He not only looked like a pop star, he became one.

Please watch this incredible audition here.


montage by hosaa

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11 thoughts on “It All Started In Atlanta

  1. It really is a special day…My Goodness!!!! 6 years…….6 wonderful years…and I wouldn’t change it for anything…. I fell in love with Clay from that first scene….. He walked out and I thought to myself…”this is gonna be good???” He sang, and my heart just fell in love….I’ve never looked back.

    Thank you so much for this whole video of the beginning. What a treat!!!! I will have a smile on my face all day now…..


  2. 6 years!!!!!!!! OMG!! I can’t believe it!!! I can remember the first time I saw Clay. I yelled at my daughter to come in and listen to him! I knew that day that he was someone very special! Thank you for the video! It is so nice to hear his whole audition process and hear an extended version of Always and Forever!! I love him!

  3. I didn’t start watching AI until season 4. I just “found” Clay a few months ago after watching one of his videos on YouTube. I loved this video! I am so in love with this man’s voice and am thankful that I did “find” him. I cannot wait until he tours again so I can see him live.

  4. I agree. Has it been 6 years since it started? I remember that day well. After a year of having a family member try to get me to watch the first season, I watched bits and parts and wasn’t interested enough to watch a full episode. I was walking through the kitchen during the season 2 wildcard round where she had the kitchen TV on. I heard someone with such a clear and pure voice I stopped cold in my tracks and just stood there in place watching him sing. I was glued to the TV for that show every week that season just to hear that singing again.

  5. I didn’t find Clay on AI – I found him from the Miss America video on the internet. I think I hit that video a dozen times. I went to bed and had to get up and watch it again.
    He had me ever since.

  6. Thanks for sharing when you first became a fan Jan and Linda! I love hearing stories of how people first found Clay.

  7. I only caught him in England on AI finale5, but I can tell you that two minutes had me hooked and you couldnt see me for dust when I shot all around the internet to find all the other stuff on Season two!!

  8. I will never forget that night! He was the one to watch every week! Many years and many seasons of AI have gone by, but AI will never recapture the magic that was season 2!

  9. That audition forever changed my life for the better. I’m so blessed to have Clay and my Clay friends in my life.

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