Clay Aiken Honors Neil Sedaka

The Songwriters Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and music publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond.  One of the goals of the organization was to create a museum, but because of a lack of funds, the museum is an on-line virtual museum.  The headquarters of the organization is in New York City.  The SHOF holds workshops and provides scholarships to young artists and showcases their songwriting talent.

Each year, the SHOF puts on an Awards show where new inductees are voted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  To date there have been 345 individuals inducted into the SHOF.  The only bands to ever be inducted into the hall of fame are the British rock band Queen and the American bands, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Bob Jovi.

On July 18, 2004, Neil Sedaka was the recipient of the prestigious Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. At the time of the award program,  Sedaka’s song, “Solitaire,” recorded by Clay Aiken, was the #1 selling single in the U.S. for the seventh consecutive week.   According to the Songwriter Hall of Fame website,

“The Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award honors an industry veteran who is acknowledged as a pioneer in his/her craft, whose body of work over time has been substantial, enduring and influential, and whose success and contributions over a lifetime have inspired the music community. Past awardees include Patti LaBelle, Dick Clark, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Neil Diamond, Berry Gordy, Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Nat King Cole and Quincy Jones.”

The awards ceremony was televised on Bravo in 2004 and Clay Aiken made a short, taped appearance on the show.  He spoke of meeting Neil and how excited he was.  Clay also said that his mother had a “schoolgirl crush” on Neil and could name most of his hits.  Clay spoke with respect and congratulated Neil on receiving such a prestigious award.

This year, the Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) celebrated 40 years of recognizing the work and lives of enduring composers and lyricists who create popular music around the world.  The 2009 Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards inductees were Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora; Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati (The Young Rascals ); Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Galt MacDermot, James Rado and Gerome Ragni (deceased); and Stephen Schwartz. The induction and awards dinner was held on  June 18 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.

Clay’s part of the broadcast was rather short, but we have a clip of his spoken tribute to Neil Sedaka.


Check out clayaikenourney for a wonderful mention of Clay and Solitaire, plus another great video.

Clay Aiken News Network is an unofficial fansite. We are not affiliated in any way with Clay Aiken or his management. This website was made by fans for fans and makes no impression or impersonation of the official site, which can be found under the domain

12 thoughts on “Clay Aiken Honors Neil Sedaka

  1. Great article – I did not realize that the SHOF museum was only on line.
    Clay Aiken has made many wonderful friends on his journey.

  2. Love Neil Sedaka…always have…

    I saw Neil for the first time a couple of years ago…and was hoping for the Clay mention of “Solitaire”…and he did not disappoint….As soon as Neil mentioned Clay Aiken, I stood up and clapped and cheered…and others did as well…It was great.

    I too believe that behind the scenes, Clay has made very good friends with influential people…. As has been the case all along…when people meet Clay, they think highly of him….. and why not? He’s a great guy and a great talent…..

    Thanks Musicfan…Great Article once again…


  3. Neil Sedaka and Clay Aiken, what a super talented pair of guys!
    Clay’s hit with Solitaire is unbeatable.
    Thanks for the great write up, I didn’t know the SHOF was only online, I’ll have to check it out..and give Solitaire a listen again 🙂

  4. I love Neil Sedaka and I really love that he is fond of Clay. I’ll never forget when he said Solitaire will always be known as a Clay Aiken song. What a generous man he is to give Clay credit for putting a big ole’ spotlight on his song!

  5. I saw Neil Sedaka in concert many years ago – he is an amazing performer and songwriter.

    Solitaire has always been one of my favorites (and Laughter in the Rain), Clay Aiken did an amazing job with Solitaire and did, in fact, make it his own.

  6. I also love Neil Sedaka…and so wish that he would write a song for Clay like he said on AI2. Solitaire will always be one of my most favorite songs.

  7. I love Neil Sedaka- Laughter In The Rain is one of my favorite songs, and he brought tears to my eyes with how much he enjoyed Clay on AI. Thanks for another great post, and all the great memories you brought back! 🙂

  8. A wonderful song paired with an awesome voice. I’m a fan of Neil so I was excited when Clay got to sing Solitaire on Idol. I loved Neil’s heartfelt reaction to Clay’s performance.

  9. Gosh, I had forgotten all about this. I remember taping the show to watch later and just dying to get a glimse of Clay. I have always been a fan of Neil Sedaka just like Clay’s mom!

    But, I am an even bigger fan of Clay Aiken!!!!!

  10. Clay Aiken has many friends in the entertainment field. Neil Sedaka is an important person to have on your side.

    I had forgotten about this show. I am glad that Clay was a part of honoring Neil.

  11. Love Neil Sedaka almost as much as I love Clay. My wish would be that Neil would write some music for Clay. I think that would make a lot of people’s dream come true, fans that is. What a great combination those two would make.

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