Jon Ferguson is a staff writer for the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. On August 5th, Mr. Ferguson published a nice article about Clay Aiken and the Timeless Tour. The American Music Theatre in Lancaster will be hosting the concert on Sunday, August 8th, 2010.
Once ‘Idols,’ now friends
Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard join forces for tour
The two singers will bring their “Timeless” tour to the American Music Theatre Sunday night.
It’s the first time they’ve toured together and Aiken says they’ll be performing songs from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. He says they have an 85-song set list to choose from.
“If people name two or three big songs from any one of those decades, chances are we’re doing at least one of them,” Aiken says from his tour bus while it travels through Wisconsin.
Aiken, 31, says he and Studdard, who won the “American Idol” competition that year, share the stage about 85 percent of the time during the show and do a lot of singing together.
“Occasionally, we’ll take a break and let the other person sing a solo song so the other person can rest or wipe the sweat off his face,” Aiken says.
The North Carolina native says he hasn’t watched “American Idol” for the past five years, though he and Studdard remain friends and have always stayed in touch.
“Ruben and I have talked for several years actually about wanting to do something together,” he says. “We hadn’t performed together or sung together since we were on ‘Idol.’ It was something that we talked about wanting to do and kept putting it off because of his obligations, my obligations or just pure laziness. Finally, we decided to stop talking about it and just do it.”
Though Studdard topped Aiken on “American Idol,” Aiken has enjoyed more commercial success during their post–“Idol” careers.
Buoyed by enthusiastic fans called Claymates, Aiken’s debut album, “Measure of a Man” (2003), went on to sell almost three millions copies.
He released a Christmas album the following year that sold over a million copies.
However, he hasn’t been able to sustain those numbers and his 2008 album, “On My Way Here,” sold about 150,000 copies.
His latest album, “Tried and True,” was released in June and features popular songs like “Crying,” “Moon River,” “Misty,” “Unchained Melody” (which he sang on “Idol”) and “Suspicious Minds.”
“These are songs that are so wonderfully written — great standards, almost — that it was easy for me to settle in with them,” he says. “I’ve heard them my whole life.”
Except for “Suspicious Minds,” Aiken says he won’t be singing songs from the album during his tour with Studdard. He says they agreed not to use the tour as an opportunity to promote their solo albums. (Studdard’s fourth album, “Love Is,” produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, was released in May 2009.)
Aiken says he will tour behind the album in the winter.
During his career, Aiken had been dogged by questions about his sexuality. Rumors persisted that he was gay, though Aiken for years denied it.
In 2008, Aiken disclosed in an interview with People magazine that he is gay.
“I think it’s probably been relatively neutral,” Aiken says when asked how the disclosure has affected his career. “Obviously, there were some people who weren’t thrilled with it. But, at the same time, it allows me to be more comfortable with myself and be more open. It makes it easier to perform and I think people see that and gravitate toward it.”
Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard
Sun. 7 p.m. $55
American Music Theatre
2425 Lincoln Highway East
Be sure and visit the site to let the paper and author know that we support Clay and enjoy reading about him. It is one of the easiest things we can do to support Clay. You can visit them at Lancaster New Era