On Monday, January 24, 2011, it was announced that Clay Aiken would be singing the National Anthem at the NHL All-Star Game. The game is scheduled for Sunday, January 30th at 4pm ET. It will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Since this announcement, it seems that some people have forgotten that hockey and Clay are not strangers. Too bad they don’t remember a wonderful Sunday afternoon in December 2003 when Clay skated with 100 children at the RBC Center.
Dawn Graham was a volunteer with the Bubel/Aiken Foundation and was at the event to help out. Graham had this to say to summarize the event:
“Clay spoke and skated with each of the children, asking their names, where they went to school, etc. He looked to have as much fun as they did! They were each outfitted with a specially made Bubel/Aiken Foundation jersey, and Clay was sporting a ‘Canes jersey with ‘Aiken 03’ on the back. Some of the children were not physically able to skate, so some of them were pushed across the ice on metal chairs.
The next day, Clay sang the National Anthem at the Carolina Hurricanes vs. Dallas Stars, NHL Hockey Game. Wearing his red Canes jersey, Clay stood on a mat on the ice. During the 1st break, Clay surprised the hockey fans by skating around the ice as he sang I Will Carry You…and there wasn’t even a stumble!!
During the second intermission, Clay stood on a scissor lift and sang Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day and The Way. Clay was off the ice because there is an NHL regulation on how much time a non-player can spend on the ice during the game. As Clay sang, the arena turned dark and the words “Clay Aiken” in lights circulated around the top of the arena. Clay ended the program by singing Invisible.
Clay was interviewed on WRAL in Raleigh on Friday morning. It was a short interview, but friendly. Take a listen. You can hear it on the following YouTube.