Clay Aiken – A Thousand Different Ways – Anniversary

It seems impossible that it has been 6 years since Clay Aiken delivered A Thousand Different Ways to the world. The CD was released on September 19, 2006.  The 1st week sales number was 211,234 sold and the album was certified Gold in October, 2006.

As part of the promotion for the album, Clay had three days of coverage on Good Morning America. On September 19th, Diane introduced Clay and, along with his band, Clay performed Without You and A Thousand Days for the public.

 

The fans lined up hours before the taping, hoping to snag a spot in the small studio in New York. The studio was packed and the fans got to see Clay and his band warm up and do the sound check. According to fans in the audience, Clay was set up and out “on stage” for a long while as Diane continued with the show. He was watching what she had to say on the monitors and encouraging his fans to keep it quiet.

As in other performances, Clay interacted with the audience and, although unable to talk to them, used his hands and face to let the crowd know he was aware they were watching him and ready to support him in this important performance.

But, the two-part interviews on September 20th and 21st were serious and heart-breaking to hear and watch. Thinking back to what was happening to Clay at that time;  I am amazed that he was able to participate in these interviews. But, Clay sat down and drew a line in the sand with Diane Sawyer and all the tabloid press.

Clay said he was bewildered by the negative attention.

“Even though stuff about me that I read in the magazines isn’t true, it still makes me…lose sleep. I hurt, not just for my mother who has to watch it happen and who hurts for me. At least when I was in middle school…I understand why they picked on me.”

The intense interviews also covered Clay’s panic attacks, his use of Paxil and his dream to have a talk show.

The interviews produced many conversations throughout the Clay Aiken message boards. Some people were angry at Diane, feeling she was asking questions that were too invasive. Others were concerned that Clay didn’t clear up the question of his sexual orientation and felt he should have said more. But, the overall feelings about the interviews were supportive of Clay and concerned for his health and happiness.

What about Clay? How was he feeling?

“I hope…people like me for my singing. I hope I sing well enough for people to stick around. Sometimes I wonder myself, but, you know, that’s what I want to do.”

I have included three videos with this article. They are important to watch, especially in hindsight. Knowing all we know now, it makes the interviews even more amazing.

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Comments

  1. I watched all of these shows and also the hour special that was done with Larry King at this time.
    My heart broke for Clay – you could just feel the pain with every word. But he did good anyway! He stood up through it all – I wasn't using a computer at that time – it would have been interesting, I'm
    sure reading all of the comments. Clay has had his share of broken-ness throughout his young
    life. Just makes me love him more – he is the measure of a man!! <3

  2. It is interesting to watch this interview in hindsight. Clay wanted to and one out when he was ready and all the tabloids weren’t going to force him so I was glad he stuck to his guns. He also sounded so great!

  3. I think that Clay answered Diane Sawyer very intelligently although it must have been a hard interview for him, so glad he moved back to his home town where he can be more content and himself and not being badgered with these personal questions which is hard to avoid when you're in the public eye, God bless you Clay, you're a wonderful loving and careing person and I love you. Thanks musicfan.

  4. God love him. The poor man was never left alone. The questions never stopped. To this day, I don't know how he put up with it. I see other people in show business, that are left alone and never questioned. Clay is such a strong man, and I truly believe it is his inner strength and his faith. Talk about being bullied constantly, and his name is still used to this day for jokes. It really is disgusting.

    Thanks for these videos again Musicfan. It's been a long time, and now after everything, it is so interesting to watch these again.

  5. People love Clay Aiken not only for his voice but for his big heart and who he is. It's a shame there are not more people in the world like Clay. The world would definitely be a better place.

  6. I watched those of course at the time, but it's been a long while since I've seen them. I think I was so broken-hearted for him at the time I wasn't really listening with open ears, as they feel new today. Thanks for posting and letting me relive the time. Still here after all these years.

  7. "DURABLE" He said it himself back then, went forward without apology, and stands tall among the small minded, ignorant, and mean morons to this day. Some would argue that now he's reached a point of strength because he's having fun pointing "them" out and laughing on twitter. You go Clay!

    He's my "HERO" for standing tall, helping others, and entertaining any who will listen regardless of their religious, political, sexual, ethnic, or social orientation. An equal oportunity entertainer and humanitarian who posed a question that is still relevant to this day!

  8. Loved the first two videos – great singing and lots of smiles. The third was in depth, but unmistakeably an attempt to cross that personal line. Clay remained strong though. It's a good thing he was on medication, because it probably helped him to straddle that "not going there" line. In my opinion, a lot of people would have just walked out.

    I must say that those promos for A Thousand Different Ways were outstanding. Would have loved Steadfast to have had the same – but not at that heartbreaking price!

  9. I was sick when all of this was going on so I dont remember any of it. But the more I read and see about Clay the more I love him.I dont want anybody to hurt Clay ever again.

  10. Oh My!! This was beautiful, but sad and I began to get so upset.

    Clay Aiken has to be the strongest person I know. I can't help asking why? Why was he targeted the way he was. If given a chance, this young man would have had every opportunity in the world. Instead, he was given grief!!

    And still, he sounded like an angel when he sang!!

    Thank you for reminding us of this time in Clay's life.

  11. Those interviews were hard to watch. I'm so glad Clay is in a better place now in his life.

  12. Yes, I remember this time. Didn't care for it then..and care even less today. He was treated very unfairly by AI. Why would they do this to him when he had an album coming out? That is why, to this day, I have no respect for AI.

    Clay is a strong and good man…and works for inclusion for everyone. That is what I love about him. He is the perfect Measure of a Man.

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