Clay Aiken – An Important Anniversary


This is an anniversary week of sorts in the ClayNation.  Merry Christmas With Love, Clay Aiken’s first Christmas album was released by RCA  the week of November 16, 2004.

The beautiful holiday album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Holiday Albums chart with first week sales of 270,100 units. This fete gave Merry Christmas With Love the biggest debut week sales figure for a Christmas album since the Soundscan era began in 1991. Additionally, the album opened at #4 on the U.S. Billboard 200. This chart tracks all album sales regardless of genre. These numbers give Merry Christmas With Love the highest debut for a holiday album since Celine Dion’s album six years earlier.

Amazingly, the album has one of the highest debut sales of a holiday album in Soundscan history.  Merry Christmas With Love reached platinum in only 6 weeks. The album has sold over 2 million units worldwide.

Clay received many awards for MCWL.

Billboard Awards:

  • 2004: Won – Best Selling Christmas Album
  • 2005: Won – Best Selling Christian Album

American Christian Music Awards

  • 2005: Won – Outstanding Yule CD

Even with all its success, Merry Christmas With Love had mixed reviews by the critics. All of them enjoyed Clay’s voice, but a few thought the album was too “old-fashioned”…. ?!? had a great review of the album. The author, a self-professed AI junkie, wrote a detailed review that included:

… Aiken has released Merry Christmas With Love, a lovely, heartfelt holiday card to his millions of adoring fans. The release definitely plays to Aiken’s strengths; this is no frivolous pop froth. Aiken sings these Christmas classics with the gusto of a seasoned holiday music icon, somewhat reminiscent of Sinatra or Como. Aiken is often compared with Harry Connick, Jr., and it’s a fair comparison. The arrangements are relatively straightforward, and Aiken’s stylings are old-fashioned, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. Although Aiken’s clean voice is accompanied by considerable engineering magic and background vocals, the production is largely restrained and tasteful. No annoying gimmicks clutter the fine music here.

Clay is in great company when you see the list of the best-selling Holiday albums of the last 11 years.  I tried to find as many numbers as I could for each album, but I was not able to find all the details for all the albums. The following are the numbers that I could find.

2003 – Harry for the Holidays, by Harry Connick, Jr. The album went platinum during the second holiday season. It reached #12 on the Billboard Charts.

2004 – Merry Christmas, With Love, by Clay Aiken  Sold over 2 million albums worldwide.

2005 – The Christmas Collection, by Il Divo. The album charted at #12

2006 – Wintersong, by Sarah McLachlan. 20,000 units sold the first week.

2007 – Noel, by Josh Groban. It sold less than 70,000 the first week, but exploded after a performance on Oprah.

2008 – Noel, by Josh Groban. It is 5 times platinum.

2009 – My Christmas, by Andrea Bocelli. It sold approximately 100,000 the first week.

2010 – The Gift by Susan Boyle.  It reached #5 on the soundscan/Billboard list.

2011 – Christmas by Michael Buble  This album sold 2,431,000 in 9 weeks.

2012 – Merry Christmas, Baby  by Rod Stewart.  Latest numbers report that the album has sold 858,000.

2013 – Wrapped In Red by Kelly Clarkson. This album debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at number 3

It is amazing that Merry Christmas With Love by Clay Aiken is still one of the top selling  holiday albums sold in the debut week. I am glad that so many people loved the album.

Do you have a favorite song from the album?

The information for this article came from Reality TV World, Billboard, Amazon, Wikipedia and Paul Grein at Chart Watch.

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

11 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – An Important Anniversary

  1. This is my favorite Christmas song ever!!! I have listened to this CD several times already. I miss not hearing what's going on with Clay daily or even weekly. You spoiled us musician. Thanks for all the hard work you put into this site for us.

  2. Oh you jest Martha! I love every single track on MCWL!! Add in his EP AIW and you have perfection! Then I want to add in Idol's season 2 Holiday album that came out as well. So many really good songs and Clay had some awesome tracks. Roll your faves into one album and you have a great CD for your car! I have a section above my visor for Holiday music and you can bet I'll be pulling them out within the week!!

  3. I have been listening to MCWL since I got it last February and now I look forward to celebrating the Christmas because of Clay's Christmas carols. It makes the season a lot more merrier for me especially when I am from the Phillipines where Christmas celebration is the longest in the world. c",)

    By the way, I think his bestselling book Learning to Sing, Hearing the Music in Your Life was also released on November 16, 2004… Thanks Martha!!!

  4. I have the MCWL CD and attended Clay's Christmas Concerts too. LOVE the CD I also have his EP with ALL IS WELL. If I had to pick a favorite from MCWL it would be Oh Holy Night. Love All Is Well and his soring voice on the EP too. Just AMAZING. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MCWL!!!

  5. Love that Christmas album by Clay, must take it out and put it in my car to play.
    Thanks Musicfan. xox

  6. I love ALL of Clay's music but Don't save it all for Christmas, he does so fantastic, and his live version is sooooooooo fantastic, he should do a video……

    I just don't know how you find all the things you do or how you find the time to put it all together. We Clay fans are truly blessed to have you.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  8. It's fun going back to the past. I miss Clay a lot but your posts put a smile on my face. Clay needs a break and I will be right there waiting.

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