In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine was a biweekly publication that covered music, politics and popular culture. It was founded in 1967 by Jann Wenner and Ralph J. Gleason. Jann Wenner was still the magazine’s owner, editor and publisher then.
Making “the cover of the Rolling Stone” is a landmark achievement for music artists. Each issue used to reach close to 1.5 million people.
July 10, 2003 was the official date on the Rolling Stone Magazine that featured Clay Aiken on its cover. But, the magazine was available in the middle of June.
Many people were surprised when they heard that Rolling Stone was featuring Clay Aiken. His inclusion in this venerable magazine lent an air of acceptance not just to Clay but also to the concept of American Idol.
Another question asked was why Clay and not Ruben? Since Ruben was the winner of American Idol, it was a valid question and some Ruben fans were upset and rather vocal about their disappointment. However, Clay’s story was really about the “guy next door” who becomes famous and was a tale that America loved. Clay was entering his last year of college with the intention of becoming a teacher. Clay said that he really wanted to be on The Amazing Race and auditioned for American Idol so his friends would stop bugging him to enter the competition. The general public embraced the young man who seemed puzzled as to why people were so captivated by him.
In answering questions about the photo shoot for Rolling Stone, Clay said that the cover shoot for Rolling Stone magazine required 8 hours of work and numerous changes of clothing. He admitted that he was somewhat tricked by the photographer who asked him to put on the black shirt and to not button it all the way down. He didn’t understand why, but quickly understood when they turned on a fan. Clay admitted that he was surprised they chose the photo they did. He said that they only took about 2 photos of him in that shirt. “I don’t know why people get so excited about that picture.” he says incredulously, “It’s just me!
When a reporter asked Clay if he had bought a copy of Rolling Stone Magazine with his photo on the cover, he replied that he was too embarrassed to go in and buy it. He asked one of his friends to buy one for him. He said while laughing, “I couldn’t go in and say ‘Can I have a copy of me on a magazine?!”
Clay was recording his album in London when he talked by phone to WRAL radio about the Rolling Stone experience. He said he really didn’t understand the significance of all of this until Ruben explained it to him.
Clay’s fans swarmed the bookstores and newspaper stands for copies of the magazine and many fans turned to E-Bay as a source.
The article, written by Erik Hedegaard, was the first time that Clay opened up about his life before American Idol. The writer was thorough and asked many interesting questions and seemed impressed by Clay’s down to earth attitude. He was treated fairly and with respect.
Do you remember the article?
What was your favorite part?
Do you still have your copy of the magazine?
The following is a fun video of the Rolling Stone Photoshoot. Take a look!!
I do still have my copy – get it out every once in a while along with much other memorabilia. He was such a sensation – and so down-to-earth. I really liked the whole article. They really did a good job and I am sure it was because of how Clay presented himself.
It’s hard to believe that Clay will be celebrating 15 years since AI and also 15 years for NIP! He did good!
Thank you for the video – I had not seen this one.
I wish I had a copy of the magazine (that year was a difficult time in my life) But, I have watched the video several times! Thank you, CANN for posting!
I am betting you could still find a copy of that magazine on Ebay. Fun to read.
Yes, I still have my Rolling Stone issue with Clay on the cover. I've never seen this video of the cover shoot before. Clay must have been so uncomfortable posing like that, but it was worth it!
I have several copies of that magazine. But I also have a 25″x30″ cross stitch of that cover hanging on my wall. Clay signed it in Reno 2010.
Love the photoshoot video! That boy sure has nice, thin legs. 🙂
I do have the Rolling Stone magazine but had to buy it on Ebay a few years later.
Thanks as always.
wow it sureis indeed hard to believe that clay omc will be celebrating 15 years since a1 and anther 15 years for nip he sure did good and thanks also for the video I had also not seen this one
I do have that magazine, and bought a coupla extra for friends too! But had not seen that vid, thanks!! It was fun to find out what contortions they make folks do for these photo sessions, lol; and I loved hearing his BOTW while I watched! :-))
I do have a copy of that magazine. Clay looks so great! To think it was so long ago is amazing.