It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.Charles Haddon Spurgeon
- "I think I've broken three (tha-ree) cameras today!"
—Rolling Stone photo shoot
- "I'm being trained to shake the bon-bon appropriately.."
—''Access Hollywood interview about his JukeBox Tour
- "Clive [Davis] tried to tell me that saying certain words in a song- or as he says, ‘putting some balls into it'- isn't bad, it's just strong emotion. Well, there are certain words and emotions I don't want kids hearing, and I'm not changing because they think it's going to sell better. This is going to sound horrible, but I got 12 million votes doing what I did."
—''Time, 10/5/03 - describing pressure he got from RCA to "edge-up" his songs to boost sales.
- "I know this is going to sound cheesy and like I'm trying to be Miss America, but the most important responsibility a celebrity has is to set an example and be a role model. I want to make sure that no matter how long I go through this, I don't fall into the trap of changing and modifying how I do things that aren't a positive example. I want to remain somebody that the entire family can listen to or watch."
—''Reuters, February 22, 2004.
- "In my ideal world, no child would suffer. Charitable instincts would prevail. There would be global acceptance of all different types of people."
—Learning To Sing, Page 240
- "Service, and the learning that goes with it, fosters citizenship, knowledge, and personal development in everyone, young and old, with disabilities and without. Our partnership with Youth Service America will bring awareness to the fact that youth with disabilities are great assets and can serve as volunteers too."
- UNICEF does amazing work. I thought I was a worldly person, and then I started working with them and realized I don’t know as much of my world as I need to. And if I don’t know as much about my world as I need to, then many, many, many people don’t. So I’m thrilled to be in a position to be able to talk about it. And so I’m gonna.
—''FLY (online) magazine, November, 2005 issue
- I think there is a predisposition among Christians that Hollywood is anti-Jesus or anti-Christianity. I was warned I'd have to fight to maintain the freedom to express my beliefs. It's an unfair stereotype, and so far that's been the farthest from the truth. While everyone I work with may not share my beliefs, I have been surrounded by nothing but support."
—Clay Aiken - Today's Christian Magazine
Learning to Sing
Random House, 2004 by Clay Aiken with Allison Glock An inspirational memoir about the influences that shaped Aiken's life from childhood to pop star.
- "Use your voice."
- "It doesn't really matter to me how I make a difference, I just wanna make sure that I do."
- "I'm never really comfortable with people cheering for me."
- "I mean, come on, hello! The way I see it, I'm not that big of a prize".
- "I'm not different. I'm not different at all. The wrapping is different but the gift is still the same."
- "If my career detour from special education to singing has done one thing, it has afforded me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others."
- "I think celebrities have an obligation to the public to not just sing or act."
- "Not everybody gets a mic this big. I feel I should use it in as positive a way as I can."
- "I went to school for special education. I always assumed when I had the opportunity I would love to try and help kids with disabilities."
- Well, obviously, I didn`t expect the career. I always hoped that I`d be able to do something, whether it be as a teacher back home in North Carolina or working with some type of non-profit in some way. As the career took form, I kind of feel like it`s every celebrity`s responsibility really. I kind of like to look at this as an opportunity, I guess, to teach in a bigger classroom."
- Notes: context, clarification (where it is not clear), etc.
Quotes about Clay Aiken
- "We have someone here today, from the smash hit show American Idol, we're thrilled to have him joining us today, because when it was made known that he would appear on this Telethon, the emails and the fan clubs that this young man has have sent us $30,000.00 just at the fact that he was here.
- And I can honestly say I have never, in all of my life, seen a theatrical groundswell that this kid has motivated, that it makes us all come right back to the bobby sox and Frank. And isn't it nice to live through that magnificence again? Here is Clay Aiken"
—Jerry Lewis introducing Clay Aiken at the 2003 MDA Telethon
- "I always like the idea that you can turn on the radio and say, 'Oh, that's Clay Aiken. Oh, that's Barbra Streisand. Oh, that's Frank Sinatra, Oh, that's Tony Bennett.' They're a star if you can identify them immediately by their sound. That kid has his own sound. He's got energy. He's got soul. He's got it all. That voice pours out of him."
- "To be fair to all, nobody from the show can tell a finalist whether a song choice is good or bad, no matter how much they want to know. Byrd remembers Clay Aiken: "He'd say, 'Byrd, if this is a great song choice, blink your left eye.' "
—Debra Byrd (talking about American Idol)
- "What a dear young man."
- "It was like watching magic."
- "Absolute pure song. The boy stopped being there and there was nothing but singing."
- "It was like watching magic...this young man unzipped himself and emerged like a butterfly."
- "He did it so naturally and so beautifully that I think all of our jaws dropped and we thought "wow." Clay Aiken. What a great kid."
- —Ken Jenkins (Scrubs backstage interview)
- "When I review the tape [of the show] the next day, there's lots of screaming and crying,"..."Then I recover the same way I do anytime I'm injured: ice, elevation and my Clay Aiken CD."
—Ellen DeGeneres (US Weekend Magazine)
- " In the last ten years, as editor in chief of Today's Caregiver Magazine, I have interviewed many people who are living in the public eye, all of them having something of importance to say to family caregivers. Most times they've become caregivers after becoming famous, usually due to themselves or a family member taking ill. Our keynote speaker today is unique in that he is a professionally trained caregiver before he became known to all of us. And through the unbelievable constraints that have been placed on his time, he's never lost sight of his goal of becoming a teacher and helping children living with developmental disabilities. Only his classroom has become a whole lot larger than he ever expected.
- One other positive effect of his personal dedication is that as he increases the awareness of children with developmental disabilities and their need for inclusion, he's also created a dedicated and knowledgeable group of child advocates, also known as his fans. I've spoken with many of Clay's fans here, at the Hawaiian Voices for Change Gala, online and through our support of the Florida Voices for Change Gala, and I've got to tell you, they've become true ambassadors for inclusion, driven and knowledgeable in all aspects of inclusion. The bell has rung and Mr. Aiken's classroom is now truly in session across the world.
- It's also our true privilege to present the Robert M. Barg Memorial Achievement Award to Clay. This award is very special to our hearts as it is named after the kindest man that we have ever met, our dad. It's rarely given and only presented to those who share that special brand of kindness and who work hard to truly make a difference in the lives of those in need. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Mr. Clay Aiken."
—Gary Barg speech at the Today's Caregiver Convention in Florida - 2005
From American Idol Judges
- "Clay, you sing like Andre Agassi plays tennis, perfection, perfection. And I would kill to write and produce your first CD.""
- Neil Sedaka, American Idol 2 guest judge -
- "And Clay, I want to say something to you. I think you are one of the few people I've met throughout this competition who can take criticism like a grown up. Learn, You definitely got better, You've lost some of this facial thing which I think was distracting, and You just did a really grown up, fantastic performance. Congratulation."
- Simon Cowell on "Solitaire" -
- "Clay I think, without a doubt, this performance, that song, is the best performance of the entire competition that I've ever known. Unbelievable, unbelievable.
- Paula Abdul on "Unchained Melody" -
- "Clay, I think this is the third pop idol, or American idol have done, if you include the english one. Probably one of the best performance I've ever heard through the entire competition.
- Simon Cowell on "To Love Somebody" -