From a People Magazine Exclusive:
Clay Aiken Leaves Record Label
By David Caplan
The rumors started when his likeness was removed from his record's Web site and now Clay Aiken is setting the record straight: the former American Idol has parted ways with RCA Records, Aiken's rep has confirmed exclusively to PEOPLE.
"We were unable to come to terms in a recent contract negotiation, and decided that it was best to move on," the rep, Cindi Berger, said Friday.
Think back to before "A Thousand Different Ways" came out. Clay and his Executive Producer (and future mother of his son Parker) had put together an album of originals. Just what would be expected in his case. But, no, RCA turned down the album and told him to do a cover album of love songs. Since he was under contract what else could he do? Then, at the AI5 finale, he pulls a switcheroo on AI and we have the watercooler moment - here's the video:
This was shock and awe at it's best - but did RCA capitalize on it? Did they release a single right then and there and promote the heck out of it? Nope, they let it all die on the vine, released the wrong single, one that the original version was still playing ad nauseum on AC stations, and then sent him out on interviews designed to discuss his sexuality and not the album.
I think Clay decided at that point to get on with his life.....on his terms.
Thus we got Spamalot. Spam, Lovely Spam.
What a surprise. Broadway embraced him. Broadway supported him. Broadway PROMOTED him. Who Knew?
Then we learn Clay and his Executive Producer, Jaymes Foster are having a child. We learn it the bad way, the wrong way, from TMZ and the fandom spent some time wondering and worrying about that situation. This was a little blip in Clay's master plan, I am sure. I hates TMZ. AHA, in a People Magazine exclusive, Clay comes out as a Gay man. Some of us were not so surprised, some were totally blindsided and have since embraced who Clay is - oh, and a few have fallen away because they couldn't deal with the gay. Their loss.
In the midst of all this, "On My Way Here" is released. Surprise, no wonderful press releases from RCA, no single released ahead of the album, no video. Nothing. I think Team Clay was not terribly surprised, I think they knew it was the last album with RCA, but it's a terrible shame that wonderful album did not get heard. Thank you, Clay, for dedicating it to the fans.
Now, finally, he is free. All over the Clay Nation fans are rejoicing. The song of the day seems to be "Fantasy".
As you glide in your stride
With the wind as you fly away
Give a smile from your lips and say
Are you free yes I'm free
And I'm on my way
Here's a video of his performance of this song on the AI stage.
I am excitedly anticipating the opening of the next door in Clay's career. I think he has walked through fire and come out the other side, his own man. Although the music business and the nasty gossipy blogger types have treated him shabbily, he has earned the respect of many important and powerful people in the entertainment business and I think he will have the last laugh.
Clay's Fan Club
Clay Aiken News Network - A great new fan site - Don't miss it!!
A Thousand Different Ways
On My Way Here