After 'Idol', Aiken takes time for son, himself

Posted May 23, 2011

— For Raleigh native Clay Aiken, his days competing on “American Idol” seem so long ago.

“For a lot of people, I’m frozen at 24 years old and for me, I’m not,” Aiken said during a recent interview. “I do find that if I spike my hair, I get recognized everywhere I go.”

Aiken described his run on the second season of “American Idol” in 2003 as the most fun he's ever had, but he doesn’t miss the results shows.

When he was on tour with season one “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson, Aiken said he watched an episode of the show. When it was time for someone to be voted out, Aiken said his hands started sweating.

“I don’t need that stress,” he said of watching the show. 

“I’ve always said if I could go back, do the group songs, sing the songs without ever having to worry if I would get cut, I would do it every week forever,” he said.

Clay Aiken After 'Idol', Aiken takes time for son, himself

Aiken finished second to Ruben Studdard. He said the two still stay in touch, and even toured together last year.

Since his Idol days, Aiken has recorded five albums, which sold millions of copies. He has also acted in Monty Python’s “Spamalot” on Broadway and made TV appearances.

Now, Aiken is taking some time off.

“Before I did Idol, music was always a hobby for me. It was something I liked to do for a hobby and it turned into my job. It turned into a job that allowed me, now, to take a year and do it as a hobby again," he said. 

Aiken said he also wants to spend more time with his 2-year-old son, Parker Foster Aiken.

“Now that he’s talking and having real conversations with you, I don’t want to miss some of that,” he said. “It’s the most humbling part of being a father, but when I look back on it in 20 years, I believe it will probably be the thing that I appreciate the most…and unconditional love doesn’t hurt, right?”


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  • magicalmusic2004 May 25, 2011

    Thanks so much for the wonderful interview with Clay. He's the best singer to come out of Idol. I hope you'll do another indept interview again sometime when Clay has new career news to share.

  • habdo3 May 25, 2011

    Wow. Such a great interview. Clay sure looked relaxed and content with his life. Glad he is able to take time to be with his son through these early years. Can't wait for the next concert. Thanks for the great interview. Hope you have more on him as the year progresses.

  • mollyssrogers May 25, 2011

    What a great interview! Clay is such an unassuming, charming,intelligenet guy. Debra Morgan is a very good respectful interviewer and she asked very interesting questions. I love Clay's voice and sense of humour and it is nice to see a celebrity who cares so much for his home town. It is so unusual for anyone to be so attached to his teachers and old friends especially a celebrity. He obviously values them so much.

  • jcdramey May 25, 2011

    I am very impressed with the interview with Clay Aiken. Thank you.
    He always amazes me with his thoughtfulness and intelligent answers. I am so glad he will be able to take time out to spend with his son. First things first!

  • nmjn100 May 25, 2011

    Clay is such a gentleman and a professional, absolutely love this in-depth interview. He is so relaxed and comfortable where he is in his life right now. Priorities are right, his son comes first. When he does his next project, I will be right there.

  • jancd May 25, 2011

    A nice interview. Clay seems so real and relaxed. I thought he was quite candid and I enjoyed that.

  • ymariek May 25, 2011

    Thanks for the great interview with Clay. It's always good to see him. Kudos to him for wanting to spend these formative years with his son.

  • kak May 25, 2011

    Very enjoyable interview. I think it's great that Clay is able to spend some quality time with his son at this age. Glad to hear he will be back entertaining us in the future as he has a gift.

  • macmom2 May 25, 2011

    Love the interview with Clay -- thank you WRAL and Debra Morgan. Wonderful to hear Clay talk about so many different things and how much he enjoys being with his son. Clay's concerts are great with so much fun and good music -- hope to hear him singing again somewhere soon. That voice should be heard by the world. Can't wait to see what is next -- !

  • flo May 25, 2011

    I really enjoyed the interview with Clay. Hope he enjoys his time off with his son. He certainly has his priorities right. I'll be right there when he performs again. Wouldn't mind seeing him in Broadway again. He was wonderful in Spamalot.