Local News

Raleigh Mayor Declares May 16 'Clay Aiken Day'

Posted May 16, 2003 3:41 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh's Clay Aiken has made a name for himself as one of two finalists on the hit show "American Idol." Many in his hometown are especially proud -- including Mayor Charles Meeker who proclaimed May 16 as "Clay Aiken Day."

While Aiken gets the star treatment in Hollywood, his mother, Faye Parker, arrived by limosine for the royal treatment at City Hall on behalf of her singing son.

"Whereas Clayton auditioned for 'American Idol,' not for fame or fortune, but for influence -- influence to positively effect our world," read Mayor Charles Meeker at Friday morning's ceremony.

Meeker said Aiken's star shines bright because of his talent and especially because of character.

While Aiken has always pursued the dream of performing, he has also served as a YMCA counselor to children with special needs and planned to pursue the work as a career.

Whether or not he wins 'American Idol" next Wednesday night, Aiken's mother said he has already won.

"The support that North Carolina and Raleigh has given him -- I've been overwhelmed with the love that's been poured out not only to him, but to me. I want to thank you again from the bottom of our hearts," she said.

Parker said it has been a fun ride.

"I get a kick out of it. It's a hoot to me that the fans are just so crazy about him. You know, they think that my son is a sex symbol and I think that's funny too," she said.

Out of the 19 million voters who called into the show Tuesday, the difference in votes for Aiken and Ruben Studdard was 2 two percent.

You Can Be On "American Idol"

Come out and cheer on hometown favorite Clay Aiken and get seen on national TV! FOX is inviting the public to come and watch the "American Idol" final Wednesday evening at the and the RBC Center. Admission is free and doors open at 7 p.m.

Claymania Hits Area Malls

Aiken's fans will have the opportunity to cheer on their favorite 'Idol' and to raise funds for two local non-profit organizations at two area malls this weekend.

Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Triangle Town Center, fans can send their unique thoughts and best wishes to Aiken by recording video greetings. A donation of $1.00 is requested, and all profits will be donated to the Autism Society of North Carolina.

The Claymates, Aiken's fan club, will sell t-shirts. Profits will be donated to the Autism Society and to the A.E. Finley YMCA.

Monday at 2 p.m. , Claymania continues at the Streets of Southpoint Mall in Durham.

The celebration will take place in Center Court, where shoppers will have the opportunity to sign a giant card, join Aiken's fan club and purchase "Clay-wear", with all proceeds benefiting the Autism Society of North Carolina. There will also be an Aiken- Look-A-Like Contest at 7 p.m. There is a chance to win prizes, too!

American Idols Live! Tour

Tickets are now on sale at Ticketmaster outlets for the "American Idols Live!" tour. Clay and company will perform at the RBC Center on August 6.