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Giving Clay Aiken His Due

by at . Comments

NOTE: American Idol Worship would like to apologize for its previous remarks about Clay Aiken that some fans have taken exception to. While it was never our intent to disparage Clay, we realize that our attempt at humor was in poor taste and we would like to formally apologize to both the singer and his legions of fans.

Clay Aiken: UNICEF Ambassador

It has been suggested by one fan that we highlight Clay's charitable work, and it is our pleasure to give the 27-year-old his due.

Apart from his music career, Clay has dedicated himself to education and children's causes across the world. Few people can match his amazing record of giving and we feel all American Idol fans should be made aware of it, as he is helping make the world a better place.

His interest in autism issues led him, along with Diane Bubel (whose son Michael is autistic, and was tutored by Aiken), to found the Bubel/Aiken Foundation (BAF), which supports the integration of disabled children into the life environment of their non-disabled peers. The BAF, which was given a $500,000 grant from the U.S. government, runs summer camps which reflect this mission, and also presents awards to volunteer efforts of children with physical and mental disabilities.

Aiken has often donated his time and voice to benefit events and concerts, including the 2004 Rosalynn Carter Benefit, the America's Promise Benefit, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and the "Arthur Celebrity Audiobook (Stories for Heroes Series)," which benefits the BAF and other charities.

Clay was a proud spokesman of the 2004 Toys for Tots drive, and remains an ambassador for the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). In addition, Aiken donated his clothes from his American Idol performance on March 11, 2003 to the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

In 2004, he was appointed UNICEF National Ambassador by the U.S., with a mission to help ensure that children everywhere are afforded a primary education. Through his work with UNICEF, Aiken participated in the NBC4 telethon, which raised over $10 million, and recorded public service announcements in support of South Asian tsunami relief.

In March 2005, UNICEF sent Aiken to tsunami-stricken Banda Aceh area to raise awareness for the need to restore education quickly to the children who survived this disaster, in order to provide stability in a time of great loss. In April 2005, on behalf of UNICEF, he appeared before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs of the Committee on Appropriations.

In May 2005, UNICEF sent Aiken on another mission, to northern Uganda, to witness the plight of children called "night commuters," who flee the villages each night to sleep in streets and shelters in hopes of avoiding being kidnapped by the Lord's Resistance Army [LRA]. Aiken was the 2005 spokesperson for the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF drive.

Aiken continues to devote his time and energy to some of the world's most important causes and we at American Idol Worship would like to commend him for his efforts.

You da man, Clay.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Nice apology and well-written article. A nice followup might be to go to a live Clay Aiken performance on his next tour. There is nothing like hearing that voice live.

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You showed real class in your apology and by setting things right with your article on Clay's charitable endeavors. There is alot more to the man Clay Aiken than just a beautiful voice. Donna

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I am glad you finally showcased his endeavors. One of his haters posted that he does this for publicity. That is so far from the truth. He does events that his fans do not find out he did till much later. No publicist there, no media there. Many celebrities just attach their name to a charity. Clay becomes actively involved. Thank you again.

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Thanks for recognizing Clay Aiken for the work he would like to be remembered for, when all is said and done. It's one thing to be a successful singer and a rich man, it's another thing to put the misfortunes of others before your own interests, as Clay does. He is so much the best thing to EVER come out of American Idol, bar none.

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Clay Aiken is GOD of American Idol. He is best singer and artist from that show. He is one of the best singers to ever walk into this world and on our planet. I love this guy so much!

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I never have understood why members of Am. Idol (the show) and others in the media have dissed Clay at every opportunity they had. If Clay had not accomplished anything with his celebrity, that would be a different story. But quite the contrary. There is so much more to the man, Clay Aiken, than just a singer and should cause pride in all those who "discovered" him. The world is turning upside down! Thanks for the apology. Now if others would follow your lead it might be a "Perfect Day!"

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BRING A HUSBAND OF A CLAYMATE,I KNOW ABOUT CLAY AS A SINGER AND AS A MAN.AFTER READING THIS APOLOGIE,WHICH IS LONG OVER DUE. I WAS MISTY EYE IN THE FACT THAT HE IS SOOOO GIVING AND UNSELFISH.IF A PERSON DIDN'T (HARD TO IMAGINE)LIKE HIS SINGING.YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE MOST IMPRESSED WITH HIS GIVING.

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I too would like to thank you for your apology. I didn't read your original article but I'm guessing you quickly felt the wrath of scorned claymates in response. We take negative comments about Clay to heart. The greatness of Clay has unfolded before us over the past three years, not because he throws it in our faces, but because from the very beginning he drew us in with his voice and charisma. From then on, we have eagerly followed (or tried to follow) his every move. Clay is an amazing talent and an even more amazing human being. It is quite frustrating when ignorant people make statements about things with which they are uneducated. That has always been my pet peave and it's continually highlighted when it comes to the media reporting about Clay. Nonetheless, it is commendable that you realized the err of your ways and apologized. For that, I thank you!

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Clay Aiken is so deserving of your apology, as well as his fans, and I for one thank you. Being an American Idol is more than being able to sing or have a pretty face and Clay has proven that beyond everyone's expectations. Mr. Aiken is an exceptional human being who has made not only our country proud, but also his fans around the world. It's about time his accomplishments were recognized and applauded.

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Thank you for your apology - it is appreciated. It's very easy to take cheap shots at people who don't defend themselves - not quite so easy to apologise! Your article does a good job of spotlighting one of the many reasons why Clay is so beloved by his fans. Aside from his musical talent, he is a remarkable man, and an inpsiring humanitarian. When he said on American Idol that he wanted to use his celebrity in a postive wasy and make a difference it wasn't just words - he meant it!