Tuesdays 8:00 PM on FOX
American-idol

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+.

Tags:
Like Us On Facebook

Want more American Idol?

Sign up for our daily newsletter and receive the latest tv news delivered to your inbox for free!

More From TV Fanatic

Caleb-johnson-and-jena-irene

American Idol Results: The Winner Is...

It's time to crown the American Idol Season 13 winner! Will it be Jena Irene or Caleb Johnson? Find out now!
Caleb-and-jena

American Idol Review: The Final Countdown

The final two face off on an all-new American Idol! Find out how Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson did now!
Your-top-3

American Idol Results: Who Made the Finals?

The American Idol Season 13 Top 2 are revealed on the live results show! See who they are now!
Jena-irene-at-the-piano

American Idol Goes Home, Celebrates Milestone

American Idol celebrates its 500th episode with performances by the Season 13 Top 3. See how they did now!

Avatar

Thank you so much for the apology. It has helped bring back some of the respect I lost for the show, due to the LACK OF RESPECT given Clay. As you can see by the many attibutes to him.. He is by far much more than just a "GORGEOUS VOICE".. I am thankful every day for Clay, he is such a tremendous Role Model for the children of today. There is NO End to the "heart and soul" of this man. Thank you for taking the time to Showcase just a FEW of the MANY things Clay has done these past few years.. The list could go on and on.. The world needs to HEAR and SEE Clay for who he is... Hopefully, this new CD will get the "AIR TIME" it deserves.. Just wait until the Sales of this NEW CD! The music industry is not going to know what hit them! He will surpass everyone.. hands down!

Avatar

My son is on the autistic spectrum. I had never heard of Clay Aiken before I won MCWL on a radio call-in... I read the liner... I went to the BAF website... and I was hooked. I fell in love with his voice only shortly before coming to appreciate the whole package. Thank you for acknowledging that he is not your average celebrity. I came to understand "came for the voice, stayed for the man" after learning about Clay.

Avatar

I, too, thank you for your apology and the article. Being one of the older generation, Clay has been a breath of fresh air. He has actually brought families together in one accord as they follow the career of one young man who dared to stand up for decency. He is one role model I feel comfortable taking my grand-daughter to see and hear. I have followed his career since he first came to American Idol and I have found that Clay walks the talk. My family respects the man and appreciates the great God given talent that is his. Idols have come and gone, but Clay will long live in the hearts of his fans as time goes by. Thank you, again for sharing only a few of his good works, and thank you Clay for remaining true to yourself.

Avatar

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. Thank you for your heartfelt apology and recent article outlining , for all to see, the wonderful deeds and differences Clay has made to our global village. I join all the clayfans who have previously written in saying that I , too, am so proud to be his fan. I want to go a bit further and respond to the quote above. Clay has always encouraged his fans
to follow his direction and strive to make a difference in their world, no matter how small the contribution may be. And, Clay's fans, too, have faced uncalled for comments and have been ridiculed in the press for being so supportive of him. Very few readers are aware of all the charitable works carried out by Clay's fans in his name. The amount of time and money his fans have contributed to the betterment of society is astronomical. The Bubel-Aiken Foundation was born with a lot of financial help from his fans; thousands and thousands of toys and gifts were given to soldiers in Iraq and their families; tickets for Clay's sold-out concerts were donated to the marines who worked on the Toys for Tots Campaign; fun centres were funded and donated to 5 children's hospital throughout the US; pennies were collected at all his concerts (the NAT) and added over $23,000.00 to the BAF; Wrapping for Inclusion was an endeavor whereby funds raised from wrapping Xmas gifts were donated to BAF; tens of thousand of dollars were donated to UNICEF and Ugandan relief and Hurricane Katrina; fans even donated over $30,000.00 to the MDA Association when Clay appeared on the Jerry Lewis telethon a few years ago. There are so many more ways in which Clay's fans have contributed to society because of their love for Clay and his personal ethics. To say that Clay is a Class Act and that his fans are also a Class Act is a fact, backed up by deeds and integrity. It is so easy to support someone , like Clay, who operates from his heart. We all love him, a thousand different ways! Red Deer, Alberta Canada

Avatar

Thank you for posting this article. In reading some of the replies, I'm so happy that some people have been enlightened. People who had NO IDEA about what kind of a man Clay Aiken really is have learned a few things today! If those of you who had no idea also have not seen Clay perform since American Idol and have not seen Clay perform in concert, you also have NO IDEA what an amazing performer he's really become!

Avatar

Thank you so much for listing all the wonderful achievements made by Clay in the last 3 years. When he said he wanted to make a difference back on AI2, he really meant it. He is such a giving person, and I so appreciate you writing an article about this. Clay's voice is gorgeous, his talent is amazing, but his charitable works are even moreso. I determined to support him 3 years ago, and now I have even more reasons to continue my support.

Avatar

Thank you for the apology and article! I have been a fan of Clay since the beginning of AI2 and I will always be. There are not many young men like him in the world today - much less in the music industry. I have seen the difference that he has made in the lives of many of his fans and for kids around the world. There is so much to this man other than the AMAZING voice that touches my heart every time I hear it and that I can listen to over and over again. I support Clay 100%

Avatar

Apology accepted. I hope others look into the total man that is Clay Aiken and see what his fans have seen all along, a talented, compassionate, giving human being. How can anyone not love this man? I'm eagerly awaiting the release of his next CD, "A Thousand Different Ways," this fall and to see him on tour again. Clay rocks!

Avatar

Thank you so much for that very complete and wonderful article explaining many of the reasons Clay Aiken has those legions of fans who love him so. Besides his glorious voice, fantastic personality and charm, Clay is a wonderful role model for our children and grandchildren. He deserves all the praise the media can give. May you continue to give Clay the respect he so deserves.
Again, thank you for your apology.

Avatar

Apology accepted and thank you for the nice article about his humanitarian accomplishments to date. Clay is truly an extraordinary and gifted young man and one that everyone should proudly respect. I for one am a very Supportive and Avid fan not only for his incredible vocal talents and stage presence, but most importantly because he opens his heart to love, and if you are lucky enough to be touched by that, you have been blessed in so many ways.