Our Top 10 Clay Aiken Songs list takes a look at one of American Idol’s popular singers. He is a talented singer, actor, author, and TV personality. He is best known for finishing in second place on TV’s American Idol in 2003. He was a very popular contestant while he was on the show. He outsold the winner Ruben Studdard when his debut album was released. Aiken was the fourth highest-selling American Idol contestant. He sold over five million albums worldwide. In addition to singing, Aiken is a writer. He wrote a best-selling book about singing. He appeared in a Broadway musical called Spamalot. He appeared on numerous TV shows, reality shows and specials.
Clayton Holmes Grissom was born on November 30, 1978. He wanted to be a singer when he was growing up. He performed in a local band. He also recorded three demos before he appeared on American Idol. Aiken was a teacher before he appeared on the show that would change his life. He took a chance and auditioned for the reality show and made it on there. He didn’t look like your typical superstar. He had to get a makeover because he looked like an average man. He blew the judges away with his voice. He made it to the top 10 on the show. He went on to take second place. The results of the show were controversial. The producers said that Aiken was winning the votes each week, but he eventually lost to Studdard. He didn’t let that stop him from recording music. The person who lands in second place also received a recording contract so he was able to release his first album after the show was done.
Clay Aiken released Measure of a Man in 2003. The album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 charts. The album sold an impressive 613,000 copies in its first week. The album wasn’t received too well by the critics. The reviews were mixed for the album. The album features the singles “Invisible,” “I Will Carry You,” “The Way,” “Solitaire,” “This Is the Night” and “When You Say You Love Me.” The album sold over two million copies.
Merry Christmas with Love was released in 2004. It was the best-selling Christmas album in 2004. The album peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 charts. It sold 270,000 copies in its first week. The album mostly features traditional Christmas songs. Aiken won two Billboard Music Awards for the project. The album went platinum. He tied Celine Dion’s record for the highest-selling debut for a Christmas album in history. It was the fastest selling Christmas album.
A Thousand Different Ways was released in 2006. The album peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 charts. It was a cover album. The album sold 211,000 copies during its first week. It features the singles “I Want to Know What Love Is,” “Because You Loved Me,” “A Thousand Days,” “Without You,” “When I See You Smile,” “Right Here Waiting” and “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You.” It sold over 500,000 copies worldwide.
On My Way Here came out in 2008. It debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 charts. The album sold 94,000 copies in its first week. It features the singles “On My Way Here,” “Lover All Alone,” “Everything I Don’t Need,” “Something About Us,” “The Real Me,” “As Long as We’re Here” and “Where I Draw the Line.”
Tried and True came out in 2010. The album was a collection of standards from the 1950s and 1960s. The album debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 charts. It sold 22,000 copies in the first week. The album received positive reviews from the critics. It features the singles “Unchained Melody,” “Mack the Knife,” “Misty,” “It’s Only Make Believe,” “It’s Impossible” and “Moon River.”
Clay Aiken proved that you didn’t have to have a particular look in order to become a singer. He also proved that you didn’t have to win American Idol in order to have a successful album. A lot of the contestants from the show had trouble achieving success in the music industry. It might be because they didn’t have to go through the same process as other singers. They were able to get attention from producers that other newcomers didn’t get. With that said, Aiken proved that his appearance on the show wasn’t a fluke. He’s just as talented as other singers who didn’t get promotion through television. He has a style that’s not like too many pop stars, but he managed to achieve success. Our Top 10 Clay Aiken Songs list will feature his best songs.
# 10 – On My Way Here
The first song on our Top 10 Clay Aiken Songs list is “On My Way Here” from the album of the same name. The song has a pop sound. The inspirational song is about the lessons you learn growing up. The lessons shape you into the person you become when you get older. The song was personal for Aiken. He equated the song to his journey on American Idol. The message is positive and empowering. The music is empowering to match the subject. It’s soft and soothing.
The instrumentation is simple. It features the guitar, violin, piano and computer programming. The music swells up to a crescendo after the bridge. It’s perfect for slow dancing or if you just want to relax. Aiken’s vocals are gorgeous on the track. His tenor vocals soar magically throughout the song. He sings the song with a lot of passion. It’s easy to tell this song means a lot to him. His phrasing for the verses is excellent. He has perfect runs throughout the song. He does drop the ball a little after the bridge. He had the chance to hold powerful notes, but he didn’t do it. The song would have been flawless if he reached for the stars the way he’s capable of doing.
# 9 – Because You Loved Me
The next song on our Top 10 Clay Aiken Songs list is “Because You Loved Me” from A Thousand Different Ways. The song has a pop and soft rock sound. The emotional song is a remake of Celine Dion’s hit single. You immediately have to ask yourself the same questions when it comes to remakes. Should Clay Aiken have taken the risk and covered a famous song like this one? Did he pull off singing the hit song? The answer to the first question is that he probably shouldn’t have covered the track. The song is closely linked to her that he took a huge risk covering it. Celine Dion is a power balladeer so he had huge shoes to fill in order to sing it. You would have to have a lot of faith in your voice to take on one of her songs.
The answer to the second question is that he did pull it off. Aiken has a powerful voice too so he was a good choice to cover one of her songs. The music for Aiken’s version is different from Celine Dion’s version. Celine Dion’s version is pop friendly while Aiken’s sounds like pop/rock. The piano sounds like a riff of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross’ hit “Endless Love.” Aiken’s version is more guitar/drum friendly. Clay Aiken speeds up the flow of the lyrics in his version. It was a different choice, but it didn’t hurt the song. The choice gave Clay Aiken a chance to make the song his own. He belted in the song to showcase his strong vocals. He didn’t soar to the stars the way Celine Dion did, but he did a great job. Arguably, Celine Dion’s version will always be the best one, but he gave it an excellent try.
# 8 – I Want to Know What Love Is ft. Suzie McNeil
The symbolic song is from A Thousand Different Ways. It has a pop and rock sound. The introspective song is about him wanting to know what love means. The song is a cover of Foreigner’s hit single. This is another remake on our Top 10 Clay Aiken Songs list. Did he take a chance covering another famous song? Did he make it his own? Did he pull it off? Clay Aiken did take a chance remaking this song. This was Foreigner’s biggest hit song so he took a chance. He set himself up for major comparisons with this song. He probably should have covered another song that wasn’t so linked to the group. He made the song his own by switching up the music.
Clay Aiken’s version is rock friendly while the original is sounds pop friendly. Aiken sings the song with Suzie McNeil so it was a duet. The original had a choir in the background. Aiken’s version doesn’t have the same gospel feel as the original version. Aiken didn’t do a Karaoke version of the song. He was able to pull it off. Clay Aiken and McNeil did an excellent job on their vocals. They showed so much power while they were singing. They vocally soared through the chorus as well as through the fade out. They took us on a vocal roller coaster ride and we didn’t want to get off. They turned the song into a power ballad. In case you are wondering, they both win the vocal battle.
# 7 – When You Say You Love Me
The pleading song is from the Measure of a Man album. The song has a pop, rock and country sound. The emotional song is about him wanting to know if the person he loves really loves him too. He wants to make sure the person feels the same way he does because he’s been hurt too many times. He’s crying out for a lasting relationship. The song is relatable to anyone who has been in questionable relationships. They may be too cautious to take the next step for fear that their feelings won’t be returned. The music is a good blend of different genres. It sounds like a combination of rock, pop and country music. Clay Aiken isn’t known for singing any country songs, but the music fits the genre. It has enough tempo to bop your head to the beat.
The music is rhythmic. The track is guitar-laden. It has a pounding drum beat. Clay Aiken’s Southern roots shine on this track, which might explain the music. It’s a throwback to his roots. Clay Aiken sounds pristine on the lyrics. He sings with a bold confidence as he expresses his concerns about whether or not the person he loves returns his feelings. He gives a subdued performance. He doesn’t hold any notes or turns it into a power ballad. He utilizes his tenor vocals to the best of his ability. The background vocalists do a great job supporting him.
# 6 – The Way
The romantic song is from the Measure of a Man album. The song has a pop beat. The beautiful song is about “the way” the person looks. He admires the beauty of the person he loves. He can’t take his eyes off the person he loves. The song is perfect for a wedding. The track is sweet and tender. Most of us want someone to feel the way he feels about the person he loves. He tells a compelling story about a romantic relationship. Enrique Iglesias wrote the track. It sounds like a song he would have recorded for his album. The music has a slight Latin flavor to it. The drums are the main star of the instrumentation. The drumbeat is fire and makes the song stand out. The guitar riffs are pretty good too. Clay Aiken sounds incredible on the track. He starts the song off softly and belts towards the end of it. He did miss opportunities to hold long notes, but he did belt towards the end of it. The song would be perfect if he took the risk of holding long notes. He does attempt to hold a couple, but he dropped the ball.
# 5 – This Is the Night
The next song on our Top 10 Clay Aiken Songs list is “This Is the Night” is from the Measure of a Man album. The track has a pop beat. The inspirational song is about appreciating who you love. The song was appropriate when the terror attacks happened during 9/11. The song was a comfort for people dealing with loss. The song teaches you that you should love one another and not take anyone for granted. The song is just as relevant today as it was when it was written years ago. There are a lot of bad things going on in the world today so this song would be therapeutic. Clay Aiken sang this song while he was on American Idol. Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell were judges on the show. They didn’t like the song for Aiken.
He didn’t agree with them because he recorded it for his album. The song fits his style perfectly. The music is like a comfortable set of pajamas. It makes you feel good while you’re listening to it. The music is soft and melodious. The melody is similar to Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.” The music is almost stripped to allow listeners to focus on his stellar vocals. Aiken doesn’t hold back on this song the way he did in other songs on our list. His vocals are stacked on the track. He sounds like he’s using a double for the bridge. It was a clever touch to make it sound like more than one person. He soared to the sky and back after he sang the bridge. He turned the song into a power ballad. The song is flawless.
# 4 – Invisible
The creepy song is from the Measure of a Man album. The song has a pop beat. The obsessive song is about a man who watches the person he loves even though the person doesn’t see him. This is Clay Aiken’s first single. The lyrics make him seem like a stalker because he talks about watching someone in their room. He doesn’t sound like a good person in the story he’s telling. The lyrics are probably supposed to be romantic, but he sounds like he’s stalking the person. If you can get past the stalker aspect of the song, it’s a very good track. The song has a catchy pop/rock beat that will grab your attention. You can get lost listening to the intoxicating music.
The music is very energetic and upbeat considering the subject matter. The guitar riffs are fire and give the song its rock edge. The drums give the song the pop sound and tempo to get you on the dance floor. The music slows down during the bridge. The key changes and takes the song to a different level. His background vocals are layered in the bridge and it makes the song pop. Speaking of his vocals, he sounds exquisite. He belts in all of the right spots. He tried to turn a bouncy song into a power ballad. He held little notes after the bridge. He soared over the energetic music. It’s easy to forget that the song was his first single because sounds like he was singing for years. He proved he could sing up-tempo songs just as well as ballads.
# 3 – Bridge Over Troubled Water
The comforting song is from the Superhits album. The track has a pop beat. The therapeutic song is about providing comfort for someone in need. The song is appropriate for what’s going on in the world today. Everyone needs a song like this one to lift your spirits. This is another remake on our Clay Aiken Songs list. Aiken first performed this song on American Idol and blew the audience away with his rendition of the song. He took a chance because other artists have covered the track. He took you to church on this song. The music sounds like a mix of pop and gospel. It sounds like a Christian song and that fits with the message he conveys with the song. The music builds up to an orchestral finish. Aiken sings the song with background singers and they turn the song into a gospel track.
He sounds fantastic singing this track. He shows versatility because he starts the song in a lower key. He usually sings in his tenor voice, but he took a chance with this song. He sang it with more soul than his other tracks. There aren’t enough words to express how great he sounds on the song. He soars to the mountaintops while he sings the song. He proved why he was in the final two on the show. He gave this song his all. The choir does a superb job backing him up. They sound like they belong in a choir. Their voices blend well with Aiken’s voice.
# 2 – Without You Kimberley Locke ft. Clay Aiken
The heartbreaking song is on Kimberley Locke’s One Love album. The song has a soft rock beat. The anthemic song is about wondering what to do if you lose the love of your life. Locke and Aiken were contestants on American Idol. They sang this duet together because they became friends while they were on the show. They were in the top three of the show. The music has a soft rock sound to it. The guitar is the main instrument on the track. The piano gives the song some tenderness. The melody will melt the hearts of anyone who has ever been in love.
The drums give the song a little tempo. Locke and Clay Aiken work so well together. They have their chances to shine on the track. They start their verses softly and they soar to heights unknown throughout it. They matched each other note for note. They refused to lose the vocal battle. They were in perfect pitch throughout the song. The match would have to be a draw because they gave breathtaking performances. They gave each other room to shine and didn’t hog the spotlight from each other. It’s too bad they didn’t get a chance to sing more songs together. They could have released a duet album.
# 1 – Solitaire
The number one song on our Clay Aiken Top 10 Songs list is “Solitaire” from the Measure of a Man album. The song has a pop beat. The metaphoric song is about a person who lost a love because of indifference. He plays “solitaire” while life moves around him. The song has been covered a lot so he threw his hat in the ring. Aiken performed this song on American Idol. This song should have given him the title as the champion, but that didn’t happen. The music is somber and mellow to match the theme. The music will touch your heart. The piano and guitar are fire on the track. The drums give the song tempo to keep it from being melancholy. There isn’t enough space here to talk about Aiken’s phenomenal vocals.
He is a true powerhouse on this song. He gives it his all and doesn’t hold back. He starts the song off soft and tenderly. As the song progresses, he builds up his vocal strength. He tears the song up once he hits the bridge. He shouts out the title of the song and doesn’t come back down until the song is done. He holds notes without missing a beat. He soars to the top effortlessly without his voice cracking at all. He gives a show stopping performance. His voice will stay in your head long after the song is done. It’s the type of song you would want to hear on repeat so that it doesn’t end. This is arguably his best performance. He sings the other songs on our list well, but there’s something about this one that stands out. This song is flawless and deserves the number one spot on our list.
Top 10 Clay Aiken Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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