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Clay Aiken most recently starred on Broadway in Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show at the Imperial Theater. The New York Times called the production ‘A Christmas Miracle’. This came ten years after Clay’s critically lauded Broadway debut in Monty Python’s Spamalot. Catapulting to fame on season two of American Idol, he became the first Idol alum in history to have his first single debut at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, to have a single certified platinum and to have an album certified triple platinum.
As a concert artist he’s played some of the most iconic venues in North America, including on the 2003 Independent Tour which Clay co-headlined with Kelly Clarkson. Clay’s album, Measure Of A Man, also debuted at #1 with the highest first week sales by a debut artist. His 2004 holiday release, Merry Christmas With Love, set a record for the fastest selling holiday album of the SoundScan era and remains tied for the highest charting debut of a holiday album in Billboard history. He served 9 years as a UNICEF Ambassador and in 2003, he co-founded, with Diane Bubel, what is now the National Inclusion Project to advocate and increase opportunities for children with disabilities to be included in extracurricular activities (such as summer camps and after-school programs) with their non-disabled peers. Additional TV appearances include: 30 Rock, The Office, Scrubs, Days Of Our Lives, and Law & Order: SVU. Additional 2nd place finishes include: The Celebrity Apprentice in 2012 and the NC 2nd District US House race in 2014. Beyond all of his successes (and near successes) his proudest accomplishment remains his son, Parker.
Ruben Studdard rose to fame as winner of the second season of American Ido land received a Grammy Award nomination in December 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Superstar”. In the years following Idol, Studdard has released six studio albums, including his platinum-selling debut, Soulful, and the top-selling gospel follow-up, I Need an Angel. He is most well-known for his recording career, which has produced hits including “Flying Without Wings”, “Sorry 2004”, and “Change Me”, but he has also segued into television and stage work. Most notably, he toured with Robin Givens in the comedy-drama I Need a Hug and in 2008 starred as Fats Waller in a national tour revival of Ain’t Misbehavin, which spawned a Grammy-nominated soundtrack.
Studdard most recently appeared on the fifteenth season of The Biggest Loser. “ Ruben Sings Luther” (a tribute to Luther Vandross) the album was re-released on October 23rd, 2019 and includes a new tune. The album is available via all streaming and download platforms. “Ruben Sings Luther” – the North American concert tour is on it’s third national run. In November of 2019, Ruben returned back to Broadway stage with fellow American Idol finalist and best friend, Clay Aiken on their critically-acclaimed, “Ruben and Clay’s First Annual Christmas Show”. During American Idol, Studdard gained the nickname “Velvet Teddy Bear” and was noted for his shirts printed with “205”, the telephone area code of his hometown of Birmingham. Alabama Governor, Bob Riley declared March 11, 2003 as “Ruben Studdard Day”.