The most commercially successful graduate of the Fox performance series "American Idol" has begun confirming dates for a planned holiday tour.

The most commercially successful graduate of the Fox performance series "American Idol" has begun confirming dates for a planned holiday tour. As previously reported, Clay Aiken will tour the United States for five weeks with a full orchestra in support of an as-yet-untitled Christmas album.

At deadline, nine performances are confirmed for the Joyful Noise tour, including a Dec. 9 stop at New York's Madison Square Garden Theatre and a two-night stand (Dec. 17-18) at Atlanta's Symphony Hall. Before Aiken dons a Santa hat, he will perform today (Oct. 18) at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh.

The holiday album will be Aiken's second full-length release since finishing as runner-up to Ruben Studdard in the second season of "American Idol" last year. His RCA debut, "Measure of a Man," debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 in November 2003 and has sold 2.6 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Aiken's first book, the inspirational tome "Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life," will be published Nov. 16 by Random House. It will be released in hardcover and audio versions on cassette and CD.

Here are Aiken's holiday tour dates:

Oct. 18: Raleigh, N.C. (North Carolina State Fair)
Nov. 27: San Jose (Center for the Performing Arts)
Dec. 2: Sewell, N.J. (Commerce Bank Arts Center)
Dec. 4: Baltimore (Meyerhoff Symphony Hall)
Dec. 8: Lowell, Mass. (Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
Dec. 9: New York (Madison Square Garden Theatre)
Dec. 15: Clearwater, Fla. (Ruth Eckerd Hall)
Dec. 16: Melbourne, Fla. (Maxwell C. King Center)
Dec. 17-18: Atlanta (Symphony Hall)
Dec. 21: Cleveland (Palace Theatre)