Clay Aiken

'Man' Alive

ClayIt would be difficult to find anyone in the U.S. who has not heard of Clay Aiken. The 24-year-old native of Raleigh, N.C., was a contestant on the second season of the FOX-TV series "American Idol." Although he placed second to Ruben Studdard, Aiken has already been No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where "This Is the Night" spent two weeks on top. It is the best-selling single of 2003 and has paved the way for the artist's first album, "Measure of a Man," which RCA Records is releasing this week.

"I get excited about singing 'This Is The Night' every time," Aiken admits. "It doesn't get old to me because the words are exactly what's happened in my life in the past exactly one year. It's just such a great song. I really feel something every time I hear it."

The album's first single, "Invisible," is described by Aiken as "one of those songs that people know by the second chorus -- maybe not the right words but they've got the melody and they're jammin' with you. And it was such a catchy song. There was very little question as to whether or not it would be the first single."

Aiken also appears on the RCA compilation "American Idol Christmas," due this week.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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