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November 27, 2006


Having been a huge fan of Mr. Aiken's since he first walked on the stage for AI2, I especially loved your comments about him. You are right - there really are no comparisons in the past and there are not likely to be any in the future. He just is.

Clay Aiken is my favorite male singer and male entertainer. Clay Aiken is the greatest and the best male musical artist ever!!! Clay Aiken Rules!!!

You hit the nail
on the head about
Clay Aiken

I have to agree on this one. Clay Aiken has a great voice. Still amazes me that he did not win.

Clay Aiken..
He truth is the good singer

Clay Aiken is by far the best male singer we have today. I love his voice.

Yes, Clay Aiken is one of a kind. He deserves top billing.

But, I wish you would get a more recent picture of him. That one is sooo old!

You are so right! You got number one and two right and I agree with most of the others, although maybe not the order.

Clay has a voice like no other. When I first heard him on AI I was out of the room and came running in to see who could sing like that. I have been a gonner ever since.

As the years go on and more & more contestants are referred to as "Idols", despite where they landed in their competitions, and as so many snag recording contracts, winning the actual 'crown' of American Idol loses its importance. Over-saturation much?

You did skip Jennifer Hudson, who's currently making her run for glory in "Dreamgirls" alongside Beyonce and Jamie Foxx (who was once quoted as saying he wouldn't do the film unless Fantasia got the part Jennifer's playing. Changed his mind I guess...)

For me the contest lost all credibility after season 2 anyway. Clay was the obvious winner, and still is today. He makes news for changing his hairstyle, for pete's sake, and can start a controversy for NOT being mannerly enough to suit a princess diva drama queen (Heaven help us!), no matter how rude and disrespectful she's been to him over the years.

Thanks for recognizing Clay's star quality! I'm gonna sit back and enjoy his career for years to come. He's got the talent and drive, and he's smart enough to get wherever he wants to end up!

Over three years later and I am still trying to figure out what happened to me that Clay grapped my heart and soul like he did! Before him the only music I listened to with as much passion was Pink Floyd.
From David Gilmore to Clay...when you got it-you got it.
You sure said it right...
beyond comparison!

I don't agree with this list
#1 Taylor Hicks- You will find out ths is true
#2 Carrie Underwood
#3 Kellie Pickler
#4 Clay Aiken
#5 Bo Bice
Don't care for the rest. thats my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

I agree with #1 and #2 Clay and Kelly, as for the rest Carrie Underwood should be #3. As for the rest it doesn't matter, these 3 are fantastic!!!

I Agree that Clay Aiken is #1 and kelly #2. Yes Clay has the most unique sound and voice and the Best voice of Idol.

I don't get it Cindy Taylor #1????

Clay is a tremendous talent and I'm glad to see him recognized instead of just written off as Broadway material. However, I disagree with your inclusion of Katharine McPhee on the list. Kat's performances were OFTEN hot messes (The Voice Within, Against All Odds, Can't Help Falling in Love, All's Fair in Love, Hound Dog/All Shook Up) or were shrill, yet overhyped (I Have Nothing, Who Wants to Live Forever, Someone to Watch Over Me). Black Horse was fun but not fantastic, and honestly, one spectacular performance of one song (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) does not an American Idol make. I do like Taylor a lot--he's my favorite Idol--but I can see why you left him off the list, because he's just not everyone's cup of tea. However, the man is talented, and while he might not have Clay's pure voice, he's got an amazing tone and can do wonderful things with it. As always, though, it's nice to read different opinions. :-)

Clay is God.

Thanks for all the info. I completely agree with your pick for # 1. Mr. Aiken is the best!Love that man....

Clay Aiken is beyond and above all the others.

Its hard to pick ten. For my tastes, I would drop Bo Bice and add Jennifer Hudson.

Clay Aiken is in the correct position. Hands down.

I think #1 should be Kelly Clarkson, She has an amazing voice, She is her own now, and the most sucessful singer of the bunch, Breakaway selling over 12 million world wide... I would say Carrie and clay can fight for the # 2 Spot...

It's difficult to equate past winners with present, since the results of their post Idol efforts are still to be determined. Not fitting the pop mold or the trendy music style that is radio played does NOT have to be a negative. I think in the case of Taylor Hicks, it will be a hugh positive. Only time will tell. I will give him that time to turn heads and melodically invade the ears of the listening public.
You can't get away from the fact that your listening tastes may differ from others. I enjoyed reading your analysis , but beg to differ in its conclusions.

I agree wholeheartedly about Clay Aiken being the best. When I first heard him sing, I knew immediately that he was the best singer I had ever head, and I still believe so. That voice is both powerful and soothing. Absolutely beautiful.

I think there will be many differences of opinion on #2-10, but Clay at #1 is unquestionably correct!!

You have to be kidding me? Clay as number one??? What? Dude, have you heard him sing lately? He can hardly carry a tune. Taylor is an actual musician who writes, plays and sings his own music. That has to count for something. Carrie blows Clay's doors in Talent. Kelly's music and voice are incredible and has grammies to her credit. If you had written this article 3 years ago I would have agreed with you but Clay is a hasbeen. He doesn't take care of his voice and it shows. Sorry, disagree with this article, big time!

Clay a "has-been", shocked? What have YOU been smoking? He has sounded like he's battling allergies or a cold a few times lately, but that happens to all singers. I haven't heard Kelly Clarkson sound good live on TV more than twice in the past four years, while Clay almost always sounds great.

I also think Jennifer Hudson should have been added to the list, and Katharine McPhee left off of it. She's good, but not THAT good, and I'll be surprised if she sells more albums than Taylor.

Nice write-up, though! These kids should mostly do quite well in their markets, but Clay, Kelly and Carrie are definitely the Top Three.

I have to agree that many were left off that should have been on this list. I agree Clay and Kelly for 1&2 but Jennifer Hudson should be recognized for the range and vocal talent she possesses. Fantasia was the JUDGES pick from the begining and the show pushed it to make it so. She does not have the range and talent of many of those that made the final 10-12. I have to give Taylor his due. Not pop or rock but different in that jazz was introduced to America in a package they could understand and appreciate. Remember Jazz is the basis for much of rock and roll. I think he will do well because of this. This was well thought out and I appreciate the effort and wish more would understand the talent that has passed on the idol stage only to be lost in the throng. Coming to mind the best that did not make it to the finals is Frenchie Davis. A sure winner, Frenchie had power range that could be as subtle as a whisper it was a shame that she was not allowed to be seen byu more americans

I'm in total agreement with Laurie above. I liked Kelly on Idol and think she can still rock the house, but Clay is hands down the best singer and most unique talent ever to come off that show. As far as him being a "has-been," check out how his concerts and CDs have been selling lately, and see if you think that still applies. Clay, Kelly, and Carrie are easily the top three, and I too would have dropped Katharine McPhee for Jennifer Hudson. Really enjoyed reading this.

Clay sounds like he is choking a cat, or maybe that should be a chicken? Or maybe that should be choking somebody's chicken?

BLASPHEMY!! Where is William Hung?!!!

Yep, Clay's is the best non-classicly trained voice I've heard in many years -- and by far the best one that ever graced the Idol stage. I also agree with the rest of your list pretty much down the line. You've got a good ear.

Clay Aiken will always be #1!!

Interesting list. While I may arrange the top 10 somewhat differently--add one here, drop one there--I completely agree that Clay Aiken is #1 and THE BEST talent out there today!! And tomorrow.

I agree with much of your list but would put Carrie far above Fantasia. Guess she's just not my cuppa.

Clay does write music. In fact the extra on Itunes "Lover All Alone" is one of the best songs I have ever heard. He has another on the latest CD that he wrote. Somewriting isn't essential to me - the vox is. Clay's voice and his interpretation are phenomenal. Being "able" to write songs doesn't always make them good.

I would agree that Kelly has sold many CD's and some of her music I can take. The softer, not screeching sounds are her best - and her voice often isn't in top shape. Both she and Clay need to maintain care of their voices. Love Bo Bice, but don't like what they did to him.

Thanks for a fun read today. Not only is Clay an artist, he is a tremendous entertainer. He has his humor and intelligence, which combined with his voice, makes him #1 for me as well.

1. Kelly Clarkson.
The best singer to ever stand in front of Randy, Paula and Simon, period. America's darling. She holds a special place as the singer who propelled "American Idol" to what it is today. Because she was the first winner, Clarkson holds classic status. Her powerful voice, commanding stage presence and ability to connect are qualities of a superstar. With a Grammy in her pocket and two multi-platinum albums, Clarkson's victory was a harbinger of things to come.

p.s. Kelly Clarkson could sing ANYTHING Clay Aiken has ever sung and sing it with more passion and conviction and with a much richer and rangier voice. Clay Aiken could not do the same with Kelly's material. His voice is much more limited than Kelly's with much less richness and range.

HA HA YEAH! Clay rocks my socks!

Thank you! Thank you! You got it 100% accurate. Clay is tops!

#1. Clay IS number one, forever and always.
#2. Kelly, she's great.
#3. I loved Jennifer Hudson and she should have been included; she's fabulous.
#4 Taylor Hicks...an original. Carrie, Bo, Chris, LaToya, and Tamyra deserve to be on the list. Fantasia and Katharine...neither one do much for me.

I agree with your choices, especially Clay as #1. Maybe the list should be a little longer to include Jennifer Hudson (way higher than Fantasia, IMO) and Taylor Hicks for charm, sweetness and humility)

Thank you. I really enjoyed your blog.

Clay stand's out amoung the rest, just look whats been happening with him as of late, what other idol's have had the much attention, Carrie is a class act, her sales are off the chart, all though Taylor and Ruben is'nt on the chart does'nt mean that there a wash in the bucket, because there not, they have a nice size fan base and put out great music, clay might be the golden boy to some, but not to all...Latoya is another class act, and look at Jenn Hudson, from AI to (Dream Girls) that says a lot..Kelly is just fantastic...Love Fantisia, Bo, Chris is topping the chart's and getting his music heard, Go Chris, I think they all bring something to the table, not just clay aiken.

Taylor was never in the bottom three either and Jame Foxx never said he wouldn't do the film. SOme of you folks love to misquote. Jamie Foxx said the film would be fabulous if Fantasia were in it. No professional would say they wouldn't do a movie if a non actor isn't in it. That's just silly. However, had fantasia been in it the chemistry been Effie and Jamie's character clearly would have been MUCH hotter.

Clay Aiken? They broke the mold when this dude started to sing. Brilliant.

I'd surely move Carrie up higher in the rankings simply on appeal and sales alone. The woman is rockin' right now.

I enjoyed your take on the idols.

I have judged singing talent for a number of years and I have very eclectic tastes in music. I do agree with most of your rankings. Clay Aiken has supreme talent not just in that amazing voice but personality to boot! See him in concert, there's nothing quite like it!

I definitely agree that CLAY AIKEN is the #1 among your list of American Idols and Kelly is #2, but for me I think, Carrie Underwood should be the #3. Anyways, Clay has really an AMAZING voice and the best American Idol there is. With his sense of humor, his wit, his popularity to help make a difference and being chosen by President Bush to be in his committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, all these and more, he truly is a model on who and what an American Idol should be. Had found the true idol, end of discussion.

Oh and anyone who needed the wildcard and a complete body makeover should not even be on the list, much less at #1. What is this a personal blog?

For the most part, you hit the nail on the head.

However, I think Carrie is a MUCH better singer than Kelly, as far as tone goes. Kelly sells lots, but much of that is due to her image, as her live singing is not nearly close to her cd voice, which is good.

Chris is a lock. Fantasia didn't appeal to me at all, but we all have different tastes.

Jennifer was excellent, but didn't have the presence at the time. Katharine should stay, and maybe, Bo has to go, as it's his act, more than his voice that is top notch. Did like him though.

The #1 spot is a no brainer indeed. Clay has the power, tone and versatility to beautifully sing anything, anytime, anywhere. He could excel at pop, country, rock or Broadway. Take your pick.

They won't see the likes of him again.

Clay is so not number 1. Carrie is not number 9 at all and Tamyra shouldn't even be on that list.

I highly disagree with your top 10. Clay Aiken is definitely not at the top of the list. If he was truly the best Idol, wouldn't that mean that he has best selling records and people who dont even watch American Idol would know about him? And by that I mean -- look at Carrie and Kelly. They deserve to have the top 2 spots. People who never even heard of AI know who Kelly is because of the name she made for herself. Carrie is doing excellent with her career, as well. Both have sold millions of copies of just one CD, and will have one heck of a career ahead of them. As for Taylor and Ruben not being on the charts? Well, Taylor doesn't even have his own album out yet. And once he does, it will be #1 sooner or later. His music (you can hear three songs on that will most likely be on his cd at www.myspace.com/taylorhicks , www.graycharles.com , or www.taylorhicks.com) is amazing. Some of the songs were supposed to be Ray Charles, but he never recorded them. Taylor has put those songs to justice. Ruben has been at the top of the charts with his new cd "The Return." By not having these two Idols on the list is beyond me because they actually won. Taylor beat katharine because taylor has "the x factor", as Simon Cowell would put it. He's definitely unique, which everyone looks for in an artist. Why have someone like Katharine who can't do her own style of music? She's simply a copy of what we have out in the music industry today. I disagree with your whole top 10, and I think that it's a biased chart. thank you.

The only one with the "IT" factor is Clay Aiken.

Of course, Clay is always #1. He had the great voice.

I LOVE CLAY! He is UNDOUBTEDLY #1! he ALWAYS will be. The most amazing voice I've EVER heard.

....and may I mention:
HE'S GORGEOUS! *fans self*

Kelly in the #2 spot is correct, I agree with that. She's got an AMAZING voice, she can sing ANYTHING, and her song choices and styles are also perfect!

I would put Carrie Underwood in the #3 spot. She's got a powerhouse voice, and she is THE ONLY country music artist I've ever liked.

I agree with Chris Daughtry in the #4 spot, he's great. I love Daughry's CD!

I'd put Katharine Mcphee in the #5 spot, she should have won her season!! Can't wait for her CD! December 19th ;)

no one else matters
Fantasia should NEVER have made it past the first auditions, her voice is sooo raspy, it's horrible.

Your list is very interesting, as are your comments. I agree with most of it, although I do think Jennifer Hudson belongs there. And, I would put Carrie in #2. I prefer her voice over Kelly's(But then, I prefer Suzie Mcneil's voice over Kelly's, too.)

The biggest reason Clay isn't more successful is lack of label support. That and the fact that the CD he wanted to make was shunted aside for the covers idea(I love that they let him do the songs his way, though.) He got kudos from Bryan Adams and Diane Warren for his treatment of Because You Loved Me and Everything I Do. And for Broken Wings, Richard Page of Mr. Mister said he didn't think he'd ever be able to appreciate a cover of one of his songs, but he really likes what Clay did with this. Suzie McNeil from Rockstar:Supernova(who dueted with him on I Want To Know What Love Is) said,"As a vocalist, I can only aspire to be as perfect as Clay is. I actually think I'm pretty good, but I'm nowhere near as good as he is."

On top of that, I have a theory about his music. Most people aren't willing to do the work it takes to truly appreciate all the layers and subtleties and nuances of his vocal artistry. It requires the listener to invest themselves in the music. It requires you to be engaged.

And yes, he can write. Check out the iTunes version of his latest CD. The bonus track - Lover All Alone - is a masterpiece. He just refuses to write simply to write, or to make more money, or to earn "cred." He'll write when he feels he has something important enough to be worth the effort.

Give him good material and decent promotion and support, and he'll do just fine.

Great List! I love Clay! He is my idol! I think we can all relate in some way to his originality and genuine nature. I think it's what makes him so appealing besides his breathtaking voice. He hasn't let fame destroy his beliefs and kindness, but has used it to lift others up.

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