Clayton Holmes Grissom, 30 November 1978, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. A runner-up on the second series of the highly rated Fox TV show American Idol, Aikens stratospheric rise to fame shadowed the career of his English counterpart on the Pop Idol show, Gareth Gates. At their commercial peak, Aiken and Gates both boasted sales figures to rival and sometimes eclipse those of the two singers who beat them to the top slot in their respective competitions, Ruben Studdard and Will Young. The second series of American Idol, which came to the screens in spring 2003, established the show as one of the most popular on US television, with viewers enthralled by the battle between the larger-than-life belter Studdard and boy-next-door balladeer Aiken. Following the shows climax in May 2003, Aiken signed a recording contract with RCA Records and entered the studio with veteran producer Clive Davis to work on his debut album. He enjoyed immediate success the...
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