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Clay Aiken to release Christmas album

Singer also writing a book about his rise to fame
/ Source: Billboard

The whirlwind ride for Clay Aiken will continue this fall with the release of a Christmas album and an autobiographical inspirational book.

“It’s kind of a traditional sounding album,” the one-time “American Idol” finalist told of the as-yet-untitled set, due Nov. 2 via RCA. “We tried to make it be a perennial type of project, not necessarily something that has a lot of modern or current production sounds and elements.”

He continued, “It is going to be classic, orchestral and hopefully something that people can enjoy year after year that won’t go out of style. And hopefully, everyone can play it in the background to get them in the spirit.”

While Aiken said he would enjoy touring in support of the set, nothing is in the works.

Autobiography also in the worksAs for his book “Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life,” due in late October or early November, it is not a conventional biography. Instead, based on the North Carolina native’s rise to fame, the book is filled with inspirational thoughts about achieving goals and overcoming hurdles.

“It’s like different lessons that I learned in my life and just sharing those,” said Aiken. “It is an opportunity for me to thank a lot of people who have meant a lot to me in the past 25 years and not necessarily tell people what they should do with their lives. But I think there (are) a lot of experiences that many people in our country share and I think there are a lot of things that I have had happen to me, or that I have been through, that other people can relate to.”

Aiken said he hoped to begin work later this year on the follow-up to his debut solo album, “Measure of a Man,” which yielded the hits “This Is the Night,” “Invisible” and “Solitaire.” The set will presumably be released sometime in 2005.

In looking back over his many accomplishments since “Idol” viewers selected him as the runner-up to Ruben Studdard, including moving 613,000 copies of “Measure of A Man” in its first U.S. sales week, Aiken offered:

“Sometimes I feel a little bit like, of course, this great stuff has happened for me. But how do I top it the next time? I don’t really know. Someone else had to tell me that selling 600,000 (units) in one week was good news. I didn’t even realize it was such a big deal. I didn’t follow music careers very much. I think the fact that we sold so many the first week is probably the biggest feat. A lot of people have sold 3 million copies and even more but being able to sell that many in one week was really a nice surprise for me.”

Aiken’s North American tour rolls into Springfield, Ill., Friday night.