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Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life

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LEARNING TO SING HEARING THE MUSIC IN YOUR LIFE When he was a kid singing in his church choir, Clay Aiken never dreamed of becoming a pop music star. His ambition was to be a teacher, maybe even a high school principal. But Clay's mother was right, and the music that was Clay's joy in life was destined to lead him to unexpected triumphs. In Learning To Sing, Clay details wh LEARNING TO SING HEARING THE MUSIC IN YOUR LIFE When he was a kid singing in his church choir, Clay Aiken never dreamed of becoming a pop music star. His ambition was to be a teacher, maybe even a high school principal. But Clay's mother was right, and the music that was Clay's joy in life was destined to lead him to unexpected triumphs. In Learning To Sing, Clay details what his astonishing success has meant to him. He writes from the heart about is life before and since his instant stardom on American Idol, how he has changed, and how he struggles to adapt to life in the public eye. He speaks candidly about his lonely childhood: the father who abandoned him, the school bullies who tormented him, the mother who taught him to be strong, and the friends and teachers who-more than they ever knew-kept him going. He describes his new high-profile life in Los Angeles - the awards shows, the free clothes, the unfortunate presence of avocado on all the food. More significantly, he reveals what he has discovered from diving into the white-hat center of pop culture: what it takes for him to stay true to himself and remember the lessons he learned growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Clay shares his struggle to remain a man his mother can be proud of, and writes about the faith that sustains him today just as it did when he was an awkward, unpopular outsider, "I believe God has a direction for me. He did not give me this life just so I could buy a big house and an SUV.


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LEARNING TO SING HEARING THE MUSIC IN YOUR LIFE When he was a kid singing in his church choir, Clay Aiken never dreamed of becoming a pop music star. His ambition was to be a teacher, maybe even a high school principal. But Clay's mother was right, and the music that was Clay's joy in life was destined to lead him to unexpected triumphs. In Learning To Sing, Clay details wh LEARNING TO SING HEARING THE MUSIC IN YOUR LIFE When he was a kid singing in his church choir, Clay Aiken never dreamed of becoming a pop music star. His ambition was to be a teacher, maybe even a high school principal. But Clay's mother was right, and the music that was Clay's joy in life was destined to lead him to unexpected triumphs. In Learning To Sing, Clay details what his astonishing success has meant to him. He writes from the heart about is life before and since his instant stardom on American Idol, how he has changed, and how he struggles to adapt to life in the public eye. He speaks candidly about his lonely childhood: the father who abandoned him, the school bullies who tormented him, the mother who taught him to be strong, and the friends and teachers who-more than they ever knew-kept him going. He describes his new high-profile life in Los Angeles - the awards shows, the free clothes, the unfortunate presence of avocado on all the food. More significantly, he reveals what he has discovered from diving into the white-hat center of pop culture: what it takes for him to stay true to himself and remember the lessons he learned growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina. Clay shares his struggle to remain a man his mother can be proud of, and writes about the faith that sustains him today just as it did when he was an awkward, unpopular outsider, "I believe God has a direction for me. He did not give me this life just so I could buy a big house and an SUV.

30 review for Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christine Antonios

    As everyone knows I have been a, what I’d call, committed Claymate for over a year and a half now and there are very few facts out there about Clay that I do not know. I would go so far as to tell you that I could have written that book for him with all of the facts in place, but I could never have imagined the reality behind it the way Clay portrays it. Clay Aiken: American Idol Runner-up, multi-platinum artist, former teacher and counselor of autistic students, rough childhood, and dorky appea As everyone knows I have been a, what I’d call, committed Claymate for over a year and a half now and there are very few facts out there about Clay that I do not know. I would go so far as to tell you that I could have written that book for him with all of the facts in place, but I could never have imagined the reality behind it the way Clay portrays it. Clay Aiken: American Idol Runner-up, multi-platinum artist, former teacher and counselor of autistic students, rough childhood, and dorky appeal. Clay’s life has been an open book from the minute he walked into that American Idol audition room in Charlotte. It has been no mystery, Clay’s past, mainly because he has always been very open and honest about it. With all this in mind however, reading Learning to Sing sheds a whole new light on this talented kid with the funny hair. Initially, I thought writing this book was, well, not such a good idea. It seemed kind of farfetched to me and unnecessary at this moment. Remember, I heard about this book early this year, of course as the date got closer I could not wait for it’s release, but somewhere in my mind I was still convinced Clay was not at a point in his life where he should be writing his memoirs. Boy was I wrong! Reading about this Raleigh native who overcame some of the most difficult struggles in life to end up the biggest hit of radio and television was no new news to me but hearing it, or reading it, from him was really remarkable. It brought emotion, often sadness, into the reality of just what a kid, unaccepted and unwanted anywhere had to do to “make it”. In writing about his life it would only seem fit for him to begin with his father, Vernon Grossom. Living with drunk and often violent husband, was not the life Clay’s mother Faye wanted little Clayton to grow up in, so at the age of three, Clay and his mother left. I will spare writing all these facts because as I have already mentioned, most fans already know this. We also knew Clay’s mom re-married when Clay was a little older and prior to reading it from Clay I always though Clay’s relationship with his step father was a good one. This probably came as the biggest shock while reading the memoirs, was really, how distant Clay was to his step father. On interviews or such, Clay would always refer to Ray Parker as his “father” giving me the impression that he had found the true dad in his life. This however was not the case. Clay never puts blame on his father, it is always, “he didn’t know how” to love a step son. Clay also puts some of the blame on himself when he says that he could have tried harder to make the father-son relationship work, but he didn‘t. Clay goes into a very touching description of the time his father was dying. He speaks of how everyone in the family got their good bye talk from Parker except Clay. Again, I never realized the REAL relationship with Clay and his father. After going through the differences between his brother Brett and himself, Clay comes to the conclusion that he was just a “mama’s boy”. In today’s society many poke fun of this fact in Clay’s life, but it is the truth and he is not afraid to admit it. “It got to the point that I wondered if I was not supposed to have a father”-Clay Aiken Through all this however Clay manages to speak highly of his father, with respect and love. Both Ray Parker and Vernon Grossom have passed away and although Clay illuminated his regrets he makes a point to also illuminate the lessons he learned. To tell you the truth, this was the most touching and “surprising” part of the book. The rest describes Clay’s odd fit at school and the girls he grew up with, even had crushes on. Yes, anyone in their right mind would be jealous but Clay never presents it as such to his fans. The small stories and parts of his life always tie back into what Clay has learned from that experience. The life lessons that get him through the day. These lessons, however, that Clay seams to reiterate become clichéd and redundant over the course of 256 pages. They are the same things that all parents tell their kids growing up yet from the mouth or the pen of Clay Aiken, it’s different. For a man who is making millions and millions of dollars a year, for him to still listen to his mom’s advice is remarkable and inspirational. Yes, this is where it got mushy. Again tracing his life through the YMCA and other teaching and counseling jobs Clay gives the readers more funny and sad stories that shaped his life. Working with Mike Bubel, the fans realize that the person they should be thanking is Diane Bubel, who, if not for her, Clay would still be in a small classroom teaching. One thing to note are the very creative (yet corny) titles at the beginning of each chapter. Ranging from “Listen First” to “Aim for the High Notes” or “Even the Best Singer’s Voice Cracks”. The chapters seem to flow very well with the titles and the titles go along very well with the book cover. A fun, clever, and meaningful mix. I do not want to summarize a whole lot so I will say this, getting to the end of the book, the other REALLY noteworthy part was the chapter where Clay spoke about his faith. All good Claymates know Clay’s faith means a lot to him and he has shown it often whether it be the Christmas songs he chose on his last album or songs like “You Were There” performed at the Solo Tour. But Clay makes a point to tell all of his readers exactly what it is he believes in and why he chooses to let people know this at his concerts. He makes it clear that his faith is never something he wants to give up and when his sings these gospel songs at his concerts, he is not “trying to shove it down anyone’s throat”. He does this for “himself and the Lord”. Although I personally do not agree 100% with what Clay says in that portion of the book I do commend him for coming out and saying it. If he were doing this JUST for the fans, he shouldn’t be doing this at all. All in all, Learning to Sing is a book that everyone should read yet only Claymates will. Like I have said before there was not too much new material for a Claymate and for someone like me it could only strengthen my love for and dedication to OMC (our man Clay). Everyone knows Clay Aiken is different. From his music to his looks, to his principles, different becomes a common adjective. In this case different is better. Different is what we should read about and support. From humble beginnings Clay never lost sight of what is important. Clay was able to “Go. Find [his] voice. Then open [his] mouth and let [his] song free.”-Clay Aiken

  2. 5 out of 5

    (Goldilocks Reads) Jenna Vahue

    Oh my sweet darling, Clay Aiken. Stick to music, please. Measure of a Man is my favorite album of all time, but please don't write books. Oh my sweet darling, Clay Aiken. Stick to music, please. Measure of a Man is my favorite album of all time, but please don't write books.

  3. 4 out of 5

    To Read List

    "Then there is a chapter where he lists all of his family members." - Episode 38 LEARNING TEETH https://thetoreadlistpodcast.libsyn.c... "Then there is a chapter where he lists all of his family members." - Episode 38 LEARNING TEETH https://thetoreadlistpodcast.libsyn.c...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nikki

    Synopsis: This book is about American Idol’s Season 2 runner-up, Clay Aiken. This is an “inspirational memoir” in which he talks about growing up in South Carolina, his friends back home, and what it was like to be on American Idol. Classification Audience: Teen+ (mainly females) and woman age 30-40 Purpose: Inform/Entertain Medium: Book Genre of setting: Nonfiction Genre of style: Tragedy/Idealism Genre of plot: Memoir Criticism: I rated this book the way I did because I don’t think many young chi Synopsis: This book is about American Idol’s Season 2 runner-up, Clay Aiken. This is an “inspirational memoir” in which he talks about growing up in South Carolina, his friends back home, and what it was like to be on American Idol. Classification Audience: Teen+ (mainly females) and woman age 30-40 Purpose: Inform/Entertain Medium: Book Genre of setting: Nonfiction Genre of style: Tragedy/Idealism Genre of plot: Memoir Criticism: I rated this book the way I did because I don’t think many young children or guys like, or know who Clay Aiken is. He is more appealing to woman and teens. I know I say this all the time. And my favorite book changes often. But now this is my favorite book. This isn’t just a regular book. This is a book about one of my favorite singers, Clay Aiken. Not only is it about him, he also wrote the book with Allison Glock. When I read a biography it’s cool because I get to learn about someone. But when it’s actually written by them, it’s even better. With this memoir, I get to know exactly what happened from Clay’s point of view. People may know stuff about celebrities. But no one knows more about what happens in a person’s life than that person. So I really liked how I got to find out what happened to Clay in his words. I also like how since Clay is form South Carolina, he talks with an accent. I also kind of have a country accent. You don’t know this until you really get to know me and I talk to you. But it’s true. I also like how Clay and I have so much in common. I swear if we would have gone to school together, we would have been best friends. So, I really like how I can connect to Clay’s life. I have so many good things to say about this book, I can’t even say it all. I also liked how this book has about 20 pictures in it. These pictures are form when he was in the tour bus, or waving to fans. So it gives you some visual images of his life. Overall, I love this book more than anything I have ever read. I was even sad when the book was over. I read it everywhere. I read it on the bus, in study hall and even at lunch. So now that I’m done reading the book, I have to find more Clay Aiken books. But I honestly doubt any will be as good as this one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I can't think of many positive things to say about this book. It really seemed like an outlet for Clay to trash anyone who he had ever felt wronged by-pretty immature, to say the least. While airing his family's and friends' dirty laundry made for some interesting and juicy tidbits, it felt like reading petty gossip most of the time. I was especially disturbed by the way he discussed some members of his family. Case in point, the aunt who made some comment about him becoming gay by being on Elle I can't think of many positive things to say about this book. It really seemed like an outlet for Clay to trash anyone who he had ever felt wronged by-pretty immature, to say the least. While airing his family's and friends' dirty laundry made for some interesting and juicy tidbits, it felt like reading petty gossip most of the time. I was especially disturbed by the way he discussed some members of his family. Case in point, the aunt who made some comment about him becoming gay by being on Ellen Degeneres's (sp) show (amusing in hindsight, considering he was already out to a lot of people). While she may have been acting like a jerk, I still do not believe in talking poorly about your family, no matter how asinine some of the things they do or say are, to people outside of the family. Considering he did so to the entire world makes me think he has little in the way of loyalty to his blood. And I remember something about a YMCA counselor who Clay didn't feel did enough to advocate for a special ed. program in the summer camp, and left Clay feeling incredibly let down. While it would be nice if everyone would always be willing to go all the way to fight for what they believe in, there are times when one simply has to toe the line in order to maintain a job. Not pleasant, but thus is the way of the world, and it would have been gracious of Clay to consider that before besmirching some guy's character. Too often did he neglect realism for his own idealism. It's been awhile, but I remember the rest of the book alternating between Clay preaching about how he wanted to change the world and sharing bizarre anecdotes (including a pretty pointless one about getting wasted off of one drink...). If you're a fan, you may enjoy the book because he lays it all out and doesn't pull any punches, but to the rest of the world it would be a pretty dry and irritatingly holier-than-thou read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Cohen

    Okay, this book should put the naysayers of Clay Aiken at rest unless that is, they have no soul because to read this book is to read the life of a man who has been through hard times (the teasing I can relate to, I too was a "geek"), has had anything and everything thrown at him and perservered despite all of that. He shows us that with extreme devotion to everything that is important to him and also being accountable for his flaws and faults he can still rise up and be the man that God intende Okay, this book should put the naysayers of Clay Aiken at rest unless that is, they have no soul because to read this book is to read the life of a man who has been through hard times (the teasing I can relate to, I too was a "geek"), has had anything and everything thrown at him and perservered despite all of that. He shows us that with extreme devotion to everything that is important to him and also being accountable for his flaws and faults he can still rise up and be the man that God intended him to. He shows us that as a celebrity you don't have to be just in it for the "bling bling"; the fame, the fortune and every salicious temptation that comes with it. He shows us what a celebrity should and could be if extreme egoism and selfishness didn't get in the way. He shows us what it is to look deep inside yourself and find an inner peace, to reach out to those less fortunate and do everything you can to help. He shows us that despite those that give him bad reviews (not just those here on Amazon that profess to be giving "honest" opinions but as was evidenced last year when MOAM was released are simply out to derail his success. Hello, he does not have to fail for your favorite to be successful. Read the book and you will see) he can stand up, rise up and display the maturity that he did on American Idol. This is a must read for everyone I truly believe.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    Why would an American Idol runner-up feel he had the qualifications to run for a political office (which he lost)? Wrong question, as it turns out. The right one: Why would a young man, right out of high school and enjoying his teaching job with special needs students, try out for American Idol? True, he had a lifetime of performing/singing, and seems to have gone after A.I. on a lark, a dare from a friend. So he spent five years in L.A. and then moved back to the Raleigh, NC area. I accidently Why would an American Idol runner-up feel he had the qualifications to run for a political office (which he lost)? Wrong question, as it turns out. The right one: Why would a young man, right out of high school and enjoying his teaching job with special needs students, try out for American Idol? True, he had a lifetime of performing/singing, and seems to have gone after A.I. on a lark, a dare from a friend. So he spent five years in L.A. and then moved back to the Raleigh, NC area. I accidently caught an interview with Aiken while surfing TV channels, and I was surprised: Aiken had not a bad word to say about any other politician, and surprisingly talked intelligently and confidently about his views on HB2, North Carolina's very controversial "bathroom" law. Mr. Aiken seems genuine and smart. He withholds from this book a facet from his life we now know about, but this book was published way back in 2004. Seems like we're moving forward, socially, fast from '04. This book is a slight, fast read and it encouraged me to watch this man's next moves. Will he stay in the political arena? Go for pop-singer round 2? Or simply become a teacher, his first goal? Time will tell and I wish this guy good things . I liked this book, hence a three-star rating.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    We all know Clay Aiken from Season 2 of the American Idol. That was the first season of American Idol that I had the pleasure of watching, I was a fan and was rooting for him to win. Though he didn't, I was glad to know he would release an album (I loved Measure of A Man) and so when I saw this book, I was pretty excited to get into it as soon as I got home. He spoke a lot about his family in this one, about his faith in Jesus and his views on his life after much fame from his success. Clay stri We all know Clay Aiken from Season 2 of the American Idol. That was the first season of American Idol that I had the pleasure of watching, I was a fan and was rooting for him to win. Though he didn't, I was glad to know he would release an album (I loved Measure of A Man) and so when I saw this book, I was pretty excited to get into it as soon as I got home. He spoke a lot about his family in this one, about his faith in Jesus and his views on his life after much fame from his success. Clay strikes me as a very humble man who loves his family and life. He takes every moment in with gratitude and thankfulness. From his book, I can pretty much confidently say he would stay grounded and rooted in his values even with great success from now on, wherever that great voice of his takes him. flag

  9. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Although I would have liked many more details about the American Idol experience, I enjoyed this inspirational memoir. I appreciate Clay's passion for teaching and everything he essays to do. This book was published in 2004 so I'm looking forward to his account of the last 10 years and his entry into politics.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shellie

    I had to read this because I like him so much, but after learning about his life, I really like him. You might too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    Im glad I read this book but was somewhat disappointed in it. I love Clay’s voice. He was my choice on Idol. But I think Clay was and maybe still is a confused young man. He grew up being bullied and lived a childhood where the males in his life were poor examples for fathers. It had to leave him feeling confused. There were times reading the book that I even felt confused. He would say something in one chapter and in another it would be different. He stated throughout the book that he knew what Im glad I read this book but was somewhat disappointed in it. I love Clay’s voice. He was my choice on Idol. But I think Clay was and maybe still is a confused young man. He grew up being bullied and lived a childhood where the males in his life were poor examples for fathers. It had to leave him feeling confused. There were times reading the book that I even felt confused. He would say something in one chapter and in another it would be different. He stated throughout the book that he knew what he wanted. To work with children and teach were his goals. He also hoped Hollywood and fame wouldn’t change him. But by the end of the book I felt that he was talking more about pursuing his career as a famous star and less about teaching children. He also wanted to go back to Raleigh to live yet today he lives in NYC. On page 208 he states “Fame Changes Everything”. It seems Hollywood had a profound affect on him.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    My mother and I were devoted Claymates. We rooted for him right up to the end, and we each had our own copies of his music. Why I didn't read this until I found it in a thrift store not long ago, I don't know, but I'm glad I did. I'm not an overly-fanatical teen anymore, so maybe that's why I found it now? So I could appreciate it more? It was hard to get through sometimes and I wanted to DNF it a few times (because of things in me, not the book), but I'm glad I kept going with it until the end. My mother and I were devoted Claymates. We rooted for him right up to the end, and we each had our own copies of his music. Why I didn't read this until I found it in a thrift store not long ago, I don't know, but I'm glad I did. I'm not an overly-fanatical teen anymore, so maybe that's why I found it now? So I could appreciate it more? It was hard to get through sometimes and I wanted to DNF it a few times (because of things in me, not the book), but I'm glad I kept going with it until the end. I thought it was nicely paced, and while I prefer my memoirs to be written like having a chat with a friend, I think this had a lovely mix. I learned a lot about Clay and reading the last page left me wanting to know even more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Miles Quiroz

    I had owned this book and decided to read it during quarantine because I never have. I did not love or hate it, but it did not keep my interest for longer than a few pages at a time so I took a while to read it. It really was a memoir of his life and what he has learned in his life, and I appreciated him sharing that.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It was interesting and very introspective.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dan Ray

    This book is everything you would think it would be; it's awfully written but a masterpiece, a relic of its time. It has picture portions, Clay's favorite recipes, and a wonderful ending that states Clay is the most successful person from Idol. Amazing and wonderful.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Zorn

    I don't have television now; but when Season 2 of American Idol was on the air, I did. My husband and I watched clear through the finale with Clay Aiken and the Velvet Teddybear. I wasn't a Clay Aiken "fan", "Claymate", or anything else for that matter. In fact, I forgot about the guy until Season 5 of The Celebrity Apprentice. He earned my respect by being on that show and making it to the finals. He struck me as a person who did his best to hang tight to his moral compass. I was impressed. The I don't have television now; but when Season 2 of American Idol was on the air, I did. My husband and I watched clear through the finale with Clay Aiken and the Velvet Teddybear. I wasn't a Clay Aiken "fan", "Claymate", or anything else for that matter. In fact, I forgot about the guy until Season 5 of The Celebrity Apprentice. He earned my respect by being on that show and making it to the finals. He struck me as a person who did his best to hang tight to his moral compass. I was impressed. The book arrived in a give-away box I received from a friend. I probably never would have bothered to read this book had it not been for his Apprentice appearance. I also would have found the platitudes annoying, except that having seen him in action on the Trump show, they seemed pretty genuine. Unfortunately, this book was written before his "coming out" and Celebrity Apprentice so it struck me as very dated. For such a dated book, it was OK. Quick read. Interesting information about his up-bringing.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Mattmiller

    I LOVED this book! I picked it up, even though I was not a Clay Aiken fan, just because I love reading people's memoirs and stories. I figured as someone who started as a "real" person and found his fame on a reality show, he had to have a decent story. I had never listened to a single one of his songs before this book, but by the time I was done reading, I was probably one of his biggest fans. I know not everyone has a story like mine, but I found myself completely able to relate to him. He used I LOVED this book! I picked it up, even though I was not a Clay Aiken fan, just because I love reading people's memoirs and stories. I figured as someone who started as a "real" person and found his fame on a reality show, he had to have a decent story. I had never listened to a single one of his songs before this book, but by the time I was done reading, I was probably one of his biggest fans. I know not everyone has a story like mine, but I found myself completely able to relate to him. He used to work at a summer camp; I work at a summer camp. He worked in a special education classroom, and I majored in special education. Again, I know not everyone has these same experiences, but what I'm trying to say is that I was right. He is so easy to relate to. He is a real person. He is honest about his feelings and his experiences. It was a pretty quick read, good story, easy to connect to- I would definitely recommend.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jjudyfl

    It is refreshing to read an autobiographical book that isn't filled with bragging and ego. "Learning to Sing" covers his childhood through two tours. He was lucky to be born not just with that special, wonderful voice, but to have a mother who loved him, guided him, and supported his dreams. This book is about their relationship as much as it is about this American Idol. I like the book's openness, its candor and its lack of Hollywood scandal. It is proof that one can survive fame without alcohol It is refreshing to read an autobiographical book that isn't filled with bragging and ego. "Learning to Sing" covers his childhood through two tours. He was lucky to be born not just with that special, wonderful voice, but to have a mother who loved him, guided him, and supported his dreams. This book is about their relationship as much as it is about this American Idol. I like the book's openness, its candor and its lack of Hollywood scandal. It is proof that one can survive fame without alcohol and drugs. His religious beliefs are important to him. Young people, not just his fans, might want to check this out...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I'm not normally into biographies but this was quick and easy to read. I was crying in the first few chapters. It's written like Clay is sitting and talking to you which I enjoyed. If you think you know Clay from TV...you don't...but you will learn a lot about him reading this book. If you like him or even if you want you will relate. We are so much alike which is kind of weird because I never thought we would be. Life happens to all of us and makes us who we are. I'm glad I picked this one up.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Also was a major Claymate a few years back and loved reading about Clay's life. I was actually was reading this book and had in with me when I went to the Rose Parade the year Clay was in it. I didn't know he was going to be in it, and when I saw him ride by on the Ronald McDonald House float, I chased him down the street and actually jumped up next to him on the float! Needless to say I was instructed to get down immediately, but I got a nice picture of him anyway!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    As corny as this seems, I really enjoyed this book. At the time I read it, I was a huge "Claymate", and I remember reading it in a day or so. Clay had such a way of speaking that I could feel all of emotions he felt. It was nice to see a "normal guy" make his way through some crappiness and succeed. I honestly don't know if I read it as a non-fan if I would still like it, but I definitely loved it then.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Primadonna

    OK, so I'm a Clay fan. I could identify with him many years ago when he said he was a nerd and some bullied him. Things like that. He had a rough childhood, but his voice (and his mom) kept him steady. This book is full of gems and inspirations, and I wish to Clay, wherever he is right now, tremendous happiness. May he never lose his faith to help others.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Keli Wright

    This book was written back before Clay came out of the closet...so that is why I gave it two stars. Clay was a grown adult and talking all about being a role model.. yet he was in the closet... I am glad that he is out now.. I read this while on vacation and left it in Nashville for someone else to read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sahar

    I used to be a hardcore "Claymate," so naturally, I love this book. It's an autobiography and what a life Clay had. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you love love love him.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    This book is amazing! Clay has overcome so much in his life and everything has made him who he is. He has such a great outlook on life and never thinks negitive. This book is a great uplift and everyone should read it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Written before he came out as gay. Small amt of American Idol references, book was really about his early life. Very frank, a little choppy, but easy to read. I'm not that familiar with his singing but would like to hear more after reading his book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    Overall the book was alright. It gave some interesting information on Clay Aiken but, as with most "autobiographical" books on individuals far too young to pen an autobiography, it was deep in all the wrong places. I'm glad that I've read the book because I enjoy the performer.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Hey! What's not to like about Clay Aiken?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I am a big Clay fan. Even bigger after I read the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Definite read for any Clay Aiken fan.

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