A few days ago I reported that Clay Aiken fans were claiming that they received emails from Decca stating that he was no longer with the record label. A few days later, Perez Hilton reported that he had inside information that Clay had been dropped by Decca.

Clay responds to the rumors through reporter Steve Wildsmith who interviewed Clay on the phone for a story. Here’s Clay’s response to the reports that he and Decca are no longer doing business together:

“In this 24 hour news cycle, people are so interested in getting a headline and getting it first. My deal with (Decca) has never been meant to be a long-term deal, and we’re in the process now of figuring out what we want to do next. That story is not 100 percent accurate; let’s just say that.”

Hm. Sounds like Clay is shopping for a new record label, doesn’t it? Maybe he only had a 1 or 2 record deal with Decca.

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  • koshka

    My deal with (Decca) has never been meant to be a long-term deal, and we’re in the process now of figuring out what we want to do next.

    Thats cool. So they make labels like drive thru restaurants now? Well I hope he lands in a place that will help him create a better product.

  • tripp_ncwy

    ITA. Mj

    If peeps were getting emails from Decca, it would seem to me that the label has already made up their mind.

  • Milly21

    LOL OK
    not 100% accurate means, yes ive been dropped and im trying to look for other options for myself because Sony doesnt want me and now Universal doesnt want me

  • sr4mjc

    I’m sure if the album sold well, it would been a longer term deal. Sounds like Decca didn’t pick up the option for another album.

  • larc

    Clay says the story isn’t 100% accurate. Maybe he means it’s only 99% accurate. ;)

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Sounds like Decca didn’t pick up the option for another album.

    Isn’t that the same thing as “dropped”? LOL!

    LOL OK
    not 100% accurate means, yes ive been dropped and im trying to look for other options for myself because Sony doesnt want me and now Universal doesnt want me

    Yep. The part that’s “not 100% accurate” is when Decca said that Clay had “moved to another label”. Obviously, if that were true, he would have announced it. Instead, Clay has just been dropped.

  • sr4mjc

    Isn’t that the same thing as “dropped”? LOL!

    lol, yes

  • AllenTX

    At this stage, Clay needs a Vegas residency more than a label.

  • lrt

    What Decca told some fans was that Clay was with another label. Sounds like he is just not ready to announce it yet.

  • musical

    Interesting sense of humor here…be that as it may, over the years, I’ve read numerous biographies about entertainers. Most experienced a circuitous journey as they made their way as a performer, especially those who enjoyed multifaceted outlets for their talent. Clay has sustained his career for eight years already, with some of the best CD sales of all the Idols. I believe he will continue to be a part of the entertainment industry for as long as he finds it meaningful to participate in it.

  • speedboat

    Perez Hilton only wishes he had inside information about Clay Aiken. I remember him frothing at the mouth just sitting in the same chair that Clay Aiken sat in on the Leno show a couple of years ago, lol.

    According to him Fidel Castro died two years ago, so that tells you how much he knows about anything.

    As for Clay, whatever label he may or may not be with, he’s still singing and still touring. His 9th solo tour kicks off next week. I think not too shabby for the AI runner up from season two of American Idol. Kudos to him.

  • jeff2683

    I guess you can read or spin Clay’s comment anyway you want but the truth of the matter is that no one will know until the parties involved decides to make an announcement.
    I read it as they have partied ways and Clay met his contract and he has many options to choose from. No matter what he chooses, it will be right for him. I am really excited for him!

  • stargazed

    Clay seldom responds to “rumors” but when he does respond, I pay attention.

    If anyone seriously thinks that Clay is down for the count, I would suggest that you look back on the past eight years of rumors and hatefulness against the guy and tell me why and how he’s still standing.

    Clay goes about his business privately because it is HIS business. However, which label an artist is or isn’t with really shouldn’t affect his ability to entertain. He shows us who he is with his voice both musically and with his humanitarian endeavors and that’s all I need from an entertainer. I don’t need to know the ins and outs of his private business in order to remain a fan.

    I’m sure that when he’s ready to make an appearance you’ll find that he’s still standing and moving ahead with his career.

    His tour starts 2/10 and is bound to be a crowd pleaser as usual:

    http://www.clayaiken.com/events

  • Trina

    Even if it is a matter of his contract coming up for renewal I highly doubt Decca would fall over themselves wanting to keep him – he gets no airplay and even with the decline in CD sales they couldn’t have anticipated under 70,000. I’ve always given Clay credit for managing to stick around as long as he has, but IMO he’s hitting a wall now. From all I’ve read said tour is struggling.

  • stargazed

    Meet and Greet winners for the upcoming tour were notified via email the other day. To me and to most people, this means that Clay will show up at each venue on the tour schedule. If all goes well, he’ll sing and do a little dancin’ and a little chatting with the audience, providing a well rounded and entertaining evening.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Clay managed to make the most of his AI popularity, but he never defined himself musically and transitioned to the non-AI public. I don’t think that this latest direction with Decca was popular among his fans (who seem to want original music) and doesn’t seem to have been successful in expanding his fanbase. Since these concerts are linked to PBS stations (who gave away tickets and meet and greets as part of pledge gifts), I imagine that he’s bound to put on these shows regardless of attendance figures.

  • Suzanne

    What fuzzywuzzy said.

    I wanted to download something from his Decca CD but I honestly never wanted to hear any of those songs again by any singer. Overplayed 70s songs, no new sound. What were they thinking?

    His success in CD sales were all linked to the wave of popularity from American Idol. Since then, the only path he seems to have succeeded in is musical theater. I hope he pursues that path–he seems well suited for it.

  • koshka

    If anyone seriously thinks that Clay is down for the count, I would suggest that you look back on the past eight years of rumors and hatefulness against the guy and tell me why and how he’s still standing.

    Clay goes about his business privately because it is HIS business. However, which label an artist is or isn’t with really shouldn’t affect his ability to entertain. He shows us who he is with his voice both musically and with his humanitarian endeavors and that’s all I need from an entertainer. I don’t need to know the ins and outs of his private business in order to remain a fan.

    I’m sure that when he’s ready to make an appearance you’ll find that he’s still standing and moving ahead with his career.

    I sort of agree with you. Clay will continue to move on as a successful entertainer. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. However his career as a recording artist may be at an end (or at least in its twilight) unless he can do some thing outside of recording to jumpstart sales similar to J Hudson.

  • Dora Sullivan

    Various people and places have been proclaiming the demise of Clay Aiken’s career, almost from the moment that Season 2 of American Idol ended. Yet it’s been 8 years since then and he’s still actively engaged as a performer. On February 7th he’ll be performing at a benefit concert on Broadway, and his 22-city tour begins on February 10th. Clay is a hard-working, persistent individual. I’m confident that his drive and desire to succeed will sustain his career for many years to come!

  • outback

    Whatever Clay decides to do in the future, I’m sure he will find a way to do it and do it well. No need to worry about him or his career. I have seen him in concert, and believe me it was worth every cent. Concerts, Broadway, TV, Vegas, whatever, the guy is totally entertaining. I hope he does what he wants, when he wants to. I enjoy the ride.

  • koshka

    Various people and places have been proclaiming the demise of Clay Aiken’s career, almost from the moment that Season 2 of American Idol ended.

    Whatever Clay decides to do in the future, I’m sure he will find a way to do it and do it well. No need to worry about him or his career..

    Did I miss something? Other than one indirect snark, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone talk about the demise of Clay’s career or anyone ‘worrying’ about him.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I wanted to download something from his Decca CD but I honestly never wanted to hear any of those songs again by any singer. Overplayed 70s songs, no new sound. What were they thinking?

    I think that Clay saw Michael Buble’s success (both commercial and critical) in this genre and thought that this latest CD with Decca would appeal to that audience. Buble also went the “PBS special” route on his way to massive popularity. This strategy doesn’t seemed to have worked for Clay, however.

    His success in CD sales were all linked to the wave of popularity from American Idol. Since then, the only path he seems to have succeeded in is musical theater. I hope he pursues that path–he seems well suited for it.

    I always thought that Clay’s voice and singing style were best suited for musical theater too, and never thought that was any kind of insult whatsoever.

  • koshka

    I think that Clay saw Michael Buble’s success (both commercial and critical) in this genre and thought that this latest CD with Decca would appeal to that audience. Buble also went the “PBS special” route on his way to massive popularity. This strategy doesn’t seemed to have worked for Clay, however.

    Hmmmm never made that connection.

    I always thought that Clay’s voice and singing style were best suited for musical theater too, and never thought that was any kind of insult whatsoever.

    I’d completely agree with this & hardly see it as an insult to anyone. One actually has to have singing ability to do well & make a career out of theater.

  • musicality

    He was obviously dropped. His contract was probably for one or two records and Decca would have the option of keeping him on. His sales were really poor and he has no hit singles. His tour didn’t do so well either. He played to many half filled small venues. His music caters to the 60 year old plus female crowd (not a knock just a comment about the music being old style). Covers of 50′s music? Seriously Clay. He doesn’t have the look either. He’d do best going to Broadway. The music industry already has a Buble who is handsomer and has a better voice. Looks play a big role in today’s world and Clay just isn’t good looking. Sad to say but it’s a shallow world out there. Clay seemed to do really well on Broadway. Actually he’d probably be a big hit and make a great living. Maybe Branson might be a good fit. He also has his home on the market. He has to learn to live with less. There just isn’t a big market for his type of product.

  • http://myspace.com/girlgeek mj

    They’re heeeerreee…

    A reminder: Scolding, fingerwagging, overly-defensive and angry posts will be DELETED and you may be banned.

    If you have a hard time reading negativity about your favorite Idol, you may want to head back to your fan forums (I can tell when ya’all show up en masse)

  • musical

    I guess you can read or spin Clay’s comment anyway you want but the truth of the matter is that no one will know until the parties involved decides to make an announcement.
    I read it as they have partied ways and Clay met his contract and he has many options to choose from.

    Whatever Clay decides to do in the future, I’m sure he will find a way to do it and do it well. … Concerts, Broadway, TV, Vegas, whatever, the guy is totally entertaining. I hope he does what he wants, when he wants to. …

    Sounds plausible to me…outstanding artists perform on Broadway, Clay is respected there and would be welcomed back. In fact, he’s one of the headliners for an upcoming show, Broadway Backwards 6, a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Fights Aids.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    They’re heeeerreee…

    LOL!

  • musicality

    A lot of people knock Broadway yet there are a lot major stars that would kill to land a lead role in a big broadway hit. You can have a long run on Broadway and you’re in one place. The music industry is shallow & fickle. You have to have a certain look and you have to appeal to a young fanbase. Clays look and style is not going to appeal to a young fanbase. There are exceptions like Susan Boyle but then again she is another product of TV & a couple years from now you’ll see her of “Where are they now”. Fans of Clay need not worry though. I’m sure he’ll have a very lucrative career. Maybe not as a recording artist but behind the scenes or in theater.

  • speedboat

    I think part of the problem is that AI was so new their second season when Clay was on it and they were definitely looking for a ‘pop star.’ Simon even said that he didn’t look like one but that he had a great voice.

    So when he was so popular and came in second, TPTB marketed him as a ‘pop star’ which wasn’t really his niche at all. Heck, even some RCA employees said they wouldn’t listen to his music, which was, IMO, pretty insulting to someone they had signed.

    I actually think he’s as good looking as and has a better voice than Michael Buble, so maybe if they had marketed him to AC or AC lite, which is the type of muisc he’s said he likes to sing, and gone that route in the first place things may have played out a whole lot differently for him over these past eight years.

  • Niall

    Just having a big voice doesn’t make you a good fit for Broadway. You have to be a good actor. Spamalot worked out ok for him because it was broad, slapstick humor. He was far from the best Sir Robin but he wasn’t a negative distraction either. He has yet to show he can do more subtle roles, and based on his tv appearances I’m skeptical. People like Diana and (gag) Constantine have shown over the years that they can act AND sing.

    In other words, if he plans to shift to theatre roles, he’s far from a guaranteed success.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Niall: I agree.

  • stargazed

    Since these concerts are linked to PBS stations (who gave away tickets and meet and greets as part of pledge gifts),

    I worked the phones for my PBS station when Clay’s Tried &
    True concert was aired and the phones were too busy to keep up with. Nothing was given away. The tickets and Meet and Greets were sold in order to raise money for the station. PBS stations invest time and effort with their pledge drives raising funds in order to continue operations. They do that best by featuring entertainers who can being in pledges ($$$). Tried &
    True was aired twice in my area and was aired several times in many markets across the country. It would appear that his special was successful for PBS.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    I worked the phones for my PBS station when Clay’s Tried & True concert was aired and the phones were too busy to keep up with. Nothing was given away. The tickets and Meet and Greets were sold in order to raise money for the station.

    I thought that Clay donated the tickets to the stations so that the stations would make more money. My mistake. Did he charge the station for the CDs and DVDs that they gave as gifts for pledges too?

    PBS stations invest time and effort with their pledge drives raising funds in order to continue operations. They do that best by featuring entertainers who can being in pledges ($$$). Tried & True was aired twice in my area and was aired several times in many markets across the country. It would appear that his special was successful for PBS.

    That’s good that there were a lot of pledges. I know that Claymates called into stations from outside of the viewing areas to pledge, so I’m sure that helped a lot. Claymates are always willing to spend big bucks on Clay. I read that Clay’s special was popular in some markets, not so much in others.

  • musicality

    It appears Clay never moved outside the AI bubble. He grabbed whatever number of fans while on Idol who remained hardcore to this day and are willing to spend whatever amount of money including pledges on PBS. But he never gained new fans and based on sales over the years lost most of the fans he did have except for the hardcore. He has enough of a name to salvage a theater career.

  • Montavilla

    It appears Clay never moved outside the AI bubble.

    To be fair to Clay, who knew you had to move outside the bubble back then? All the Idols were expected to do was shut up and sing what their producers gave them. And that worked out just fine for a few years.

    I loved Clay when he was on the show, but TBH, I felt as though I had taken his full measure by the end of the season. I knew what he sounded like, and unless he was singing a really good, catchy song, there was no reason for me to keep listening to him. (This is my perspective — I can fully understand the fans that love his voice. I’m kind of like that with someone else…)

    I don’t think it was a bad idea for Clay to put out a standards album, if that’s the kind of music he wants to do. There is an audience for that. Maybe he just needs to do it better.

    .

  • stargazed

    I thought that Clay donated the tickets to the stations so that the stations would make more money. My mistake. Did he charge the station for the CDs and DVDs that they gave as gifts for pledges too?

    I apologize as I misunderstood your original post. Clay did indeed donate CDS, Meet & Greets and DVDS to the stations who in turn used them as pledge gift$ in order to increase their revenue.

  • fuzzywuzzy
    I always thought that Clay’s voice and singing style were best suited for musical theater too, and never thought that was any kind of insult whatsoever.

    I’d completely agree with this & hardly see it as an insult to anyone. One actually has to have singing ability to do well & make a career out of theater

    True. It always bugged me that on AI Simon would criticize singers of being “Broadway”, in a disparaging way.

    I don’t think it was a bad idea for Clay to put out a standards album, if that’s the kind of music he wants to do. There is an audience for that. Maybe he just needs to do it better.

    I agree. Clay may love these classic songs, but IMO his voice and style of singing wasn’t a good fit for them. Many of his fans seem enthusiastic about the prospect of Clay returning to musical theater, which would be a better match for his talents.

  • Elliegrll

    To be fair to Clay, who knew you had to move outside the bubble back then?

    I think they all knew. A person can’t build and sustain a career without promotion, and the it was clear that Clay was in trouble when radio refused to play his music, and when, because of the claymates, he became the butt of a lot of jokes both inside and outside of the bubble.

  • musicality

    To be fair to Clay, who knew you had to move outside the bubble back then? All the Idols were expected to do was shut up and sing what their producers gave them. And that worked out just fine for a few years.

    Very true. Over the years American Idol winners has become somewhat of a punch line. Today’s industry is so vastly different when Clay was on American Idol. With the exception of country music people don’t buy CD’s any more. Most stores have either completely stopped selling CDs or vastly scaled back. People download singles. In that respect he is not marketable. Also, since singers are so visible nowadays you have to have the look. Clay does not have the look. Young girls crush on cute boys and Clay doesn’t fall into that category. Someone above said that Clay might not make it in theater because he can’t act. I’ve never seen him in a show so I can’t vouch for that. I know this past summer Clay & Ruben played a concert at a venue 15 minutes from my house. I didn’t go. It didn’t even cross my mind to go. It’s a 3,000 capacity venue (GA) and they sold 750 tickets. Yikes. However, if Clay was in a musical 15 minutes from my house I probably would have gone.

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy

    To be fair to Clay, who knew you had to move outside the bubble back then?

    I’ve been wondering whether Sony knew there was an “Idol bubble” issue before 2006. It wasn’t until the year of S5 that enough Idol alum had second/third albums out for a label to see the pattern of a sophomore slump.
    –Clarkson’s second album did better than her first.
    –Aiken’s second album sold substantially less than his first, but it was the highest Xmas selling album ever.
    –Studdard’s slump could be blamed on his futzing around with his musical identity.

    Then in 2006, the same “big drop from prior to present album” pattern showed up for Aiken’s 3rd album, Studdard’s 3rd album, and Fantasia’s 2nd album.

    If Sony went into the deal believing it was getting debut artists with built-in fanbases — not reality TV stars whose fans wouldn’t necessarily buy music long-term — that would explain why efforts at conventional music marketing were erratic prior to S6.

  • Moria Polonius

    and the it was clear that Clay was in trouble when radio refused to play his music,

    I’m asking as someone who isn’t very familiar with Clay’s career: why did radio refuse to play his music? They played Kelly’s music, I believe, so it can’t have been backlash against Idol.

    because of the claymates, he became the butt of a lot of jokes both inside and outside of the bubble

    Was it any different from the thousands of Glamberts? (I’m asking seriously, because Adam’s fans have been accused of being pretty crazy and overinvested.)

    I’ve been wondering whether Sony knew there was an “Idol bubble” issue before 2006.

    It always surprised me slightly when people compare the marketing of the newly emerged Idols to the old ones. The show has been producing singers for ten years so naturally the label must have learned a thing or two through its course, especially in the very changed music market.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    Aiken’s second album sold substantially less than his first, but it was the highest Xmas selling album ever.

    No, it’s first week sales (>270,000) were the most of any Xmas CD. Other Xmas CDs have sold more copies in weeks other than their debut week (eg. Noel, Josh Groban; My Christmas, Andrea Bocelli) and there are a number that have sold more than Clay’s, in total (Noel, My Christmas and others).

    ETA: I don’t know how accurate this Wiki page is, but Clay’s holiday album was the best-selling Xmas album of 2004, but doesn’t rank in the top 10 best-selling holiday albums of the Soundscan era.

    Also, if Susan Boyle’s “The Gift” is considered a holiday album, then the debut week sales of this album (318,000) have surpassed those of Clay’s holiday album.

  • http://emuisemo.pbworks.com eilonwy
    Aiken’s second album sold substantially less than his first, but it was the highest Xmas selling album ever.

    No, it’s first week sales (>270,000) were the most of any Xmas CD.

    Oop! (You can kinda tell I don’t follow Aiken, can’tcha?).

    In any case, that album did well enough for an Xmas album that it wouldn’t have been a warning sign for a pattern of declining sales on conventional albums. (But I do appreciate having facts corrected. Correct facts = good.)

    I’m always torn on whether to include Xmas albums in the Idol “sophomore slump” numbers. For Aiken and Archuleta, the sales clearly fit the pattern. But there are others who’ve done holiday albums — Mandisa and Yamin come to mind — where the holiday album sales are way low and then sales rebound to the next conventional album (which is nonetheless substantially lower than the prior conventional album). So I can see where labels, even working with better information, might struggle with how predictive those albums are of future sales.

  • musicality

    I highly doubt radio “refused” to play Clay Aiken. I doubt there was some vast conspiracy not to play his music. His music was simply not radio friendly. His music was not what you heard on the radio at the time. For some reason his music always seemed dated even if it wasn’t. It may be the old style sound to Clay’s voice. I truly believe his recording career is all but dead. His first CD sold well but that was basically because he got himself a 2 plus hour commercial each week marketing himself on a show that was at it’s peak in ratings. Now if you were to do a comparison of what his first CD’s sales were in comparison to others in that same year how did he rate? Clay released his first CD before iTunes, before YouTube before ripping music off the Internet. There is no way with his style music and look that he can sustain a recording career. He could try the Indie labels. Someone above blamed the “Claymates” for his down fall. I don’t believe that for a second. If anything the Claymates helped his career and pushed it along longer than it would have sustained on its own. Look at the Bieber fans or the Chris Brown fan, MJ fans or Britney fans. They are all over the top loopy. Being passionate about a singer or actress doesn’t hurt the singer. It’s when that singer can’t lure in more passionate fans and sustain the ones he has that the slide begins.

  • speedboat

    I’m from a small town and called the nearby radio station in the next town over some years ago, when Clay’s second (well, I guess third) CD, “A Thousand Differt Ways,” was released to request Clay.

    I was told that they would not play Clay because he was ‘too polarizing.’ So then I said, ‘well, as a fan I’m asking you to play something by him’ and they told me, “Sorry, no can do.”

    So who knows?

    By the time his “On My Way Here” CD was released, we had a small, independent station in my own town and they had no problem playing him when I requested. They first had to get permission from the program director and ‘load’ his music into their system, but there was never any problem after that.

    I think several of his songs on “On My Way Here” are radio friendly, with a nice hook to them so why the bigger stations don’t play him I can’t guess.

  • jeff2683

    With regards to Clay Aiken’s acting ability – I thought I remembered reading something that Mike Nichols had said when Clay was cast as Robin in Spamalot. This is from Playbill.com -

    “Clay Aiken is amazing beyond that glorious voice. Turns out he is an excellent comic actor and a master of character,” said director Mike Nichols in a release. “People will be surprised by his wide ranging talent, since the first impression is of great country charm and a singer to remember. This guy is not only a star, he is a lot more. We are lucky to get him for Spamalot.”

  • jeff2683

    I would really have to disagree with this -

    His first CD sold well but that was basically because he got himself a 2 plus hour commercial each week marketing himself on a show that was at it’s peak in ratings.

    You can say that about any AI alumni. Talent has to play a lot into that. Clay Aiken does have talent. As well as Ruben, Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert and Daughtry. They have talent and were on this 2 plus hour commercial. But Clay Aiken’s CD is still the top seller fresh off of AI.

  • stargazed

    I highly doubt radio “refused” to play Clay Aiken.

    Well, we can say that radio declined to play Clay. Chose not to play Clay, wouldn’t play Clay, couldn’t play Clay. Take your pick. After his second single The Way from MOAM was yanked, Clay had a ghost of presence on radio except at Christmastime.

    It has all been hashed and rehashed for years now and it will be what it will be. I have an inkling that it will still be discussed ten years from now when Clay’s career is still being predicted to be over while he’s still going strong. Clay is blessed in that he’s a well rounded entertainer and doesn’t have to rely upon a recording career for his livelihood. These are uncertain times for recording artists if they have no other talent to fall back on.

  • fuzzywuzzy

    But Clay Aiken’s CD is still the top seller fresh off of AI.

    If you mean first week’s sales, that’s true, but not total sales for a contestant “fresh off” AI. Daughtry’s debut CD has outsold Clay’s by a wide margin (>1 million), making him the best-selling non-winner from AI. Then, there’s Carrie’s debut CD which is 6x platinum.

  • musicality

    Clay is blessed in that he’s a well rounded entertainer and doesn’t have to rely upon a recording career for his livelihood. These are uncertain times for recording artists if they have no other talent to fall back on.

    My thought exactly. I don’t think in this uncertain and highly crowded market that Clay will have a major recording career. He will however, find a role elsewhere and I have no doubt that he will do well. Again though, I disagree about radio play. His songs and his style appeal to an older audience. What he has recorded you do not hear on AC stations. Daughty, Snow Patrol, etc are what you hear on AC. Talent is only a small part of success. All that come from AI are for the most part talented in various degrees. You have to have a marketable package. Look at Melinda Doolittle. What if she was a really pretty girl? When she was on people where calling her “no neck Doolittle” It’s a shallow industry. Melinda has incredible singing chops but will most likely never be a recording star. Clay will be around for many years to come in one capacity or another. He has his house up on the market. He probably will need to downsize from the life he enjoyed several years back but he will live a much more lucrative and comfortable life than the average. He’ll do well.

  • workdog

    He has his house on the market? How is that known? Just curious.

    As to talent, he is definitely one of the few in music today that can sing live. Granted, the divide between who likes his style or not is there, but he, like Kelly, Carrie, Adam, Cook, Archie, Doolittle, and others, CAN sing live and so can always, pretty much, make a living in a live performance setting. After awhile people who pay money to see someone get to a stage where the bells and whistles aren’t enough; it must be backed up by actual vocal talent. Well, in my case.:-)

    I still find him to be a bit of a phoenix, overcoming repeatedly. I wouldn’t be surprised if he rises again. Very few even make it this long.