Clay Aiken Season 2s second-place finisher, Aiken became a media sensation with his debut album, Measure of a Man. It opened at No. 1 after selling 613,000 copies, a number that hasnt been topped by Underwood, Clarkson or Taylor Hicks. It went on to sell 2.8 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But Aiken has yet to release a proper second album. His 2004 Merry Christmas With Love put up solid numbers, having sold 1.4 million copies to date, but a 2006 album of covers, A Thousand Different Ways, received a much more indifferent reception. It opened high, selling more than 200,000 copies in the first week, but it stalled immediately. To date it has sold just 522,000 copies. Aiken will appear on Broadway in Monty Pythons Spamalot. Over the last few months, he has hinted at a new album.
Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times