A few of you may recall that Clay Aiken finished a close second to Rubben Studdard in the American Idol season two reality series. After that close loss, Aiken set a record for the most singles ever sold in the first week of release with his "Bridge Over Troubled Waters/ This Is the Night" single, besting Rubben Studdard's single. Now, having released a full CD several weeks before Studdard's "Soulful" CD hits the music stores, Aiken's "Measure of a Man" has sold 912,000 units in just five days and will sit at number one on the Billboard albums chart. this Friday. What I find interesting about this acheivement is that the geeky-looking Aiken is the very last person one would have ever expected to take the record-buying public by storm. I mean he is the very antithesis of hotty Justin Timberlake. In fact, it has been reported that Aiken and RCA head Clive Davis clashed over the content of "Measure of a Man" because Davis fervently believed the songs should be "sexier" with much more edge and innuendo than Aiken was willing to accept. Davis believes that male singers MUST exude overt sexuality like Timberlake and R.Kelly to succeed, but Aiken syas those who voted for him on American Idol wanted him to remain true to the boy-next-door image they voted for. Davis and other top execs at RCA are said to be so upset over the tame CD, they may not push it for radio play. EXACTLY WHY I hope it succeeds and sells many millions more...just to show those execs that the American public is sick of having record company suits dictate what music we will hear and what acts we will see on MTV. I bought the CD...for my 84-year old mother who is a huge fan of Aiken's. But I listened to it plenty first. Not my cup of tea. I prefer Trent Reznor, Mike Patton and Eddie Veddar types, myself...heck even Axl Rose in his better days. The music is quite processed and heavily orchestrated. That is unnecesary for Aiken's pure tenor. He doesn't need that Bon Jovi style, but that's what most of the CD is. I can hear Bon Jovi singing any of those songs. "Invisible" is my personal favorite cut on the album. Anyhoo, congrats to Clay Aiken for standing up for what he believes in and not giving in to industry bullies who have a separate agenda. I hope Aiken's next album will be a better showcase for his voice and will show growth and more risk. But at the same time, I hope this CD is the year's most successful...just to give Clive Davis and friends something to ponder over about what really sells records and who the public really want to see. Could Aiken become the Frank Sinatra of the 2000s?