In Learning to Sing, Clay details what his astonishing success has meant to him. He writes from the heart about his 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-hot 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. My job is to give back and to be a decent human being no matter how many people cheer my name."
Clay's friends, the old ones from North Carolina and the millions of new ones who love his voice, will hold this inspiring memoir as close to their hearts as they do his music. Learning to Sing reminds you that anything is possible. Like a perfect song, it will send your spirit soaring.
©2004 Clay Aiken; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
This book is very encouraging and uplifting. Mr Aiken is the best influence a young person can have. He is a very decent and moral person which in today's world is a very rare thing. This book is very entertaining and interesting. I hope at a future date Mr Aiken shares more of his writing ability.
I got hooked on this kid from the moment I heard him on American Idol. He was a mirror of the geek I have always been but with a voice that was so powerful and emotional. As I heard Randy Jackson ask, "Where is that voice coming from?", I, too wondered. I have my answer now.
We all are creatures of our history and Clayton has managed to pick the key moments of his history for this book. He is unashamed of any of it and ties it all together perfectly to let us understand who he is.
This is not some 'pop' version of how stardom feels. You'd be disappointed if you want it for that. It's a fine story about a real person who overcame much and won.
My only disappointment is that he did not narrate his own book.
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