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Thread: Clay Aiken

  1. #1271
    Teach your children Uncle David's Avatar
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane;3044049;
    Same can be said for David Archuletta, Katherine McPhee, and many of the other popular contestants from the show.
    As well as David Cook, Carrie Underwood, Chris Daughtry, or any other contestant on AI.

  2. #1272
    Leo
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    Here's an honest question of all the Clay supporters out there. If, as you claim, RCA signed him to "hold him back", why haven't we heard a peep of Clay trying to get out of his recording contract? He's no longer tied to 19E for management, so it's not like his management is still under someone else's influence. So why hasn't he even tried, if RCA is mistreating him that badly?

  3. #1273
    Scrappy Spartan Broadway's Avatar
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    Because fans are always a much better judge of good contracts and management decisions, Leo.
    Never let the things you want make you forget about the things you have.

  4. #1274
    Smokin! Sandy in SD's Avatar
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane;3044049;
    Actually, being a runner up on Idol is what made Clay famous and something he has always been proud of. He almost won, but didn't.
    Calling him "runner-up" (or, as some columnists do, "also-ran") doesn't tell the reader or viewer that Clay almost won. Heck, neither Bo Bice nor David Archuleta came even close to tying the winners of their AI seasons.
    And Clay has said, sometimes, that continually hearing that "runner-up" label kind of hurts; it's a reminder that he "lost."
    Quote Originally Posted by Lois Lane;3044049;
    Regardless, it was his stint on the show that made him a known entity and gave him the opportunity to make his albums [etc.] ... Without "American Idol," he would probably ... [not] be recognizable or have all the opportunities he's enjoying now to pursue his dreams. Same can be said for David Archuletta, Katherine McPhee, and many of the other popular contestants from the show.
    Yes, and if David Archuleta or Kat McPhee or Blake Lewis or Bo Bice become big stars or household names it won't be because they were AI runners-up either. It will be due to a combination of the fan base and acclaim they garnered while on the show and what they can do by way of CDs, concerts, etc., afterwards.

    Clay's star rose all the way through AI2. He and Ruben and their friendly "rivalry" were a lot of what helped AI become the huge success it has become. In the year following AI2 Clay did have some support and promo via Idol but nearly everything he's done since the spring of 2004 has been with as much hindrance from AI as help from them and he's still pretty successful, even if he's not everyone's favorite kind of entertainer.

  5. #1275
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    Leo asked:

    Here's an honest question of all the Clay supporters out there. If, as you claim, RCA signed him to "hold him back", why haven't we heard a peep of Clay trying to get out of his recording contract? He's no longer tied to 19E for management, so it's not like his management is still under someone else's influence. So why hasn't he even tried, if RCA is mistreating him that badly?

    Management and the record Label are 2 completely different things.

    For the purposes of this article and how it pertains to Clay or any other artist you can substitute their name in place of "the band".


    So the band goes into the studio and records an album. The contract will specify that once it is recorded, it is the property of the label in perpetuity. In addition, the contract will normally have some sort of lock-out clause with a duration of five to 10 years. This clause prevents the band from re-recording any of the songs on the album for five to 10 years after the end of the contract.

    In other words, the label owns the songs you have recorded for a very, very long time.

    If the label does not like the album, it has the right to reject it. In that case, the band has to record another album. Or the label can accept an album but shelve it and never release it. The lock-out clause will still apply in that case, even though the songs were never released.

    Normally, a recording contract will have something like a one-year term to allow the first album to be recorded and released. The first contract period, in other words, lasts a year. Then the contract will have a number of options that the label can exercise to activate the second contract period, the third contract period and so on. For example, a contract might have five options. If the label likes the initial album, it can exercise its first option so that a second album can be produced.

    During each option, the label is requesting a new album. The band usually gets another advance and goes into the studio to record the next album. This is definitely a one-way affair. The label can choose not to exercise its option, and in that case, the contract terminates. Or the label can exercise an option, but the band has no way to get out of the contract if things are uncomfortable. For example, if the band's first album is very successful and the band would like a higher royalty rate, there is no way to renegotiate that. The royalty rate applies across all of the contract periods in the contract. Or, if the band's first album was a bad experience and the band would rather not do another one, there is no way that the band can avoid additional albums. If the record company exercises an option, the band is obligated to produce the album.

    The options have the effect of locking a band in for six or seven albums (or more if the label rejects an album). If a band is doing well, the options in the contract guarantee that the band will produce a large collection of albums according to the terms of the contract. For most bands that sign their first contract as unknowns, this arrangement is very advantageous to the label. The band produces six or seven albums at a low royalty rate. If the band is not doing well, the label simply terminates the contract, but the lock-out clause prevents the band from re-recording the material. Even if the label has no interest in the band, the label owns all the recordings. There is no way for the band to re-release an album on its own.

    Contracts will sometimes specify that recordings of live performances do not count toward the total number of albums stipulated in the contract. So if the label wants to release a live album, it can, and it does not shorten the contract.
    It is most likely that Clay is locked into a 5 CD deal. He can't opt out but the label can drop him any time. I'm hoping they set him free soon. The ones that were dropped are the lucky ones. At least they can pursue a career somewhere else.

    More Fine Print
    Depending on the record company that you sign with, there are a number of other things that the label will stipulate in the recording contract:

    Exclusivity - The label has exclusive rights to the band's music, the band's name, the band's members, the band's image and likeness, etc. for the duration of the contract.

    Merchandising - Any revenue earned from T-shirts, key chains and so on will go to the label. The label will own all merchandising rights for the band.

    Interviews and publicity - The label can request, at pretty much any time, that the band make itself available for press interviews, personal appearances, photographic sessions, etc. If the label decides it wants a band to appear at the grand opening of a local mall, the label could, in theory, request the band's appearance and the band would need to show up. Any sort of "publicity" activity is fair game. The band probably will not be compensated for these activities outside of travel expenses.

    Creative control - The label has the right to decide on the artwork for the CD label and jewel case. The label can also reject an album, or accept and then shelve an album.

    Other work - Any outside work the band does must first be approved by the label.

    Personnel - If someone resigns from the band (or, for example, dies), the label has the right to terminate the contract.

    For more information on record contracts...

    Howstuffworks "How Recording Contracts Work"
    Last edited by AllDone; 06-09-2008 at 03:55 AM.

  6. #1276
    Scrappy Spartan Broadway's Avatar
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    AllDone, I don't think education about the ins and outs of generic recording contracts is what Leo was looking for. Leo's question was
    If, as you claim, RCA signed him to "hold him back", why haven't we heard a peep of Clay trying to get out of his recording contract? He's no longer tied to 19E for management, so it's not like his management is still under someone else's influence. So why hasn't he even tried, if RCA is mistreating him that badly?
    You hear of recording artists trying to get out of their contracts all of the time, yet you don't hear about Clay Aiken trying to get out. Is it because his attempts don't get publicized, or is it because he hasn't tried because he's fine with his own contract (albeit not with the level of mainstream success he has achieved)?
    Never let the things you want make you forget about the things you have.

  7. #1277
    On a cupcake mission! Lois Lane's Avatar
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy in SD;3045590;
    Calling him "runner-up" (or, as some columnists do, "also-ran") doesn't tell the reader or viewer that Clay almost won.
    It is not the reporter's job to tell the reader that Clay almost won. It is factually correct. If they said Clay almost lost, that would be misleading and something to have a problem with. If they said he has had no success sing losing "American Idol," that would also be a lie. But runner up is exactly what he was. Not everyone wins first place and that's completely OK! If he had gotten more votes than Ruben, then Ruben would've been the runner up. If you called me a senior citizen, that would be a lie. If you called me middle aged, I can't pick a bone with you because I am middle aged, even though I don't like to think of myself that way. My feelings may be a little hurt that you noticed the truth, but it would be the truth and something that isn't debilitating. If you want to call me a runner up, that's OK, too.

    I really wish Lucy or one of our other reporters would comment on this. I don't always side with the media, but I don't think they're wrong on this one.

  8. #1278
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    Fine, I'll weigh in. I agree with Lois. He WAS the freakin' runner-up, so what in the world is wrong with saying so? Those of you who follow his career may feel like AI was far in his past, but for the rest of us, he's known most for being an American Idol contestant. As a reporter, if I'm writing about someone, I'm looking for the one thing that will most help the average reader (i.e. not necessarily one who follows the topic at hand closely) identify who that person is. Think of it as a kind of shorthand. For my city's mayor, for example, it's that he's a former governor, because most of the state doesn't care that he's now mayor. For Clay, it's AI. I frankly don't understand why this is even a topic of debate here. He WAS on AI, it DID make his career, since no one knew who he was previously, and he WAS the runner-up. If I were writing about Clay Aiken, that's exactly how I'd identify him.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  9. #1279
    FORT Fogey Pyramid Solitaire by Disney's Tangled Champion combatcutie's Avatar
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    I'm going to chime in here. Let me preface this by first saying that I am a HUGE Clay fan. But technically the only reason he is known is because he was the runner up on AI. Yes, he went on to do MANY other things after AI (unicef, broadway etc) but if it wasn't for AI and coming so close to winning, no one would ever know of him
    I can only please one person a day, today is not your day and tomorrow doesn't look good either

  10. #1280
    FORT Fanatic french dip's Avatar
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    Re: Clay Aiken

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway;3045695;
    AllDone, I don't think education about the ins and outs of generic recording contracts is what Leo was looking for. Leo's question was

    You hear of recording artists trying to get out of their contracts all of the time, yet you don't hear about Clay Aiken trying to get out. Is it because his attempts don't get publicized, or is it because he hasn't tried because he's fine with his own contract (albeit not with the level of mainstream success he has achieved)?
    He has said, and I'm paraphrasing here... "It's better to deal with the devil you know than the devil you don't".

    Long time lurker here...finally decided to register and join the party.

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