Music: Building A Better Pop Star

The record industry needs a savior. American Idol runner- up CLAY AIKEN could be it. Now will he play along, or is his style too far off-key?

Ask the employees at Clay Aiken's record label, RCA, if they would listen to Aiken's debut album, Measure of a Man, by choice, and the response is almost uniform: a lengthy pause followed by laughter. RCA was the home of Elvis Presley, and its current roster includes critical favorites like the Strokes and the Foo Fighters. It's a rock label. Aiken, who came in second on the most recent installment of American Idol, is not only not a rocker, but, as he says in his aggressively self-deprecating way, "I'm not an artist. I'm just a guy who was on a reality...

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