Clay Aiken: 'Tried and True'

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PHOENIX – “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken is on the road again, wrapping up a 20-city tour. He performs Thursday night in Mesa, and the Saturday night in San Francisco before heading home.

The singer stopped by 3TV to chat with Tara Hitchcock about his latest CD, “Tried and True,” which came out about six months ago.

“Tried and True” features songs that were popular in the 1950s and ‘60s, including two pieces that he covered while on “American Idol” – “Mack the Knife” and “Unchained Melody.”

“I’m kind of an old soul,” Aiken said when asked about the song selection. “These are songs that I’ve always really wanted to do. It takes awhile to be in a place where you’re able to do the type of stuff you want to do. I’ve wanted to do this album for awhile. … It was exciting for me.”

“Tried and True” is Aiken’s fifth album.

The singer also talked a little about the business of music.

“There is a huge part of the industry that is businessmen who need to make their money,” he explained. “Only a small percentage of the industry is artists.”

Aiken was on the second season of “Idol.” He said since then, he hasn’t watched the show much.

“I saw most of the Carrie Underwood season,” he said. “I’ve seen one episode in the six years since.”

He does, however, keep in touch with several people from the show, which he compares to high school.

“I have great friends from high school whom I still keep in touch with. I certainly don’t talk to everybody,” he said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for high school, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for ‘American Idol,’ but I don’t go back to my high school football games.”

Aiken is performing today at 7:30 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center, Ikeda Theater (One E,.. Main St., Mesa). For tickets, contact Mesa Arts Center's Box Office at 480-644-6500 or online at www.mesaartscenter.com.