Clay Aiken’s record debuts at #2; Simon Cowell, Elton John react to his interviews

Clay Aiken’s third record, A Thousand Different Ways, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 after selling 205,000 copies. That was just 12,000 fewer than the number one record, Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, according to Billboard.

Compared to his first two albums, however, the CD didn’t do as well. The new album sold just over a third of the number of copies that his first record did; Measure of a Man debuted at number one after selling 613,000 copies its first week. His second record debuted at number four and sold 270,000 copies its first week.

Meanwhile, Clay’s series of Good Morning America interviews last week are drawing a reaction from people in the music industry. Elton John, the (obviously) openly gay icon, tells Access Hollywood, “I don’t even care if Clay Aiken is gay or not. It’s none of my business.”

He gets less sympathy from Simon Cowell, who said, “Oh give me a break. Let me have a choice, I’m going to work in a coal mine for 14 hours a day or I’m going to be a runner-up on ‘American Idol.’ Give me a break, idiot.”

He added, “They’re not working for a living, they’re becoming famous … no one’s put a gun to their head … Clay, whatever he may have said, would not swap what he’s got now for what he had three years ago.”

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