SELLER: Clay Aiken
LOCATION: Cary, NC
SIZE: 9,392 square feet, 6 full and 3 half bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Before heading up to Big Daddy's ranch where there isn't interweb service for miles, we received a covert communique from a gabby gal we'll call Kerri from Cary who snitched to Your Mama that former American Idol phenom Clay Aiken recently put his big ol' mansion outside Raleigh, NC in the semi-rural community of Cary on the market with a $2,700,000 price tag.
Mister Aiken is, of course, the season two runner of of American Idol, a program that jumped the damn shark about four or five long seasons ago. He lost out to a rather rotund gentleman named Ruben Studdard. Remember him folks? We can't hardly either. Anyhoo, since his star-making turn on The Idol Mister Aiken has gone on to make five and sell millions of albums Iffin we're being honest, and we always are–and even though he's got a golden throat we'd rather light ourselves on fire than listen to any of those albums. The Bizzy Beaver has toured at least nine times and proudly claims legions of rabid fans who call themselves questionable things like Claymates, Claygays and Claysians. That latter group would be, natch, Asians who worship at the musical altar of Clay Aiken. Along the way Mister Aiken trod the Broadway boards in the Tony-winning Spamalot and–huzzah!–devoted a great deal of time to doing good work for the people of UNICEF.
Poor Mister Aiken was raked across the tabloid coals in 2007 after he (allegedly) posted photos of himself on the gay sex hook up site Manhunt. In August of 2008 Mister Aiken made a baby with ladee-pal and producer Jaymes Foster–a Claybaby, if you will–and a month later he publicly confirmed what anyone with eyes and ears already knew: he's a homo. No. Big. Deal. He (allegedly) hooked up with unusually limber Broadway back-up dancer Reed Kelly sometime in 2008 but has (allegedly) moved on to lean and lithe actor/underwear model Jeff Walters. A few lurid photos of the young and hairless Mister Walters that he'd previously posted on the gay mobile phone hook up app Grindr recently surfaced that reveal that he, uhm, let's just say that the photos make it quite clear Mister Walters doesn't require any padding to fill out the pouch when he's working. Iffin they want to take heed, there's a lesson in this here paragraph for horny gays combing the internets for a little slap and tickle.
As fassinatin' as Miss Aiken's professional and private lives may be, it's his escalating and unresolved real estate size queenery that we're here to discuss. In the pre-Idol year of 2000 Mister Aiken paid a picayune $67,500 for a 4 bedroom condo in Charlotte, NC where he was at the time going to college.
In September of 2003 he dumped a post-Idol celebrity-style $2,300,000 for a 1.3 acre estate in the decidedly unglam über-suburban Los Angeles, CA community of Chatsworth. It not that no celebs live or have ever lived in Chatsworth–Marilyn Manson actually lived there for quite some time–it's that Chatsworth is the epicenter of the porn industry in California which gives it a certain sort of lurid gloss that most famous folks besides Charlie Sheen don't care to (publicly) affiliate themselves with. The American Idol (runner-up) didn't care for California livin' so he quickly flipped his barely-used 7,786 square foot mock-Med mansion back on the market. Property records show the 6 bedroom and 7 pooper pad, which includes a long gated drive, swimming pool and tennis court, sold in September of 2005 for $2,375,000.
The following April Mister Aiken laid down $2,361,000 to acquire an even larger and newly constructed mansion on 6.98 acres inside a well-to-do gated community outside of Raleigh, NC in semi-rural Cary. At a sprawling 9,392 square feet Mister Aiken's new crib in Cary is quite a bit larger than his old one in Cali. Current listing information shows the stone and stucco "transitional" style mansion–whatever "transitional" is–has a total of 6 bedrooms and 6 full and 3 half bathrooms. That is a lot of damn terlits for one man and his toddler child. Shoot, that beehawtcha is too damn big even if Mister Aiken moved his new, largely equipped and alleged man-friend Jeff Walters into the manor.
A gated drive curves up to a circular motor court with a circular fountain in the center. Inside, off to the right of an impress-the-guests style marble foyer with a curved staircase, a study has built-in bookshelves that flank the first of home's four fireplaces. A grand double-height living room has more built in shelves and a towering wall of windows and French doors and the family room has hardwood floors laid on the diagonal, a sharply vaulted ceiling, built in cabinetry and a row of windows that look into a screen porch at the rear of the house.
Other interior amenities include a large and deluxe but sort of ordinary kitchen with professional-grade appliances, a home theater with tiered seating and a vaguely 1950s game room in the basement with black and white checkered floor and a wet bar/kitchen with cherry red cabinets, black granite counter tops and quilted stainless-steel back splash. This is probably a nice room to throw a birthday part for a 9 year old but it's just so decoratively cliché that it kind of makes Your Mama feel sad.
We're not even going to attempt to delve into the unspeakably vexatious curtains in the master bedroom or wonder why one of the other bedrooms was painted a particularly feminine shade of pale lavender.
On the exterior the driveway sweeps around the the side of the house where there's a parking pad and three-car attached garage. Around on the back side the main level opens up a deck and screen porch and the lower level to a large stone terrace that overlooks Mister Aiken's private pond with fountain. There is not, it should be noted, a tennis court or a swimming pool, deal breakers for many in this price range for sure, but not so uncommon as it turns out in this particular upscale enclave of multi-winged mansions on multi-acre parcels.
Of course, we haven't any idea where Mister Aiken is headed next but if his real estate history is any indication the just may be considering trading up to something even bigger, sort of like he's done with his (alleged) underwear model friend.
listing photos: LaChapelle Properties