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Clay plans Christmas tour with orchestra

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Clay Aiken
Clay Aiken: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Clay Aiken is getting ready to deck the concert halls. Billboard reports that the American Idol star is preparing a five-week tour, backed by a full orchestra, to promote his upcoming Christmas album. Dubbed the Joyful Noise Tour, the trek will begin in San Jose, Calif., on Nov. 27 and take him to Sewell, N.J.; Baltimore; Lowell, Mass.; New York; Clearwater, Fla.; Melbourne, Fla.; Atlanta; and finally, Cleveland on Dec. 21. Along with the yet-untitled holiday album, Aiken also has a book coming out on Nov. 16, an inspirational tome called Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life, and a holiday TV special, airing Dec. 8 on NBC.

Clay’s pals, Idol winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, and Fantasia Barrino, have a Christmas special of their own coming up on Nov. 24 on Fox. Ruben has a holiday CD of his own, called I Need an Angel, due in early November, while Kelly and Fantasia both have CDs due at the end of November.