A new video produced for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance promotes the slogan "Downtown Raleigh Open for Business" – and includes a brief appearance by the former American Idol contestant.
The alliance distributed 200 copies of the eight-minute video to the business community this week and posted it – Aiken's appearance included – on its downtownraleigh.org Web site, reports the Associated Press.
As Aiken says on film: "I've traveled all over the country and seen lots of downtown areas, but one of the reasons that I really love coming back to my hometown of Raleigh is to see all the exciting changes that are happening in downtown, right here in Raleigh."
Meanwhile, Aiken, 26, was also the recipient of some praise this week. Idol judge Simon Cowell, not known for his compliments, told AP that Aiken, a onetime geek who was a 2003 runner-up, exemplifies the show's unpredictable appeal.
"Clay Aiken has been and probably will be the biggest-selling Idol artist ever – and he didn't fit the mold," says Cowell. "He just so happened to be what the public wanted."