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Clay Aiken in 2003: "People Think You're a Womanizer or You're Gay"

September 25, 2008 4:52 PM ET

In the wake of Clay Aiken outing himself as a gay man this week, take a look back at Aiken's cover profile that appeared in Rolling Stone in 2003. When the subject of his sexuality came up then, Aiken said "One thing I've found of people in the public eye, either you're a womanizer or you've got to be gay. Since I'm neither one of those, people are completely concerned about me. They're like, 'What are you, then?' I'm sure it has to do with being raised by women. I wouldn't want somebody gawking at my mom and grabbing her butt and catcalling at her, trying to hook up with her at a bar. I'm not saying I'm not going to look. Hello! But you know what I mean?" Click below to revisit the whole interview, including Aiken's stance on masturbation and his thoughts on his home life growing up.

Clay Aiken: New Kid on the Block

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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