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It was the first single to go platinum since 2002, when Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance" did, after being out for over a year.In October of 2003 Aiken released his first solo album, Measure of a Man, which debuted at #1 on the "Billboard 200" and was, with over 600,000 copies sold in its first week, the fastest-selling debut for a solo artist in 10 years.Aiken, who changed his last name from Grissom to his mother's maiden name, was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina.He attended Raleigh's Leesville Road High School before enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
He found his interest in special education while directing YMCA childrens' camps as a teenager; at age 19 he served as a substitute teacher for a classroom of students with autism at Brentwood Elementary School. Kimberley has been endorsed by Jenny Craig and had great success on the plan, after dropping her goal weight of 40 lbs.Kimberley Locke is very passionate about charity work and is active in raising awareness for, HIV/AIDS, Breast Cancer, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Davy Foundation, Pink For A Cure, and Feeding America.While there are a few communities  among his many internet fan sites that speculate about his sexual orientation, the majority do not.Aiken denied he was gay in a Rolling Stone interview in June, 2003, and, in fact, he good-naturedly lampooned such speculation in the opening monologue featuring him as a member of a gay men's chorus when he appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live's February 7, 2004 show .
While attending college in Charlotte he took a part-time job as an assistant to a boy with autism, and it was this child's mother, Diane Bubel, who urged him to audition for American Idol.