The second season of "American Idol" (Fox, 2002-16) proved most noteworthy for the rise of Clay Aiken from nerdy country boy-next-door to unlikely heartthrob on the strength of his powerhouse vocals and charming personality. Overshadowing the season's winner, Ruben Studdard, Aiken enjoyed an enviable string of recording, tour and television success, striking multiplatinum with the album Measure of a Man and hitting No. 1 with "This Is the Night." An easy target for his less-than-masculine demeanor and dramatically earnest performing style, Aiken's rise as a good-natured pop culture punch line only incited his fans, the self-proclaimed "Claymates," to defend and promote him all the more ferociously. Even his most passionate fans cooled, however, when he finally quelled career-long rumors by coming out of the closet and simultaneously announcing that he and a platonic female friend were new parents via artificial insemination. As his music industry success waned, Aiken appeared on Broadway in "Monty Python's Spamalot," but would always hold the distinction of being one of the all-time most successful "Idol" alums.