20 Years Later: Clay Aiken Still Best Friends With ‘American Idol’ Castmate

Clay Aiken is sending love to his friend on Instagram

Getty Clay Aiken is sending love to his friend on Instagram

Being on a season of “American Idol” can be a tense, pressure cooker of a process, but with contestants all working so hard towards a common goal, lifelong friendships can form.

While filming season two of the hit reality show, Clay Aiken met Quiana Parler, and now 20 years later the two still speak nearly every day. Aiken marked their 20-year friendship anniversary with an Instagram post, writing of his friend, “On this day, 20 years ago, I met @QuianaParler and two decades later I still can’t make it through a day without her. From daily check-ins and song choice advice from her during my run on Idol… to blessing our audiences with her voice in multiple tours… to still having the fastest response time to all of my texts every day…. her authenticity, her wit and candor, her loyalty and honesty… her ridiculous talent! All of these and more have brightened my life for these past twenty years.”

See Aiken’s post below, and hear what fans are saying.

Fans Love Clay Aiken’s Post Honoring Quiana Parler

Quiana Parler was appreciative of her friend Clay Aiken’s post, sharing it to her page and writing, “Happy 20th @clayaiken. You have been a light in my life since the day we first met. Thanks for making me cry. 😭 Keep shining bright and waking me up every morning at the butt crack of dawn. 😂I love you!”

Fans were very happy to see the two still in close contact, with one praising Parler and Aiken’s “Simple authentic kindness”, and another writing, “@quianaparler love the both of you! I’m so glad I was able to enjoy him AND you when he was in concert here in Charleston. Two beautiful voices!”

Quiana Parler and Clay Aiken have worked together countless times over the last 20 years, but in his post, Aiken shared some of his favorite memories with Parler, including multiple tours together, his NBC Christmas special, and meeting during “American Idol” season two Hollywood Week. Although Parler made it to Hollywood Week and survived until the final round of cuts, she did not advance past the top 48 to the top 32 semifinalists. Aiken went on to get second place, losing in the finale to winner Ruben Studdard.

Quiana Parler Won a Grammy in 2020

Despite not making it as far as Aiken did on “Idol”, Parler beat her friend to the prestigious Grammys stage, winning the award for Best Regional Roots Music Album with her band, Ranky Tanky, for their 2019 album “Good Time”, at the 62nd Grammy Awards.

Parler said this of the night, “Being at the #Grammys with my brothers representing the Gullah culture and ancestors with pride and looking good at the same time. What you saw on me that day was pure #BlackGirlMagic and the results of manifesting. I live life with great intentions and gratitude and I pray you can tell it in my story. We made history! Mission accomplished.”

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