The rumors started when his likeness was removed from his record’s Web site and now Clay Aiken is setting the record straight: the former American Idol has parted ways with RCA Records, Aiken’s rep has confirmed exclusively to PEOPLE.
“We were unable to come to terms in a recent contract negotiation, and decided that it was best to move on,” the rep, Cindi Berger, said Friday.
The buzz about Aiken’s exit was fueled earlier this week when his picture disappeared online and Billboard, citing unnamed sources, reported Friday that Aiken, 30, had been dropped by the label.
According to Billboard, Aiken s 2008 album On My Way Here sold just 159,000 copies in the U.S., compared to his 2003 debut album, Measure of a Man, which sold 2.78 million copies.
Aiken ended a stint in January in the Broadway run of Monty Python s Spamalot, and told PEOPLE in December that he looked forward to returning to his native North Carolina with his son Parker, born Aug. 8, following the show. “I want to spend time with Parker,” Aiken said. “He’s still uber-dependent. I’m ready for him to start talking. I’m ready for a little action!”
Aiken also said he was looking forward to some downtime: “We’ll take a little bit of time, we’re not quitting or anything, we’re just going to take it slow for a month or so and recollect once I get back,” he said. “I may never have any free time once Parker starts walking and talking!”