The headline reads “Yes, I'm Gay” over a photo of Clay Aiken holding his infant son Parker Foster Aiken on the cover of People. Aiken admits he's gay in the interview and discusses how he came out to his family.

In 2003, Aiken wowed fans on Fox's American Idol singer talent contest, where he won runner up. Since then, the singer has churned out multiple best-selling albums and appeared on Broadway.

The admission is sure to cause controversy among the crooner's fans, who have brushed off gay allegations for years. Aiken, 29, has long denied he's gay.

“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 of those, people are completely concerned about me,” Aiken told Rolling Stone in 2003.

But early denials did not calm rumors of his being gay, and Aiken soon took a more hostile tone.

“I don't understand why you want to know,” Aiken answered Diane Sawyer in a 2006 interview aired on Good Morning America. “I don't understand why it's any of your business. At some point, [the question of being gay] becomes just really rude, you know?”

Parker Foster's birth by artificial insemination to friend, music producer Jaymes Foster in August soon gave rise once more to gay speculation. It also motivated Aiken to admit he's gay.

“It was the first decision I made as a father,” Aiken told People. “I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn't raised that way, and I'm not going to raise a child to do that.”

The pop star says he only revealed he's gay to his family four years ago, first to his mother Faye. As the pair drove home after dropping off his younger brother Brett at Camp Lejeune, where he was to be deployed to Iraq: “I started crying in the car. It was dark I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I don't know why I started thinking about it ... I just started bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out.”

“She started crying. She was obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting. She still struggles with things quite a bit, but she's come a long way.”

People has featured other gay celebrities on its cover, including former 'NSync band member Lance Bass and actor Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother).

On the net: People magazine