Clayton Carter is a street-wise musician who befriends Maddie Conrad and becomes her boyfriend.
Introduced in the Season Five episode Let's Put It Back Together Again, he is a street musician who Maddie Conrad overhears while going on a coffee run on her first day as an intern at the recording studio where Avery Barkley works. She is impressed with his talent and they start chatting when she drops her coffee after leaving the coffee shop. He later visits the studio to return her lyrics' book that she left behind.
After she is sent out again to get lunch, they encounter each other again and chat over coffee. He reveals that his mother was an addict and in an out of jail so he was raised by his grandparents, who gave him his interest in pursuing music.
In the episode Love Hurts, they hang out together and he takes her to a club on his side of town. However, he acts cagey towards her when she goes to kiss him and says he should take her home. He later rings her and she sings a song she wrote down the phone. She visits his home and performs the song again but he refuses to get intimate with her due to him being black. However, it is later shown as he lies on his bed that he is taking medication.
The following day, he has an encounter with two white men on a street which results in him being beaten up. Maddie calls to his apartment and finds him passed out on the floor. She brings him to the hospital and spends the time there waiting for him to be released. He eventually admits to her that the real reason for him refusing to get close to her is because he is bipolar but Maddie does not care and wants him accept it. After thinking about what she has said, he calls to Rayna's house to introduce himself as Maddie's boyfriend.
Rayna and Deacon strongly disapprove of the relationship, even more so when they learn that he may be older than Maddie has told them.
Their relationship is tested when he is pulled over by the cops on a traffic violation with Maddie in the car. Both of them are arrested but later released. However, he finds the media attention hard to cope with and refuses to talk to Maddie. She later discovers that he has had a previous run in with the law, assaulting his mother's boyfriend. They eventually decide to split up and he leaves town, while Maddie issues a statement online apologizing for her actions with the cops.