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Due to lack of activity I have chosen to close this forum thank-you for the ride it was a blast when it was here. DreamHrt

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 Taylor Hicks is literally in control of his future

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DreamHrt
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PostSubject: Taylor Hicks is literally in control of his future   Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:55 pm

By Fran Thompson It’s a good story anyway. But it’s local because he spent much time here, and his grandmother is a local icon. Taylor Hicks decided to use a voucher he earned from a Katrina cancelled airline flight he had booked to attend an Auburn pal’s wedding. He later used the voucher for a Las Vegas holiday. Coincidentally, American Idol auditions were being held in Vegas that very weekend. Taylor had wanted to audition earlier that summer in Memphis. But it didn’t work out. With a Ray Charles riff and some goofiness, he nailed the Vegas audition and earned a trip to L.A. to compete on national TV as one of two dozen American Idol finalists. From the start, Taylor’s material set him apart, and it was evident to the A.I. judges that he covered old blues like he meant it. The entire nation saw the live vibe Taylor had been honing for 10 years when he sang Elton John’s “Leon” early in the elimination rounds. A.I. voters responded, and the other finalists played catch-up from that point on. As Taylor continued to advance towards the title, Soul Patrol fever consumed his home state. Governor Riley proclaimed Monday, May 16 as “Taylor Hicks Day.” And Birmingham went nuts parading him around town. The day ended with a concert before 10,000 fans. Soul Patrol fever had also reached epidemic status down here on the Gulf Coast. Taylor’s grandmother, Joni Hicks, was already a well established Gulf Shores character as the marketing director at Sanroc Cay when Fox TV decided to follow her around for the final two months of American Idol broadcasts. Fox earned some of its best ratings ever and Joni became a celebrity in her own right (she earned a standing ovation when she entered Taylor’s first post Idol solo concert in Mobile). Joni spent some Idol nights at Lester’s, where Taylor had played when in town (along with the Flora-Bama). LuLu’s at Homeport Marina brought in a drive-in movie sized screen and drew 2,000 Taylor fans for the A.I. final. On that night, May 24, 2006, Taylor won the fifth season, as more than 63 million votes were cast, and more than 36.4 million tuned in. The final was the third highest rated TV show in 2006, just behind the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. A gritty, down-home, white R&B singer from Hoover - with a genuine love for Pleasure Island - was the 2006 American Idol Even before winning, Taylor was already guaranteed a year’s gig on an American Idol tour as a finalist. The crown also included a record deal. That self titled major label CD ended up certified platinum. And his debut single, “Do I Make You Proud,” debuted in the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. He was now a celebrity, complete with P.R. handlers and nagging paparazzi. Taylor was named People Magazine’s Hottest Bachelor in June of 2006, His image was included on two USPS issued limited edition American Idol stamps. He high fived at the White House, met Van Morrison, performed with Earth, Wind & Fire, The Allman Brothers and Willie Nelson, toured Asia for a month, penned a memoir, and made his Broadway debut in Grease, a gig he will keep through next year. “It’s like getting a brand new instrument,’’ he said of acting. “I know how to put a band together and go out and play music. But I don’t know how to act. I’m learning and it’s interesting. In a way it is similar to riffing off of a musician. “My part in Grease is small and I?play it over the top,’’ he added. “But it has to be over the top. And the show is Idol friendly. It’s perfect for me.’’ Taylor sings one of his songs on stage after every Grease show and then signs CD’s and visits with fans afterwards. It is a connection he does not take lightly. “Reporters have to take a negative slant. But they don’t see the down syndrome child who comes up and throws his arms around you and gives you a big hug, while you and his family share a few moments of joy,’’ Taylor said before a recent show in Biloxi. “That’s something I see every night. I do eight shows a week and I’m on the floor with the public in every part of the country. “Something like that hits you hard and it’s real, and it gets to me,’’ he added. “It’s not about what you’ve been talking about in interviews all day. It’s what happened right then and it brings you right down to Earth. God has a way of not letting you get carried away.’’ Locally, Taylor was well received at a homecoming Wharf show during his initial solo tour that also included a show at the Mobile Convention Center Auditorium. His Grease role started as a three month role on Broadway and continues to sell-out shows on a national tour that will extend into next year. The show is currently in Birmingham through September 27. Although he signed on to tour with Grease next year, Taylor still finds time to play occasional gigs like his recent Biloxi show and two concerts in Birmingham this week. He recently released his first CD on his own label (see sidebar). As a youth, Taylor realized he had perfect pitch, and taught himself to play guitar and a blues-wailin’ harmonica. After graduating high school in 1995, he studied at Auburn and released two independent albums, In Your Time and Under The Radar. A compilation of those CDS are available on Taylor’s own Modern Whomp Records. Eventually, Taylor will get back to what he does best - put together a band and play live. “That’s my bag,’’ he said. “Get a road band together and play music on the road.’’


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PostSubject: Re: Taylor Hicks is literally in control of his future   Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:56 am

*sigh* Exactly.
~tyg




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PostSubject: Re: Taylor Hicks is literally in control of his future   Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:55 am

I could not have said it better.
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