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Taylor Hicks

Real name: Taylor Reuben Hicks
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Taylor Reuben Hicks (born October 7, 1976) is an American singer-songwriter. Hicks got his start as a professional musician in his late teens and performed around the Southeastern United States for well over the span of a decade, during which he also released two independent albums. He rose to prominence in the year 2006 as the winner of the fifth season of American Idol. Upon winning the music competition, he was signed to Arista Records, under which his self-titled major label debut was released on December 12, 2006. His energetic stage performances and influences derived from classic soul, blues, and R&B music have earned him a following of devout fans, who are dubbed as the "Soul Patrol".

Hicks has allowed audience members to record his concerts for personal, non-commercial use, and went so far as to authorize the Internet Archive to create a section for fans to upload and share their recordings, but it was unclear whether his American Idol contract would allow this to continue, so the Archive will not accept the upload of concerts recorded after January 1, 2006.

Hicks auditioned for American Idol in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 10, 2005. He had originally wanted to try out in Memphis, Tennessee, but auditions in that city were canceled to accommodate relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. On the night before Hurricane Katrina hit, he had been in New Orleans, Louisiana to attend the wedding of a good friend he met while at Auburn University. His Southwest Airlines flight out of New Orleans had been canceled, and he had been offered a travel voucher to use at a later date. He used the ticket voucher to fly to Las Vegas. Hicks passed the audition by the approval of judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, but not Simon Cowell, who said that Hicks would never make it to the final round. On Hicks' first performance for the voting public, Cowell called back to this quote, admitting he was wrong.

Hicks made guest appearances in concerts by Snoop Dogg, Widespread Panic, and Willie Nelson, among others. Hicks also joined his fellow Top 10 Idol finalists on the American Idols LIVE! Tour which ran from July to September. The members of the former Taylor Hicks Band, formed by Hicks two years prior, regrouped as the Little Memphis Blues Orchestra and shadowed the Idols' tour route. Hicks occasionally appeared as a "special guest" when circumstances permitted, and was even accompanied at times by the other Idols, such as Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry, Ace Young, and Bucky Covington.

Hicks's fanbase has been dubbed the "Soul Patrol". The phrase started among his Internet fan base after the episode of Hicks's Idol auditions aired, but it is difficult to trace its exact origin. Hicks frequently mentioned the Soul Patrol after performances on Idol, which was best shown after winning the competition—Ryan Seacrest asked if he had any parting words and Hicks yelled, "Soul Patrol!".

Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, had also promised to give political pundit Bill O'Reilly a copy of "Do I Make You Proud" upon O'Reilly's appearance on the show on January 18, 2007.

On the television sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine, in the episode entitled "The Real Thing", Christine, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, mentions that she has an imaginary relationship with Taylor Hicks.


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