Taylor Hicks: Snapshot

Taylor Hicks
Date of Birth
October 07, 1976
Birth Place
Birmingham, Ala.
With silver hair at 29, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks was older – and much grayer – than his four predecessors. Despite the opposition of judge Simon Cowell, Hicks' legion of fans – who proudly call themselves the Soul Patrol – chose his contagious blues-infected passion over Katharine McPhee's girl-next-door charm.

After dropping out of college and moving to Nashville to pursue music, Hicks self-released two albums before taking the Idol stage. The unlikely winner, subsequently named PEOPLE's Most Eligible Bachelor in 2006, got a record deal with J Records, which released his self-titled major label debut. When the album failed to reach the platinum mark, the soul singer was dropped from the label in 2008. Hicks has since taken his fate in his own hands, planning a comeback on Broadway in Grease and recording his next album on his own terms.

Taylor Hicks: Five Fun Facts

  1. Members of Taylor Hicks' fervent fan base, called Soul Patrol, nicknamed him "Gray Charles" because of his salt-and-pepper hair. Two Soul Patrol fans even created a website devoted to Taylor Hicks' pet goldfish, Lamont and Ray.
  2. In a 2006 interview with Fashion Rocks, Justin Timberlake is quoted as saying, "People think [Taylor Hicks] looks so normal and he's so sweet and he's so earnest, but he can't carry a tune in a bucket."
  3. As Brooke Kelley Campbell's date to Hoover High School's senior prom, Taylor Hicks, then a junior, stole the show. ""He was the center of attention,"" she told PEOPLE. ""He did what he called the 'Carlton Dance' from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.""
  4. Taylor Hicks learned how to dance in his room by watching Soul Train, and picking up on James Brown and Elvis' moves.
  5. Taylor Hicks wears no jewelry except a black elastic band around his left wrist. ""It's meaningful,"" he tells PEOPLE, ""but I swore I would never tell anybody what it means.""

Taylor Hicks: Biography


Taylor Hicks

All About the Blues

In high school, Hicks splits his passions between sports and music, often combining both in the same night. "When I was about 16, I would play high school basketball and then I would put on this big white hat and go into particular restaurants and play harmonica with bands," Hicks tells PEOPLE. In 1995, he enters Auburn University to study business and journalism, but drops out to focus on his music.


Taylor Hicks

October 10

Tragedy to Triumph

Visiting New Orleans for a friend's wedding, Hicks is forced to evacuate the city as Hurricane Katrina approaches. "I called an airline company [Southwest], and they said we'll give you a ticket – one way – for anywhere in the country," he tells PEOPLE in June 2006. "So I went to Las Vegas. American Idol tryouts were there, and I auditioned and here I am." Over judge Simon Cowell's objections, Hicks is invited to Hollywood to continue with the competition.


Taylor Hicks

May 24

Sound of Victory

With 63.4 million people casting their vote, Hicks is wins American Idol over Katharine McPhee. Asked if he has anything to say to America, Hicks, who will finalize his record deal a week later, yells out "Soul Patrol!" before singing his first single, "Do I Make You Proud?"

Read More on Taylor Hicks' Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: Robert Trachtenberg/Corbis Outline

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): FOX; Ray Mickshaw/WireImage; KEVORK DJANSEZIAN/AP

Edited by Julia Wang

Taylor Hicks

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