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|Year of Alabama Music / B'ham News|
|Topic Started: Dec 2 2011, 11:46 AM (74 Views)|
|mouser||Dec 2 2011, 11:46 AM Post #1|
Year of Alabama Music: 'American Idol' winners and runners-up (video)
Published: Friday, December 02, 2011, 7:00 AM
By Mary Colurso -- The Birmingham News The Birmingham News
Ruben Studdard sang the national anthem before the 2011 Magic City Classic at Legion Field. (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale)
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Who: Ruben Studdard, Diana DeGarmo, Bo Bice, Taylor Hicks.
Why: Crowd pleasers on hit TV series, brought state and its singers to national attention.
Type of music: Pop, soul, R&B, show tunes, country, Southern rock. Appearances on Fox reality series focused on cover tunes, but some have written and recorded their own material.
Ruben Studdard: Longtime Birmingham resident, 33. Won "Idol" title on show’s second season in 2003, besting Clay Aiken. Nicknamed "Velvet Teddy Bear" by Gladys Knight, for smooth sound and imposing physique. Released four studio albums, went platinum with 2003’s "Soulful." Earned award nominations from Grammy, American Music, Soul Train and BET. Achiever in Alabama Music Hall of Fame. Signed with Shanachie Entertainment for 2012 album, recorded track with Heavy D shortly before rapper’s death.
Studdard’s acting career: Made cameo appearances in movie and on TV series, starred in national tour of Broadway musical "Ain’t Misbehavin’," toured with Robin Givens in "Heaven, I Need a Hug."
Studdard’s sidelines: Founded record label in Birmingham, established charitable foundation, spokesman for campaign to fight sickle cell disease.
Diana DeGarmo enjoys her over-the-top role -- and her Jersey girl wardrobe -- on "The Young and the Restless." (Sean Smith/JPI Studios)
Diana DeGarmo: Birmingham native, 24. Came in second place on show’s third season in 2004, losing to Fantasia Barrino. Earned fans with strong voice and perky personality. Released "Blue Skies" debut in 2004, "Unplugged in Nashville" in 2009. Competed on CMT reality show, "Gone Country," in 2007.
DeGarmo’s stage career: Supporting roles on Broadway in "Hairspray" and "Hair," starred in national tour of "Brooklyn: The Musical." Appeared in "The Toxic Avenger," "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," "9 to 5," "Back to Bacharach and David." Did staged reading of "Carrie: The Musical."
DeGarmo’s daytime drama: Joined cast of "The Young and the Restless" on Oct. 31, playing daughter of mob boss.
Bo Bice: Huntsville native and former Helena resident, 36. Took second place on show’s fourth season in 2005, bested by Carrie Underwood. Extremely popular on "Idol," displayed laid-back personality and stage confidence. Released three studio albums, went gold with 2005’s "The Real Thing." Founded Sugar Money label, recorded song for "Blades of Glory" soundtrack, performed with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Joe Diffie.
Bo Bice sang the national anthem at the Iwo Jima memorial in Washington, D.C., in 2010. (The Huntsville Times/Michael Mercier)
Bice’s causes: Earned grand prize in 2010 with perfect score on "Don’t Forget the Lyrics!" and donated winnings to MusiCares charity. Has performed for U.S. troops overseas, volunteered for many philanthropic groups, including Habitat for Humanity.
Bice in Birmingham: Nashville resident will appear on Dec. 6 at Ore restaurant, hosting release party for "Alabama Road Songs" CD. Compilation is linked to Year of Alabama Music campaign, features tracks by songwriters in state contest.
Taylor Hicks: Hoover native and former Birmingham resident, 35. Won "Idol" crown in 2006 on show’s fifth season. Became a breakout star with flamboyant performances, soulful voice, distinctive gray hair, harmonica solos. Received nicknames such as "Gray Charles" and earned devoted fan base known as Soul Patrol. Indie record, "Under the Radar," became international seller during tenure on series. Coronation ballad, "Do I Make You Proud," reached No. 1 on Billboard pop charts. Released two studio albums after "Idol" and revived earlier material. Received America’s Music Award in 2008 from Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Hicks in pop culture: As "Idol" contestant, was lampooned on "Weekend Update" segment of "Saturday Night Live." Winner’s single was turned into parody by Weird Al Yankovic, "Do I Creep You Out."
Taylor Hicks broke out the harmonica on the first tee at the NCR pro-am before the 2011 Regions Tradition in Birmingham. (The Birmingham News/Bernard Troncale)
Hicks on stage, page and screen: Made acting debut as Teen Angel on Broadway in revival of "Grease!" Also starred in national tour of musical. Released memoir, "Heart Full of Soul." Made surprise appearance in April on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," spoofing Rebecca Black’s "Friday" (an infamous YouTube sensation) with Fallon and Stephen Colbert.
Hicks in Birmingham: Nashville resident will perform acoustic show at Ore on Dec. 10, to benefit Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. He’s one of the restaurant’s owners.
Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard singing "Woman's Gotta Have It" at Workplay, 2010 credit to souldiane
Download this: "I Need an Angel," Studdard’s 2004 album; "Unplugged in Nashville," DeGarmo’s 2009 EP; "See The Light," Bice’s 2007 record; "The Distance," Hicks’ 2009 album.
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