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|An Idol Comes to Town /TheHour.com /Ridgefield|
|Topic Started: Apr 25 2012, 03:32 PM (39 Views)|
|mouser||Apr 25 2012, 03:32 PM Post #1|
An 'Idol' comes to town
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 3:30 pm
By Keith Loria
RIDGEFIELD -- Six years ago, Taylor Hicks stood on the stage at the "American Idol" finals and learned that 63 million votes from his Soul Patrol fans had made him the winner of the reality show's season five, following in the footsteps of Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Stoddard, Fantasia and Carrie Underwood.
"I was very fortunate to come off their biggest season to date and it's really amazing the amount of opportunities that I still have today coming off an Idol win," Hicks says. "I think after leaving, my career has been streamlined into who I really am as an artist and entertainer and I couldn't be more prouder, humbled and blessed at where I am at."
It wasn't long after his season ended that Hicks released "Do I Make You Proud," charting at No. 1 on the Billboard's Hot 100. His album went gold, he was named "Hottest Bachelor" by "People Magazine" and the road to fame just seemed to be getting easier.
Yet, the Alabama-raised Hicks understood the business, having tried to make it pre-Idol, discovering the trials and tribulations that went along with the music industry. So, when he was dropped by his label prior to his second album, and forced to go the independent route with "The Distance," he wasn't fazed.
"Even if I hadn't been on or won Idol, I would be a touring musician because I love it," Hicks says. "There are highs and lows but as long as I am doing what I love, and have the support of so many wonderful fans, I am going to be happy."
Those in the Connecticut Soul Patrol will get a chance to see Hicks in action when he hits the stage of the Ridgefield Playhouse on Friday, April 27.
"I have some friends in the Greenwich area who I grew up with and every time I perform there I have a really wonderful reception. There's some knowledgeable music folks up there," Hicks says. "I come from a really organic and live music background so I am a very live stage performer. That's kind of my forte."
Hicks promises to play songs off both albums, tunes he sang on "American Idol" and some never-before heard work that he's getting ready for a new album.
"My show really comes from a great live musical place and when I say that, a lot of people who come are pleasantly surprised at how musical my set is," he says. "I play organ, guitar, harmonica and that's how I learned to play and I wasn't allowed to play with them on Idol. It's an added bonus that people do get to see me in a serious music environment."
It was as a teen that Hicks taught himself to play those instruments and first started thinking of music as a way of life.
"I have always been a singer, but when I started to teach myself the instruments and excelled quickly, that's when I realized that I should take a long look at this as a career," he says. "It was kind of like, 'you taught yourself, you might as well take this road.' If you see that from an early age, you can put together an experience for that one big break or opportunity."
Opportunities have continued to come for the singer. Not long after Idol, Hicks was cast as the Teen Angel in the Broadway revival of "Grease" and spent two years in the touring cast.
"That was a great segue way into acting. For me, the right role had to come along because those are roles that make an imprint and this was really great for me," Hicks says. "If another 'right' role came along, I would take a look at it and go back."
Just this week, Hicks signed a three-month engagement with Bally's Las Vegas Hotel, where starting June 26, he'll perform five times a week.
"I'm looking forward to that. My career has come full-circle," he says, referring to the fact that it was at the Las Vegas auditions that Hicks was first selected to join "American Idol."
Looking ahead after that, Hicks has both short- and long-term plans for his career.
"You have to set goals for yourself in this business. Short-term, it's about writing a great album and doing performances and keeping the chops up," he says. "Long-term is to be a career artist and make sure you are thorough in your decisions from an entertainment standpoint and keep touring and entertaining folks."
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