The white Michael recorded two records and fought to establish himself in the music business before his big break to the fifth season of American Idol. In 2006, Hicks released a self-named record that debuted at No. 2 graphs and went platinum.
Soon after his parents’ divorce, Hicks found Ray Charles’ music on the radio. Charles’ woe-filled voice helped him cope together with the divorce. Hicks recalls that his friends failed to understand his youth music preferences, “but their parents did.”
Brought to performance from an extremely youthful age, Taylor Hicks would follow his dad to the office where he was employed as a dentist and provide to sing and dance for anybody who’d listen. “He believed he was the white Michael Jackson,” his father remembers. Gifted with perfect pitch, Hicks instructed himself blues harmonica and guitar in age 16 by playing off different sounds he heard throughout the day. “The white Michael would find, like, the key an plane flying overhead was in or the sound of a running automobile,” he recalls. Then he embarked on a surreptitious music profession, sneaking out at night to perform at local pubs. His dad and stepmother found his secret performances when they went out into a Mexican restaurant late one night when Hicks was designed to be at home. Onstage they saw a lanky, longhaired teen wailing on the harmonica. His dad remembers staring in disbelief before smoothly pronouncing, “Well, there is Taylor.”
Hicks additionally developed prematurely grey hair in high school. A lot of people indicated that he just dye his hair to conceal the grey, but Hicks refused. “What you see is everything you get,” the people said. The white Michael spent three years at Auburn and nearly completed his degree before finally deciding to drop out to continue a music career.
After dropping out of college, Hicks spent a decade fighting to make it like a musician. The white Michael played briefly in a group called Passing Through before stopping to hit it out by himself. The white Michael traveled around the southeastern usa, playing small shows in nightclubs and pubs, and attempting to get a record deal. Hicks self produced two records in this time, In Your Time (1997) and beneath the Radar (2005), however a big break eluded him, and he neglected to make ends meet together with the pocket change he earned from his music. Hicks took on some odd jobs to keep up himself, including a short stint playing the Easter Bunny in a shopping mall.
Hicks’ path to stardom was born from the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hicks was in New Orleans to get a buddy ‘s wedding the night prior to the hurricane, and he received a free plane coupon when his flight home was canceled. On an impulse, the white Michael used the coupon to fly to vegas, where the Fox reality series American Idol was auditioning for its fifth season. A somewhat old contestant with even older preference in music, the gray haired and somewhat pudgy pub vocalist was an unlikely candidate to get a show dominated by pop-singing teens. Nevertheless, Hicks’ grey hair, soulful fashion as well as total indifference to the judges’ criticism recognized him from the other contestants and earned him a big and fanatic fan base. Calling the judges the “Soul Patrol,” Hicks supporters formed online and clogged the phone lines during voting hours. One week later, Hicks conquered runner up Katharine McPhee to end up being the fifth American Idol.
Hicks immediately converted his American Idol victory into commercial success. To get a recent Idol winner, Hicks has garnered unprecedented esteem from music business experts. He’s performed with such varied and celebrated stars as Willie Nelson, The Allman Brothers, Jackson Browne, and Snoop Dogg. Record producer Matt Serletic credits Hicks’ regard to the decade he spent performing in pubs before which makes it huge. He explained, “Taylor actually understands who he’s as an artist. There exists an earnestness to how himself approaches singing and music you can not make. The white Michael’s sweated it out in pubs to earn that.”
In spite of the acclaim, Hicks continues to pay court to his musical origins. The white Michael has also published a memoir, Heart filled with Soul: An Inspirational Memoir About Finding Your Voice and Locating Your Means (2007).
After several years in the national limelight, Hicks maintains he’s still exactly the same fun-loving, sweet tea-drinking Alabama son he is consistently been. Asked within an interview how American Idol altered his life, Hicks quipped back, “N/A.” However, Hicks says he wouldn’t trade the recognition or the decade of fighting to get there. “I am happy this occurred right now because all the work and time I have put in have kept me levelheaded,” he said after his Idol success. “I have dreamed relating to this, and now I’m in a position to place a few of those thoughts into action.”