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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Taylor Hicks: From Las Vegas to American Idol & Beyond

by Cyrus Webb

We have all experienced what are known as "full-circle moments", those things that start us in one place in our lives and through challenges and accomplishments lead us back stronger and more prepared for what's next. For Taylor Hicks it is those full-circle moments that have made him the international sensation that people have gotten to know and love.

As American Idol said goodbye this year after 15 seasons, Taylor Hicks joined the All-Star line-up of performers. It was 10 seasons ago when the Alabama native put the world under his spell, winning season five of American Idol in a finale that brought in over 30 million viewers. Since then the platinum-selling recording artist has been able to share his love of music with his fans and living the life that so many just dream about.

There's just something about Taylor Hicks that draws you in, so when the announcement came in April 2012 that he was going to be headlining an eight-week engagement at Bally's Las Vegas (the very city where he auditioned for American Idol in 2006) he quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.

When I was offered the opportunity to interview Hicks I knew that I wanted it to be more than just about his music. I wanted to share with readers an opportunity to get to know the man behind the headlines, behind the success and behind the music. I think we accomplished just that.

In this conversation we talked about the fans, the talent and what he has to say about the process that has made his success possible.

HICKS ON THE IMPACT OF AMERICAN IDOL: "It changed my life. I mean going from being a struggling artist and musician to being a household name.... It's one of those things I didn't take it for granted. I understood the business, and I know how hard it is to catch that big break. Obviously the break that I caught was one of the biggest in entertainment and television."

HICKS ON RETURNING HOME: "It's amazing. I mean, there's nothing like it. To have that kind of fan base and be on a show like Idol and come home is pretty awesome. I've been very blessed to have that opportunity."

HICKS ON THE JOURNEY: "I think I was always singing as a kid, learning music. The love for music started at a very early age. I knew this was the path that I was going down. As a kid I had a vision of being an artist, an entertainer and being famous. When you have thought it all along and it happens, it's really easy to be yourself."

HICKS ON BEING AUTHENTIC: "I think that when you're talking about business, your relationships you have and the people that are around you, they can tell if you are being real. As long as you are being true to yourself you will be able to to let people understand what that looks like and help them to see it's okay for them to be themselves. People who really know you for you, that is something that definitely helps you. It keeps you grounded. The people who knew you 'when' are the best."

HICKS ON THE RESPONSIBILITY TO HIS FANS AND THE MUSIC:  "I feel really blessed and thankful for those who voted for me and have supported me in my career as an artist. If it wasn't for the fans in my business I wouldn't be here. I have to respect what they have to say, listen to them and let them be a part of what I have going on. It's important that I have undeniably great music. I think with me and the way that I feel about releasing a product or an album is not to dilute it. I don't want to release stuff that may not be as great as it can be. That's what I'm going to do with this next album. I think this should be what every artist should strive, to put as much of their own influence on their art as possible."

HICKS ADVICE FOR ALL THOSE WITH A PASSION: "I've lived the American dream. You have to get alot of nos before you get the one yes. It's something you have to take to heart and really have the vision to carry it through, whether it's singing, dancing, writing, business or whatever. Take it from me: I've had alot of nos, but all it takes is that one yes and you're on your way."

To stay updated on everything Taylor Hicks visit http://www.taylorhicks.com/. You can also follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/taylorrhicks and "like" his Facebook fan page.

*    Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

3 comments:

  1. I've been a fan since I heard him sing his first words on AI. Now I don't watch Idol, but I keep up with Mr. Hicks. He is fantastic.
    Best singer since Elvis.

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  2. Great "conversation" -- I've been following Taylor Hicks from the time I saw him in the American Idol audition and he sang a Sam Cooke song. Every week I perched on the sofa with my family and anxiously awaited Taylor's appearance on the show. Since the win, I've watched him through his ups and downs. The journey continues and is never boring!

    Thanks for the article.

    juliegr

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  3. Thanks for this awesome article. Taylor is the most underrated of all Idol alums. His live shows rank up there with the best of the best. Keep giving us real Taylor. We love you.

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