Tomorrow night, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks will bring his soulful vocals and high energy stage presence to Levitt AMP Midvale’s final concert of the season. This passionate soul singer is one of the singing competition’s most memorable contestants, having competed in the show’s most-watched season.
Hailing from Birmingham, Ala., Hicks began his music career as an independent artist making a name for himself in the South. Hicks even shared the stage with several high profile artists early in his career, including James Brown, Tom Petty and Jackson Browne. Despite his regional success, Hicks struggled to land a recording contract, and with encouragement from his half-brother, he decided to audition for American Idol in 2006.
The grey-haired talent, who Idol host Ryan Seacrest likened to comedian Jay Leno, was viewed as an underdog contestant for not looking like a “star.” Judge Simon Cowell offered some harsh words to the Southern soul singer during his audition, saying that winning American Idol “is not just about the voice.”
However, Hicks was consistently a top contestant on the show, as millions tuned in every week to witness his energetic stage performances. Cowell even retracted his initial comment after Hicks impressed the judges with a rendition of Elton John’s “Levon” (1971)—his first Idol performance in front of a live audience.
Throughout the season, Hicks gave shoutouts to his devoted fanbase, dubbed the “Soul Patrol.” After Hicks was announced winner of American Idol during the season finale, Seacrest asked Hicks for any words he wanted to share with fans. He of course responded, “Soul Patrol!”
Following his win, Hicks’ single “Do I Make You Proud” (2006), which he first performed on the American Idol finale episode, debuted as number one on the Billboard Hot 100. His eponymous album and first major label record released in December 2006 charted at the number two spot on the Billboard 200. With his initial success on the charts propelling his career, the Idol winner has not slowed down since.
From 2008 to 2009, Hicks played the part of Teen Angel, singing the classic “Beauty School Dropout” in the touring production of the hit Broadway musical Grease. He also held a residency at Bally’s Las Vegas in 2012, later moving to a larger concert venue on the strip in 2013 at Paris Las Vegas.
Since then, the soul singer has been back on the road touring the country—not just playing concerts, but also hosting the new food and travel show State Plate, premiering on the INSP television network this fall. Hicks will cover food and culture in all 50 states as he visits farms, markets and festivals across America. His latest television appearance—alongside a slew of fellow former Idol contestants including Clay Aiken, Fantasia Barrino and Jennifer Hudson—was on the nostalgic final episode of American Idol that aired in April of this year.
This weekend, Levitteers in Midvale, Utah will be able check out Taylor Hicks’ powerful voice in concert at Levitt AMP Midvale, starting at 7:30PM on Saturday. So come join the Soul Patrol and enjoy this free concert!