Woman's Gotta Have It
Filmed at The Workplay Theater in Birmingham, AL 9-26-09 with Ona Watson.
Song available on Taylor's new album, The Distance.
On sale now! Pick your copy today!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Taylor Hicks - "Heart Full of Soul - An Inspirational Memoir About Finding Your Voice and Finding Your Way"

According to EBook Publishing, Taylor's 2007 Random House autobiography is a hot seller! Now isn't that interesting! Could be that all the positive publicity regarding his Broadway debut in *Grease* is peaking people's interest in him and possibly seeking out his book. If you haven't gotten yours, you should pick one up! It's a great read and lends all kinds of insight in Taylor's journey from unknown bar-singer to international superstar. Available at any of the big name bookstores or order it here from amazon.com.

The website, dated today, reads:

"...One of the Internet's top online book stores, Best Book Publish also offers a strong selection of works by celebrity authors. Some current celebrity books that are hot sellers include "Heart Full of Soul'' by American Idol Taylor Hicks; "Golf Monster'' by rock legend Alice Cooper; Barbara Walters' "Audition"; and Eric Clapton's autobiography "Clapton..."


Legendary Vanguard, Sugar Hill and Ranwood Labels Included in Deal

June 30, 2008

Break out the bubbly… and let's crank the Lennon Sisters’ greatest hits.
Welk Music Group, which includes such prestigious record labels as Vanguard, Sugar Hill and Ranwood, has entered into a distribution and sales agreement with EMI Music for digital and physical sales as well as worldwide distribution. In addition, EMI will provide licensing and synchronization services on a non-exclusive basis to Welk’s roster of artists.

Welk Music Group is home to both Vanguard Records and Sugar Hill Records. Vanguard Records’ current roster includes Greg Laswell, Shawn Mullins, Mindy Smith, Nellie McKay and The Band’s Levon Helm, with a catalog that features Joan Baez, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Buddy Guy and Mississippi John Hurt, Vanguard continues to pursue its successful artistic vision.

Sugar Hill Records, the preeminent roots music label, includes Kasey Chambers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Sam Bush, The Duhks, Gibson Brothers, Sarah Borges and Nickel Creek, the innovative bluegrass trio who have a combined sales of over two million units with their first three albums.

Over the years, Welk’s group of owned and distributed labels feature an eclectic artist roster ranging from American music icons such as Dolly Parton, Rodney Crowell and George Jones; contemporary artists Linda Ronstadt, Joan Osborne, Sinead O’Connor, Robert Cray and Blues Traveler, and emerging talent such as Matt Nathanson, Indigenous, Carbon Leaf, The Alternate Routes, Pictures and Sound and distributed artists such as Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters, Taylor Hicks and Hootie and the Blowfish.

Said Welk Music Group President Kevin Welk: “EMI offers us unique, seamless, global reach, and allows us to tap into their strong relationship network with physical and digital partners around the world. Their bold moves to transform its business will serve our labels and our artists well as we work to extend their reach to new audiences on a variety of new music platforms.”

Added EMI Music President of Commercial Development Ronne Werre: “We are honored to have Welk Music Group and its amazing roster of artists work with the EMI family. EMI Music’s aim is to provide world class services to artists and to bring great music to fans. Kevin Welk and his team have built an illustrious catalog and active artist roster, and we are thrilled to offer EMI’s global capabilities to them. We look forward to working with the Welk Music family of labels and taking their artists to new levels of success.

Source: Hits Daily Double

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Taylor Hicks Channels Elvis as 'Grease' Teen Angel!

The good press continues to roll in, this time from newsday.com. It reads:

A Heavenly Makeover

Season 5 "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks is a little more Elvis, a little less Frankie Avalon than his predecessor in the Broadway revival of "Grease," now nearing its first anniversary at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

When Hicks signed on earlier this month as "Teen Angel," the first order of business was a costume redesign for his big moment as Frenchy's mentor in "Beauty School Dropout." Actor Stephen Buntrock, the earlier "Angel," had worn a bright white suit with silver glitter, evocative of the one worn by Avalon in the 1978 film.

For Hicks, designers changed things up, clothing the soul singer in an open-collared, all-black suit that screams Vegas more than it does Rydell High - angel wings, stitched with sparkle into the back, lend an added flair.

A costume wasn't the only thing altered for Hicks, who will release a new album in August. "Beauty School Dropout" was reorchestrated into a bluesier piece for the gray-haired Alabamian, who made his name with classic soul and R&B. During the "Dropout" reprise, Hicks also gets a moment to whip out his trademark harmonica.


Taylor Hicks, Huey Lewis & Jerry Lee Lewis Headline "A Capitol Fourth"

Jimmy Smits has participated in PBS's Fourth of July concert before, but he will host for the first time on Friday.

Smits, whose work includes roles on "The West Wing" and "NYPD Blue," said being present on the Mall for the annual event "takes your breath away."

"You have all the monuments, and the orchestra, you've got cannon batteries and fireworks, and it gives you goose bumps," he said.

This year's concert includes appearances by iconic rocker Jerry Lee Lewis, 2006 "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks, pop band Huey Lewis and the News, Broadway performer Brian Stokes Mitchell and classical singers Hayley Westenra, Harolyn Blackwell and Vittorio Grigolo, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Erich Kunzel.

The show will include a tribute to the Olympics, taking place Aug. 8-24. Kunzel is scheduled to conduct the music at the opening ceremonies in Beijing, "so this was his idea," said executive producer Jerry Colbert. "We're hoping to have some of the Olympians (onstage) as we salute Team USA and play the John Williams Olympic theme."

Colbert said the concert, in contrast to the more somber National Memorial Day Concert on the Mall, will feature more energy and celebration.

"Between the Lewis boys and Taylor Hicks, they'll get everybody going," he said. "Huey will do 'Dancing in the Dark,' the old Springsteen song. And Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls of Fire' will almost lead right into the fireworks."

The broadcast's signature fireworks finale is slated to run an extra two minutes this year. And viewers may notice a different look, with a new stage at the Capitol's reflecting pool and several new camera angles, including one from inside the Capitol dome.

"We're trying to create an Olympic feeling, so the entire city can see the fireworks and the crowd. We'll do guns and bells and bonfires," Colbert said. "All this time later, 232 years after (the nation's founders) were at Independence Hall, we're still having a birthday party for this country."


Friday, June 27, 2008

Who Needs a Tony When You Got Taylor Hicks!

And the good press just keeps on rolling....

“Grease” is getting more than a second wind on Broadway. The satisfying revival of the popular musical just got two new leads in the production, Ashley Spencer and Derek Keeling, both came from the television casting show “You’re The One That I Want” but were runners-up. Even better for the show is that the New York Post’s Michael Riedel (who else?) reports that the arrival of Taylor Hicks on Broadway has been a huge bonus at the box-office, Riedel’s source estimates he’s worth at least an additional $150,000 a week in ticket sales..."

-Broadway Magazine, Broadway.tv

NY Post Theater Review: Taylor Hicks Ignites *Grease*!

The NY Post gave Taylor a glowing review today for his performance in *Grease*! I knew he'd shake up Broadway in a serious way, in a way only Mr. Hicks can do! All I can say it's ABOUT FUCKING TIME he got some accolades thrown his way after 2 friggin' years of American Idol pissing on him! Let's now see who's getting the last laugh - I'm talking to you Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Cowell. And one more thing, to those fans who think we should just 'drop' this anti-American Idol sentiment, i say 'no can do'. I will never forget their viciousness they went on and on about ad nauseum concerning their Season 5 winner.

Here's the story for your reading pleasure (and oh yea, go to the NY Post article and *Digg* it up and "Buzz" it up so everyone can feast their eyes on this baby!

by Michael Reidel

TWO shows that shouldn't be making it - but are - must be given their due today.

First, "Grease" - which vaulted right over the critics to box office glory. It's playing to sold-out houses and is grossing nearly $800,000 a week.

It got a little lift from the Tonys, but its real draw this summer is "American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks, who's playing Teen Angel.

An insider says Hicks is worth at least $150,000 in extra ticket sales a week.
(Make a note of that, Mr. Agent.)

Whenever Hicks whips out his harmonica, the audience goes nuts.
They're having such a blast that the "Grease" megamix at the end of the show - this is where the critics ran screaming from the theater - now runs 10 minutes, with Hicks singing the title song and then playing it on his harmonica.

Meanwhile, the producers of the show are no longer flinching from the critical blows but are starting to have fun with them.

Charles Isherwood recently wrote: "Are the Tonys going to open up the lines so viewers at home can phone in their votes for their favorites? In which case perhaps 'Grease' would have been the year's big winner."

Look for a newspaper ad that will say:

"If the audience had voted, Grease would have been the year's big winner!" - Charles Isherwood, The New York Times.

Source: NY Post michael.riedel@nypost.com

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Warren Haynes Presents the Benefit Concert DVD Vol 8 Featuring Taylor Hicks!

Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Vol. 8 features great music from Dave Matthews, New Orleans Social Club, Marty Stuart & his Fabulous Superlatives, Taj Mahal Trio, the John Popper Project, and of course, plenty of the Xmas Jam hosts Warren Haynes and Gov't Mule.

As if that wasn't enough talent for one stage, other special guests include Randall Bramblett, Taylor Hicks, Branford Marsalis, Mike Barnes, Mickey Raphael, Brendan Bayliss, Kevn Kinney, Robert Kearns and Dave Schools.

Because there's nothing better than when Xmas comes early... Order your copy now!

Chapter List:

1. Million Miles From Yesterday – Warren Haynes
2. Mississippi Big Butt Blues – The Taj Mahal Trio
3. Lovin' In My Baby's Eyes – The Taj Mahal Trio
4. Fire In Her Kiss – The John Popper Project Featuring DJ Logic w/ Warren Haynes
5. Lapdance – The John Popper Project Featuring DJ Logic w/ Branford Marsalis
6. Mando Rip – Marty Stuart (from The Orange Peel 12/15/06)
7. Streamline - Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
8. Angels Rock Me To Sleep - Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives
9. Wait Til The Morning – Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives w/ Branford Marsalis & Warren Haynes
10. Shape I'm In - Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives w/ Warren Haynes & Danny Louis
11. Look Ka Py Py – The New Orleans Social Club
12. Loving You Is On My Mind > - The New Orleans Social Club w/ Branford Marsalis
13. Africa > – The New Orleans Social Club w/ Branford Marsalis
14. Loving You Is On My Mind - The New Orleans Social Club w/ Branford Marsalis
15. Fortunate Son – The New Orleans Social Club w/ Branford Marsalis, Warren Haynes & Taylor Hicks
16. Cortez The Killer - Gov't Mule w/ Dave Matthews
17. All Along The Watchtower - Gov't Mule w/ Dave Matthews & Branford Marsalis
18. Reggae Soulshine - Gov't Mule w/ Branford Marsalis
19. Unring The Bell - Gov't Mule
20. Leaving Trunk - Gov't Mule w/ Taj Mahal & Branford Marsalis
21. Mule - Gov't Mule with Dave Schools & Randall Bramblett

Bonus Features:

1. Ballerina – Warren Haynes w/ Mickey Raphael (from The Orange Peel 12/15/06)
3. Walkin' To New Orleans – The New Orleans Social Club w/ Branford Marsalis, Mickey Raphael, John Popper & Taylor Hicks
3. I Shall Be Released - Gov't Mule w/ Marty Stuart, Kevn Kinney, Taylor Hicks, Mike Barnes, Ivan Neville, Brendan Bayliss, Mickey Raphael & Robert Kearns

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Taylor Hicks @ Alabama Adventure

Just slightly over one year ago, a professional film crew decided to capture Taylor in concert at Alabama Adventure. It was a truly remarkable concert. I simply cannot wait until his new album comes out in the Fall and he's back on the road! Enjoy!

Taylor Hicks II @ Alabama Adventure June 1st 2007
Photography by Stan Reeves www.stanreeves.com
From: glorylandproductions

Monday, June 23, 2008

Review: Hicks Is The Word..... On Broadway!

I'm a little late posting this, but here's a great review/promo for Taylor in Grease on the Broadway.TV website! Ya gotta love all the unbelievable great press he's continuing to get! Check this out....

"...They are the pictures everyone is talking about, and we have them for you. It was something to behold. American Idol winner and leader of the Soul Patrol conquered Broadway on Friday night with his appearance in the hit revival of "Grease" at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The camera does not lie, and the pictures to prove that Taylor Hicks has lost none of his star power since leaving American Idol. Those on hand felt it was quite an exciting evening, and the first of many as Taylor Hicks continues his run as "Teen Angel." Take a look and enjoy this peek at Broadway's newest Idol. Grease may be good, but right now "Hicks" is the word! ..."

Taylor Hicks & the Cast of *Grease* Attendance Way Up!

This week, box office receipts show *Grease* up 11.7% in attendance over last week. According to BroadwayWorld.Com, the audience was at 98.8% capacity (last week it chimed in at only 87.1% capacity). Also, the show had the 6th largest increase in attendance amongst the 35 shows tracked on Broadway this week.

Another note of interest, the Brooks Atkinson Theater, home of Grease, has not been this full since March 23, 2008.

Obviously, Mr. Hicks is drawing BIG audiences to the show. I'm not surprised. He's an enormous talent and I think people are just beginning to see the depth of him as an all around entertainer!

Source: Broadway World

Taylor Hicks in Grease: I Got a Call From My Agent....

Taylor gave a very nice interview to BroadwayWorld.Com recently and talked about everything from his role in Grease to his new album coming out in the Fall.

Frenchy's got a new muse at Grease, and this time around, her guardian angel is a silver-haired crooner with rhinestone wings sewn into the pattern of his midnight blue suit. When a giant ice cream cone descends from the heavens at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Taylor Hicks emerges to sing "Beauty School Dropout" in his Broadway debut. By now, audiences have gotten used to reality show winners turning up in musicals (Grease alone has four, with leads Max Crumm and Laura Osnes, Step It Up and Dance champ Cody Green and now Hicks, the season five victor on American Idol) and Hicks' loyal fans, known as the Soul Patrol, are avidly cheering him on. Director Kathleen Marshall plays to his strengths by showcasing Hicks' bluesy harmonica playing and brings him back to sing a verse of the title song (and gamely do the hand jive) during the curtain call. In conversation, the Birmingham native is friendly, down to earth and grateful for the opportunities that have come his way since winning Idol just before he turned 30, after years of struggle. Above all, Hicks seems delighted with his summer gig on Broadway.

How are you enjoying your first experience on Broadway?
I love it! I think the part suits me perfectly, and it allows me to get a toe wet on Broadway. It's a great way for me to start exploring the idea of an acting career and learn what Broadway is all about.

How did this opportunity come about?
I was in Birmingham, Alabama, eating a barbecue sandwich and playing golf and writing music for my next album, and my agent called me and asked me if I wanted to do the gig. Basically, I had until I finished my sandwich to decide whether or not I wanted to do it [laughs]. It was a really quick decision, and honestly, I'm having the time of my life. [Broadway] is a wonderful, extremely talented community that deserves all kinds of respect and praise. To go out there and be spot-on every night for eight shows a week—that's live performing at its utmost, and I'm very excited to be a part of it.

Were you familiar with the part, and with Grease?
I knew the Frankie Avalon part from the movie, but I thought I could add a Taylor flavor to it—kind of Taylorize the part, no pun intended. I'm able to play some harmonica, and I like the whole rock-and-roll heaven idea. The rock-and-roll gods have been very good to me, and they're good to me in this part too.

What was it like to work with director Kathleen Marshall?
She is a force to be reckoned with! I was excited when she started directing me. I thought, "This is very similar to producing an album; it's just theatrical." I've been produced musically, but I've never been directed theatrically. It was a really cool first experience. Kathleen was so accommodating and made it easy for me.

She guided Harry Connick Jr. to a Tony nomination, so you were in great hands. What did she say about Teen Angel's function in the show?
She said that my purpose was to lead Frenchy to go back to high school and put down the teasing comb [laughs]. I'm more or less the voice of reason and the voice of reckoning for this young girl.

Were you nervous before your first performance?
I don't think I've ever been so nervous in my whole life! [Laughs.] I've been lucky enough to experience a lot of things—the American Idol stage, singing at the Orange Bowl—but I never would have thought in a million years that I would be as nervous as I was. It's easy to walk out on stage to sing, but when you're coming down 40 feet in an ice cream cone to debut on Broadway, it's a different story.

Did you ever do plays in high school?
I was Santa Claus in the second grade and Santa Claus in the eighth grade. I've always come bearing gifts [laughs]. It was always the jolly jester, the entertainer—they always put me in that kind of role, which is perfect.

Had you seen many musicals?
I saw Rent probably 10 years ago, and growing up, I always went to the Summerfest shows in Birmingham.

When you saw Rent, did you think, "I should do this"?
You know, I was so entrenched then in learning instruments, harmonica and guitar, and writing music that I never really thought about the idea of doing it. But now, having the opportunity to explore a particular part, the idea has come to life.

Your costume is quite different from the all-white suit that was used before. How did that come about?
I just thought about the part and the time period. A rock-and-roll angel in the '50s made me think of the Nudie suits [flamboyant, rhinestone-studded cowboy suits created by Nashville tailor Nudie Cohen] that country-and-western stars like Bob Wills and Porter Wagoner used to wear. I thought: Nudie suit leads to Gram Parsons leads to Teen Angel. And I thought it would be a cool idea to incorporate the angel wings in rhinestones. Martin Pakledinaz, the costume designer for the show, was exceptional in talking with me about the outfit, and his creativity just took off. It's a beautiful suit, and I think it looks great for me and the part I'm playing, especially with the embroidered rhinestone angel wings on the back.

Why do you think so many American Idol alums have come to Broadway?
In a way, the Idol experience is similar to the Broadway experience. We'd do the group numbers every week [on Idol], and the rigorous schedule is very similar to the Broadway schedule. And it's live! You really have to be on your best game every night, but I've lived in a live setting musically since I was 16 or 17 years old. That's where I thrive.

I would think that nothing could be as challenging as surviving a season on American Idol, not to mention actually winning!
It's a gut-check and a soul-check. It definitely teaches you a lot about who you are as a person.

Some Idol alums, such as Clay Aiken, express mixed feelings now about constantly being identified with the show.
It doesn't bother me. Once you become an American Idol, it will always stay with you. You have to work as hard as you can to be as successful as you can—and be glad you're able to perform and grateful you had American Idol to give you that platform.

Is there extra pressure that comes with Idol in terms of who sells the most records?
Yes, there is pressure. But the measuring stick for American Idol winners is everybody's measuring stick. Each of us has our own identity and our own path. For me as a performer, it's about the marathon, not the sprint. I'm in this for the long haul, whether it be Broadway or acting or music. It's using everything I've learned.

You never struck me as a top-40 singer.
You have to be who you are, and find and write great songs. Great music will stand the test of time. It will also cross over—radio will come find a great song. And that's what it's about: playing great music and finding great songs and letting those songs speak for themselves.

You're working on a new record, right?
Yes, I've got a record coming out in the fall. I've written half of it, and I'm going to be recording it while I'm here on Broadway. [Just after Hicks' Broadway.com interview, an announcement came that Vanguard Records, known for jazz, blues and folk recordings, has agreed to distribute the singer's next album, which he will cut on his own label.]

Your fans seem to be turning out to see you in Grease.
The Soul Patrol is definitely invading Broadway!

Is having such fervent fans ever a mixed blessing? How do you make sure that the attention doesn't intrude on your life?
I'm just excited to have fans. For a long time, it was a struggle for me—one night I might play for nobody and the next night I would play for 50 people. It was a grind. For me to be able to catch a break and have the opportunity to perform in front of a lot of people? You never take it for granted. And as long as you don't let [fan attention] be intrusive, it won't be. It's out there and you're aware of it, but I'm a private person by nature. I try to keep as much normalcy as I can in my daily life, in my social life, in my private life.

Are you enjoying living in New York?
I love it. I just spent about four hours in Central Park. When I've come to New York in the past, it's like I leave my hotel room and then I get out of a sedan and then I'm lighting the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center and then I'm stuffed into a sedan again and then I'm in Virginia somewhere. It's been nice because I've been able to enjoy the city as opposed to doing a show or doing a press tour. I'm excited about being here because I know [New York] is where it all starts. Being on Broadway is a big honor for me.

I hadn't realized that you wrote a book [Heart Full of Soul, subtitled "an inspirational memoir"]. What message did want to convey?
The importance of self-determination and a deep inner belief that you're going to succeed; not letting anything get in the way of your vision, whether it be music or theater or running a Fortune 500 company. I am the American Dream. In four months, I went from playing at a Steak & Ale to performing for 37 million people! The book also allowed me to connect with fans in my own words and show them the prelude to what they see [now]. People talk about overnight success—it's been a 13-year "overnight success" for me. But I really believe that when people become successful, 99.9% of the time it's because they have dedication and don't see anything but the bull's-eye. That's what I wanted to show in the book. You can overcome things if you're good to people and you work hard.

You're living proof of that, for sure.
I remember standing outside in Las Vegas at American Idol [auditions], and kids were coming up to me asking me where my kid was that was auditioning. If that doesn't make you want to walk away, I don't know what does. But I never walked away. I knew I had a vision, and that was to entertain people—and here I am.

Is Alabama still your home base?
I was in Birmingham for a few weeks visiting my family, but I don't have a permanent residence. I've been living out of four suitcases for about two years. I went down to two suitcases, but I had to fill two more up and move to New York. I toured Asia in December—I went Jakarta, I went to the Philippines. I went out on tour in February of last year and basically stayed out for eight months.

That sounds lonely!
You know, I've always made the people I perform with my family. And it's so interesting—the theatrical experience is very similar to what I see with musicians on the road. [Broadway] really is a family atmosphere, and I'm thankful for that. I love working with the cast of Grease.

Would you like to try a more substantial part in the future?
Yeah, I definitely would. We'll see what happens, but hopefully there's some more stuff in store for me. I'm having a ball.

See Taylor Hicks in Grease at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

RIP George Carlin

"Comedian George Carlin, the Grammy-Award winning standup comedian and actor who was hailed for his irreverent social commentary, poignant observations of the absurdities of everyday life and language, and groundbreaking routines like "Seven Words You Can Never Use on Television," died in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He was 71.

The cause of death was heart failure, according to Abraham."

This is truly a sad day folks. I just want to take a moment and give a tribute to a comedic genius - George Carlin. I've been a huge fan of his for many many years and I consider him one of the finest comedians ever to set foot on the stage. Truly one of the greats, a prolific comedian that was always good for a belly laugh. He was always on top of current events and his unique take on life's nuances and the human condition was always enlightening - and FUNNY! He was a master of the word and his insights will be sorely missed by many, especially me.

Here's a few of my favorite bits -


Those Little Moments

A Place For My Stuff

Friday, June 20, 2008

Take A Hike, Clive, Simon & Nigel, I Got My Own Label Now!

There's a new record label in town and it's called Modern Whomp Records, named for Taylor Hick's self-description of his current musical sound. His next CD release, a two-CD set called "Early Works", will be released on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 on his new label and distributed by Vanguard Records/Welk Distribution. It will be a compilation of his 2 indie albums, "In Your Time" & "Under The Radar". I hope that he also includes a little extra something to entice those fans who are still hesitant to purchase music they already own. Most certainly it will be, at the very least, digitally remixed, which will vastly improve the sound on many of the songs. But in addition to that, I'm hoping we get one or two unreleased tracks or maybe a live version we haven't heard before.

Regardless, a brand new nicely packaged CD with comprehensive liner notes of these great older tunes will no doubt bring Taylor many new fans who only know him from American Idol and his Clive Davis-at-the-reign post Idol CD, Taylor Hicks. Many still don't know of his acoustic and blues roots, so I'm hoping that this long overdue set will open some ears to the troubadour Taylor many of us grew to love since the first time we heard his voice. As far as I'm concerned, some of his best deliveries and most significant original songs came out of those dark, empty bar rooms and lonely nights spent trying to get noticed by anyone in the music industry. I'm glad to see some of them finally being released to a broader audience.

In addition to the Early Works CD, Taylor will be releasing a brand new, full length CD this Fall with all new songs. He says this CD, described as having songs sprinkled with political & social undertones and songs about love & past relationships - "a snapshot of his current life', will be primarily his own original work in additon to collaborations with A-List songwriters from Nashville, New York, & Los Angeles. It's not clear whether this CD of new songs will be released on his own label, but we do know he created it with full creative control/freedom which just about ensures an album vastly different than the one released under Clive. That said, I still listen to the Taylor Hicks album and I really feel there were some wonderful tunes on there that deserved a lot more promotion than it ultimately got (which was zero), most notably Gonna Move, The Right Place, Heaven Knows, Whereever I Lay My Hat and the standout originals Soul Thing, The Deal and Hell of a Day. But there was an attempt here to turn Taylor into a "pop artist" and it pretty much sucked all the natural soul out of his exceptional voice. He is a blues and soul singer, not a pop singer, with a little bit of rock and pop thrown in. This new venture will give him total creative freedom, more money in his pocket, and a distributor to do the leg work of getting it into retail outlets.

Will this new CD sell as many as the last CD (850,000 Worldwide) with Gold and Platinum certification from the RIAA? Probably not, but I tell ya, this might be just the right medicine to heal the wounds that, for the past two years, continued to be a pain in the ass for many of his fans. Everything from sales comparisons to arguments concerning the success and non-success of Idol winners and losers were relentlessly being debated. We know Taylor didn't give a rat's ass about these sorts of things (as he has said in many interviews), but the endless inuendos by disgruntled fans of other Idol losers were, at minimum, draining for his die-hard fans. Ultimately, it was and is, all bogus. So the next time you find yourself getting riled up from one of the brain-dead baiters out there, remember that none of it matters and none of it is meaningful.

Thankfully, all that is behind us now. One thing I'll not be doing when these new CDs come out is angst about the amount of "units sold". I'm sure for many of us, that really took much of the enjoyment out of owning Taylor's music. It's a new day and he's on a new open road with endless possibilities. He wants to wet his feet with more acting roles and no doubt, his tours will always be where he ultimately 'lays his hat'. I'll be traveling this road with him and although I know they'll be more bumps in the road, I know the end result will bring him to where he's going and I'll be there waiting with him at the end of his journey.

Taylor Hicks At "A Capitol Fourth" Celebration!

An early reminder, don't forget to tune into the biggest July 4th celebration in America - A Capitol Fourth, live from the West Lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, broadcast on your local PBS station at 8pm - starring Taylor Hicks! It's sure to be a memorable performance in front of thousands in person and millions at home! Here is the promo for the show:

Thursday, June 19, 2008


...."comprised MOSTLY?? of his pre-Idol tunes?... What do y'all make of that? Could there be some new songs on the Early Works CD? Things that make you go hmm!?

Here's a blurb from the NY Post.

June 20, 2008 -- 'AMERICAN Idol" winner Taylor Hicks has finally landed with a record label more in-tune with his personality.

Vanguard Records, the longtime purveyor of jazz, blues and folk, has agreed to distribute Hicks' next album, which he plans to cut on his own label, Modern Whomp Records.

The disc is expected to be comprised mostly of Hicks' pre-"Idol" tunes and is slated for release in August.

Hicks is currently appearing as the "Teen Angel" in Broadway's "Grease."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Taylor Hicks to Release Pre-Idol Reissues On Vanguard Records

According to New Music TipSheet, Taylor will be re-releasing Early Works, his pre-Idol music on Vanguard Records , one of America's leading independent labels, on August 12th, 2008. There is no info yet on their site about this release, but I suspect it will be shortly. Stay tuned to this site, Vanguard's website and/or Amazon for ordering information (it's not available for purchase yet). I have no further details on what exactly will be on this CD - whether it's just a reissue of his first 2 self-produced albums or whether it will have additional songs that were never released or whether there will some remixes on the CD.

Some other artists on the Vanguard Label include fellow blue-eyed soul singer Marc Broussard, Blues Traveler, Carbon Leaf, the Robert Cray band, Hootie and the Blowfish, Shawn Mullins, Linda Ronstadt, and Edwin McCain just to name a few. Check out their website for more info on label.

UPDATE: In response to an email I sent Vanguard Records, I received this in response:

"This was actually listed wrong on a couple of sites and Vanguard Records is simply just distributing this title so it's not being released on Vanguard Records. This album is on Taylor Hicks own label which is called Modern Whomp Records."

So, this is what we know. "Early Works" will be released on August 12. It will be distributed by Welk Distribution on Taylor's own label called Modern Whomp Music.

Stay tuned for more info!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Taylor Hicks, American Idol Winner, Other Celebs Turn Out For Autism benefit

More about Taylor's participation in yesterday's Celebrity Golf Tourny in New York. This is from the New's York's Lower Hudson Valley newspaper.

MAMARONECK - On a day when Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate battled for the U.S. Open title in California, singer Taylor Hicks was one of dozens of celebrities at Winged Foot Golf Club yesterday to raise an estimated $1 million for the Autism Speaks charity.

Hicks, who won the fifth season of "American Idol" and is guest-starring in "Grease" on Broadway, said the cause is important to him.

"One of my dad's best friend's sons has autism," he said, moments before practicing his swing at the driving range. "When I heard about this particular event, I wanted to make sure I got out and tried to get involved with it and bring some attention to the disease."

More at the link above.

Taylor Hicks Interview on CW11 News - New York

The media blitz just keeps on keeping on in NYC today when Taylor dropped by the CW11 News studios for an interview. What struck me is when he said he is "IN" the studio recording, which gives me great hope that we will be hearing NEW TAYLOR HICKS MUSIC before Christmas hits this year. I'm so excited about that. Now onto something far more important, his looks! haha! Isn't he the cutest thing? New York obviously agrees with him - I think I see a twinkle in his eye, don't you?

Taylor Hicks in New York, New York!

Thanks to all who took and supplied these beautiful pictures! The whole Taylor Hicks community very much appreciates the effort you went to to get these snapshots of Taylor's debut in *Grease* (and you know who you are)! By all accounts, it was, and continues to be, a complete and total success! Here's my tribute to Taylor on Broadway.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Taylor Hicks Pauses in *Grease* To Play Golf for Autism

Taylor is taking a break today, June 16 (theaters are dark on Mondays), to participate in another worthy children's cause - Autism - while in New York starring in "Grease". According to the NY Post and Austism Speaks, Taylor Hicks, Nick Gre gory, Don Criqui and Gloria Reuben among those ex pected at Winged Foot Golf Club (Mamaroneck) for today's the Autism Speaks celebrity golf fundraiser.

The Tenth Annual NY Celebrity Golf Challenge will celebrate its ten year anniversary on June 16, 2008 at the prestigious Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., home of the 2006 U.S. Open. This much anticipated annual event will continue to build on its impressive fundraising record which garnered $1,200,000 in 2007 for the mission of Autism Speaks. The golf tournament offers participants the opportunity to play on the Winged Foot Golf Club's two legendary, championship courses alongside a famed celebrity player. Past celebrity golfers have included luminaries from the worlds of sports, entertainment and media.

This event is a truly wonderful day for the autism community and you won't want to miss a great day of challenging golf at one of golf's U.S. Open cornerstones! The tournament also includes fantastic contests, including a shootout for a million dollars, all in the company of a truly great crowd. The lively dinner reception, attended by celebrities, players and their guests, includes a silent auction and a thrilling live auction offering guests the chance to bid on exclusive access opportunities, fabulous getaways as well as many luxury items. Don't miss your chance to partake in an exciting day of golf and goodwill and take your place on the leader board of Autism Speaks supporters! To reserve, please contact Cindy Brown at (914) 935-1462 x 11 or via e-mail at cbrown@autismspeaks.org or click here to register online. Read more and view photos from last year's event here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Taylor Hicks Ready For Capitol 'Fourth'

For some singers, the "Capitol Fourth" experience can be imposing.

Behind them is the massive National Symphony. In front of them are 300,000 people, plus more watching on PBS.

Then again, some people are used to such commotions.

Just ask Taylor Hicks. Even before his "American Idol" fame, he sang at the Talladega Superspeedway. "It's like Mardi Gras times 10," he said.

Or ask Brian Stokes Mitchell. Lately, he's been singing with the symphonies in Boston, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and more. "It's really fun when you get these incredible musicians behind you," he said.

Both are scheduled for the live July 4 concert, on the Capitol Lawn. So are Jerry Lee Lewis, Huey Lewis, classical stars Hayley Westenra and Harolyn Blackwell, plus more. It's a night of big music, big emotion, big fireworks. It's also a night when Hicks is usually busy somewhere.

"Every 4th of July, I've probably been performing," he said.

In the daytime, he'd take it easy near home in Birmingham, Ala. "We'd usually have barbecues. There are some beautiful lakes back home."

And at night, he would work. He rarely slowed down.

"You really have to love performing," Hicks said. "I've been in clubs where there was no one there; I've done weddings."

That's what helped him on "Idol" in 2006.

"I definitely had a vision," he said. "I had done a lot of performing; I was almost 30."

As "Idol" leaped between decades and genre, Hicks was ready. "That was from a lot of gold I listened to when I was 9 or 10 years old," he said.

Now he's leaping between different worlds. To do the July 4th concert, Hicks gets time off from his current duties, singing the Teen Angel role in Broadway's "Grease." This isn't something that a dentist's son from Alabama could have predicted. Until now, "Rent" was the only show he'd seen on Broadway.

"Luckily, the second show I've seen is one I'm in," he said.

And if Hicks needs any Broadway advice, he can turn to another "Fourth" performer.

Mitchell has done eight Broadway shows, getting Tony nominations for the last four. He won for "Kiss Me Kate" and was nominated for "Ragtime," "King Hedley II" and "Man of La Mancha."

He has kept up his music - despite a long detour.

"I was in San Diego, doing a musical with Greg Harrison," Mitchell said. "The Trapper John' producers came to see him and they decided to have me play Jackpot' Jackson."

Mitchell spent seven years as a TV doctor. He wrote background music for some episodes, but few people knew he could sing. "One episode, I had to sing. I made sure I didn't sing beautifully."

Afterward, he returned to musicals. He was doing "Kiss of the Spiderwoman" when he was approached by brash producer Garth Drabinsky, the brash Canadian producer. "He told me, I have a project. I can't tell you what it is, but when it's ready, I want you for it.'"

There was more waiting and wondering, until he finally heard. This was an adaptation of "Ragtime," focusing on the Coalhouse Walker character. Mitchell would be Coalhouse.

It was a powerhouse role, strong and strident. Mitchell became a Broadway leader. He and his wife (dancer Allyson Tucker) have done several musicals together. Now comes a new phase.

"Since my son was born four-and-a-half years ago, I've tried to just do concerts," said Mitchell, 50. He's flown out for quick shows with orchestras. He'll do that again July 4; this time, he'll be watched by masses on the lawn and on TV.

On the tube:

- What: A Capitol Fourth

- When: July 4.

Where: PBS (check local listings)

Source: AZCentral.com

Friday, June 13, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Taylor Hicks Hangs From a 10 Story Building in NYC!

Yes indeed he does! I'm pretty sure all his fans have seen this, but if you happen to be in NYC on 47th and 7th Ave. this summer, you might want to look up because THIS beautiful vision will be in your sight. Taylor is receiving some of the best publicity and attention he's ever gotten since his win on American Idol in Season 5. Those publicists on Broadway know how to promote their own people eh? Clive and Co. should take notes. And come to think of it, I would be glad to send Simon this giant bigger-than-lifesize, 10 story poster of Mr. Hicks to stick his gum on! Heh! In fact, I'll have to send him a BIG sky-lift to bring his fat ego up to Taylor's level - all the way up on the 10th floor! Read this and weep Nigel -"starring Taylor Hicks". Notice no mention of "American Idol Winner" on that ad?

Maybe on next season's backdrops, Taylor won't be decapitated again and get stuck behind the potted plant. Ya think? Pfttt. Does it really matter anymore? Nope!

Thanks to DeeDee56 for the picture!

People Magazine: Taylor Hicks Admits: I'm a Jonas Brothers Fan!

Leave it to People Magazine to give Taylor his props!! I don't know why, but I love this picture and I love the way Taylor jumped in with the Jonas Brother's fans! He just does what he wants with total freedom and is one happy dude these days!

Taylor Hicks is used to being the object of adoring fans – but when the Jonas Brothers made a TV appearance in New York, the American Idol swapped roles.

Hicks, who is currently starring in Grease on Broadway, couldn't resist partaking in Jonas Brothers mania with thousands of other fans outside of the Live With Regis & Kelly studios in New York City Thursday morning, he told PEOPLE.

"Once I arrived and saw all the Jonas Brothers fans, I got in on the screaming. We were all having a great time out there," said Hicks, who grabbed a sign from a fan and proudly held it up when the band arrived for the show. "We were all just being fans and that's a cool thing."

Asked if he's really a true fan, he told PEOPLE "I am!"

"What they do is awesome because it gets kids into music," said Hicks who was at the ABC studio to tape a performance of "Beauty School Dropout" for the show's Broadway Week celebration, to air on Friday.

"They are a classy act," he added, noting that Nick is his favorite Jonas Brother because "he's the leader of the band."

Sadly, Hicks didn't get to bond with the guys. "I just saw them in passing. They’ve got some pretty heavy security."

In addition to starring on Broadway, Hicks is busy recording his second album, which he hopes to release in the fall. "I love New York. I'm working on Broadway and it’s a great way for me to get my feet wet in acting and a great way to season yourself as a performer," he said. "I've been able to breathe more as a songwriter, having the time and being able to find the right songs."

Source: People

Taylor Hicks - A Jonas Brother Fan - Live on Regis & Kelly Friday!!

Taylor clowns around in NYC!!! Ya gotta love his sense of humor here! According to the Weekly Examiner:

Taylor Hicks joins a crowd of screaming (and crying) Jonas Brothers fans outside ABC studios in New York City before an appearance on Live with Regis & Kelly on Thursday morning.

The 31-year-old season five winner of American Idol held up a sign reading “The Jonas Brothers Rock My World!”

Taylor has been busy promoting the Broadway production of Grease. He made his Broadway debut when he joined the cast in the role of “Teen Angel” last Friday, June 6. In the role, he adds his soulful flavor to the classic “Beauty School Dropout.”

Tomorrow, Friday, June 12th, Taylor and the cast of Grease make an appearance on Regis & Kelly to sing his show-stopping song "Beauty School Dropout". Set those VCR's!

Source: Weekly Examiner

More pictures:

Credit: Perez/Daniel; Photos: INFdaily

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Taylor Hicks - The Broadway World Video of Opening Night!

The awesome publicity just keeps on coming! Enjoy!

Source: BroadwayWorld.Com

Taylor Hicks - Curtain Call for Grease #2! Awesome!

More great media from Skeeter! Thank you girl! This is awesome footage!

Taylor in the Curtain Call - Grease - 6-10-08

Taylor in the wind/rain storm right after the show before his 2 security guys whisked him off!

Stay tuned for more goodies!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Taylor Hicks Talks to the Press-Telegram - `Taylorizes' Teen Angel Role

So much GREAT press lately for Taylor!! What a fantastic way to ease his name back into the public consciousness before his brand new album drops in the Fall. Here's an interview he gave the Press Telegram out of Long Beach, CA about his role in Grease, AI and appearing on the Capitol Fourth special on PBS.

After winning "American Idol" a couple years back, Taylor Hicks didn't go on to sell nearly as many records as fellow "Idol" champs Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson.

But the silver-haired singer from Birmingham, Ala., remains upbeat and is following in the footsteps of Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino ("The Color Purple") by making his Broadway debut in "Grease."

Taylor called from Manhattan on Monday afternoon to talk about his latest gig, which kicked off last Friday.

"It's definitely country come to town," he said of his presence in the Big Apple. "The traffic, all the people and the fast pace that New York is an adjustment. But I love it and I'm starting to become more comfortable with my role in the show."

The role is that of Teen Angel, played by Frankie Avalon in the 1978 movie version, and Taylor gets a nice, big solo in the production.

"The music is classic and the part is a perfect fit," he said. "I couldn't turn down the opportunity to perform on Broadway for the first time."

But don't expect an imitation of Avalon or anyone else. Like everything else he does, the 31-year-old performer said his number has been "Taylorized."

"The great thing about this role is I was able to be Taylor at the same time as Teen Angel," he said. "It allows me to get my feet wet a little bit before I really dive into acting."

He will be living in New York until at least Sept. 6, when his run in the show is due to end. But he will be multitasking all summer: writing songs for a new album planned for later this year and an appearance on "A Capitol Fourth," which airs live on July 4 (on PBS).
Taylor will join such stars as Huey Lewis and Jerry Lee Lewis on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol and he will be performing "This Land is Your Land" as well as songs "Dancing in the Dark" and "Heaven Knows."

"The numbers will be Taylorized," he promised. "You just gotta put as much soul as you can into it."

So what did he think of this season's "Idol" competition and the champion, David Cook?

"I think he's got a great shot to be successful in the pop-rock genre," he said. "He's an accomplished instrumentalist and it was nice to see that on the show this year. I wasn't allowed to play harmonica or guitar."

Taylor's self-titled first album after winning "Idol" reached platinum status but was still considered a disappointment and he parted ways with his record company earlier this year.

I wondered if he felt more pressure to succeed as a former "Idol" champ?

"What's the measuring stick for an `Idol' winner? Is it sales? Everyone has their own opinion," he said. "I'm not worried about it at all. I'm just excited to be an entertainer.

"It is a wild ride (winning `Idol') and it still is. You have to just understand that you've been working as an entertainer for years and want to keep working and you have to re-invent yourself. Some of these things that I'm doing now, it's going to allow me to do that."

Whatever the sales of the upcoming album, Taylor is confident the effort will be better music than his first.

"This time around, I've just had the time to be able to write music," he said. "You're really under the gun to create an album in a short period of time post-`Idol.' With this next album, I'm going to be able to breathe."

Monday, June 9, 2008

Taylor Hicks - "Broadway World" Coverage of Opening Night!

"American Idol" Season Five winner, Taylor Hicks, made his Broadway debut when he joined the cast of GREASE in the role of "Teen Angel" on Friday, June 6, 2008 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

GREASE™ opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th Street) on Sunday, August 19, 2007 following preview performances which began on Tuesday, July 24, 2007. Directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall (The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town), GREASE™ features book, music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.

Performances are Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m. For more information on the show and ticket availability, please visit our website, www.greaseonbroadway.com

Source: Broadway World
Photos: Walter McBride/ Retna Ltd.

More photos at the above link.

Taylor Hicks Leaves His Handprint at Planet Hollywood

"American Idol" winner Taylor Hicks stopped by the Times Square Planet Hollywood May 6 for a Handprint Ceremony to commemorate his Broadway debut in Grease.

Hicks, who began performances as Teen Angel on June 6, left his handprint and signature in concrete for display in the popular theme restaurant. Following the ceremony, he posed for photos with fellow Grease co-stars Laura Osnes and Max Crumm and greeted a crowd of his fans, known as the Soul Patrol.

Also in attendance were members of the Grease production team, including director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall and costume designer Martin Pakledinaz.

Hicks is scheduled to stay with the show at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre through September 7.


More pictures at the Source link!

Taylor Hicks Talks With Ok! Magazine

If anybody knows how hard it can be to turn an American Idol win into a hot music career, it's Taylor Hicks.

So the season six champ speaks with some authority when he says that this year's winner, David Cook, could be a huge star.

"I think he has a great shot [at success]," Hicks, 31, told OK! at a ceremony at Planet Hollywood where he made hand-print in concrete to commemorate his Broadway debut in Grease.

Taylor, from Birmingham, Alabama, says that by sticking with his grungy, indie rock sound throughout the contest, the 25-year-old has set him up well for life after Idol.

"The rock genre he's in is really... radio loves rock," he said. "I think it's going to work wonders for him. He's carved himself a little niche for his own identity, and I think he's going to do well."

Taylor, who has released one album since his Idol victory, just made his first ever Broadway appearance on Friday as the Teen Angel, played in the movie by crooner Frankie Valli.

The soul singer says he has felt "nervous, and overwhelmed" by his theatrical debut and thinks that treading the boards is even scarier than performing in front on nearly 30 million viewers on American Idol.

"Idol was nerve-wracking, but getting into a particular role was even a little bit more nerve-wracking," he said.

"It's just, the whole idea of playing a part as a character," but, he added, "I'm really excited to see what the next three or four months unfolds."

Source - OK! Magazine

Bonus! Here's a video from 4Tay as he signed autographs outside the theater! I hear it was over 100 degrees in NYC! Taylor brings the HOTNESS in more ways than one, eh?

Taylor Hicks after Grease 6/8/08 from 4Tay on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Taylor Hicks - More Grease Media

Thank you Diane for this great video from Planet Hollywood in Times Square!

Thank you Skeeter/Candy for this great video of the curtain call! Now THIS is some funny stuff!

Thanks to Dee for this autograph signing session after the show!

Thanks again to Skeeter/Candy for this footage outside the Stage Door - Part 1

Stage Door - Part 2

Skeeter's footage of Taylor at Planet Hollywood - Part 1

Planet Hollywood - Part 2

Taylor Hicks - Another Light On Broadway Has Been Lit!

Okay folks, I just have no words to tell you all the pride I'm feeling as I read the many accounts of his performance in Grease from those who attended. It just goes to show me that Taylor Hicks can do anything as a performer - that nothing is out of his reach or grasp or capability, whether it's being a platinum selling recording artist, or a dirty-ass bar blues singer in some hole-in-the wall club, a business-savy guy who is opening up a 6,000 sq. ft nightclub in Birmingham Al, wowing a television audience and getting 67 million people to vote for him as their American Idol Winner '06, or performing on a Broadway stage and bringing both a bunch of hard core New Yawkers and tourists to their feet in roaring applause. Taylor F. Hicks is a STAR, people, and don't forget that and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

BTW, do check out the 2008 Tony Awards Sunday, June 15th 8/7c where Taylor is more than likely going to make at least an appearance on the show. And if we're lucking a few red carpet pictures! And then on Friday, check out Regis and Kelly (June 13th) for a performance from the cast of *Grease*, and a song from Taylor!

If you'd like to download Beauty School Dropout, here you go:

Thanks to Diane and Tappanga for the video!

From Getty Images! This so friggin' KEWL! This will be displayed at the Planet Hollywood in Times Square!

Here is the insert from the Playbill (click to enlarge):

There are many pictures from last night to look at. Check out TaysHarmonica's Website, RightClickSave, for some AWESOME pictures of Taylor from the performance and from Planet Hollywood where he left his hand-prints (and harmonica prints) for the restaurant. Here's some of my faves:

(With "Frenchy")

With Max Crum and Laura Osnes (Danny & Sandy)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Taylor Hicks Blows the Roof Off Of The Brooks Atkinson Theater According to Theater Goers!

SUCCESS folks!! Okay, I'm getting bits and pieces from those who attended Taylor's opening night in Grease. Thanks to everyone at The Boogie who posted these little tid-bits for us to enjoy (TaysHarmonica, Bates, Diane, Juliegr, Skeeter, AmyH and anyone else I forgot to mention). You guys rock! So here we go....

Those who sent gifts, cards and balloons will be happy to know that they are all sitting in a room all their own at the theater! I can only imagine how MUCH stuff he got - and yes Taylor has his own dressing room it has been reported. Taylor F. Hicks is IN DA BUILDING folks! Heh!

Anyway, even before the show started, one of the stage hands who saw a rehearsal said he was "fucking awesome"! I love that! For tonight's performance, he wore what appeared to be a black sequined suit with a white sequined shirt and white patent boots. He sang from a big ice-cream cone at first, then descended down to the stage, the cone opened up and then proceeded to sing to 'Frenchy' (damn lucky girl!) He sat in that ice cream cone during scene before his. I have conflicting reports about the pompadour hairstyle he was wearing - not sure yet if it was his own hair that was teased or a wig. Then he went back into the ice cream cone, played the harmonica again and did his signature Ray Charles 'head toss'. He remembered EVERY LAST WORD of the song, the pro that he is, and 'camped up the performance' - even did some falsetto! (Ignore any troll that says otherwise - trust me). The performance was called a "showstopper"! And most of all, he appeared to be having FUN and totally hamming it up! The audience was cheering and screaming after he left.

At the curtain call there were "tons" of photographers rushing the stage. A lot of people in audience took pics as well. During the cast performance at the end, he had a few short solos and he sang, "Grease is the word" as a solo line. He also did the hand jive with his harmonica. Without question, Taylor got the loudest response from the audience. He was "glowing" when he exited the stage doors. He signed everything and talked to everybody. He was signing playbills, etc. (some people even had his book). The playbills weren't reprinted yet with his picture, but there was an insert with his picture and bio. He had an SUV waiting for him and he had to leave quickly. The cast came out and he took some pictures with them as well. One of the women actresses said there was an after party for Taylor at Planet Hollywood. While there, Taylor left his hand-prints and the press was out in full force snapping away (look for pictures soon!). Okay that's all for now - more to come!

Taylor Hicks To Give Handprint At Planet Hollywood!

According to Urbanite, Taylor will be out and about in the Big Apple tonight celebrating his Broadway debut!

The gray-haired, crazy-dancin' crooner hasn't made much of a splash since he took top honors on American Idol Season Five.

But starting today, Taylor Hicks will take a shot at being "the one that you want" in his Broadway debut playing the role of "Teen Angel" in "Grease." He's just another in a long line of "Idol" contestants to hit the Great White Way.

Others include: 2005 winner Fantasia Barrino ("The Color Purple"), 2005 finalist Diana DeGarmo ("Hairspray") and 2003 finalist Josh Strickland (Disney's "Tarzan").

Hicks starts today and will hold the role through Sept. 7. And apparently, Hicks and his "Soul Patrol" are so sure he'll be a hit, immediately after tonight's performance he'll celebrate his stage debut with a handprint ceremony at the Planet Hollywood in Times Square, tonight at 10:45 p.m.

If anyone attends, please let us know what happened!! And bring back lots of video and pictures!

Taylor Hicks Debuts in *Grease* Tonight!

Tonight, Taylor Hicks will make his Broadway debut in *Grease*! Who would have thought that this guy from Birmingham, AL, who relentlessly knocked on doors that never opened and who struggled for 10 years to make it in the music business is now a Broadway star! Well, not exactly a Broadway star *yet*, but I am certain he will blow the roof off of the Brooks Atkinson theater with a completely taylorized version of that 50's 'classic' - Beauty School Dropout!

Is it wrong that I spent the better part of last night and today listening to the Frankie Avalon version of Beauty School Dropout on YouTube? Maybe it eases my nerves to think that if I can memorize the lyrics, certainly Taylor can, right? Right...

"...Your story sad to tell,
A teenage ne'er do well,
Most mixed up non-delinquent on the block!
Your future's so unclear now,
What's left of your career now?
Can't even get a trade in on your smile!

Angels: (La lalala lalala lalala...)..."

There are a LOT of words to that song and I'll admit I'm a wee-bit nervous for him (and I know I shouldn't be) because he's a pro, but what if he messes up the lyrics?!?? ACK!!! Okay, calm down, self, he'll be fine! In the words of Randy Jackson, "No matter what the song is you know how to make it into a Taylor Hicks vehicle".

The rush of pride that his family and friends will be feeling as they sit in the audience to watch him perform will be a completely overwhelming experience, I suspect - and for Taylor as well.

".... I won't wait til I'm a star on Broadway..." How prophetic those words are and how ironic is it that he decided to record the song well over 10 years ago. Break A Leg, Taylor!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Daughtry, Underwood, Hicks: The Ass Lickers vs. the Bad Ass!

It seems Simon Fuller, one of the executive producers of AI, got married this past weekend in Napa Valley, CA. He invited Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwood to attend [BIG surprise *belch*]. That same weekend, further south in Los Angeles, American Idol's other executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, gets an achievement award at the SHARE, Inc. event that Taylor Hicks was supposed to headline. As it turned out, Taylor blew off the event at the last minute (apparently coming to his senses) to focus his attention on more important matters like settling into his new digs in NYC and rehearsing for his Broadway Debut in Grease.

Now, considering the above scenario, I have a question for you. Of Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Hicks, who are the ass-lickers and who is the bad-ass? Who is liberated enough to control his own career and who are the puppet tools still tied by the gonads to the American Idol corporation?

Must be such a relief to Taylor not to have completely sold his soul to his 'owners', eh? Free. At. Last.

Source & Source

Monday, June 2, 2008

American Idol Extra: American Idol Taylor Hicks to Star in Grease on Broadway

NICE little write-up from US Magazine, which reads:

American Idol season five winner Taylor Hicks has found himself a new role: “Teen Angel” on Broadway's Grease.

Hicks, 31, will join the cast on June 6.

“I am incredibly excited to be a part of one of my favorite musicals,” Hicks said in a press release. “The Soul Patrol’s gonna invade Broadway!”

(Soul Patrol was his fans' nickname for Hicks during the show. See what other Idols are up to.)

The Birmingham, Alabama native's single "Do I Make You Proud" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified gold shortly after his Idol win. His 2006 album "Taylor Hicks" went platinum and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 charts.

Hicks isn't the only Hollywood star to hit the Great White Way. Katie Holmes will make her debut in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" and Nicole Richie was offered a lead role in Chicago.

Caption under the picture reads: Taylor Hicks attends the Bud Select Official Kentucky Derby Eve Party at The In Touch Weekly Parlor on April 2, 2008 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jason Kempin/FilmMagic