It has been a little over a month since Taylor Hicks was crowned the 2006 American Idol. In that time, he has worked hard to dispel any thought that American Idols are not real musicians or singers, or that they haven’t worked hard or paid any dues.
It helps that Taylor is 29-years old and his years of playing every bar in the Southeast shows. It’s pretty clear he’s a man who has paid plenty of dues. It helps that he knows his music. He loves Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and Van Morrison. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that he already has two independent albums, In Your Time (currently unavailable, but sells for a pretty penny on ebay) and Under the Radar, under his belt.
Taylor beat the American Idol stereotype weeks before he even won the title. Taylor pushed the American Idol stigma aside the second the walked through the door to his audition. Everyone knew he was unlike anyone who had ever been on American Idol before; he was something different than what the show seemed to be about. So different, Simon Cowell was certain Taylor could never be marketed as a popular singer.
Taylor shoved the American Idol stereotype right out the door when he walked into the Top 24 decision room blowing his harmonica. Taylor never wanted anyone to forget he was a real musician, that he was the real thing. Despite Simon’s misgivings about Taylor’s chance for success, he started developing a strong and steadfast fan base immediately. Not only was Taylor out to prove a real musician could win American Idol, but America was also out to show American Idol a real musician was what they wanted.
Some may say it was Taylor’s dancing or his gray hair that pulled him through, but those people weren’t really paying attention. It was Taylor’s voice, which resonated true feeling behind each song, and it was his genuine love for what he was doing that gave him the edge.
In the weeks since American Idol ended we have seen Taylor back home playing with his band, jamming with Snoop Dogg, and performing his original song "The Deal" at Utah's America's Freedom Festival. He’s making it clear his new album, due out later this year, will be his music and his style. And through all this, he has been nothing but grateful to American Idol and the fans who’ve put him where he is.
So does it matter that Taylor Hicks comes from a show that seemed to have been put in place to produce the kind of pre-manufactured pop star we’re all getting sick of? No. What matters is what Taylor does from here on out, and right now he seems to be on the right path.Powered by Sidelines