About Taylor HicksREG had the pleasure of booking Taylor Hicks for the Tupelo Elvis Festival.
With his raspy, soulful voice and salt-and-pepper hair, Taylor Hicks was one of the least likely contestants to make it to the final round of American Idol, but his quirky charm and rousing delivery of songs like "Takin' It to the Streets" won Hicks a devoted legion of fans called the Soul Patrol — and the title of the fifth-season American Idol.
Born in Birmingham and raised in Hoover, AL, Hicks grew up listening to classic soul artists such as Otis Redding and Sam Cooke — which he said he could to relate to even as a child due to the divorce of his parents and other troubles — and singer/songwriters like Van Morrison, Bob Seger, and Billy Joel. His chief influence, however, was Ray Charles, whom he admired so much that he carried a little statue of Charles with him whenever he performed.
After fronting cover bands and working a variety of jobs, he made the most of his opportunity on American Idol and its rabid national audience.