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Thread: Taylor Hicks (AI 5)

  1. #2541
    Yumpin' Yiminy roses4me's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    USA has a poll for your favorite Idol and Taylor isn't a choice. Talk about a lack of respect. Yikes! I sent a note to them telling USA of their glaring omission.

    I can't think when I have to think. ~~moi~~

  2. #2542
    FORT Fogey wisgalb's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    Philippine Star - Articles - -

    If we forget just how good the fifth season American Idol performers were, we need only remember three names: Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry and the salt-and-pepper-haired fellow who was a little more manic and a little more eager than the rest — the one who would whoop and lean a la Stevie Wonder; the one with a penchant for blowing on a harmonica every chance he got. We thought he looked a little like Jay Leno then, but my girlfriend Joyce digressed when she saw him live.

    “Pogi kaya!” she said. Poor Jay. But I left it at that.

    Pogi or otherwise, the ring leader of the “soul patrol” surely raked in the votes — enough to catapult him past Katharine McPhee and enough to have our unlikely hero crowned American Idol last May 24, 2006 — in front of some 34.4 million rabid TV viewers.

    While we’re at it, consider that some 63.4 million people cast their vote for Taylor Hicks — the “gritty, down-home white R ’n B singer” as the AI champ. Yup, presidencies have been settled with far less votes and hoopla.

    “Thank you, soul patrol!” he beams on the Hard Rock Café stage in Makati — always referring to the throngs of believers who were won over by the unassuming man with the funny manner yet and soulful — and considerable — vocal prowess.

    And, make no mistake about it, Taylor is a true showman — and an original that clearly outshone McPhee who had gone for the hopelessly clichéd, sexy siren stereotype.

    He saunters onto the stage, blowing on his harmonica like a judge banging on a gavel: “Hello everybody!” he says, and leans — yes that now famous lean. And just like that, we are taken by Taylor.

    It’s his first time in Manila, he reveals, but reckons it won’t be the last. “I love it! I’m excited to be here. I wish I could stay here for a week. I have had a very nice time!”

    Ayala Land’s Mall Group seems to have a monopoly on getting AI talents here, but who are we to complain? It wasn’t just too long ago that Yaminoys of all ages went nuts over Elliott’s tour of Ayala Malls.

    For Taylor, especially, performing at the mall is certainly a fit. He professes: “I love shopping. I have to get gifts for my brother, my father, my mother, my grandmother, my cousins. Just about everybody. I guess that’s what happens when you win American Idol. You have to buy a bunch of gifts.”

    Such candor is rare for usually guarded celebrities. But that’s exactly among the qualities that endeared Taylor to the world — a refreshing character that is purely about the music and rarely about being self-conscious with projections and affectations.

    Which is not to say that Taylor takes success for granted. “It’s very exciting for me to be a musician and to be able to travel to places like the Philippines. I am able to share my love for music with other people. I believe that music is truly a universal language. I am very blessed to have the opportunity to come here and perform,” he shares. “Life after American Idol is like sitting on a rocket ship. It’s been great. I love what I do as a performer.”

    Taylor got a taste of the vaunted Filipino hospitality upon departure from the plane: “Well, as soon as I arrived at the airport I was received very warmly by the Filipino people. I have heard from friends of mine that this is the place to come to share music,” he says.

    Taylor is good friends with Elliott — who was probably a major influence in Hicks’ decision to fly to the Philippines. Someone asked in jest who would win if Taylor and Elliott would fight it out mano a mano. “Well, I would!” he gamely replies. “I would try to win!”

    But seriously, Taylor takes his hat off to Elliott. He says he would have rooted for Elliott to win had he himself not joined that memorable season. Taylor also became close with Filipino contender Jose “Sway” Penala (based in San Francisco), his roommate. “He was one of the people who told me that I needed to come over here and play,” Taylor reveals.

    Taylor has been polishing his chops since he was a kid of seven or eight, and is truly living a charmed life now. He is already at work on his follow-up album to his eponymously named debut effort.

    “It will be coming out next year. I will also have a DVD out next year. I am pretty excited about doing another tour, maybe in the Asian continent early next year,” Taylor says. Expect lots of soul, blues and R ’n B, he avers, and also a little bit of pop. “I am trying to find the right vibe with different songwriters. I am trying to make the best album that I can.”

    Of Mau (Marcelo) who participated in the Asian Idol: “She has a big, great voice. We were at rehearsal and I saw her sing. She is a great singer,” Taylor comments.

    When not on, well, soul patrol, Taylor is just like the rest of us — watching sports on TV and swinging at the fairway. “I’m just a regular old guy,” he says with a smile. Well, make that a regular old guy who is rich and successful, right? And, of course, a little loopy. We like our Taylor with a little bit of weird. Like, for instance, do you know that he brings along a Ray Charles doll wherever he performs? “It makes me feel better. He was a major influence in my musical background,” he explains.

    “The key is having faith, believing in yourself and navigating yourself through your art,” Taylor proffers.

    At the press conference, Taylor seems bereft of any self-importance yet is brimming with obvious confidence. We note that he goes out of his way to sign autographs, sing spontaneously at most given moments, and play his harmonica while waiting for photos to be snapped. There is good reason to believe he remains the simple man from Alabama who loves music and the privilege of singing for others.

    Wow, what an idol.

  3. #2543
    FORT Fogey wisgalb's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    According to this website:

    World Wide Albums

    Taylor's worldwide sales are from 754,000 to 810,550

  4. #2544
    Yumpin' Yiminy roses4me's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    Thanks for posting the two articles. it's nice to read he's so happy.

    I still don't understand why his cd didn't sell better. All those votes should have provided better sales.

    I can't think when I have to think. ~~moi~~

  5. #2545
    FORT Fogey wisgalb's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    Some pictures from Asian Idol

  6. #2546
    Leo is offline
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    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    Here's an interview in the weekend paper.

    Philippine Star - Articles - -

    Taylor Hicks on Pinoys, gray hair & Simon Cowell
    CULTURE VULTURE By Therese Jamora-Garceau
    Sunday, December 23, 2007

    Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Taylor Hicks has got the feeling he’s not in Kansas anymore. Having flown overseas for the first time to perform a series of concerts at Ayala’s Glorietta, Greenbelt and TriNoma malls, the American Idol is a long way from home (in his case, Birmingham, Alabama), and don’t he know it.

    I can tell he’s well out of his comfort zone when I meet him at the Ascott Makati Hotel, where he laid his head for five days. I was expecting the Taylor Hicks I saw on American Idol — the exceptionally warm, friendly, down-to-earth Southerner who recruited millions into his Soul Patrol — not just because he could sing so well but also because he was so dang endearing.

    The Taylor Hicks I shake hands with doesn’t smile immediately. He seems wary, guarded, and not quite warmed up yet for the first interview of the day.

    But a similar scenario played out at his Glorietta 4 concert the night before. About a thousand fans turned out to watch him sing songs like Just to Feel that Way and The Maze from his Idol-produced album, “Taylor Hicks.”

    When Hicks emerged, looking much leaner than his Idol days but still sporting the same George Clooney-esque salt-and-pepper hair, he was moving around and singing well, but where was the frenzied, quirky dancing? Where was the harmonica playing?

    Backed by all-Filipino musicians culled from Louie Ocampo’s band (Ayala reps say Hicks was extremely impressed and happy with his Pinoy backup, with whom he bonded tightly), by the time the 30- to 50-something Makati crowd had started to clap and sing along, Hicks had warmed to them as well. After a show-stopping rendition of Taking it to the Streets, Hicks ended the set by finally whipping out his harmonica and letting ’er rip. Do I Make You Proud hit the right “senti” note with Pinoys, and during the danceable Heaven Knows, Hicks started twirling his arms frenetically, shouted, “Soul Patrol!” and did his trademark Ray Charles side bend with matching “Whoo!”

    Now, that’s the Taylor Hicks we know and love.

    What did you know about the Philippines before you came here?

    A little bit from my friend Sway Penala. Sway was on the American Idol finale with me. And he told me how cool it is and how musical of a country it is. And I told him one day I’d get a chance to go and so here I am, and I’m excited about it.

    What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found out since you arrived?

    The traffic isn’t nearly as bad as Jakarta, Indonesia (where he went to judge Asian Idol), so I was pretty excited about getting from the airport to the hotel so quickly.

    Are Filipinos similar to Southerners in any way?

    Yeah, we both kind of live in very humid climates. So the weather here is similar to the weather back home.

    Are you still carrying your statue of Ray Charles with you?

    I’ve got Ray. He’s upstairs in my room, actually.

    Why is gospel music so important to you?

    I think it connects with spirituality. And I think there should be a certain element of spirituality in music, period. So I think that’s a key.

    Did you have a religious upbringing?

    No, not really. But I did listen to some gospel music and music has definitely helped me through some tough times. So the gospel sound is an influential part of my music.

    You said before you had a troubled childhood. What kind of trouble did you get yourself into?

    I think all kinds. Well, you know, with (my parents’) divorce and moving around a lot as a kid and stuff, I think the constant variable for me was music. It was more uplifting. Starting to play music and perform music — it started to take me away.

    How small is your hometown, Birmingham, Alabama? Are you friends with Bo Bice?

    Actually, I’ve met Bo a couple times. Yeah, Birmingham’s a small town, so everybody knows everybody.

    How important is it to have a gimmick on American Idol?

    What do you mean by “gimmick”?

    I mean to have your own style. Like Sanjaya with the hair? Something to set yourself apart from the other contestants.

    Well, I think you want to do that musically, to begin with. For me, the music and the performance come first. I think it’s second when you have to differentiate yourself between the other contestants. But I think the choices of songs can help you differ yourself from the other contestants.

    So when did you know you had won over Simon Cowell?

    I don’t think I’ve won him over yet. I’m still trying. (Laughs)

    He never threw you a bone?

    Not at all.

    How different is it being a local celebrity in your home state to being a national idol?

    Well, you know, the pressures are greater. The pressures on being a celebrity, it’s pretty big, ’cause everybody’s looking at you.

    Since you won, has there been any pressure to change your image, from dyeing your hair to losing weight?

    You know, not really. I think the gray will stay.

    I thought the best songs on the album were the ones you wrote, Soul Thing and The Deal. What’s your songwriting process?

    I think it’s just whenever it hits you. You know, whenever you get inspired, you should try to act on it. Basically, when the muses hit, then that’s when you take off.

    Do you start with music or lyrics first?

    It depends on where the inspiration comes from.

    Do you keep a notebook with you?

    Sometimes I do. If you look at my house back home, you’ll see little notes scribbled everywhere. It’s not just one main notebook, I think it’s a lot of different papers spread all over the room.

    With “Taylor Hicks,” your solo album, are you still in touch with the authentic sound you started out with?

    Yeah, yeah, I think I am. I think it’s been a fine line that you have to walk between pop sensibilities and authenticity of the older styles — so that’s the kind of sound that you want to create, you know.

    How do you feel performing genres other than soul, R&B, and gospel?

    I love all styles of music, so, you know, I’ll perform anything at any time.

    How do you inject soul into other people’s music?

    I think it has to have feeling, you know. You have to connect with your lyrics.

    How much creative control did Clive Davis give you in recording your album?

    I think, for every artist in that situation, not as much as you want, to begin with. But, you know, some of the songs that I was given for the album were great songs. So I had a lot of great music to pick from.

    Did he give you the producer you wanted?

    Yeah, we came to an agreement about the producer. I think Matt Serletic was a good choice for that first album.

    They also just give you the songs?

    I get to pick what songs. They give me 500, and I get to choose. I chose the best songs that fit my voice and my style.

    Did you accomplish everything you dreamed of musically with this album?

    I definitely think that there’s more music to be made. I’ve released two albums previous to American Idol: one is “Under the Radar,” and “In Your Time,” with my own band before AI, and you know, this is my third album I’ve created, basically. But this fourth one will probably sum up all the work I’ve done on the previous three albums.

    Do you still play with your band?

    Some of the members I do have in the band, some of the members I auditioned for. You know, you try to make the best music possible. That’s your goal as a musician.

    When you won, did it spike the sales of your previous albums?

    Yes. A lot.

    Do you hope to win over with your performances anything you didn’t get across in the album?

    You know, I want to try to take what I learned in the studio and what I learned from a live setting and combine them together to create the sound, whether it’s an album or whether it’s live. I think the more I can learn how to record and play, the better off I’ll be as a recording artist.

    Do you plan to record a follow-up soon?

    This year sometime. This coming year.

    What’s next for you?

    Well, the DVD’s coming out — it’s called Whomp at the Warfield, and that’s a theater in San Francisco — and a brand-new album and a brand-new tour. And hopefully, I’ll be back in the Philippines playing for you guys soon.

    You had a lot of really enthusiastic fans at your Glorietta 4 Park concert last night.

    Yeah, it’s really cool. Ayala Malls have been really nice to bring me over here and let me perform, and hopefully I can come back, not only to perform but to vacation, too.

    Were you at all nervous about what sort of reception you’d get?

    Um … a little bit, yeah. (Laughs) You know, I’m a long way from Alabama. So, you know, you definitely get a little nervous, but I think music is a universal language and I’m learning: it does cross barriers.

    How was your experience judging Asian Idol?

    I thought it was really cool. You know, there’s so many great singers that were on the show from each country. It’s amazing that all the countries in Asia can come together and perform on a show like that. It was a really neat thing to see.

    What song on your album do you consider essential Taylor Hicks?

    Soul Thing. That song has really come alive as far as the live concert goes.

  7. #2547
    FORT Fogey razorbacker's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    I just caught an 1 1/2 concert by Taylor recorded from San Francisco. It was on HDNet in Hi def with 5.1 stereo surround. I must say the guy puts on a damn fine show & he has a really tight band behind him. I don't know how many of you get HDNet but if you do I'm sure they will show it again. It is well worth catching.

  8. #2548
    FORT Fogey wisgalb's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    razor is this the first time for you to see him with his band other than on AI?

    Here is another article

    Just happy to play music for a living - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

    Just happy to play music for a living

    By Pocholo Concepcion
    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    Close this MANILA, Philippines—As a child of divorced parents, recent Manila visitor Taylor Hicks found solace in music. He fell hard for black artists; getting to watch them in concert convinced him that he should follow their lead.

    For 10 years, Hicks toiled as a professional singer, making the rounds of bars and clubs (even parties) around the southeastern states, including those near his hometown, Alabama.

    Though he wasn’t signed to any label, he already had two albums—“In Your Time” and “Under the Radar”—both self-produced, prior to his self-titled major label (Arista/Sony BMG) debut which came after he became the 2006 American Idol.

    Despite worldwide attention following his triumph, Hicks remains grounded and doesn’t mind being referred to as the oldest or least likely-looking Idol. What he’s most proud of, simply, is being a musician.

    How did your parents’ divorce affect you?

    Any child who goes through a divorce has to find a happy place. For me, music was that happy place. It became my passion and outlet for my feelings.

    How did you find the music that you love?

    I first heard Sam Cooke and Ray Charles on the radio, in a program called AM Gold.

    Was there a conscious effort to emulate these influences?

    Yeah, but once you hear all these great artists and musicians, you want to recreate something for yourself. That’s when you try to take off and create your own music.

    What was the biggest difference between your first two independent albums and the major label debut?

    The first two were my music, songs that I’ve written. The third had other songwriters and producers. That was a great learning experience which helped me become a better recording artist.

    How do you rate the first two albums?

    I think the first one definitely needed some work. The second one was the better attempt. And the third was me understanding what it was like to have a bigger production.

    You described the third album as organic.

    What I tried to accomplish was take some of the organic influences and cross them over with pop sensibilities. I think I got a good shot at it.

    What band or solo artist, do you think, has been very influential these past few years?

    I think Norah Jones brought us back down to earth commercially with “Don’t Know Why.” It allowed songwriters and people with pure musical talents to be heard on radio, as opposed to the more “produced” sounds. For me, personally, it’s Ray La Montaigne. He’s a great soul singer.

    Do you remember watching a concert that changed your life?

    I was 6 or 7 when I saw Lionel Richie and Tina Turner in concert. Seeing those two performers, right off the bat, didn’t hurt anything.

    You look more fashionable now. Do you have a stylist?

    I go shopping and comb my hair just like everybody else. But you know what? I take that back, ’cause very little do I comb my hair, although I put gel in it.

    Have you ever thought of dyeing your salt-and-pepper hair?

    No. I would be scared to [do that] because nobody would know who I am.

    What if it all turns white?

    Then I may have to reconsider.

    You were referred to as the oldest American Idol in the early part of the contest. Did that affect you?

    You could say I was the oldest and the wisest! I knew it was up to America to vote. Some of the judges’ comments, I just let them roll off my back.

    Clive Davis (record company boss) signed up Chris Daughtry (2007 AI fourth placer) even earlier than you.

    Chris deserves all that. He’s a rock singer and songwriter. Considering how popular rock music is right now, that’s a no-brainer.

    Before AI, you spent time in Nashville pursuing your music career, although it didn’t pan out.

    I was trying to make it for 10 years. I did everything possible and created every opportunity just to make it. I thought Nashville was a good place for me, at the time, to be heard. It taught me a lot about myself.

    Are you proud to be called a white soul/R&B singer?

    I’m just proud to be a musician, to play music for a living.

    How do you see yourself 10 years from now?

    Completely white hair. But hopefully still playing music, touring, maybe sitting here with you for another interview.

  9. #2549
    FORT Fogey wisgalb's Avatar
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    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    This picture is from Taylor's interview on Sirius radio a few days ago.

    Last edited by wisgalb; 12-31-2007 at 11:00 AM. Reason: added picture

  10. #2550
    Rock Stars! bbnbama's Avatar
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    In my own little world where all things are Idol......

    Re: Taylor Hicks - Season 5

    Damn! I hate I missed his interview. I did see them interview him during the Mississippi State bowl game though...he looked great!
    Reality is the beginning...not the end....Wallace Stevens

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