Taylor Hicks: The Year in Photographs
As the page turns on 2010, we take a moment to remember a few of the year’s many highlights.
January 5, 2010: The live concert DVD “Whomp at the Warfield” is made available for purchase nationwide. Filmed at the historic Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, the DVD features several songs from the 2006 debut album “Taylor Hicks”. A bonus interview with the artist includes an exclusive acoustic performance of original songs. Our review: The concert builds in energy and enthusiasm to the end; bonus content alone is worth the purchase price.
He made the role his own. From January through May 2010 Taylor Hicks starred in the national tour of GREASE, the musical. The Variety review of his performance confirmed that “… to his credit and to the audience’s enjoyment, nobody else could be this Teen Angel, and there’s no point in even trying to compare him to Frankie Avalon.” (Variety review: http://bit.ly/fxeqqu) (Photo by AJC/Rodney Ho)
These were the final months of a run that began on Broadway in the summer of 2008 and that led several writers to assert that Taylor Hicks had “fallen off the face of the earth”. We were heartened to learn that his fall was cushioned by audiences that erupted in cheers upon his stage reveal, and by a rather large sum of money. (http://aol.it/ebIo0B “Taylor Hicks Is Laughing All the Way to the Bank”)
Taylor worked with other volunteers to install siding and paint at a Habitat for Humanity work site in Birmingham, March 2010. The musician’s commitment to charitable work continued throughout the year; Hicks’ support of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation gave many children a reason to smile during the 2010 holiday season. (Photo by Susan Clayton)
Taylor Hicks performed the national anthem to open the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, April 11, 2010. Charles Barkley served as grand marshall, while Randy Owen sang “My Home’s in Alabama”. Attendance was 50,000+ for the State’s first IndyCar race. (Photo via taylorhicks.com) Taylor was also tapped to sing the national anthem at Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA playoffs (May).
The American Idol Finale, May 26, 2010. Photographed behind the scenes with Kelly Clarkson, Paula Abdul, and Crystal Bowersox, the season 5 winner took the stage to perform “Together, We Are One” with other Idol winners.
Later in the year Taylor would also work with several Idol finalists including Kimberley Locke, Bo Bice, Ace Young, Blake Lewis, and Jason Castro at various charity and holiday events.
Taylor Hicks and Karl Denson rock the 7th Annual Rocky Mountain Power Jam at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, June 25, 2010. Several Jam musicians, including Hicks, Denson, Ivan Neville, Eric Krasno, and Adam Deitch will reunite in January 2011 for Jam Cruise 9. (Photo via taylorhicks.com)
A July 25 appearance on Fox & Friends announced the opening of Taylor’s summer 2010 national concert tour in New York City. A performance at Highline Ballroom later that evening thrilled the crowd, on their feet and dancing to an encore that included a unique and irresistible version of the La Roux hit “Bulletproof”. (photo by John Felleca)
“Back to the Gulf” aired on the CW Network on August 27. The one hour special paid tribute to Gulf Coast residents and their efforts to recover from the oil spill disaster. Taylor Hicks performed “What’s Right Is Right” and “Seven Mile Breakdown” from his album, “The Distance”. (Photo by NolaMar)
Taylor also served as Alabama spokesperson for the Gulf Coast; he appeared on MSNBC to discuss the impact of the disaster on his home state, and penned an exclusive editorial on the subject for CNN/Larry King Live, “The Tip of the Oil Iceberg”.
Robin Roberts, Tuskegee Airman Mitch Higginbotham, and Taylor Hicks at the Life Changing Lives Gala, September 11, 2010. The Gala benefited Wounded Warrior Project, Susan G. Komen For The Cure (Orange County), and Festival of Children Foundation and was held at the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel, CA. (Photo by Albert Evangelista)
Hicks would perform at other charity events during 2010, notably the Dawn of a Dream Gala to benefit the children’s cancer research fund at the University of Minnesota, and the Big Oak Ranch Gala to benefit children in need.
The summer national tour continued well into the fall. Here, Taylor Hicks takes the stage for the Eat to the Beat concert series at Epcot Center, October 9, 2010. The band played to a large and enthusiastic crowd at all six scheduled shows, and a 2011 reprise is anticipated. (Photo by Louise/4tay)
He appeared as a contestant on “Don’t Forget the Lyrics”, October 12, 2010 with a spot on rendition of Journey’s “Open Arms”. Other national television appearances during the year included “Celebrity Ghost Stories” on the Biography Channel, “The Spirit of Mississippi”, and “The Hollywood Christmas Parade” on the Hallmark Channel. Local television and radio appearances accompanied each stop of the GREASE national tour.
Taylor Hicks sang “Gran Torino” in honor, and by request, of Clint Eastwood at the November 14 Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival Gala. Accompanied by Loren Gold on piano, Taylor added harmonica to his performance of the title song from the 2008 film. Pictured here are Taylor Hicks, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Mike Melvoin (partially hidden), Clint Eastwood, Tom Scott, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and George Lopez. (Photo via Museum of Tolerance)
WorkPlay Theatre was sold out for the December 9 Taylor Hicks holiday show in Birmingham. Ticket holders waited outside the venue for hours to ensure a spot close to the stage. (Photo by MacPolski)
An unexpected guest appearance by American Idol season 2 winner Ruben Studdard thrilled the WorkPlay crowd; Hicks and Studdard were all smiles during a duet performance of “Woman’s Gotta Have It”. (Photo by MacPolski)
A Broadway tour, national concert tour, television appearances, benefit performances, and a commitment to the Gulf Coast and its people produced a busy and highly successful year for Taylor Hicks.
We just hope to keep up with all the good news in 2011! Cheers, and a happy and healthy New Year to us all.