Taylor Reuben Hicks is an American singer who won the fifth season of American Idol. Hicks got his start as a professional musician in his late teens and performed around the Southeastern United States for well over the span of a decade, during which he also released two independent albums. Upon winning Idol, he was signed to Arista Records, under which his self-titled major label debut was released on December 12, 2006. His energetic stage performances and influences derived from classic rock, blues, and R&B music had earned him a following of devout fans, who have been dubbed the "Soul Patrol." He performed on Broadway in 2008 and on national tour in 2009 in Grease playing Teen Angel, the role originated by Alan Paul. The new CD, The Distance, was released March 10, 2009, with the first single, "What's Right Is Right", going to AC adds January 27, 2009. The second single was confirmed to be "Seven Mile Breakdown" via his Myspace page. In May 2011, Taylor Hicks opened ORE Drink and Dine restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama’s Crestline Park. Birmingham Magazine readers voted ORE as Birmingham’s “Best New Restaurant” in the fall of 2011. ORE Drink and Dine re-opened as Saw's Juke Joint, a barbecue and live music bar, on October 30, 2012. On June 14, 2011, Taylor Hicks performed at Bama Rising: A Benefit Concert For Alabama Tornado Recovery at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center. According to Billboard, the Bama Rising benefit concert raised an estimated $2.2 million for Alabama tornado relief efforts. On August 30, 2012, Taylor Hicks performed "Takin' It to the Streets" at the closing night of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
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