What Happened To Taylor Hicks After American Idol?

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Does any American Idol contestant exude "Where Are They Now?" energy more than Taylor Hicks? With his salt-and-pepper locks, gruff voice, and energetically earnest Southern charm, Hicks "Soul Patrolled" his way to the Idol crown back in 2006, besting singer and actress Katharine McPhee, who placed second in Season 5 of the singing competition, per PopSugar. With millions upon millions of Americans watching and voting, winning American Idol, especially back then, was no small feat. 

But as fans may also be aware, the aftermath of said victory usually goes one of two ways. For stars like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, it was a one-way ticket to fame and fortune that they are still enjoying today in the form of successful talk shows and buzzworthy award show performances. But if your name isn't on that short list, the drop-off is steeper than Simon Cowell's V-neck t-shirts. 

Along with Ruben Studdard and Kris Allen, Hicks leads the pack of "Oh, I remember them!" winners from the hit competition show. Aside from his finale song-turned debut single "Do I Make You Proud," which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 2006 per Digital Journal, the going's been tough. Even now, mentioning the singer who once wowed the judges with his big personality and "Soul Patrol" catchphrase, brings about a knowing smirk. It's sad, but it's true! Welp, just where is Hicks today? Scroll down and find out what the Idol winner has been up to.

Taylor Hicks still sings and owns a restaurant

Where is Taylor Hicks these days? Actually, the American Idol alum has stayed busier than you'd think! According to USA Today, the Alabama native was dropped by his record label in 2008 after his self-titled debut album performed poorly. Instead of succumbing to defeat, Hicks launched his own label, Modern Whomp, and now has three studio albums to his name, releasing his latest single in 2017. Plus, in 2012, Hicks landed his own Las Vegas residency — the first Idol winner to nab such an honor — which ran until 2014 to positive reviews (per Vital Vegas).

Hicks also took a turn on Broadway, appearing in Grease and joining the national tour in 2009, per USA Today. He kept that theatrical streak going, starring in the Atlanta-based Civil War outdoor reenactment Shenandoah in 2019. Aside from the performing arts, Hicks also owns Saw's Juke Joint, a "barbecue and blues bar" in Alabama (per AL.com). Clearly he must have a pretty sharp palette because Hicks also starred in his own food series, State Plate, back in 2017, which ran for three seasons. Not too shabby!

Additionally, Hicks received a whopping $750,000 advance to pen a memoir back in 2006, according to People, which came out the following year. So Hicks might not have enjoyed the same level of success as, say, fellow Idol alums Adam Lambert or Kelly Clarkson, but still, the star has made good on his Idol crown! We're on Team "Soul Patrol" for life.