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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Press Pumping the Dumping of Taylor Hicks

I first heard rumors that Taylor Hicks had parted ways with his record company contracted through American Idol a few days ago. Shortly after, the Taylor Hicks google alerts began popping. Now it has also come to light that he's also been released from 19E.

Mr. Hicks entered into the reality singing contest as a way to, as he put it, "have his voice heard". With that simple stated desire he lit up the show. Contrary to some of the talk that circulates around American Idol, and the humorous arguments that ensue regarding the outcome of season five, America did get it right. Certainly Chris Daughtry, who finished fourth, has sold more music but Hicks made that season one of the most successful yet for the franchise regarding viewer response and excitement. During season five Mr. Hicks 'owned' Idol, I wrote a piece regarding my thoughts on blogcritics.org, 19E and American Idol Owe Taylor Hicks.

Most of the Taylor Hicks news alerts that I have read say basically the same things:
Reality TV World includes this in their article, "Hicks' self-titled debut dropped at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 album sales chart during its first week of sales in early December 2006, selling 298,000 copies. By March 2007 the album had sold 640,000 copies, but had dropped to 136th on The Billboard Top 200 album sales chart and had Hicks hoping he wouldn't become the first Idol winner to see his debut album sell less than a million copies."

Celebrity Mania has this to add to the situation, "Hicks thus becomes the second former Idol winner to get pushed out from the company in the space of three weeks. Earlier, the label dismissed Idol's Season 2 champ Ruben Studdard after his third LP "The Return" turned out to post very slow sales numbers."

TV Fodder posts, "Looks like Taylor Hicks is the underdog again."

Beth Gaston Moon of Blogging Stocks writes, ...only about 18 months ago, when Taylor Hicks was crowned the winner of American Idol Season 5. Fists pumping, and with "Soul Patrol!" being invoked, the gray-haired soulster prepared for a life as America's next pop superstar.

How fickle we are as a nation of fans. Reports from Entertainment Weekly now indicate that Hicks has lost his deal with J Records..."

This excerpt from Billboard says, "Hicks told Billboard last year that he had signed a three-album deal with the label following his "Idol" victory, and that "We all knew what we were getting into when we signed the contracts." This especially revealing now with this current turn of events.

Truly Taylor Hicks is not a top 40 styled artist, he will never be that, but he has the potential to break through the popular music ceiling, create his own space. Folks who say that his genre of music should not be heaped in the commercial music pile forget Ray Charles, forget Otis Redding. What about Cat Stevens, Tom Waits, guys who have a different stylings, delivery and artistic approach yet have achieved much commercial success. Commercial success can not be just defined as being a James Blunt, or sounding like the rest of the mainstream players in their genre; it's finding that niche, that special groove. Taylor Hicks can certainly deliver entertaining tunes live, but he's had years of practice. Being able to communicate that live vibe, that live magic, that live passion onto plastic will be the defining aspect to enable the man to truly have his voice heard.

J Records and Clive Davis were never a good fit for Mr. Hicks. Taylor knew that from the beginning, and during that interview with Billboard said as much. It was the best he had to work with at that time. Choice, seize the opportunity and go with what it may offer.

Mr. Hicks comes across as a fierce and courageous fighter with vision. During A.I.5 he impacted the show's viewers by his heart full of hope, drive and determination. Taylor Hicks reflected back at us a glimpse at what we all seek, whether openly or secretly in this world - the ability to lay your passions, your soul on the line and make it happen and succeed. Throw your caution to the wind, leave that devil at your back and go for it. The door at 19E has closed, fans will just have to see what door Mr. Hicks has in mind to open next.

Cat Stevens "Peace Train" c/o geofront88

"Open Doors" c/o ciciboy19


  1. taytaysfan11:47 AM

    Let me be the first to say.. Sunny, now this is a post! Thank you for getting back on track. Forget about the MFOYA bullcrap and continue writing informative and supportive Taylor Hicks post.

    I think I actually agreed with everything you said!! ;-)

  2. Sunny, I'm pretty sure Taylor never signed with 19 he signed with The Firm. That was part of what pissed Clive off. They didn't have full control of him. I'm not sure if he is still with The Firm because he has been listed on CAA's client list for a while now. Taylor has rarely made public comments about business moves or personal stuff so it is left to fans and media to speculate. Not sure if this is good or bad but seems to be the way he operates. As long as he can still make music and have a way for me to buy it or see him live I'll be happy.

  3. Hey Kathy,

    Regarding 19E, that's just the company tie in from Idol although I know Hicks' had signed with The Firm right after he got off the show. He's no longer one of their clients either. Reuben Studdard was written about as having been dropped by J Records yet 19E was still in his corner. 19E not in any way shape or form involved Hicks' career any longer. True, no real word out on how things in the business end are really being handled, just going by what I could find in reports and articles.

    It's a matter of six of one or half dozen of the other, perhaps on his former management scenario considering everything.