My BHAM: Taylor Hicks


Local Celebs love their city.

Taylor Hicks

American Idol Winner, Entertainer

American Idol winner Taylor Hicks is the city’s best known entertainer.

Hicks became famous thanks to the fifth season of American Idol. His music is full of R&B combined with notes of country music, Southern soul and blues. Over 63 million viewers gave their votes to Hicks, making the Birmingham native that year’s American Idol.

Hicks’ star continued to rise after he stepped off the Idol stage. Less than three weeks after his Idol victory, his debut single, “Do I Make You Proud,” entered at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Pop 100, and Single Sales Charts. His self-titled album (Arista), debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and was quickly certified RIAA Platinum.

Hicks took off from there, releasing records, performing on Broadway and in a national tour of the musical, Grease, headlining in Vegas and even opening Saw’s Soul Kitchen in his hometown.

Food has become a second career for Hicks with his role as host of State Plate on INSP,  where the versatile entertainer goes on a different kind of tour—a tasty tour of the USA, sampling the most iconic and popular foods in each state he visits.

We caught up with Hicks to get his take on city favorites.

What’s your favorite late-night hangout?   

Marty’s because of the cheeseburgers. Everybody needs a cheeseburger late at night. Don’t forget to add the bacon.

Favorite place to be when you want to get outdoors?

Buck’s Pocket State Park. There are waterfalls and a great lookout spot that  encompassees all of the natural beauty Alabama has to offer. It’s just a beautiful place to hike or walk in the woods. It is up close to Guntersville.

Favorite breakfast spot?

I might get in trouble for saying this, but Demetri’s BBQ in Homewood. The Greek omelet must be experienced

Favorite well-kept secret in Birmingham or favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

Milo’s Hamburgers is a well kept secret. You just can’t find them anywhere else. It is a perfect spot to take out of town guests. I would also take them to Saw’s Juke Joint (Hicks is part owner) for great local music and the fried chicken sandwich with Alabama white sauce.

Favorite place to hear music?

The Lyric Theatre for national acts. Oasis and Innisfree run neck and neck for local and regional acts.

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