Why did Taylor Hicks flop?

At least in comparison to the other American Idol winners. Even Ruben Studdard, while not immensely popular, still has his fans and still gets some media attention. But Hicks just seemed to drop off the cultural landscape altogether. So what gives? Was he just so hard to market, that the American Idol people just wrote him as a loss and decided not to push him very hard? Or did the Soul Patrol just fail to come through with their wallets when his CD hit the stores?

This doesn’t sound like a flop to me:


He never really seemed to fit in with the other winners. He wasn’t sexy teen pop, and he wasn’t super twangy country. He was, er, soul. I liked him, but I’m not the sort to turn into a superfan, not in my old age. I imagine many other people who like him are the same.

It depends how you define “flop,” of course. His post-Idol album went platinum (just barely) but the one after that sold just 45,000 copies. Still, he is vastly more successful than 99% of musicians out there, who have never had a platinum album, nor anything approaching 45,000 sales.

I think Cat Fight has part of the answer. Hicks’s genre just doesn’t appeal to the teenyboppers and consequently he’s not going to get much press coverage. His album sales are inline with the mid-range successes in his genre.

Because, when you get right down to it, there was no particular reason for him to succeed. As Cat Fight says, he was “soul,” so far as it goes, but he wasn’t very good at it.

I wrote this back in 2006. Sing it to the tune of Glenn Miller’s American Patrol (Which I only just now found out was taken from an John Philip Sousa march).

*His dancin’s a sham
And he is from Alabama
And his hair’s prematurely gray
Randy and Pauler say
That he blew them all away
The Brit guy just said “meh.”
Now, many Idol fan
Has called him an also-ran
But he’s really on a roll
And if you voted for him then you’re part of the SOUL PATROL

Don’t you know that he has got a mission ahead of him:
To suck the soul from any song
Lieber and Stoller live in dread of him
‘Cause he’s so twisted, sick, and wrong.
When he sings “A Man Loves A Woman”
Old Percy Sledge starts really bummin’
And Marvin Gaye comes back to life to say
“Don’t let him cover Grapevine.”*

Because he stinks. He was never very good and he was an embarrassment to the competition (and also is a glaring example of why the competition is bogus and meaningless as anything other than a record sales farm). The second and third place finishers were vastly better than he was on his best day.

It’s easy to win that sham contest by giving up on the vocal aspects and trying to be the best “performer.” It’s harder to sell CDs when everyone realizes afterwards that you can’t actually sing.

Seems like many do not have the straight dope about Taylor Hicks.
First album debuted in the 3rd spot among all winners barely missing the 2nd spot.
After being in the most watched Idol shows ever, he helped give them their biggest summer tour ever.
Then back to back quite successful solo album tours. Only winner to do that.
Then disputed with the record company and struck out on his own. Given a lot of grief for that.
But, not to worry, a special deal with a Broadway play and tour has netted him 3.5 million and a 100,000 in album sales in the last 18 months.
We should all be such a flop.
He has a great active online and offline fan base that travel widely to see him whatever he is doing.
Next up Music festival in Denver. Can’t wait.
Check here for some facts closer to the truth.

And just an FYI, he does not stink, probably the most diverse and talented ever to come off of idol. According to the people who have worked with him on Broadway and elsewhere he has a unique and gifted voice and is a great musician. Eric Claptons road band that worked with him on the last album “The Distance” truly enjoyed the experience.

Welcome to the Straight Dope, MzMusic.