Taylor Hicks, the winner of the most popular "American Idol" season ever in 2006, is going to headline the Centennial Olympic Park July 4th fireworks show Friday night.
An Auburn graduate and Birmingham native, Hicks has plenty of friends in Atlanta so he told me late last week that he's thrilled to be able to spend the 4th with them.
He expects to sing three or four songs, effectively the warm-up act for the fireworks. Don't be surprised if he slips in "Georgia on My Mind." (Why not a crowd pleaser, eh?)
Hicks finished his 28-month run in Las Vegas a few months ago and is happy to take "a bit of a breather." Then he joked, referencing the casino atmosphere: "A breather as in non-recirculated air."
He is playing more golf now and hitting some celebrity pro-ams. His handicap? "In the teens. Could be worse. It will get worse," he said.
Hicks is spending time in Nashville working on music and creating a country single. (Country! It's what a lot of former "Idols" are doing!) "I've been playing roadhouse and country blues all my life. It's not a stretch for me."
He would love to do some TV. He now has an agent and doing auditions. After his experience touring with "Grease" a few years back, "it's something I'm trying to work on."
Hicks was just at Reynolds Plantation on Monday for a fundraiser. So this will be his second trip to Atlanta in five days.
He's not the first "Idol" to headline the gig. Season 9 runner-up Crystal Bowersox headlined the show in 2011.
Ryan Seacrest is the highest ranked "Idol"-related celebrity on Forbes at No. 31, down from 26 last year. Jennifer Lopez is at 33 (She was No. 1 in 2012 and No. 12 last year). Simon Cowell is at No. 42 (He was No. 9 as recently as 2011 and 17 last year). No 'Idol" alum made the cut.
Daughtry will be at Chastain with the Goo Goo Dolls July 11. Tickets here.
I was offered an interview with him and said yes. I'll post something if I get to talk to him.
I can't figure out how many folks showed up to the New Orleans "Idol" auditions. The issue is hardly anybody is covering such things anymore. Nola.com took some pictures and that was all I could find.
Former Idol contestant Burnell Taylor joined Nicki Minaj to perform at the BET Awards Sunday. You can watch his performance here.
Kelly Clarkson celebrated having a baby with a well deserved glass of wine.