American Idol winner Taylor Hicks performs at Carteret Ethnic Day Festival

Carteret, NJ – As a finale to Carteret’s annual Ethnic Day Festival, American Idol winner Taylor Hicks gave a public performance at Carteret Park on September 8th to an energetic audience, in spite of inclement weather. The event concluded the Mayor’s 3-day Charity Carnival which began on Thursday September 6th.

Taylor Hicks has been hailed as one of the most beloved American Idol winners of all-time.

From the start, Hicks’ material on the mega-hit show set him apart, with a unique take on Southern soul, R & B, country and blues. More than 63 million votes were cast and nearly 37 million viewers tuned-in to crown Hicks the Season 5 winner of American Idol, making it one of the most-watched TV events of the decade.

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 #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Pop 100, and Single Sales Charts. Coinciding with the single’s release, a cover story named him People magazine’s “Hottest Bachelor of the Year.” His self-titled album (Arista), debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and was quickly certified RIAA Platinum.

Hicks has performed with artists like Willie Nelson, Snoop Dog, Gladys Knight, Earth Wind and Fire and The Allman Brothers, appeared in concerts worldwide, and penned a bestselling autobiography “Heart Full of Soul” (Random House).

On Broadway, Hicks starred in the hit musical, GREASE as Teen Angel, and when asked to join the national tour, happily agreed.  The 18-month tour connected him with fans across North America.
Hicks, who hails from Birmingham, Ala., had music on his mind from childhood. As a young adult, he became a fixture around the Southeast, playing concerts and club dates with visiting stars like James Brown, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, Robert Randolph, Keb’ Mo’ and Widespread Panic, among others. Hicks also released the independent albums “In Your Time” and “Under the Radar.” Later, these albums were compiled and released by Vanguard Records as “Early Works.”

In June 2012, Hicks will begin a residency at Bally’s Las Vegas, becoming the first Idol in history to secure a residency in Las Vegas.  While preparing for his Las Vegas show, he is also in the studio working on his first country album.

“A national rock –n- roll idol, Taylor Hicks provided a very special highlight to our already popular Ethnic Day festival,” Mayor Daniel J. Reiman stated “allowing for a memorable evening that has become a part of our local history.”

Carteret Battle of the Bands winner Chris Watson, a talented regional solo artist, provided a closing performance.

For more information on Taylor Hicks, visit .

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