Born in Birmingham, Hicks moved to Hoover after his parents divorce in 1982. He played Little League baseball and went on to play golf and basketball at Berry High School. He graduated in 1995 after the school was renamed Hoover High School. He attended both Auburn University and UAB. He had gained some fame in the state for his nightclub performances, and released two independent albums, In Your Time (1997) and Under the Radar (2005). Hicks also was heard on Tapestry, a radio program on WBHM in December 2005.
Hicks auditioned for American Idol in October 2005 in Las Vegas with the song "A Change is Gonna Come". Idol judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul were early fans of his quirky performance and humble manner, while Simon Cowell found his act grating. Despite Cowell's predictions, Hicks never ranked among the lower ranks of contestants. During the seson, his fans adopted the nickname the "Soul Patrol". Saturday Night Live cast member Jason Sudeikis debuted a Hicks impression that turned "Soul Patrol" into an all-purpose outburst.
On May 12, Idol producers brought Hicks to Birmingham for a weekend of promotional events: television interviews for the WBRC 6, a parade up 20th Street North with a mini-concert in Linn Park, another concert at the Riverchase Galleria, an evening appearance the the Birmingham Museum of Art, and a campaign appearance with Governor Bob Riley.
On May 24 Hicks was crowned American Idol champion, joining Ruben Studdard, also from Birmingham, as one of the only two male vocalists to have achieved that honor.
American Idol performances
- Semifinals Week 1: "Levon" (Elton John)
- Semifinals Week 2: "Easy" (Commodores)
- Semifinals Week 3: "Takin' It to the Streets" (Doobie Brothers)
- Finals Week 1: "Livin' for the City" (Stevie Wonder)
- Finals Week 2: "Not Fade Away" (Buddy Holly)
- Finals Week 3: "Trouble" (Ray LaMontagne)
- Finals Week 4: "Take Me Home, Country Roads" (John Denver)
- Finals Week 5: "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Queen)
- Finals Week 6: "You Send Me" (Sam Cooke)
- Finals Week 7: "Just Once" (James Ingram)
- Finals Week 8: "Play That Funky Music" (Wild Cherry)/"Something" (Beatles)
- Finals Week 9: "Jail House Rock"/"In the Ghetto" (Elvis Presley)
- Finals Week 10: "Dancing in the Dark" (Bruce Springsteen), "You Are So Beautiful" (Joe Cocker), "Try A Little Tenderness" (Otis Redding)
- Week 11 (Finale): "Livin' for the City", "Levon", "Do I Make You Proud?" (written for Hicks by Tracy Ackerman, Andrew Watkins and Paul Wilson)
In performances after his season on American Idol, Hicks returned to a more bluesy sound and spent more time playing guitar and harmonica on stage as he toured around the country. His first post-Idol album, called Taylor Hicks went platinum. While touring in support of the album, he penned a memoir with collaborator David Wild, entitled Heart Full of Soul.
Hicks' chart-topping single "Do I Make You Proud" was parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic as "Do I Creep You Out".
During the summer of 2007, Hicks was spotted in the frequent company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin news anchor Caroline Lyders.
In 2011, Hicks opened Ore Drink and Dine, a restaurant in Crestline Park. In October 2012, he closed Ore and reopened it as Saw's Juke Joint along with partners Mike Wilson and Doug Smith. Wilson originally opened Saw's BBQ in Homewood and partnered with Smith to open Saw's Soul Kitchen in Avondale.
- Hicks, Taylor (1997) In Your Time.
- Hicks, Taylor (2005) Under the Radar.
- Hicks, Taylor (2006) "Takin' it to the Streets." (single). Arista Records
- Hicks, Tyalor (2006) "Do I Make You Proud." (single, #1 US). Arista Records
- Hicks, Taylor (December 2006) Taylor Hicks. Arista Records
- Hicks, Taylor (February 5, 2007) "Just to Feel That Way" (singe). Arista Records
- Hicks, Taylor (May 28, 2007) "Heaven Knows" (singe). Arista Records
- Harvey, Alec (July 19, 2007) "Behind the music." The Birmingham News
- Colurso, Mary (December 8, 2006) "Taylor talks about his album." The Birmingham News
- Kwon, Wade. (March 17, 2006) "Gray-haired Hicks brings soul to Idol". Scripps-Howard News Service. 
- Taylor Hicks at American.Idolblog.com
- Interview on "Tapestry" at WBHM.org
- "Taylor Hicks." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 21 Mar 2006, 19:35 UTC. 22 Mar 2006, 15:53 .
- Carlton, Bob (October 30, 2012) "Taylor Hicks partners with Saw's BBQ founder to open Saw's Juke Joint in former Ore location." The Birmingham News