Is American Idol Taylor Hicks The Next Elvis?
on 5/25/2006 (3)
TIMELINE - August 16, 1977: Elvis Presley leaves the building one last time. May 25, 2006: Taylor Hicks surprises besmirched judge Simon Cowell by handily sweeping the 5th American Idol season.
|Is IN the building! |
The lingering question is, how did Simon so entirely overlook Hicks' appeal? Is it because Simon is British and doesn't understand that Hicks fills a titanic void torn in America's heart way back in 1977?
That would seem to be the case. Bearing a satisfactory resemblance and a Rock-a-Billy blues fusion Elvi style, Hicks certainly does conjure up Graceland's famous ghost. But is it accurate to claim that the Elvis appeal is still alive after so long, especially in the face of Pop music and Hip Hop videos on MTV which seem to be all the rage?
The answer is yes. The reason Hicks won is because he is an icon, a solo soul-rocker who would probably have been more comfortable back in 1966 than in 2006, but the need for an icon such as Hicks embodies is obviously alive and well even today.
In order to understand, one must first understand that music is far, far more than just entertainment. It is a political tool, a martial parade march, a call to arms, the song of a culture, and often the song of a nation. The void that Hicks filled, was exactly that, a void, and a mammoth one at that. No previous recent American artist has had either the courage or the originality, nor the proper chemistry to do what Hicks has done; bring back the cult of personality to American rock and roll.
That is what Simon missed, because Simon is not American.
Taylor Hicks has given America hope. Hope for the rebirth of the warm, soulful, approachable music star genre that seemed to die away many years ago, replaced by music and videos glorifying gang violence, drug use, promiscuity and crime, or highly polished but easily forgotten Pop rubbish. Taylor Hicks makes people feel safe again. Indeed, Taylor Hicks is bigger than even he knows himself.
It's too early to say if Taylor Hicks will go on to be The New King, but he just very well might. Two tips for Taylor though, lose 15 pounds and color that gray and toss it back, fried, dyed, and laid on the side!
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