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OTRC: Taylor Hicks of 'American Idol' gets Las Vegas concert series at Bally's

Taylor Hicks performs at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland, Vermont in September 2010. (flickr.com/photos/skypictures/)

Taylor Hicks, an Alabama singer dubbed the "Silver Fox," is making "American Idol" history about six years after he beat "Smash" star Katharine McPhee to win the FOX singing contest series.

From June 26 to August 21, Hicks is set to perform five gigs a week at the Indigo Lounge in Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. The 35-year-old blues, R&B and rock singer had announced the news in person on "American Idol" last week but did not specify dates. He is the first show alum to secure a Las Vegas residency. It marks the most prominent concert series of his career.

"A residency in Las Vegas is one of those opportunities an entertainer dreams about," Hicks said in a statement. "Vegas is where Sinatra's Rat Pack and America's greatest talents make musical history. To join those ranks is both humbling and thrilling. My goal is to live up to that legacy of live showmanship."

Other singers who have secured ongoing Las Vegas gigs in the past include Celine Dion, Elton John, Bette Midler, Shania Twain and Cee Lo Green, a co-mentor on competing singing contest series "The Voice," which airs on NBC.

Hicks was 29 when he won the fifth season of the FOX singing contest series in 2006 and is the show's oldest winner. That year, he released a self-titled pop rock album, which has sold more than a million copies in the United States.

However, he did not enjoy the same commercial success as previous "American Idol" winners, namely Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Hicks was dropped by his record label and he released a follow-up record, "The Distance," independently. The album's songs had more of a blues and country sound and did not do as well, financially, as his previous effort.

Like many "American Idol" alumni, Hicks became a Broadway star, making his debut in 2008. Between June and September of that year, the singer played Teen Angel in a revival of the hit musical "Grease." The character is known for his solo song, "Beauty School Dropout." Hicks reprised his role for an 18-month North American tour.

McPhee released three albums after her run on "American Idol," enjoying moderate success with the first, while the latter two were flops. She found more success in acting - she is currently starring on the NBC show "Smash," playing a newbie Broadway actress. The series debuted earlier this year and has been renewed for a second season.

The most successful singer to emerge from season 5 of "American Idol" is rocker Chris Daughtry. His band Daughtry's self-titled 2008 album has sold more than 4 million copies.

Advanced ticket sales for Hicks' shows at Bally's Las Vegas are now on sale and can be obtained by phone at (888) 746-7784 or (702) 777-7776. Starting on May 15, you can also purchase tickets in person at the hotel or at www.ballyslasvegas.com. Their prices range from $29.99 to $59.99 and include a meet and greet with Hicks.

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