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'American Idol' champ Taylor Hicks to release new album February 10

By John Bracchitta, 10/07/2008 

Taylor Hicks has set a release date for his next album.

The fifth-season American Idol winner has announced that his upcoming album will be released on February 10, 2009.

The album, which will be released under Hicks' own Modern Whomp Records label, is being produced by Simon Climie -- who has worked previously with Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Faith Hill -- and will be distributed by Artist To Market, an independent music distributor.

"In this digital age, when artists can connect more directly with audiences, this is a partnership that makes a lot of sense," Hicks said. "I'm very much enjoying being in the studio with Simon working on the new album and look forward to releasing it through A2M early next year."

RCA chairman Clive Davis' Arista Records and Idol creator Simon Fuller's 19 Recordings Limited had signed Hicks to a recording contract after he won American Idol's fifth-season title in May 2006.

However Hicks and Arista "mutually agreed to part ways" earlier this year and the Idol champ is currently in the midst of his Broadway debut as the Teen Angel in Grease.

In August, Hicks partnered with Welk Music Group's Vanguard Records label to distribute "Early Works," a reissue compilation of "In Your Time" and "Under the Radar," his two pre-Idol independent albums.

Hicks is also planning to release "Whomp at the Warfield," a DVD showcasing a live performance by Hicks and his band at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco.

This summer, Hicks also made his Broadway debut in Grease.  He played Tenn Angel, a role he will reprise when the musical begins a national tour on December 1.

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