Taylor Hicks backstage…

On a night that 2005 “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood won the AMA Award for breakthrough artist, current “Idol” champ Taylor Hicks was on hand as a presenter and told us backstage how impressed he is by her: “It’s a tough act to follw. She has some great songs, two really great albums, smash hits and she sings them really well..”

The silver-haired Hicks says his life has changed enormously since his “Idol” win: “I’m working more now than I ever did. As a struggling musician, you don’t work a lot.” His new album of Southern soul music is out Dec. 12 and okf the songs he says: “I’m emotionally attatched to every one of them. I watched them grow like flowers.”

Hicks was asked what he will be doing on Thanksgiving. The answer was an obvious one: “Stuffing my face with southern turkey and gravy.”

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