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Hicks has suggested his difficult childhood as the reason for his turning to soul and blues music for solace.
In 1997, he independently recorded In Your Time, an album which included both studio and live tracks.
The single reached number 24 on Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks. In May 2009, Taylor Hicks made Forbes' "Top Ten earning American Idol stars" list, coming in at number 10, with over 0,000 earned from album sales and from his role as "Teen Angel" in the national tour of Grease.
Hicks occasionally appeared as a "special guest" when circumstances permitted, and was accompanied at times by the other Idols, such as Elliott Yamin, Chris Daughtry, Ace Young, and Bucky Covington.
In August 2006, Hicks's lawyers sued a producer with whom he worked in Nashville, for redistributing without permission songs that Hicks had copyrighted in 1997.
Upon winning Idol, he was signed to Arista Records, under which his self-titled major label debut was released on December 12, 2006.
His energetic stage performances and influences derived from classic rock, blues, and R&B music had earned him a following of devout fans dubbed the "Soul Patrol".