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Taylor Hicks Credits Intense Focus for American Idol Victory

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To many critics, the winner of last year's American Idol wasn't actually the best singer.

Oddly enough, that victor himself - Taylor Hicks - would agree. He doesn't give credit to his ideal vocal stylings for the championship, but rather to hard work and focus.
Taylor Hicks Credits Intense Focus for American Idol Victory
"I won because all I did was sleep, eat and breathe music - nothing came at the expense of the music," he said to The New York Post. "I have focus, and I don't just mean when I was on American Idol. My focus goes back to when I was a struggling songwriter and performer."

Hicks first struggled in the juke joints around his home in Birmingham and in the seaside bars along Florida's Gulf Coast. In those pre-Idol years, he managed to knock out a couple of indie albums and resigned himself to the rolling-stone life of a traveling musician.

On his upcoming self-titled CD, "Taylor Hicks," the singer gives the hand-to-mike existence of band life a nod with a heartfelt cover of the early Marvin Gaye composition "Wherever I Lay My Hat." But all that devotion to craft hasn't done much for Hicks with the ladies.

"Trying to balance the music with a personal relationship has been tough on me over the years," he said.

Even worse, Hicks laments that he can't get a dog because he's moving out of his apartment.

"I'm as close you can get to a traveling musical gypsy, and that's all I ever wanted," he said. "For now, it's about my career. Being a performer comes first."

But he's not complaining. There's certainly no part of Taylor that wishes Katharine McPhee had beaten him out.

"It's been a whole lot of work. The learning curve has gotten larger. I've got a lot to learn about recording and performing besides what I already know," Hicks said.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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