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Heart Full of Soul: An Inspirational Memoir About Finding Your Voice and Finding Your Way
For the longest time, during some rough boyhood years in Alabama and the grind of performing on the road, the odds against me were discouraging. But there was always a voice inside telling me it was going to get better.
Mom and Dad certainly started out with good intentions, but early on, as their marriage went south and I went in whatever direction was necessary to avoid the fallout, I realized my life was going to be up to me.
Thinking back, my first step toward singing for a living was stealing an Otis Redding album when I was nine. What I heard on that platter was life-changing, and pretty soon I was learning to play the harmonica, which, I can assure you, didn’t attract many female fans—in fact, any fans at all.
I eventually decided that not being taken seriously can be a good thing. It stokes the fires. Maybe the reason I like soul music so much is that it inspires with its pain. The best artists, like Ray Charles, reach out and say, “You’re not alone, brother.”
In all my years on the road—trying to make it in Nashville and those Southern honky-tonks known as the “Chitlin Circuit”—I never thought it would take an act of God to push my destiny into the right groove. But as you’ll hear, it was nearly getting washed away by Hurricane Katrina that led to my Idol tryout. And what happened next was a little bit like when Alice dropped down that rabbit hole—just substitute Simon Cowell for the Mad Hatter.
In Heart Full of Soul, I share some life stories that will hopefully inspire you—give you a sense of my philosophy and how it drove me. For example, I talk about my good friend who died in a tragic accident and the prediction he made that tugged at my thoughts throughout Idol’s qualifying rounds. I also discuss what it was like when I realized Eminem has it right: when you only have one shot, you’d better lose yourself in the music.
A lot of great fans lined up behind me the night of the Idol finale. This book is about the strange path that led me to that pop-culture moment, and the sharp directional changes that occurred after that phenomenal night, including touring America, producing an album, and experiencing that two-sided gig known as American celebrity.
I hope that some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way will help you, especially if the shot you’ve been yearning for is just around the corner.
||July 10, 2007|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 80 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 80 customer reviews )
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96 of 102 found the following review helpful:
Soulful heartJul 10, 2007
By Jennifer Vitela
Taylor Hicks is by far the most underappreciated of the AI singers. Until now, his fans have known him as a talented musician and performer. Heart Full of Soul tells the story behind his success that explains both the depth of his character and the charming irreverence that sets him apart from the rest of the field. This is no fairy tale. Rather, it is a simple story of how one man believed, committed himself to his passion, manipulated pain into inspiration and is now living his dream. The music awards and movie roles that have defined the success of other AI contestants may continue to elude Hicks but, longevity will be the testament of his career. He is a man who loves the music more than the fame. People fall as fast as they rise, which is why his slow, steady climb will serve us all.
49 of 52 found the following review helpful:
Not a Fluff PieceJul 10, 2007
I expected this book to be a fluff piece without any new revelations, but Taylor Hicks surprised me. He has revealed very painful years in his life, both as a child and an adult. Some chapters were so poignant, it was painful to read. His American idol revelations are not as revealing as I would have liked, but I would guess that is due to contract restraints. However, if you "read between the lines" you might be able to figure out some of the "scoops" he is trying to say without really saying them! I would definitely recommend this book. If you're a Hicks fan, you'll love it! If you are interested in a motivational and inspirational story, you'll get a lot from this book. It's a good read!
40 of 42 found the following review helpful:
A Heart for MusicJul 10, 2007
By G. Edgar
One thread throughout this book is Taylor's love of music, which he acquired at a young age due to heartache in his family life. The lessons in this book can be applied to anyone who dreams an 'impossible' dream. His focus, determination and will to succeed and do what he loves when few others believed in him is very moving and can be an inspiration to anyone.
42 of 45 found the following review helpful:
Great - thoroughly enjoyed thisJul 10, 2007
By S. VanDyke
If you are a Taylor fan, you must have this. It is a great look at the events and times that has shaped Taylor into the person he is today. A great story. This is not about AI; but about Taylor. There are a few AI tidbits but this is mostly about the man Taylor Hicks. Excellent job on the book!
37 of 40 found the following review helpful:
Heart Full of Soul / The Unfinished SymphonyJul 10, 2007
This book is not written to become a classic nor is it written as an academic piece for perusal by the erudite masses... rather it is a story of one man's journey towards a fruitful and fullfilling life. If the roadblocks along the way strike a familiar note to any struggling individual trying to determine their path in life; than this book provides an impetus for those folks to continue seeking their goal. If one is just intrigued by Taylor and a lover of his music and his style; this book provides a satisfying peek into his background as he remembers it.
Thanks to Mr. Wild's prose and Mr. Hicks' memories, this is a fun read. If you are a devotee of Taylor, you must read it; if you are not , I doubt you will be overwhelmed by its content. To paraphrase Taylor, Just give the book a chance !!
Mr. Hicks is still a very private man and that is part of his mystic and his charm.
"Heart Full of Soul" is actually better titled "A Soul Full of Heart", as Mr. Hicks demonstrates his tenacity and determination to achieve his goal of "making music for a living" and "making a life through his music". I think he has reached his goal and now it is up to him to decide where he wants to go from here and how he wants to get there.
An inspirational read for anyone who has had self doubts and more doors closed for them than opened. Whether in the entertainment industry, the creative arts, business or any entrepreneurial pursuit, this book can help the younger set to see beyond the obstacles to find a clearer path to success.
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