Alabama soul man Taylor Hicks was crowned the fifth American Idol in Hollywood last night (24MAY06) after a winning the majority of a staggering 63.4 million votes. The grey-haired singer beat California girl Katherine Mcphee in the star-studded two-hour finale at the Kodak Theatre, which was capped by a surprise appearance from Prince. He wasn't the only celebrity performer to grace the stage at the final - Toni Braxton, Al Jarreau, Mary J Blige and Meat Loaf also duetted with their favourite Idols, while Dionne Warwick teamed up with Burt Bacharach for a medley of WALK ON BY and THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR, backed by the show's finalists. Hicks, 29, joins past winners Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia and Carrie Underwood and was handed the keys to a Ford Mustang as a finalist and a new record contract as the 2006 American Idol.
The Californian rockers were defiant in their intention to play the venue once again.