Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard Join Forces At Workplay in Birmingham

It was a coming together of the Birmingham American Idol winners when Season 2 champ, Ruben Studdard dropped by Season 5 winner, Taylor Hicks’ set at the Workplay club in Birmingham, AL last night (Dec. 9)

Check out the duo performing “Women’s Gotta Have It” after the jump.

Video: SoulDiane, Hickfinoe

Video after the JUMP…


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mj santilli

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Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
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  • bridgette12

    Glad to see the two Bama boys do their thang at the Workplay Club.

  • tyrpen

    That was great!!! They sound wonderful together. Lots of talent in Birmingham. I’ve been looking at other vids on youtube from the show last night. Really fantastic.

  • bridgette12

    12/10/2010 at 11:26 am
    That was great!!! They sound wonderful together

    This is the first time I have heard them sing together, they sounded great.

  • googletot

    Now that’s what I call “entertainment”!!

  • Reflections On Life

    so many years later, and i still can’t get over how good ruben is! lungs, style, power, finesse. good to see these 2 together.

  • abbysee

    Oh god, I wish I had been there, this is like my dream come true. Awesome stuff. Love Ruben, damn he can sing, and my Taylor, incredible. Got home at exactly the right time.

  • Ladybug

    Now that was just stone cold cool! My favorite Idol winner, Taylor, singing with my 3rd favorite Idol winner. (Sorry, Rube, Kelly is No. 2). Their two voices just blend so nicely and pour out the soul.
    Idol should consider this duet in a future guest performance for these two.

  • singer man

    my 2 favorite idols on stage together,it’s about time

  • abbysee

    Their two voices just blend so nicely and pour out the soul.

    Well said!

  • AIaddict

    Taylor was working up a sweat. They sound Awesome! It would be great for those two to do more shows together even if it’s only in the southeast. Throw Bo Bice in there and there’s the Alabama Idol triad.

  • dancingqueen

    My two favorite winners & one of my favorite Bobby Womack songs – what a treat! Thanks for the vids, only thing better, would have been being able to see it up close & personal.

  • http://jgrollersellshomes.com juliegr


    Had a short but entertaining trip to Birmingham. I got an early start yesterday morning — the weather was good and I didn’t have any delays (sorry Skeeter) — but then I[spoiler] didn’t fly Delta!

    When I was on the layover in Charlotte, NC the gate attendant made an announcemen4283t that they needed someone to volunteer to give up their seat on the 9:55 a.m. flight for a free voucher worth $283 to be used at anytime. Plus if a seat was available when they boarded everyone the volunteer would still be able to keep their original reservation. Of course, it was worth the gamble and before she finished the announcement, I was waving my hand for the freebee I took the gamble and the other passenger didn’t show up so no problem with my timing.

    Arriving safely in B’ham and was met by a tired anothertaylorfan and emptyhead. My luggage decided to play hide and seek for a while since the instructions were attached that was on another flight so I had to do a lot of searching but after 30 minutes it was found in the hold room. We grabbed the bags and took off for my hotel.

    Home again — Home again. Tired, sore, but what an evening of great music.

    Standing in line waiting to enter WorkPlay were many of local fans/friends and schoolmates and parents to see the opening act – Mr. Carson James. What a brilliant idea to hand pick this talented young man and his band for Taylor’s home concert. I had an opportunity to listen (evesdrop) on their conversations and even engaged one father in some commentary about Carson. Turns out he was Carson’s girlfriend’s father. Very supportive people — said Carson had gone to the beach with this over a summer and during the vacation, Carson mentioned that his leg was bothering him. The follow-up visit his doctor revealed the problem and he has Stage 4 Cancer. Carson walked through the entry door and into the lobby and greeted his friends saying that he was a little nervous said he knew that he would be OK once the show started. Carson was wearing a bandana to cover his head but once the show started, he donned a grey wool cap. He looked very cute!

    He has a 3-piece band — guitar (whom I called the “barefoot bearded dude” bbd) , bass guitar and drums all were very good. The group has apparently been together for some time — 2 the band members are in college, Carson has an easy smile and great stage presence and introduced each band member. He was very grateful to Taylor for the personal invitation to open the gig. BBG was very entertaining — moving around the stage and playing some good guitar.

    The girlfriend’s father told me this was the largest “gig” Carson had played for — although he had done some community or church events. A lady behind me was a social worker for the county and said she’s always looking for talent so she wanted to know how to contact Carson and said she would definitely use him at other events.

    Although this family had obviously came because of the connection they had with Carson, they were interested in hearing about Taylor and – of course – were stunned to hear about the fan club and the distance some of the fans travelled to see his perform. One family behind me mother and her 2 daughters — one was 13 and the other almost 20 — were very friendly and what accents!!! The 20 year old was going to school in Norfolk (VA) and even she made fun of of some of the her mother and sister’s accents. She told me one funny thing they say is they’re going to “cut the grass” but that people in VA and north say “mow the lawn”. Also interesting to hear them respond to their mother with “yes, mam” and “no mam”. Very polite kids — they had to get a special mark (from Work Play on both hands so they couldn’t sneak drinks in the venue) and they were limited to the floor area — couldn’t sit at the tables.

    Home again — Home again. Tired, sore, but what an evening of great music.

    Everybody who attended brought Toys for Tots — there was a huge pile set aside in a separate room. A Marine in full dress uniform attended the concert and was very visible at the side of the stage.

    The locals were surprised at the distance we had travelled to see Taylor and a few remarked that they remembered him from AI but didn’t know what his music was like. As I was leaving the venue, I asked a group at a table 2 men and 2 women if what they liked of the concert. The guys were at least in their 40’s! The first thing one of them said was “Yes mam, I did like it — Taylor’s music ‘blew me away’. Couldn’t escape being called ‘mam!

    At one point as I went to the merch table, I could see the line waiting to enter the venue was quite long stretching through the lobby into an adjacent room and ultimately wrapp[ing around the lobby again. I think they let the waiting fans in a little early so people didn’t have to stand outside in the cold. FOR THE NUMBERS PEOPLE — THE VENUE HOLDS ABOUT 450 PEOPLE. As I was leaving, I asked a lady at the ticket counter how many had attended and she said they had a “Sell Out”. Its obvious to me that people waiting until the day of the event to buy tickets (unless they were out-of-towners like us hard-core fans).

    So the doors opened early and we all rushed to tables/booths. I climbed to the balcony and had a spectacular view of the stage and the floor. As the floor filled up the amount of young people was gratifying for Carson. They gave him a boistrious welcome and stayed attuned to his music. His uncle was on the balcony behind my table filming and there were some other cameras — perhaps TV crew (I don’t know). A sweet moment was when Carson dedicated a song to his girlfriend — it was her favorite song and she wasn’t aware that he planned to sing it. It was “Across the Universe”.

    Lastly, he invited Taylor Hicks to join him on the stage and perform “Superstition”. Carson was obviously a little uncertain how to proceed with Taylor on the stage but Taylor gave Carson all the limelight and let him take the lead on the song. Carson commented a number of times how happy he was to be on the stage with Taylor and how much he appreciate this opportunity.

    More on the concert later!! Sorry for the length of this recap

    Oh, by the way – I experienced the TSA Airport Travel patdown.! YIKES!

    You may remember that I had a total hip replacement so I informed the screeners before I went through the magnetized doorway. I’ve learned to do that so they don’t spend/waste time trying to figure out why I’m causing the alarm to sound. There were 4-5 men screeners standing around and 1 woman screener– it was 6:00 a.m. in the morning. The woman complained because there weren’t more women screeners and it seemed she had an overload of checking since more women travellers required the “pat down”.

    Well, she warned me what was coming then donned her gloves and proceeded to give me the once over — even between my legs up to the “groin” area.

    When she finished she then placed her gloved hands under a machine that read for substances then gave me the clearance.

    She did apologize and told me she appreciated the fact that I understood the necessity for the exam. I ‘m thinking I might need a physical next year since I already had an “exam”.

    There weren’t any delays in the screening lines in either my departure from Virginia or return from Alabama.

    Carson and his band finished up after about 35-45 minutes of excellent performance by a novice group — they may be a “garage group” but they play great music and — a little rock, a little story-telling (he wrote a lovely song that touched on his circumstances), and a lot of great guitar and vocals.

    Taylor and the band were on fire last night — high energy, great set list, and responding to the crowd’s enthusiasm level. From my vantage I could see the number of younger attendees – the girls were rocking and jumping up and down to the songs and music; there were men dancing in the crowd; fantastic response to each song and Taylor was LOVING it.
    At first we thought the crowd might thin out after Carson James finished his set but the crowd shifted around a lot (perhaps people went into the bar area or outside to smoke — although it is possible to smoke in the clubs in AL) but everyone remained focused and enjoying themselves.

    Taylor had some well thought way to bring the crowd’s attention to the show — he’d ask if anyone liked the Rolling Stones; or made a comment about the Top 40 song he heard when he was at Cervantes — introducing Bulletproof (of course everyone LOVED that song); then he called out his special guest – Ruben Studdard. Taylor said he saw this guy from Huffman (a school in Birmingham) and since Taylor was from Hover (his HS) he felt he could at least try to get on the show also. Taylor and Ruben embraced before and launched into Woman’s Gotta Have it. Unreal performance — the two voices made for a wonderful duet. The crowd was excited to see Ruben and it seemed Ruben loved the chance to be in front of another audience. These guys have to continue to take every opportunity to seen in different formats. Jeff Lopez had an amazing sax solo and it was obvious (to me) that Ruben was pleased by the sound within WGTHI.

    Great song followed great song. MYS was again a heartstopping break and Taylor again dedicated 19 to the military families and service personnel and I observed the Marine attendee watching closely and even recording the song as Taylor performed it. Everyone cheered loudly and applauded at the end of 19 as is the usual case when he performs it.

    Scarlett Begonias – what can I say; Bulletproof – ditto. Taylor and the band kept revving up the energy level and Taylor light grey shirt changed colors — you know, you know!

    Before Taylor took his intermission, Brian Less announced that Taylor would be back in 10 minutes – so everyone stayed around. Carson and his girlfriend were in the audience and when Taylor played the harmonica, Carson was seen laughing and applauding. He had asked Taylor to play the harmonica when they were singing Superstition.

    At the end, Taylor invited Carson up on the stage for the last song (I can’t remember what it was) and let Carson close out the show! Quite an honor for the young man.

    All in all, I had a great time — stayed up to 1:30 EST and got up again for my flight early on Friday morning. I had a great time and enjoyed seeing so many friends again.

    Did I mention — a ton of presents for the Toys for Tots charity were donated. Taylor should be very proud of his involvement.

    That’s all I can remember now! Hope you enjoyed the read

  • hoodathunk

    Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! They sound great as a duo!

  • SparklesATL

    wow. just wow. These two guys are really awesome together. They should really go on tour together. I might just have to go to itunes and download some Ruben tunes. He really is the Velvet Teddy Bear isn’t he?

  • hickifino

    The last song was “Bulletproof” and the words in the chorus are “This time, baby, I’ll be bulletproof” – meaningful for a 16 year old with stage 4 bone cancer fighting for his life. Taylor left the stage briefly and Carson sang the last chorus with gusto. A few of us had tears in our eyes as we danced and cheered.

  • aek

    Loved the videos! Good to see Taylor playing with his buddies from back in the day. Rueben did sound really good, too.

    Oh, and thanks for your recap juliegr! I enjoyed it. :)

  • Grammie Kari

    Idol should consider this duet in a future guest performance for these two.

    What an excellent idea, LadyBug! I think Idol ought to have at least one American Idol alumni (or more) appear EVERY week on the Results show. These guys are awesome! Pass the word around.

    Thank you for the terrific review, Julieqr, with added touches of your expereinces!

    Love some Taylor with added Teddy Bear touches.

  • calimari

    Wish I could have been there! I have a friend whose husband was diagnosed w/ that same sort of bone cancer – it was stage 3 or 4 – I don’t recall. We looked it up online & thought it would just be a matter of time. That was 10 years ago, and he’s still doing fine. He had a bone marrow transplant from his own marrow. Hopefully, this young man will manage something like that.

  • abbysee

    Juliegr, thanks for the magnificent recap, and the info about Carson. I wish him godspeed. Wonderful of Taylor to give him this opportunity, and to be a part of this night with him.

    The last song was “Bulletproof” and the words in the chorus are “This time, baby, I’ll be bulletproof” – meaningful for a 16 year old with stage 4 bone cancer fighting for his life. Taylor left the stage briefly and Carson sang the last chorus with gusto. A few of us had tears in our eyes as we danced and cheered.

    Oh crap, that made me cry.

    I always thought that Taylor and Ruben would make a great team, glad to see I was right. I’ve seen them both live and their love of music is so apparent, it just oozes from them. Great stuff!

  • hicksaholic

    You need to get to a Workplay concert with Taylor at some point. He puts on one hell of a show there.

    I debated on going because I was giving two parties this weekend and had lots to do but logic won out and I knew I couldn’t miss Taylor at Workplay. I’m so glad I didn’t- Taylor never fails to deliver an unparalleled entertainment experience.

  • Allison

    That looks like an awfully fun evening!