American Idol’s Taylor Hicks Near Death Nashville Tornado Experience

Taylor Hicks Alabama Hall of Fame

American Idol’s Taylor Hicks Survived Nashville Tornado

American Idol season 5 winner Taylor Hicks shared his traumatic experience surviving the deadly Nashville hurricane.

The singer was watching television at his Nashville home early on Tuesday morning when it all started. Describing the experience as like a near death experience, Taylor now has a new perspective on life.

“This tornado seemed like it came out of nowhere,” he told People magazine. “I remember looking outside my window and there was so much lightning, and then the power went off.” Taylor described the sudden power outage as “eerie.” Something told him he needed to get into a safe place.

Huge Pieces of Debris Flew 100 Feet in the Air, Taylor Hicks Describes Nashville Tornado

He hurried into the garage where he saw “huge pieces of debris flying 100 feet in the air.” At that point he knew a tornado was coming through the neighborhood.

“I could feel the whole house completely shake and I just had to get into the crawl space and I held on,” he told People. “I heard the debris. I heard the train sound. I held on for dear life.”

“There for a moment, it’s almost like I went through temporary insanity because it’s such a traumatic experience because you don’t know at that point where the storm is tracking,” he said.

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Taylor had a calm mentality, even as he was preparing for the worst.

“You know what’s interesting — the spiritual aspect of going through it alone,” he explains. “Everyone goes to heaven alone. You’re standing and waiting to get into the pearly gates but everyone stands alone when doing that.”

“When you’re in a life and death experience it’s a very solace mindset,” Taylor continued. “I think what my mind did during those nine seconds is check out. You would almost rather your mind be in a different place than what you’re going through.”

Taylor Hicks Feels Lucky to Be Alive

After the storm, Taylor surveyed the neighborhood. Debris covered everything, and trees were snapped. “My roof is damaged. My patio furniture was in a tree three blocks from me … Halfway down my alleyway buildings had collapsed and roofs were missing.”

Taylor feels lucky to be alive, but also a little guilty too, considering those who lost their lives. A total of 24 people were killed across four different counties in Tennessee. 

“You think about the people who were lost in this tornado too,” he said. “You stand there alive but then you immediately see within 100 yards there was death. That’s where you put things into perspective and you ask ‘What about those that were lost and why you — why did you survive?’”

“I’m just happy to be here on the planet,” he added. “I’m also very sad and my heart goes out to the people who have lost their lives and all their belongings. Everything can be rebuilt except [the] loss of life.”

On April 17, Hicks is scheduled to perform at the Lyric Theater in Alabama and is planning to donate a portion of the show’s proceeds to a local volunteer organization called Hands On Nashville. More info about that HERE.

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Founder and editor of, 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!