On Friday, Shirley Halperin of EW.com dropped this gossip bomb–not only had Ruben Studdard been dropped by J Records, but Taylor Hicks had been as well.
That bit of news percolated around the internet for a few days while the usual suspects did their research, and now many publications, including Billboard.com, FOX news, Rollingstone, and the Associated Press (many news outlets are picking up the AP story) covering the story.
From EOnline News
J Records has confirmed the departures of former Idol champs Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard from the label that signed them after their respective wins on the hit Fox show.
“Taylor is going to record on his own for the next album, ” J Records’ Liz Morentin wrote in an email Monday. “Ruben Studdard is still signed to 19 Entertainment [the production/management company behind Idol], and is currently working on his new album, however it will not be distributed by J Records.”
And from Mary Colurso of the Birmingham News:
Attempts to reach Hicks have been unsuccessful. During a recent interview with The Birmingham News, he stopped short of confirming that he’d left the label. However, Hicks said he looked forward to more creative freedom when recording his next disc. “I’ll also have the time now to create an album without the post-winning ‘Idol’ constrictions, ” he said. “I have time for the album to breathe artistically.”
Taylor and J Records never seemed like a good fit. I never bought Taylor as a Top 40 pop star to begin with. Here’s hoping Taylor finds another label who’ll nurture his talent. I can picture Taylor recording a rootsy record, promoting it not only to Adult Contemporary, but also to the hipper Adult Alternative market–a market that actually moves albums. In the meantime, I’m sure Taylor will continue to perform on the road, where he really shines.