Reigning "American Idol" champ Taylor Hicks is not worried that his crown might be tarnished by an unworthy successor.

Reigning "American Idol" champ Taylor Hicks is not worried that his crown might be tarnished by an unworthy successor.

Hicks tells Billboard.com he was well aware of the Internet campaigns such as Votefortheworst.com, which are championing lesser candidates -- including just-departed Sanjaya Malakar -- among the finalists. But Hicks says he was confident the "Idol" faithful would rally to make sure those weren't successful.

"I think that's been going on every year, really," says the gray-haired singer, who won over Katharine McPhee last year with a record 63.4 million votes. "I think that ultimately it comes down to the people that love the show and want to see that performer and singer (who wins) do well. They'll pick the right person."

Hicks says that he's paying as much attention as he can to the current "Idol" season, but his first-ever North American headlining tour has made it difficult to catch every episode. "About the time I hit stage is about the time it comes on," says Hicks. "When it's down to the top three or four, I usually get into the show. I haven't picked a winner yet. I'll let you know."

Most of Hicks' concern these days is working his self-titled post-"Idol" album, which followed two independent releases. It debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard 200 in December and has sold about 667,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Hicks is also preparing for the July publication of an autobiography, "Heart Full of Soul," which he wrote in conjunction with music journalist David Wild.
"A lot of people were wondering what my story was -- as opposed to what they hear," says Hicks. "This is my story in my words -- how I got here as an artist and with some inspirational messages that can be applied to every day life about beating the odds and everything like that."

As for what good dish about the "Idol" world will be in the book, Hicks says, "You have to read it and see!"

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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