With a yelp of "Soul Patrol!" silver-haired Southerner Taylor Hicks was crowned the fifth season winner of "American Idol" tonight (May 24). Competing with 22-year-old Katharine McPhee for the fifth c

With a yelp of "Soul Patrol!" silver-haired Southerner Taylor Hicks was crowned the fifth season winner of "American Idol" tonight (May 24). Competing with 22-year-old Katharine McPhee for the fifth crown, the 29-year-old Birmingham, Ala., native brought in the most of the 63.4 million votes after Tuesday night's two-hour performance show.

The finale broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Fox, Hicks bagged a recording contract within the RCA Music Group as his prize.

Of Hicks' many performances, singles such as show-closer "Do I Make You Proud" written by Tracy Ackerman, Andrew Watkins and Paul Wilson are expected to be included in the forthcoming effort. He thanked his many fans, who are collectively dubbed "Soul Patrol," through the final song.

McPhee and Hicks performed "(I've Had) the Time of My Life" prior to the winning announcement.

Soul and funk superstar Prince made a surprise appearance at the action-packed and star-studded event, performing "Lolita" and "Satisfied" from his most recent set "3121."

Other show highlights included Mary J. Blige and third-place finalist Elliott Yamin dueting on U2's "One," a group tribute to special guest Burt Bacharach with vocalist Dionne Warwick and an appearance by former Idol contestant Clay Aiken. Chris Daughtry performed along side of Live on "Mystery" and Paris Bennett tackled "We're in this Love Together" with Al Jarreau. McPhee and Meat Loaf shared a moment with "It’s All Coming Back To Me" and Toni Braxton met with Hicks to hit "In the Ghetto."

Hicks shares his new winning title with prior "American Idols" Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino.