Taylor Hicks might have won “American Idol,” but he doesn’t have his record deal anymore.
The soul singer, who claimed the “Idol” title in 2006, has apparently been dropped by J Records, a label within Sony-BMG, which signs the show’s singers.
“Taylor is going to record on his own for the next album,” said J Records publicist Liz Morentin, who did not give further details regarding Hicks.
Another “Idol” winner — Ruben Studdard of season two — left his contract with J Records late last year, but continues his contract with 19 Entertainment, the company managed by “Idol” creator Simon Fuller.
Studdard is now at work on an upcoming album, but it will not be distributed by J Records, Morentin said. Studdard’s previous album, 2006’s “The Return,” has sold only 236,000 copies.
Roger Widynowski, spokesman for 19 Entertainment, did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment on Hicks’ situation.
Hicks’ self-titled, post-“Idol” album, released in December 2006, debuted at No. 2 on the charts. In the weeks after it was issued, however, the disc slid down the charts. While it sold a respectable 699,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data, it did not reach the 1 million mark, unlike all the other debuts from previous “Idol” champs. It also did not register a hit song, unlike other “Idol” winners.