“American Idol” season five winner and recent Bally’s Las Vegas summer headliner Taylor Hicks will be the featured performer at the Las Vegas Hospitality Association’s 2012 Distinction Awards dinner gala on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N245 through N251 from 5:30 – 9 p.m.
The event will honor four outstanding hospitality leaders and one hospitality business. The evening’s emcee will be public speaker and best-selling author Jack Sheehan. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the LVHA Scholarship Fund.
In a way, Hicks, who hails from Birmingham, Ala., began his rise to fame in Las Vegas because he was in New Orleans the night before Hurricane Katrina. His flight was cancelled and he was given a free airplane voucher, which he used to travel to Las Vegas, where coincidentally “American Idol” auditions were being held.
On “American Idol,” Taylor’s material was an interesting take on southern soul, R & B, country and blues. Less than three weeks after Hicks won, his debut single, “Do I Make You Proud,” entered at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Pop 100 and Single Sales charts. Coinciding with the single release, a cover story named him “People” magazine’s “Hottest Bachelor of the Year.”
Since winning Idol, Hicks has performed with the likes of Willie Nelson, Snoop Dog, Gladys Knight, Earth Wind and Fire and The Allman Brothers, has appeared in concerts worldwide and written an autobiography, “Heart Full of Soul.”
On Broadway, Hicks starred in the hit musical, “Grease” as Teen Angel and then did an 18-month tour with the show across the United States and Canada.
The evening’s award recipients are:
- Rising Star – Debby Jacobs – Director of Sales – Destinations by Design
- Spirit Award – Lynda Richardson – Director of Hotel Sales – Tropicana Las Vegas
- Industry Leader – Chuck Bowling – President and Chief Operating Officer – Mandalay Bay
- Legacy – Larry Lee – Posthumously – Business of the Year – Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
The proceeds from this event will benefit the LVHA Scholarship Fund. The event will be sold out and “shakers and movers” in the tourism/hospitality industry will be in attendance.