Taylor Hicks was a charmer even when he was a high-school junior. Just ask Brooke Kelley Campbell, who dated the American Idol star and took him to her senior prom at Hoover High School in Birmingham, Ala. “Taylor was a fashion guy and he wanted to make sure that he matched my gloves and all that,” recalls Campbell, now 29. “My dress was green, and his tux was like a crisp green and navy plaid.”
At the prom, Hicks “was the center of attention,” says Campbell, who now lives in Roswell, Ga., and is a married first-grade teacher with an 18-month-old son. He even showed off some of the choreography that later made him stand out on American Idol. “(Taylor) was such a good dancer. He did what he called the ‘Carlton Dance,’ from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”
The singer’s romance with Campbell lasted well after prom. They dated for about a year, and during that time Hicks even went on vacation with her family to Highlands, N.C. “My mom thought he hung the moon,” Campbell says. “He was one of those guys that, if he was coming to pick me up to go somewhere and I wasn’t quite ready, he would sit down in the den with my parents and just talk and talk and talk. I would come in and say, ‘OK, it’s time to go. C’mon, Taylor, let’s go.’ ”
It was also hard to drag Hicks away from one of his favorite early performing spots: a friend’s basement. “Taylor would be playing music, and that is just where we would go,” she says. “Taylor was right in the middle of it. We all went over there because there was going to be entertainment, and Taylor happened to be the entertainment.” Some things just don’t change.