Taylor Hicks, the prematurely-gray hair mop-topped manic dancer was named the new American Idol Wednesday evening on the Fox network.

From Birmingham, Alabama, the 29-year old became the fourth contestant to win the Fox talent contest and a record contract. From 63 million tallies, Hicks was voted as the winner over Katharine McPhee, 22, of Los Angeles.

"Soul Patrol!" Hicks shouted after learning that he won the competition, a nickname that he has given to his adoring fans.

At the beginning of the competition, Hicks seemed unlikely to win at his first audition after judge Simon Cowell gave him a thumbs-down and predicted that he didn't have a chance of advancing to the finals.

Hicks joins the ranks of Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard and Fantasia Barrino as being chosen as an American Idol.