Taylor Hicks

Former American Idol champ Taylor Hicks was "very saddened" to hear about the recent death of ex-Idol hopeful and Paula Abdul fan, Paula Goodspeed, outside of Abdul's home.

"My thoughts and prayers go to her and her family," Hicks told TVGuide.com.

Goodspeed, 30, was found dead in a parked car in front of the Idol judge's L.A. house on Nov. 11. Hicks said he hasn't spoken to Abdul since the death and hasn't, "thankfully," experienced any extreme incidents with his own die-hard fan-base, the Soul Patrol.

"You just try to be as nice and as courteous as possible to all your fans," he said. "But as far as that goes, that kind of stuff is completely out of your control."

Since his crowning moment on Season 5 of the Fox juggernaut, Hicks has starred on Broadway in Grease, started his own label, and recorded his sophomore LP, slated for a Feb. 10, 2009 release. On Dec. 2, he starts a nationwide tour of Grease.

But Hicks hasn't forgotten his roots. The silver-haired crooner will make time on the road to catch Season 8 of Idol and its new judge, Kara DioGuardi, with whom he penned "Give Me Tonight" on his first album.

"I think she's gonna bring a very positive and a good message," he said. "She's gonna be a good judge. She's a really great songwriter. She knows the business and I think that she definitely will be a good voice of reasoning."