Taylor Hicks
Taylor Hicks has more than his birthday to celebrate on Tuesday.

The Season 5 American Idol champ has partnered with indie company Artist to Market, in conjunction with his own label, Modern Whomp Records, to release his second solo album next winter, he announced.

"In this digital age, when artists can connect more directly with audiences, this is a partnership that makes a lot of sense," the singer said. "I'm very much enjoying being in the studio with Simon [Cline] working on the new album and look forward to releasing it through A2M early next year."

Cline has worked with the likes of Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Faith Hill. The duo will hit the studio this month to work on the as-yet-untitled disc, due Feb. 10, 2009.

Hicks, who turned 32 Tuesday, parted ways with Arista Records earlier this year after achieving platinum status with his 2006 eponymous debut. In August, he released a compilation disc, Early Works, under Modern Whomp.

In between all the music madness, the silver-haired crooner will pause to reprise his role as Teen Angel in Grease for a national tour, beginning Dec. 1.

Are you excited for Hicks' new album?