The singer, who before winning “Idol” struggled for years in the music business, is striking while the iron is hot with an early 2007 tour.

The first segment of the tour, which kicks off February 21 In Jacksonville, Fla., sticks to the South with the exception of shows in Boston, Chicago and Milwaukee. The second set of dates runs through the end of April, and covers the East coast and Midwest beginning with an April 3 show at Boston’s Avalon.

In case you’ve been living under a rock or have something better to do with your evenings, Hicks won Fox’s “American Idol” by a landslide in May.

Following his “Idol” victory, Hicks was snapped up by Arista records’ Clive Davis, and has spent the past few months working long days to get his album on the shelves before Christmas, and touring with fellow “Idol” finalists.

The album, which hit stores December 12, debuted at No. 2 on Soundscan’s Top Current Albums chart. It features Hicks’ covers of songs by artists like Marvin Gaye and Rob Thomas, along with some of his own compositions.