American Idol winner Ruben Studdard is facing tax liens from the Internal Revenue Service and the state of Alabama for failing to pay more than $193,000 in back taxes.
The singer, nicknamed the "Velvet Teddy Bear," owes $171,920 to the IRS and $21,731 to the Alabama Department of Revenue. The tax liens could endanger the opening of a nightclub named after him that is set to debut next summer in Birmingham.
Studdard's attorney, Byron Perkins of the Cochran Law Firm, told the Birmingham News that he believes Studdard will be able to pay off the taxes. The singer has a new CD coming out in December and a national tour set to kick off this fall.
Studdard won American Idol in 2003, narrowly edging out Clay Aiken in votes. Many of his tax debts can be traced back to that year, when he won a $1 million recording contract as part of his prize. For 2003, he still owes $163,836 to the IRS and $19,581 to Alabama, according to the Birmingham Business Journal.
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