Things You Might Not Know About Elvis Tribute ArtistsPosted by Elvis Presley's Graceland on Aug 14, 2015 | 28 comments
By Alyssa Long
The top Elvis Tribute Artists, aka ETAs, in the world gather in Memphis during Elvis Week to complete in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. Throughout the year there are Elvis Tribute Artist competitions across the globe. The winners of these competitions are in the running to become the Ultimate ETA.
I was able to sit down and chat with David Allen, one of this year’s top ten finalists, and I got the scoop on all things ETA. Here are some things I learned.
They’re All Friends
Winning the Ultimate ETA Contest during Elvis Week is a life changing event for these performers. Because of how important this contest is you would think the competitors would be cutthroat in the dressing room. It’s actually the complete opposite! They all know each other, they all encourage each other, they even have been known to share props and costumes for concerts! Being an Elvis Tribute Artist is like being part of a special brotherhood.
This Is A Full Time Job
Even though the motivation is most definitely not money, Elvis Tribute Artists consider themselves extremely fortunate to be able to do what they love every single day. They have the unique ability to touch people’s lives in incredible ways through their Elvis performances. Whether it’s the woman in the nursing home who smiled for the first time in days or they’re giving young people an idea of what it was like to see Elvis perform, they are influencing Elvis fans and potential Elvis fans every single day.
They Don’t Like Stereotypes
As their name suggests, Elvis Tribute Artists pay tribute to Elvis Presley, they don’t try to impersonate him. They strive to represent Elvis in an honest and satisfying way and put on a quality act. In fact, they consider themselves the biggest Elvis fans around.
It’s Hard Work
Simply having a resemblance to Elvis Presley and a jumpsuit isn’t enough. Being an Elvis Tribute Artist is hard work. They do lots of research and they hold themselves to a very high standard, after all, they’re trying to pay the proper tribute to the king of rock. They also have the responsibility to bring the essence of Elvis to fans who never had the opportunity to see live Elvis performances. At the same time, it’s incredibly humbling and nerve-racking for them to perform in front of people who were fortunate enough to have seen Elvis live.
Side note, they’re also some of the nicest people I have ever met! If you missed the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest this year, I highly suggest you get tickets for next year! It’s truly amazing. Congratulations to David Lee, this year’s winner!