Making a Mark as an Elvis Tribute Artist
By Zena Sultana
In the ever-expanding Elvis Tribute Artist industry – every ETA is dreaming to make it big. Some have made it to the top, some are on their way up, but most are still languishing in obscurity. It takes a lot of talent to follow in the footsteps of the King. It takes a lot of work to keep the memory of Elvis alive.
For who could really compare to Elvis? Elvis was larger than life. He was unique – possessing stunning good looks, unrivalled charisma and incomparable talent! Whether clad in the colorful suits of his early years, or dressed to thrill in the black leather and flamboyant jumpsuits of his later years – Elvis was the consummate performer, commanding the stage and mesmerizing his audience.
No other performer, before or since, can hold a candle to Elvis’ charms! No one in the history of the entertainment and music industry can come close to what Elvis Presley had accomplished. That is why Elvis Presley was accorded the title: “Performer of the Century”!
One ETA who is making his mark in the “Elvis world” is Johnny Thompson of Las Vegas, Nevada. In 2007, he became the “International Images of the King” World Champion. Some Elvis’ fans think that Johnny is “the closest thing there is to Elvis” and Johnny is honored and flattered by that.
“Being compared to Elvis is an honor and I’m flattered,” he said. “The truth is, no one can really be like Elvis. There’s only one Elvis Presley!”
Johnny comes close. He even played Elvis in a TV series on the Sci-Fi channel called “The Chronicle.” He also starred in the “Almost Elvis” and “The Men who would be King” documentaries and on “Get Golf with John Ohurley on USA Network. In 2005, Johnny hosted the 2005 MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet for TRL, and appeared on “Viva La Bam”, “One Bad Trip”, “24/7’ and “The Surreal Life”.
A versatile entertainer, Johnny has performed on stage all over America. Kristy Lee Royle, of www.RoyalTalent.com, has also sent him for performances in France, Belgium, Finland, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, China, Japan and Jamaica. According to Kristy, this month (January 2009), there’s a possibility that Johnny will be going back to China again for a performance. Johnny has also performed in Canada as well.
This summer, Johnny will also appear on “TV Land Myth and Legends” and also in the new “Viva Las Vegas” special edition DVD being released by the Elvis Presley Enterprises. EPE is the sponsor of the much-acclaimed “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist” competition held every August in Memphis for two years now.
Most recently, Johnny has appeared in Carrie Underwood’s new music video “Last Name.” Carrie Underwood is one of the hottest young country singers today. After she won in the 4th season of “American Idol”, her name has been ablaze in lights. Everything she touches turned to gold, and the overwhelming demand for her albums in a continuing phenomenon!
“Last Name” is a song about a young lady who succumbed to the allure and craziness of Vegas, somehow drank too much “Cuervo”, and woke up with a wedding ring on her finger. The young bride didn’t even know the last name of her groom. Hah – only in Vegas! The city of dreams (and delusions?)
Anyway, Johnny is the one who performed “the wedding” in this music video. Carrie wrote the lyrics of “Last Name” and six other songs that are included in her new album entitled “Carnival Ride.”
You can watch the video of “Last Name”, and learn more about Johnny, by logging on to his website: www.Johnny.Thompson.com.