2009 ultimate champion bill cherry
Paying homage to the king since 1989, Bill is absolutely one of the best Elvis tribute artists in the business. For Bill it’s not enough to sing, act and dance like the King, he even drives the same car as him—a Stutz Blackhawk (one of which can be seen at Graceland). His career has led him to perform with many of the same bands who backed Elvis, like the Jordaniers, the Sweet Inspirations, DJ Fontana, and members of J. D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet.
He has received many awards and accolades for his spot-on renditions. Prior to winning in Memphis, Bill took first place at the 2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Preliminaries in Tupelo, Mississippi. This back-to-back win proved historic as it was the first time any Elvis Tribute Artist won the title of Ultimate at both the birthplace and the hometown of Elvis Presley in the same year. He’s been honored by Time Magazine, as one of the top Elvis Tribute artist, and has also won The Heart of the King award in Las Vegas at the Hilton where Elvis performed for several years. While Bill never met the King, he’s doing fabulous work of maintaining his legacy, and impressing audiences at every one of his performances.
Grand champion riley jenkins
Riley Jenkins is a multi-award winning, Elvis Tribute Artist from Clarksville, Tennessee. His love for music and for Elvis Presley came at an early age of three years-old when he saw the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll for the first time on television. Ever since then his love and passion for performing has only grown stronger and stronger. Riley says that “Elvis has changed my life in so many ways. To be able to sing his music onstage for his fans, the greatest fans in the world, is a dream come true every single day. Jenkins has performed all over the world including Canada and various other parts of the Untied States. He recently place in the Top 2 of Memphis oldest Elvis Tribute Artist Contest this past August.
Grand champion Michael cullipher
Michael Cullipher knew early on that he wanted to be an 'Elvis' Tribute Artist. He was four years old when he first discovered Elvis Presley. Michael's dream became a reality at 19 years old. He entered and won the Elvis Extravaganza contest in 2009. He was hooked and a career was born! 2009 also began a five year run with Branson's Elvis Festival Ultimate Elvis Tribute artist contest where he placed in the top 5 every year. Michael's goal as an Elvis Triburte Artist is to present the BEST memory of Elvis Presley possible.
2010 started a tradition of touring the great state of Arizona playing as many as 30 in a month! Michael has an amazing fan base that brings him back year after year. Michael has been fortunate in his career, he has had the chance to meet and perform with and for many of Elvis's friends and family. A recent highlight was recording 'Suspicious Minds' with Ben Cauley Jr., member of the Memphis Horns, who played trumpet on the original recording with Elvis. This honor makes Michael and Elvis the only two people to record this song with Ben.
Michael believes that God is his creator and savior, and gives all the glory to him for his gift and is blessed to say some of the most humbling and rewarding experiences of his career has been singing and performing Elvis's Gospel music. Michaels' goal as an Elvis Tribute Artist is to present the best memory of Elvis Presley possible.
2019 ULTIMATE champion TAYLOR RODRIGUEZ
Taylor Rodriguez has many attributes; he is kind, thoughtful, loving, and very talented. As an Elvis Presley Tribute Artist, the son of Hector and Donna Rodriguez, he often performs at his parents restaurant, El Cazador in Bedford, Virginia. He is a Freshman at Lynchburg College. At the age of 20, he has already performed for many organizations, rescue squads, adult care centers, homes for the disabled, various charity events and at Graceland. If you have the pleasure of watching him perform, you'll witness him effortlessly moving to the audience, capturing the essence of Elvis Presley as he charms many adoring fans. His confidence and ease contradict his young age. Elderly women actually swoon over him when he sings those famous Elvis ballads. His aunt, Diane Morcom loved Elvis all her life. When Taylor was a little boy he would often stay with his aunt and she would play Elvis music for hours. Around the age of 9 years old he took a serious interest in learning all the music and moves that made Elvis Presley the legend that he is. Diane would go to all of his shows to cheer him on. She was his biggest fan. In June 2011, she passed away suddenly. Taylor was one of many deeply impacted by her death. He truly lost his biggest fan. He has always been driven to be the best at this role that he can possibly be. Honoring the memory of his aunt Di has made even more committed to his dream.
Recently, Taylor has starred in the award winning Million Dollar Quartet as Elvis Presley. Locally, Taylor has been recognized for his achievements throughout his career by many news stations, radio stations, and newspapers. He has also been named one of Graceland's Top 5 Finalist in the 2017 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition! He is now considered one of The Top 5 Elvis Tribute Artist's in the world!!!! This past August Taylor won the 2019 Ultimate Elvis Championship making him the number one ETA of 2019.
Master Of Ceremonies tom brown
Tom Brown (Tommy to his friends) was born just outside of Roswell, New Mexico Air Force Base in a hospital that also saw the earlier birth of John Denver and the later birth of Demi Moore. None of them saw UFOs. He moved at age four to Tupelo with his parents. They did the driving. A proud product of the Tupelo Public School System, Tom attended
Lawhon, Thomas Street, Milam, Carver and Tupelo High School (when it was in the cool building on Varsity Drive.) He spent most of his time in band, playing saxophone and in the theatre department, playing. Tom entered showbiz as a teenager with his first job: projectionist at the Malco Theatres. (Yes, he thinks the Lyric is haunted) After graduating (to his surprise and his parents relief) from Tupelo High, Tom attended the majority of his classes at Northeast Mississippi Community (Junior!) College where he spent every evening watching Johnny Carson. Then it was on to Ole Miss and a major in theatre arts. Tom’s dream was to be Johnny Carson. (But that was not a major that was offered.) His career in television started after graduation when Tom got a job overnights at WTVA in Tupelo. Soon he was being mentored by on air talent Buddy and Kay Bain and station announcer Ed Bishop. He credits them with all the lessons of broadcasting he has since forgotten. At WTVA, Tom shot commercials, local sports highlights and hosted the live on-air “Wheel of Fortune” giveaways. “Spinning and winning!” Continuing in television now as an entertainment reporter, Tom moved to Shreveport and St. Louis where he also served as a radio morning co-host and reporter. For over ten years he traveled to Los Angeles, New York City and all over the country, conducting interviews with hundreds of celebrities. His favorites to interview were Tom Hanks, Robin Williams and Burt Reynolds. Then came his big break with a job as a reporter on the much anticipated “Rough Cut” entertainment magazine show based in Los Angeles on the TNT Network. When the ratings for “Rough Cut” didn’t match the anticipation, Tom began 17 years at Turner Classic Movies in Atlanta as the Vice President of Original Productions, overseeing the Robert Osborne studio unit and all original long form productions. Multiple Emmy nominations followed. (No wins, but it’s an honor to be nominated!) A thread that has been woven throughout Tom’s life is his love of Elvis Presley. He produced multiple Elvis projects for TCM and has worked over 17 years with Elvis Presley Enterprises hosting live events and the Youtube series, “Gates of Graceland.” Tom also hosts the Tupelo Elvis Festival and co-produces and hosts the Nashville Elvis Festival. He’s been called “The Johnny Carson of the Elvis World.” So, in a way, he made it! Tom is happy to be back where he comes from in Tupelo with his wife Lisa and their three dogs The Nash, Maxine and Millie. He spends his free time watching Johnny Carson on Youtube.
GRAND CHAMPION jEFF LEWIS
Jeff Lewis grew up in Oklahoma and currently lives in Nashville, TN. Jeff is a Grammy Nominated singer/songwriter and is a voting member of NARAS. He has starred in several theatrical productions including Warrior, Atlanta, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo, Frederick Douglas: An American Prophet, and the Laramie Project and has appeared in films such as “Last Castle”, “Summer of Courage”, “Blood Rogues”, and “The Nothing”. He is a published author, including his novel, “Serial West”.Jeff began his award winning Elvis Tribute Artist career in 2011. He hosts the Jeff Lewis and Friends Music Festival, a one of a kind, yearly event that brings together some of the best Elvis Tribute Artists in the world on one stage. Jeff also hosts the most popular Elvis Week after parties in Memphis at the world famous Hard Rock Café. He has won the Last Chance Ultimate at the Hard Rock in Memphis, competed in the Elvis Presley Enterprises Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, and won, at the time, the largest purse in the history of Elvis Competitions at the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, WI.Jeff currently tours the world as a singer/songwriter, actor, Elvis Tribute Artist, performer, and emcee.
2018 WORLD CHAMPION COTE DEONATH
Cote Deonath has been an Elvis Tribute Artist for 19 years now, since the age of three. At a very young age Deonath was introduced to Elvis by his Grandmother Joellyn Cote by watching a film called “Follow That Dream” which was filmed in the surrounding Nature Coast areas such as Inverness, Ocala and Yankee Town. He was mesmerized by Presley. Deonath would go on to perform at various places throughout his younger years such as Tupelo, MS, Branson, MO, Elvis Week 07-11 and many more. Unfortunately in 2012 Joellyn passed away with her fourth battle with lung cancer. Tho a short break from stage was needed he knew he needed to do it for her. Following his dream where ever it may lead, Deonath found himself in winning various contests and headlining festivals throughout the world. Deonath is a champion of The Tupelo Elvis Festival, Branson Elvis Festival, Niagara Falls Elvis Festival and Qualifying for EPE’s Ultimate Elvis Contest for the past four years. Deonath Has Recently won the World Title In Memphis, TN in August of 2018 and placed in the TOP 3 in the world in EPE’s Ultimate Elvis Contest for the past two years in a row.
2018 ultimate CHAMPION Ben Thompson
Ben was just 5 years old, he discovered Mr Elvis Presley. As he grew, so did his love of The King. By the age of 15 Ben had started appearing as his idol, learning his moves, his manner and perfecting the vocals.He has competed in several competitions, winning 5 titles and is now the reigning 2018 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Champion. His other titles includes being the original winner of Europe's Tribute To Elvis in 2013 and the first international winner of Tupelo's Ultimate Elvis Contest. He was also presented with 'the key to the city' of Tupelo from Tupelo's very own Mayor Mr Jason Shelton. This is just one of many accolades that have been given to Ben in recognition for his work.He was also privileged to have starred as Elvis in the 2017 Sequel film Bladerunner 2049, alongside Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. Now in 2018 at 24 years old, Ben is still touring the world performing in theatres, arena's and music festivals as Elvis Presley and demonstrating his ability to be one of the only few ETA's that can successfully portray all era's of The Kings Career.
2017 world CHAMPION diogo light
From the time Diogo was a small child listening to his father's Elvis records, he's been a fan! He began singing to audiences ten years ago and considers it a great honor to pay tribute to the greatest entertainer of all time. With increasing performances throughout South and North America and Australasia he has put his career as a defense attorney on hold so that he can follow his passion. Diogo has traveled all over the world performing the kings music. He's placed multiple times in EPE's Ultimate ELVIS Tribute Artist Contest. Diogo Captured the 2017 World title in Memphis During Elvis Week!
2013 ULTIMATE CHAMPION DEAN Z
about DEAN Z
Dean Z is the 2013 winner of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. He has dedicated his entire life to honoring the legacy of Elvis Aaron Presley, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” From his early days in Lancaster, California, to stages across the globe, he has repeatedly shown why he is one of the best in the business today. Dean became an accomplished musician during his youth and took off for Las Vegas, at 17. Throughout the next 13 years, Dean performed in Vegas, and has paid tribute to “The Memphis Flash” in Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, England, across Canada and the United States. Dean soon earned a spot with the World’s Greatest Live Tribute Show, “Legends in Concert,” and in 2007, began headlining the show in Branson, Missouri, where he currently performs two shows a day. After competing against 500 performers from around the world, Dean was named the 2013 Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist™ in Memphis during “Elvis Week” in a contest sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.