Young Elvis fans learn how to pay tribute to the king of rock and roll

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Fans of the original American Idol were in Tupelo for The Tupelo Elvis Festival.

It’s in full swing and this year there was a new event for youngsters who want to pay tribute to the King of Rock and Roll.

It was a workshop for young fans of Elvis Presley who are already making names for themselves as future tribute artists.

“It started off by calling different retirement homes, and things like that but as it has progressed we found people who book me gigs, I’m booked till December or January,” said Giovanni Mercuri, of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

For the first time at the Tupelo Elvis Festival,  a day-long event called “Becoming” was held at the birthplace. Some of the world’s top Elvis tribute artists led the kiddos in dance moves.

There were voice lessons and a class on makeup.

Ben Thompson won the 2018 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition at Graceland and said it’s a joy not only to help teach the class, but also to see a new generation of super Elvis fans.

“It means we’ve kind of done our job right, we as tribute artists we try to continue Elvis’ legacy and if they’ve seen a tribute artist, any tribute artist, and gone, ‘oh my God, I need to see Elvis, it means we’ve done our job right,” said Thompson.

The future Elvis tribute artists were brought to Jonnie’s Drive-In for lunch.

Becoming was more than just teaching the youngsters how to mimic Elvis, more importantly, it taught them what made Elvis the man and entertainer he became.

“You would be surprised at how many children really are into Elvis and this is an unique thing Tupelo can do because this is where he was born,” said Debbie Brangenberg, of the Tupelo Elvis Festival.

The young fans were excited to be part of the first-ever “Becoming’ workshop, where it all began.

“This is one of the biggest festivals of the year, it’s all I hear about, I’ve been wanting to come down here all the time,” said Logan Ramey, of Chicago.

The Becoming Experience wrapped up with a Youth Competition for future Elvis Tribute Artists.

Categories: Local News

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