2009 Ultimate ETA Contest


ULTIMATE ELVIS TRIBUTE ARTIST OF 2009
Bill Cherry
Winner of the Tupelo Elvis Festival

Bill has been performing Elvis since 1989 and has always been a fan of Elvis. He grew up listening to his music, watching his movies and singing along with him on records. Bill feels that as a tribute artist, he can help keep Elvis' memory alive. Bill's favorite song is "If I Can Dream."








2ND PLACE WINNER

Donny Edwards

Winner of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at Pechanga Casino Resorts

Donny has been performing his tribute to Elvis since 2003. He's been a fan since he was two. Little did he know that it would lead him to a beloved career paying tribute to the greatest musical artist in history. Donny tries his best to bring the same joy that Elvis has brought to him to fellow fans with his show. He believes his success has been because of his devotion to the man who has so greatly influenced his life, Elvis Presley. Donny's favorite Elvis song is "Suspicious Minds."




3RD PLACE WINNER

Kevin Mills

Winner of the LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival

Ever since Kevin was a teenager, he has had a love for Elvis and his music, and he felt Elvis was the natural choice for him to emulate. The many facets and genres of Elvis' career provides Kevin with a never ending challenge. Kevin says it is an honor to be able to be part of the Ultimate ETA Contest and be able to compete in Memphis, where Elvis called home. Kevin's favorite song is "Bridge Over Troubled Water."




Also, congratulations to Leo Days and Justin Shandor who also made it into the top five of this year's Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.




ULTIMATE CONTEST PRELIMINARY WINNERS
As Elvis tribute artists win preliminary rounds of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, they will be posted on this section of the web site. All the tribute artists posted on this page of the site will be competing during the semifinal round of the contest in Memphis during Elvis Week 2009. Click here to purchase your tickets to the semifinal and final round in Memphis.


Joseph Hall
Winner of the Last Chance ETA Contest at the Memphis Hard Rock Cafe

Joseph is from Nebraska and became interested in Elvis when he saw a show in Vegas in 2006. After returning home, he performed Elvis at a karaoke bar and Halloween party and loved it. After that, he knew this is what he wanted to do. Six months into his career, he decided to go full-time doing his tribute to Elvis. Joseph says he enjoys performing his Elvis tribute with the upmost respect to Elvis’ legacy and fans. Joseph’s favorite song is “Suspicious Minds.”







Stephen Freeman
Winner of the Ultimate ETA Contest at Harrah's Cherokee Casino

Stephen is from North Carolina. He served as a police officer and detective for 8 years before officially starting his career as an Elvis tribute artist in 1998. Stephen fell in love with Elvis’ music and life story as a small child when he first saw the HBO special One Night with You. Elvis' generosity and love for his fans left a huge impression on Stephen growing up, and Elvis' gospel music inspired him spiritually. With such a huge Elvis footprint in his life, the decision to become a tribute artist came easily to him. Stephen's favorite Elvis song is "I Can’t Stop Loving You."






Thane Dunn
Winner of the Collingwood Elvis Festival

Thane is from Moncton, Canada and has been performing his Elvis tribute for the past 10 years. Thane always admired and loved Elvis as a child and wanted to pay tribute to him. His friends and family said that he sounded similar to Elvis, which he took as the ultimate compliment and helped him in making the decision to become a tribute artist. Thane's favorite song is "American Trilogy."







Travis Allen
Winner of the MontBleu Resort Ultimate ETA Contest

From Henderson, Nevada, Travis has been performing as an entertainer and singer since the age of 15. He has admired Elvis since he was 5 years old. He said Elvis gave him a variety of music, dance and looks - and he wanted to try to recreate his image. Travis' favorite song is "Young & Beautiful."








Brad McCrady
Winner of the Hollywood Casino Lawerenceburg ETA Contest

Brad has been performing as a tribute artist since the age of 9. His family encouraged him to continue singing throughout his childhood. Brad graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College with a degree in music and business. He works for Professional Pools, is the president of the Owensboro Evening Lions Club and is the song leader for the Owensboro First United Baptist Church. He loves all of Elvis' music, especially his gospel recordings. His favorite song is "You Gave Me A Mountain."






Nathan Belt
Winner of the Myrtle Beach Legends in Concert Ultimate ETA Contest

Nathan began singing and playing guitar at the age of 13. Nathan began performing Elvis in 1999. He grew up listening to Elvis' music. It inspired him - mostly his gospel music. Elvis has been a huge influence in all aspects of his life and he wants to convey that with a tribute that is respectful and inspiring to others. His favorite Elvis song is "How Great Thou Art."








Mike Bravener
Winner of the MySpace Elvis Week Karaoke Contest

Although Mike says it seems like has been singing Elvis songs all of his life, it was only 6 years ago that he started to pursue a career in entertainment. Mike can be seen helping people and entertaining children at Chapter's bookstore in Fredericton, where he works a a C.E.R. He is married to Brenda and they have 4 wonderful children. Mike's favorite song is "If I Can Dream."








Stephen Kabakos
Winner of the Silver Slipper Ultimate ETA Contest

As far back as he can remember, Elvis Presley has always been a part of Stephen's life. For him, Elvis was an extended family member who was always present for family gatherings, birthdays, and of course, Christmas. As a child, he listened, watched, mimicked and performed along with him and learned from his sincere attitude and kind-heartedness as an adult. Stephen's favorite Elvis song is "Don't Cry Daddy."







Ted Torres
Winner of the Tampa Elvis Festival

Ted was inspired by both his parents and Elvis to do music as a career. After learning more about Elvis as a person, he became a bigger fan of Elvis. He hopes he can help people relive the memories of when a poor boy from Tupelo conquered both Memphis and the world with his music. Ted's favorite Elvis song is "The Sound of Your Cry."








Justin Shandor
Winner of the Chinook Winds Casino Ultimate ETA Contest

Elvis has been a part of Justin's life ever since his mother brought him home his first cassette tape for Christmas when he was eight years old. He remembers singing "Mama Liked the Roses" to his grandmother and how Elvis' music captivated his heart. Elvis became a big part of his life from that day on. Having a part in keeping Elvis' memory alive has been an honor and a dream come true for him. Justin's favorite song is "Mama Liked The Roses."







Ray Guillemette, Jr.
Winner of the Windsor Elvis Fest

Ray was born and raised in Massachusetts. When he was young, Elvis music was the only music he would listen to and he understood then that it was more than just music that made Elvis who he was - it was instead his underlying desire to make people and fans feel special beyond the stage. Ray says he works to make sure his performances are a positive interpretation and experience - and not just in costume and song, but from a personality perspective as well. In addition to being a tribute artist, Ray is also a professional chef, actor and motivational speaker. Ray's favorite song is "Walk A Mile in My Shoes."





Gino Monopoli
Winner of the Penticton Elvis Festival

Gino is from Toronto, Canada, and has been singing Elvis songs for as long as he can remember. Producing and promoting a musical retrospective of Elvis has enabled Gino to pursue his passion. After studying and learning Elvis' videos, he became more and more captivated with Elvis and read up on his life. Gino considers it a great honor to pay tribute to Elvis. Gino's favorite Elvis song is "Love Me Tender."







Donny Edwards
Winner of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest at Pechanga Casino Resorts

Donny has been performing his tribute to Elvis since 2003. He's been a fan since he was two. Little did he know that it would lead him to a beloved career paying tribute to the greatest musical artist in history. Donny tries his best to bring the same joy that Elvis has brought to him to fellow fans with his show. He believes his success has been because of his devotion to the man who has so greatly influenced his life, Elvis Presley. Donny's favorite Elvis song is "Suspicious Minds."






Bill Cherry
Winner of the Tupelo Elvis Festival

Bill has been performing Elvis since 1989 and has always been a fan of Elvis. He grew up listening to his music, watching his movies and singing along with him on records. Bill feels that as a tribute artist, he can help keep Elvis' memory alive. Bill's favorite song is "If I Can Dream."









Jim Barone
Winner of the Atlantic City Ultimate ETA Contest

When Jim heard Elvis for the first time, he was amazed. After singing some of Elvis' songs for his friends, they told him that he sounded a lot like Elvis. Jim likes re-create the excitement that Elvis generated in his live performances. He says singing Elvis music "feels so right." Jim's favorite Elvis song is "Are You Lonesome Tonight."








Kevin Mills
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
Winner of the LakeGeorge.com Elvis Festival

Ever since Kevin was a teenager, he has had a love for Elvis and his music, and he felt Elvis was the natural choice for him to emulate. The many facets and genres of Elvis' career provides Kevin with a never ending challenge. Kevin says it is an honor to be able to be part of the Ultimate ETA Contest and be able to compete in Memphis, where Elvis called home. Kevin's favorite song is "Bridge Over Troubled Water."






Leo Days
Las Vegas, Nevada
Winner of the Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge Ultimate ETA Contest

Leo became an avid fan of Elvis at the age of 3. He grew up listening to Elvis and watching his movies. At the age of 15, he discovered his singing ability and has been performing since then. Leo enjoys studying every aspect of Elvis' life and career. Leo became an ETA because he said that nothing beats the feeling of being on stage portraying your childhood hero. Leo's favorite song is "If I Can Dream."






Victor Trevino Jr.
Denton, Texas
Winner of the Branson Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest

Victor's dream of a career in music and acting has been realized in his tribute to Elvis Presley. As a fan himself, he always remembers that his role is that of a tribute artist, and not the king himself. He strives to maintain a respectful image of Elvis for all fans with a humble attitude and honor for the man who "dared to rock." Victor says he became a tribute artist to show a younger generation what Elvis was really like and where the music they listen to today came from. Victor's favorite Elvis song is "Milkcow Blues Boogie."





Pete Paquette
Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada
Winner of the Toronto Elvis Festival

Pete has been performing since the age of 7, inspired by his musician father who also was an Elvis fan. Having enjoyed the music of Elvis and seeing the effect it continues to have on audiences, Pete decided to do his part to help keep the music of Elvis alive. Pete says, "Elvis was a role model for many people and I am proud to have been able to touch on some of his abilities in my performances." Pete's favorite Elvis song is "Why Me Lord?"






Lance Dobinson
Nottawa, Ontario, Canada
Winner of the Days of Elvis Festival in Niagara Falls

Lance is in his second year at Humber College studying music. He has had the honor of performing throughout Ontario, the US and Japan. Lance says that Elvis has been a tremendous influence on him and inspired him to pursue his passion of music. Lance is excited to be part of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest and says it allows him to do what he loves - perform for the fans and continue to keep Elvis' name alive. Lance's favorite Elvis song is "Trouble."