3, 2, … 1? 

In 2009, Elvis tribute artist Kevin Mills placed third in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. In 2010, he came in second. So will 2011 be the year he takes home the crown?

"This year, I'm in my best shape vocally and physically," Mills says. "I really want that victory."

Mills, who is in his 40s, says he's been performing since age 9. Later, when he was in a rockabilly band, people began to remark on his resemblance to Elvis, so Mills went with it.

"I entered the Images of Elvis [now Images of the King] contest in Memphis in 1990. I walked in as a '50s Elvis and won," he says. "After that, it just took off. I started working with the Legends in Concert. I've been with them for 15 years."

Mills now concentrates on the Elvis between 1969 and 1971 — "when he was at his finest." He says that to stand out among the 25 other Elvises, he does his own thing. "I'm more natural onstage," he says. "I don't try to be Elvis. I put my own personal touch."

For Ultimate Elvis, Mills is bringing six costumes made by B&K Enterprises, which holds the original patterns for Elvis' signature jumpsuits from the 1960s and '70s. These jumpsuits can cost between $1,000 and $5,000 each.

He's also bringing scarves, which Elvis would give to his female audience members as a seductive souvenir. Mills' scarves, however, are going home with him.

"You can't do that in the contest," Mills says. "You can't kiss the girls. You can't give out scarves. You have to keep your hands to the stage."

Mills says the Legends in Concert keeps him busy several months out of the year, and he does more work independently as an Elvis tribute artist. But when he's not being Elvis, he is not Elvising, either. He says he has no Elvis memorabilia, and he listens to country, blues, and jazz when he's not working.

"You want that down time, you know?"

kevinmillselvis.com

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

Fly On The Wall Blog

Former TN Legislator Jeremy Durham Kicked Out of UT Game for Hitting

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Media Day: Three Narrative Threads

Hungry Memphis

Plans for Second Slider Inn Downtown

News Blog

Cross the Big River on Big River Crossing

Music Blog

"Torn Down by Thursday" at Crosstown Arts

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Matt Lucas

Hungry Memphis

How a Beer Becomes a Can: Memphis Made's Gonerfest XIII

From My Seat

Jose Fernandez (1992-2016)

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Susan Ellis

Readers also liked…

  • Embracing the Big Muddy

    There's more to the Mississippi River than sunsets.
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • Making Joyful Noises

    After a struggling start, The Visible School is celebrating 15 musical years — and expanding to other cities.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • Getting Straight

    Mid-Southerners with felony convictions face roadblocks, but local programs and new laws offer hope.
    • Jun 11, 2015
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation