He emerged from the shadows — bedazzling in the iconic white flared bell-bottom jumpsuit with a bald eagle made of red, blue and gold studs, and white leather boots.
This man could be mistaken as The King of Rock and Roll and style icon Elvis Presley.
But this man is Ronnie Scott, an Elvis impersonator walking in the streets of Metro Vancouver, paying homage to the legend.
Burnaby raised Ronnie Scott entered show business as a tribute artist, 20 years ago.
Scott, along with his partner, Marie Scott, established their entertainment business, Iconic Tributes, back in the early 2000s. Since then, the tribute artists have been performing in various events from Vegas to Vancouver.
For the lost and curious souls, tribute artists are performers in the show business who sing and perform musical legends’ iconic pieces — transforming into the personalities, albeit for a short time.
Carrying a part of Elvis' legacy: music and fashion
Scott was introduced to Elvis Presley when he was eight years old, by his sister, who had been a huge fan of the legend. Soon enough, he was gifted a few Elvis’s classic tracks, which would later change his life.
He got into the entertainment industry — to perform, sing and dance, unaware of the vast world of tribute art and artists until 24 years ago.
Scott decided to take the leap into entertainment business by becoming his first love: Elvis.
He had large shoes to fill in, having discovered the extent of the fan-following for Elvis around the world and the artists trying to pay their homage to the King.
“I have always loved singing since I was a child,” he said. “My wife, Marie, and I, started Iconic Tributes after attending an Elvis festival 24 years ago. We do other characters as well. But Elvis is our first love. And currently we do about about 500 of Elvis's 1,200 songs.”
Carrying the musical legacy is a challenge of its own, but to carry one of world’s style icons is another uphill battle.
Presley’s statement fashion pieces made headlines in their day, and many artists and designers still hold his style as a fashion benchmark to this day.
Much as Presley was the king of rock and roll, he was also the king of bling.
In the earlier days, getting his hands on Presley’s iconic suits proved to be a challenge for the tribute artist.
Vintage stores and local tailors were a favourite for the bold fashion finds. When Scott opted for a more authentic look, he had to shell out more money and pay a visit directly to Elvis’s own tailor.
“There were two families that used to make Elvis jumpsuits,” he said, “and one of them still sells, where Elvis used to buy all his clothing, you know in Memphis when he was younger.”
“But it gets pretty pricey with the exchange on the money and to bring it across the border. So now, we have a lady who was a big success on Dragon's Den to tailor our costumes.”
Finding heart in the business
Over two decades, the couple have performed in many events ranging from birthdays to funerals to community events across Canada.
Speaking of the best part of the job, Scott said it's all about the smiles they see on people’s faces.
“We see them singing along,” he said. “We see seniors and people laughing and singing and dancing. That's probably the most gratifying part of the job, I'd say.”
‘The King’ has had a revolutionary impact on the people in the world, and Scott hopes he can have a fraction of that impact in our community by putting a smile on people’s faces when he transforms into the legend temporarily.
You can find out more about Vancouver’s Elvis impersonator at the Iconic Tributes website.