The King lives on through award-winning tribute artist

ELVIS LIVES: Ben Portsmouth’s The King Is Back show is coming to Newcastle. The late, great Elvis Presley would have turned 83 this week. On January 8, to be exact.

Ben PortsmouthDavid Letterman’s LateShow.

Portsmouth grew up listening to Elvis –his father was an avid fan –and in 2005 started performing his songs to an audience.He looked like Elvis, sang like Elvis and, unlikely many imitators,had that unique on-stage charisma. Audiences were spellbound.

“I’ve always been fairly good at mimicking people throughout my life, either people I know personally or the famous,” Portsmouth tells Weekender.

“Performing asElvisis something that I’m constantly developing and trying to get better at.”

Portsmouth recalls singing Elvis songs at the tender age of six but his musical tastes included everything from Guns n Roses and Iron Maiden to classical, Latin and blues.

“I like all kinds of music. But when it comes to Elvis,I like the fact that he came from a very poor background and become a legend,” he explains.

“His voice was amazing and he seemed to be a very charismatic and generous man on and off stage.”

Portsmouth’s latest world tour, The King is Back, takes the audience on a memorable musical journey.

The first half of the show traces his career fromSun Studios in the 1950s where it all began,including poignant parts of his career and personal life.

The second half is a recreation of what it would have been like to seeElvisperform live in concert in the 1970s.

“Elvisis a legend in the field of music and crossedboundaries in a segregated America. He is still loved and missed so much by fans,” Portsmouth says.

“His music is a mixture of all different styles and appeals to many people from around the world. Elvishad everything.”

The King Is Back plays at Wests New Lambton on January 20. Tickets are on sale now.

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