2 months ago

Female Elvis impersonator so convincing, people can't tell she's a woman

Meet the woman who has travelled the world as an Elvis impersonator - and says her voice is so similar people can't tell she's female.

Jan Waite, 53, has been hooked on impersonating the King of Rock and Roll since she debuted her tribute act at a holiday camp aged three.

The mum-of-one, from Knebworth, Herts, dubs herself the UK’s original female Elvis impersonator as she believes she was the first in the UK.

But she said being a female Elvis means she has faced discrimination.

At a recent competition she claims organisers told her she potentially couldn't perform - because she was a woman.

But she ignored them, and began her act from behind a curtain - and brought the house down.

And she says a judge later told her they couldn't tell the different between her voice and a male impersonator's voice.

Jan hung up her blue suede shoes in 2020 due to Covid and thought her days performing were over for good.

But she continued to make videos online - and now she's returned to performing to live audiences.

Jan says she has a lot of plans in the works and loves being on stage again, performing at charity events, competitions and more.

Now she's desperate to get more young people into the star - saying it's 'thrilling' to see how the next generation still love Elvis and hopes to inspire a whole new generation of hip-shaking rockers.

Jan said: “I think Elvis is for everybody. I never thought I can't do it because I'm a girl - I'm just trying to do what everyone else is doing and paying tribute to him.

"The fact you can still have a live show due to tribute acts keeps the Elvis spirit alive.

“I think everybody should be able to pay tribute to Elvis however they want, as long as it’s sincere.

“A lot of female Elvis’ tend to be female in the act, but I take on the Elvis full character - the audience still want to see ‘thank you very much’.

“[In Las Vegas] I started to sing Are You Lonesome Tonight and instead of women coming to the stage, the women stayed seated and men stood up and made a queue on the edge of the stage for a kiss and a scarf.”

Jan says as a toddler she would beg her mum to play his records so she could dance along.

Debuting her Elvis tribute act at a holiday camp in Torquay Beeson's Holiday Camp, she sang Teddy Bear and fell in love with performing while her mum made her suits.

And she never stopped - performing as a kid in live shows, before becoming an official professional Elvis tribute act age 18 when she was invited to America to perform on an ongoing basis in Las Vegas, Chicago, Nashville and more.

Jan has also performed professionally as Patsy Kline, Donny Osmond and Roy Orbison over the years – but says she always comes back to Elvis.

The Elvis tribute artist even wears jumpsuits made by Bill Belew– the tailor responsible for Elvis’ own iconic costumes and personal wardrobe.

Alongside performing in Las Vegas and Chicago, she says she has played with Elvis’ band former original bandmates and even played guitar with his uncle.

Now, she says she wants to see more young people donning a glittery jumpsuit.

“A lot of the younger performers weren’t even alive when he died but they’re still very passionate – the love is there even if the man wasn’t,” said Jan.

"There’s not one person on the planet who wouldn’t want to wear one.

“I try to follow the way he was towards people – he was generous, he had time for people, and he was a good example in that way.

“The love for Elvis is still there. it just becomes part of you - I'm doing this for the sake of sharing Elvis with other Elvis fans in the audience.”
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