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celebrity tribute
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Celebrity Tribute Artists
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Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of working once again with one of the very best tribute artists out of Las Vegas. Her name was Sandy Anderson and she does a Dolly Parton Tribute. This woman has it down.

What makes a celebrity tribute artist great are several things. First, they must look like the artist. A lot like the artist. Sandy Anderson looks almost exactly like Dolly Parton. Next, they have to sound like the artist. That not only includes while they are singing, but also speaking to the audience. Sandy had that covered, too. But there are still other factors some tribute artists forget. You also have to portray the mannerisms of that artist.

Great tribute artists have watched hundreds of hours of videos of the person they are impersonating to copy those mannerisms. They have video taped themselves while practicing the tribute and watched the results of their attempts. When Sandy Anderson performs, she becomes Dolly Parton. While on stage she's sweet, witty, shows off her assets and has a stage presence that replicates the original. It's a big package in more ways than one.

The reason that I bring up these facts is because so many tribute artists "think" they have their act down, while it's actually the contrary. They picked a certain tribute because they liked the artist and someone once said they looked like them. Many have been in the music business a long time and want a change. I can certainly understand that. But it takes many, many years for the top tribute artists to be at the top of their game and be paid the big bucks. Sandy Anderson worked hard many years as an entertainer before she became an icon for her tribute to Dolly. Like most talented and successful musicians, it never happens overnight - or sometimes ever.

The music business has changed dramatically over the last 25 years. Ask any musician who's been in it for the long haul. When times get tough, you have to make tough decisions. The music business that used to be your bread and butter has now become your hobby unless you've adapted to the times. That's one of the reasons that celebrity tribute bands have blossomed over the last several years. It is a niche that is drawing big attention to casino's, fairs and festivals. I know my business added tribute bands to the roster many years ago when the casinos were requesting them. I saw the need and opportunity. I feel some musicians need to do the same thing.

I suggest musicians look at what's happening around them. What kind of musical entertainment is drawing the crowds? Is that something you want to pursue or not. That's your decision. Is your music a job, hobby or both? Life's short. For me, the most important thing is to work at a job you love. I'm lucky. I do. Do you?


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