Elvis Presley’s music is universal. Just ask 13-year-old Bryson Vines, one of The King’s biggest fans. The Michigan teen missed Presley by three decades, but he wants to keep his idol’s legacy alive by impersonating Presley on stage.
Vines first saw Elvis at 4 years old when he watched Viva Las Vegas with his parents. But he got hooked at 7 after his mom brought home a stack of Presley albums. Bryson loved Presley’s voice, style, and charisma. He loved it all. Vines committed the songs to memory and then started learning about his life, he told a local newspaper.
“I’m really into learning about his whole career and how he was outside the stage and also revolving around how he died, that’s interesting as well,” Vines said. “I like to focus on how he was as a person and not just as a performer.”
He dressed as Elvis for the first time on Halloween, but it soon became an everyday look. He owns more than 15 jumpsuits. Vines has replica versions of Elvis’ Gibson guitars and jewelry. He wears fake sideburns but hopes to grow his own someday.
“I don’t listen to a whole lot that isn’t Elvis,” Bryson said. “I get called Elvis at school. That’s how a lot of kids know me.”
Bryson Vines Wants to Turn His Love of Elvis Into a Career
An Elvis Presley impersonator pulled Bryson on stage at a concert when he was 8. He knew all the songs and wore a jumpsuit his grandmother made him. The crowd loved it.
“It gives you an adrenaline rush. I really like going on stage,” he said. “I just like doing what I do and I feed off the crowd.”
His parents said they were happy to help Bryson indulge his passion.
“He kind of is an old soul, and we’re older parents, too,” his dad, Robert Vines, told the newspaper. “Because of this, we get to travel along. He started doing local stuff, and then we found a lot of festivals.”
They said they knew he’d probably become an entertainer. They just didn’t know he’d get such an early start.
“When he was little he was really into the arts,” his dad said. “He loved the Wizard of Oz and dressed up as Scarecrow. We went to live plays. He loved the performing arts.”
Bryson performs at Elvis Presley fan festivals across the Midwest. On his birthday, Vines performs as The King to raise money for charity. He’s raised thousands for children’s cancer charities and local foundations over the past four years.
He performed at an event last month, and he hopes to make a career out of it when he’s older.
“I like the ballads the most, like ‘I’m Leavin’,” and more upbeat tempo songs like ‘Burning Love,’” Bryson said. “My least favorite to perform is ‘Suspicious Minds’ because Elvis got sick of it and it gets overplayed.”