Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, died nearly 40 years ago — Aug. 12, 1977. But his legacy is alive and well.
It can certainly be seen in cities like Memphis that boast his former home, the enshrined Graceland, visited by roughly 600,000 thousand fans every year. It is also true of Tupelo, Miss., the place of Elvis’ birth. Of course, there are plenty of other places where Elvis love burns bright. And some of those might come as a surprise.
Brazil, for instance, is a hot spot — just ask Diogo Light. The Brazilian criminal defense attorney also doubles as an Elvis Tribute Artist who travels the world performing for sold-out crowds who love seeing Light keep the King’s memory alive.
Light grew up an avid Elvis fan in the South American country and he was not alone.
“As a matter of fact Elvis is huge in Brazil, everybody loves Elvis, and his movies are very popular to Brazilians,” he said.
So when Light decided that, in addition to practicing law, he would also pursue a professional career as an Elvis Tribute Artist (or ETA), many were not as surprised as one might think. He started traveling and building a reputation for his talent to sing and dance just like Elvis himself.
“We have a big and supportive fan base in Brazil as well,” he said. “I’ve been a big Elvis fan since I was a little kid so to pay tribute to the greatest entertainer of all times is truly a blessing, a pleasure and certainly a huge challenge.”
Since beginning this journey, he has amassed an incredible following and won dozens of contests. One of these was the 2016 Georgia Elvis Festival held at the Ritz Theatre in Brunswick.
Light bested dozens of other professional competitors — many of whom were also from other parts of the world, including Germany and Canada, and even another from his homeland.
Since walking away with the top prize, Light has not rested on his laurels. He has traveled across the world, including to Australia, to perform. But soon, he will be heading back to Brunswick to defend his title at the 2017 Georgia Elvis Festival.
For his part, Light is looking forward to making the trip.
“I’m very excited to return to Brunswick, I had a great and fun time last year, the audience was great and I loved this charming and warm Southern town that really honored your tradition as great host! I’m looking forward to come back,” he said.
Light, along with several other crowd favorites, will return March 9-11, competing multiple days for the chance to be crowned king of the fifth annual Georgia Elvis Festival. Competitions, accessible to ticket holders, will take place daily inside the Ritz. Free events will take place throughout the weekend including tribute artists performing in the pocket parks throughout downtown Brunswick.
For more scheduling information or to purchase tickets, visit georgiaelvisfestival.com.