Elvis Impersonators to Leave the Building?

Published: 2006-04-20
The vast majority of the 30,000 Elvis Presley impersonators in the United Sates may have to hang up their sequined jumpsuits and shave their sideburns if billionaire Robert Sillerman has his way.

Sillerman bought an 85 per cent stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises last year for a cool $114 million. The company, which is run by Presley's family, controls the rights to Graceland, as well as the king's name and likeness.

As can be seen by the myriad of Elvis impersonators, and the film 40,000 miles to Graceland, the company has historically let Elvis' likeness and name be used free of charge. But in an article to the New York Times, Sillerman expressed his intentions to open an interactive Elvis exhibit, and an Elvis-themed cabaret show in Vegas, which could spell the end of line for many 'unauthorized' impersonators.

"If we were going to do a show that was based on Elvis impersonators, then obviously it wouldn't make sense to have unauthorized Elvis impersonators," Sillerman said.

Of course, there is still a silver lining to this cloud. Though Sillerman is now essentially controlling of a big chunk of the Elvis legacy, he still retains no rights to the king's most prolific asset, which is of course, his music.

Writer: Michelle Garcia



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